Main Menu
Photo of Steven J. Metalitz

Steven J. Metalitz

Partner, through his Professional Corporation - washington, dc


Broadcasting from Charleston radio station WSCI, which was domiciled at the time in the control tower of the decommissioned U.S.S. Yorktown, Steven Metalitz spun vinyl with the dulcet tones of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. The year was 1980 and Steve, with the perfect voice for radio, spent his evenings in the unique environment of the World War II era aircraft carrier, producing a jazz show for the listeners of Charleston, South Carolina, after spending his days toiling as a newly minted lawyer.

A long time jazz enthusiast and former station manager for his college radio station, Steve continued his hobby of jazz music production well in to his legal career. Even after returning to his hometown DC Metro area, he spent his off time producing jazz radio shows. But a serendipitous opportunity to work on Capitol Hill for Senator “Mac” Mathias quickly consumed his attention, and led to his hanging up his headphones forever.

In high school, Steve had interned on Capitol Hill for his local Congressman from suburban Maryland and was extended the privilege of doing policy research in the Library of Congress. That’s when Steve first had exposure to the law and policy making, something he became passionate about. So when he went to work for Senator Mathias, ultimately serving as his Legislative Director and Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks and Copyright, he relished the opportunity. Steve quickly became immersed in copyright in the early days of the internet and has been at the innovative forefront of many of the laws that have been developed in the last three decades, including the DMCA and Pro-IP Act.


Legal Expertise

Counsels clients in the publishing, recording, motion picture, software, music and database industries, and e-commerce companies, on international and domestic copyright, privacy, domain name and information law issues. Designs and executes advocacy campaigns for individual clients, trade associations, and coalitions on legal and policy issues before Congress and federal agencies, ranging from Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to Departments of State, Commerce and Justice, as well as with foreign governments. Experienced drafter and analyst of legislative materials on federal and state levels, and of treaty text and associated materials on international copyright and e-commerce topics. Prepares federal appellate amicus briefs on a wide range of copyright and high technology topics.

Representative Matters

  • Significant contributor to text and enactment of many federal copyright and e-commerce-related laws passed since 1983, first as senior Senate staff member (e.g., Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984, Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988), and later as lead counsel to copyright and other industry coalitions (e.g., Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 for Creative Incentive Coalition; PRO-IP Act of 2008 for Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy).
  • As counsel to the leading copyright industry coalition on international copyright law and enforcement matters (International Intellectual Property Alliance), coordinated industry advocacy and drafting efforts on major international agreements (e.g., WIPO Internet Treaties, Free Trade Agreements with Singapore, Australia and Korea; Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement), with special emphasis on Internet and digital piracy issues, and authored dozens of reports on copyright law and enforcement developments in major overseas markets.
  • As six-term president of Intellectual Property Constituency of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), led global advocacy efforts for transparency and accountability in the Domain Name System, in support of enforcement of copyright and trademarks online. Founded and represented Coalition for Online Accountability (formerly Copyright Coalition on Domain Names) to lead copyright industry advocacy before ICANN.
  • Drafted numerous state laws and federal legislation on issues impacting a leading e-commerce company, from tax and regulatory matters to liberalization of the secondary market in event tickets.
  • Organized and represented leading copyright industry coalition in all six Copyright Office rulemaking proceedings held since 2000 under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Honors & Awards

  • Top Rated Intellectual Property Attorney in Washington, DC, Super Lawyers (2016)
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America© in Copyright Law (2012-2015)
  • Leading Media & Entertainment Lawyers in Washington, D.C., Chambers USA (2013 and 2014)

Professional, Business and civic Affiliations

  • Vice President, Intellectual Property Constituency of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
  • Counsel, International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA)
  • Counsel, Coalition for Online Accountability (formerly the Copyright Coalition on Domain Names)

Other Career Experience

  • Partner, Smith & Metalitz LLP
  • Vice President and General Counsel, Information Industry Association 
  • U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee (1982-1989) 
    • Chief Nominations Counsel
    • Chief Counsel and Staff Director, Subcommittee on Patents, Copyright and Trademarks 
  • Legislative Director to Senator Charles McC. Mathias, Jr. of Maryland


Media Mentions


  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
  •    Third Circuit
  •    Fourth Circuit
  •    Seventh Circuit
  •    Tenth Circuit
  •    Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1977

University of Chicago, B.A., 1972; Phi Beta Kappa

Back to Page