ATTORNEYS
Eric J. Schwartz

Legal Expertise

Over 25 years of experience as a copyright attorney providing counseling on U.S. and foreign copyright laws - including rights, ownership and enforcement issues - relating to new technology rights, social media, and management matters, and old media; transactional attorney on music and film production, software licensing, and all other manner of IP commercial transactions; expert witness; appellate and trial litigation strategist; counseling on Copyright Office practice.  Expert on film and music archival legal (i.e., "back catalog") and preservation issues.  Adjunct professor of copyright law and international copyright law, Georgetown University Law Center.

 

Representative Matters

  • Serve as production counsel, handling over 100 talent appearance and location agreements, and all other rights clearances and production issues in the development, production and distribution of "On Record: The Soundtrack of Our Lives," a landmark multi-media project tracing the history of recorded music and its impact on popular culture, executive produced by Sir George Martin (on PBS 2015).
  • Counsel Philip K. Dick Testamentary Trust on all copyright and transactional matters relating to Philip K. Dick literary properties ("Adjustment Team," "Minority Report" etc.)
  • Counsel to The Mayfield Family Trust on copyright and transactional matters relating to the Curtis Mayfield song catalog.
  • Counsel numerous clients on U.S. copyright law "termination" issues - under old (1909 Act) and new (1976 Act) law - for a variety of works: music, film and literary properties.
  • Assisted with numerous briefs in Supreme Court's Golan v. Holder case on the constitutionality of copyright restoration provisions.
  • Assisted NBC Universal with 2012 Summer Olympics copyright matters relating to broadcast rights (including Copyright Office registrations); provided similar counseling for prior Olympics: the 2010 Winter Games, the 2008 Summer Games.
  • Represent photographers and photographic licensing agencies on Copyright Office registration matters.
  • Serve as counsel to International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) on copyright and enforcement issues in Russia, Mexico and other major markets.
  • Served as production counsel for numerous long-form documentaries including: Martin Scorsese's "A Letter to Elia," the PBS broadcast six-hour series "Circus" and the PBS four-hour primetime series "Half the Sky" (both produced by Show of Force), and numerous public television-broadcast and theatrical releases.
  • Represented Universal Music Group in negotiations with the Library of Congress for UMG's donation of over 200,000 historic master recordings from 1928-1948 to the Library - the largest single donation of recordings ever received by the Library, preparing and negotiating the donor agreement, and working on all preservation and access issues.
  • Served as co-lead counsel providing strategic guidance and copyright due diligence for the purchase of the complete catalog of a major (top 3) music publisher.
  • Served as expert witness on U.S. and Canadian law in copyright arbitration dispute involving software licenses that resulted in over $100 million reward to client.
  • Provided full chain of title analysis for underlying story and screenplay adapted into a major motion picture released worldwide.
  • Provided copyright counseling for one of the first major record label agreements with the Apple iTunes Music store (for streaming, and computer and iPod downloads).
  • At the U.S. Copyright Office (1988-1994): served as a principal participant crafting copyright law amendments including: the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988, the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, Copyright Renewal Act of 1992, and National Film Preservation Act of 1992 (and later, in 1996, 2005 and 2009 reauthorizations).  Also, served as principal (U.S. government) negotiator of the copyright provisions in: several bilateral agreements with Russia and over a dozen Central and Eastern European countries; the U.S., Canada and Mexico Free Trade Agreement (and NAFTA); and multilateral talks leading up to Berne accession, the World Trade Organization TRIPs Agreement, and in bilateral trade talks with China, Taiwan and Korea.
Eric J. Schwartz

Partner - Washington, DC


Email Eric J. Schwartz


Phone:

  (202) 355-7903

Fax:

  (202) 355-7893
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Industry Focus

Major motion picture and television, and independent production companies; recording industry companies; software, book, and music publishing companies; and individual authors, songwriters, and other creative artists.

Education Collapse

  • American University, Washington College of Law, J.D., 1984
  • Johns Hopkins University, B.A., 1979

Court Admissions Collapse

  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • USDC, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Recognition Expand

  • "Leading Media & Entertainment Lawyers in Washington, D.C.," Chambers USA (2013 and 2014)
  • “Best Lawyers in America, Intellectual Property Litigation and Copyright Law," Best Lawyers (2010-2014)

Publications and Presentations Expand

Professional, Business, and Civic Affiliations Expand

  • Vice-President/President-Elect (2012) and Executive Committee Member (2007-present), Copyright Society of the USA; Formerly Co-Chair of the DC Chapter (2007-2010) and Trustee (1997-1999)
  • Vice Chair, Committee on International Copyright Treaties & Laws of the ABA Section on Intellectual Property Law
  • Counsel, International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) (1997-present)
  • Founding Director and Board Member, National Film Preservation Foundation (1996-present)
  • Pro Bono Counsel, Library of Congress’ National Film Preservation Board (1988-present)
  • Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Board (2003-present) 
  • DC Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Copyright Reform Task Force
  • Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA)
  • The Recording Academy - DC Chapter

Other Career Experience Expand

  • Acting General Counsel, United States Copyright Office (1994)
  • Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, Register of Copyrights (1988–1994)
  • Staff Assistant and Assistant Counsel to the Committee on Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives for Hon. Joe Moakley (1979–1988)