Variety, the premier entertainment business news resource, recognized partner Ilene Farkas, James Sammataro, Frank Scibilia, and Benjamin Semel in their 2021 Legal Impact Report for their entertainment law work. According to Variety:
Sammataro: Co-Chair, Media & Entertainment Group
Scibilia: Co-Chair, Music & Copyright Groups
Farkas, Semel: Co-Chairs, Music & Music Litigation Groups
The litigators achieved dismissal for Luis Fonsi and Universal Music, beating a copyright claim for hit song "Despacito." Sammataro works from Miami and Los Angeles; Scibilia, Farkas and Semel are in New York. Other clients are the nonprofit music Mechanical Licensing Collective, Sony Music, Universal Music, Warner Music, Warner Chappell Music, Concord Music Publishing, National Music Publishers' Assn., Netflix, the estate of Christopher Cornell (Soundgarden), Ariana Grande, Ricky Martin, Ed Sheeran and Howard Stern. Though the law hasn't changed, Farkas notes that courts have become more skeptical in songwriter infringement cases. Courts are ruling "not all similarities are actionable similarities," she says.
The Future Is Now: The pandemic accelerated transformational activations that remake the media landscape, Sammataro says. For instance, he finds that the music industry asks, "Can we use live streams to augment and accentuate the in-person concert experience in a post-pandemic world?"
View the full list on Variety's website linked below.
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