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As digital technology and the online environment transform the distribution and use of intellectual property, our Copyright & Trademark group is on the front lines in protecting and enforcing our clients’ most important creative assets. Our trial-tested team represents a wide range of clients, from entrepreneurs to major corporations, from playwrights to media giants, and from individual songwriters to the country’s largest performing rights organizations.

Paul, Weiss Victory in Appeal of Rate-Setting Proceeding

Paul, Weiss achieved a significant victory yesterday on behalf of National Music Publishers' Association, Inc., the Songwriters Guild of America and the Nashville Songwriters Association International, when the D.C. Circuit affirmed the rates and terms for the mechanical license under Section 115 of the Copyright Act set by the Copyright Royalty Judges (CRJ) in October 2008.

The court rejected arguments made by the Recording Industry Association of America (on behalf of the record companies) that two aspects of the CRJs' decision -- their decision to impose a late fee of 1.5 percent per month for overdue royalties and their decision to adopt a penny rate, rather than a percentage-of-revenue rate, for ringtones -- were arbitrary and capricious. The court found that on both points, the CRJs' decision "was reasonable and reasonably explained," and that the RIAA failed to present any arguments that would justify overturning either decision.

The Paul, Weiss team for the appeal included litigation partners Jay Cohen (who argued the appeal), Lynn Bayard and David Brown.

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