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Dickinson Wright’s Copyright team understands the nuances of copyright law and works closely with our clients on a wide range of copyright-related matters. As a full-service law firm with offices strategically located across the U.S. and in Canada, we are well-positioned to assist you with all of your copyright needs.

Our experienced team counsels clients regarding clearance, prosecution, registration, licensing, fair use, and enforcement of copyrights, including identifying copyrighted assets when conducting due diligence in mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and asset purchases (including in connection with music catalog sales).

We also have extensive experience negotiating and drafting agreements in the literary and music publishing industries, film, live stage and television, and videogame production, as well as contracts regarding rights of publicity, celebrity sponsorship, and endorsement agreements.

Our Services

Copyright Registration and Protection: We regularly help clients register, protect, and enforce their copyrights for all types of works in the U.S. Copyright Office and the Canadian Copyright Office. We also help clients register copyrights with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency to provide additional protection for stopping counterfeit and infringing works at the border. Our areas of proficiency include, but are not limited to:

• Architectural Plans  • Music compositions  
 • Books  • Paintings
 • Computer Programs  • Photographs
 • Consumer Products  • Plays
 • Jewelry & Figurine Designs      • Sculptures
 • Motion pictures  • Sound recordings


Copyright Risk Management: The consequences of  copyright infringement can emotionally and financially devastate an individual or organization. Our copyright attorneys work closely with their clients to develop strategies to protect works, minimize misuse and address infringements.

Ownership Investigations: Finding out whether or not materials are available for public use can be time-consuming and complicated. With deep experience conducting ownership and registration status investigations, our copyright team simplifies the process for clients. We handle all aspects from beginning to end, keeping you updated with each new development.

Copyright Litigation: Recognizing that litigation is costly and time-consuming, we take a proactive approach, helping our clients devise effective portfolio management and copyright enforcement strategies in an effort to avoid disputes. However, when litigation proves necessary, we vigorously enforce our clients’ copyrights and defend them against infringement and other copyright claims in courts at all levels throughout the country.

Entertainment and Music Contracting: We focus a significant part of our copyright practice across the entertainment industry, drafting and negotiating contracts for those involved in the creation, production, and management of artistic works. Our team serves clients across the full spectrum of the entertainment industry, from individuals focused on artistic creation to those who work primarily with the business side of the industry. We represent clients within the music, film, and television industries, as well as actors, authors, and comedians.

Representative Case Matters

• Counseled clients regarding the clearance, prosecution, registration, licensing, and enforcement of copyrights, trademarks, and publicity rights, and the IP aspects of mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and asset purchases (including in connection with music catalog sales).

• Negotiated and drafted recording, music publishing, book publishing, film, television, videogame production, live stage production, live performance, talent, merchandising, sponsorship, and endorsement copyright agreements.

• Counseled clients in the areas of copyright, rights of publicity, domain name, and internet-related copyright issues.

• Successfully represented a large international sports entertainment company in numerous copyright enforcement matters filed in state and federal courts.

• Developed a new copyright policy for a major museum’s online and public photography guidelines.

• Successfully negotiated settlements of copyright infringements of artworks by a major fashion label.

• Represented digital music and video services company in the negotiation of music public performance and mechanical licensing agreements with U.S. and foreign collection societies and advised on related international copyright clearance matters.

• Conducted copyright and right of publicity risk assessment for thousands of a leading American multinational energy corporation’s archival assets, primarily photographs, artwork, and videos in that order.

• Represented a beverage distribution company to assist with a copyright infringement matter.

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