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David A. Steinberg

Partner, through his Professional Corporation - los angeles


Legal Expertise

David A. Steinberg is a partner in Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp’s Entertainment & IP Litigation Practice Group and is based in the Los Angeles office. Mr. Steinberg is one of the foremost authorities on intellectual property issues focusing on copyright, trademark, anti-circumvention/Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), unfair competition and trade secrets. He also has extensive experience in entertainment and general business litigation in state and federal courts, courts of appeal and in numerous arbitration tribunals. David has broad jury and bench trial, arbitration and mediation experience.

David is also a member of the firm’s Video Game Industry Group, advising major video game and interactive entertainment clients on right of publicity, right of privacy, First Amendment, fair use and misappropriation claims. In addition, Mr. Steinberg provides strategic counsel for clients on publishing, distribution and licensing deals, and advises clients on complex contractual disputes and intellectual property and technology agreements.  

Representative Matters

  • Representing one of the world’s first independent developer and distributor of video games in a high-profile trademark dispute in the Southern District of New York involving challenges to the realistic depictions of the military vehicle, HUMVEE, in Call of Duty.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Activision Blizzard against Axl Rose’s tort and contract claims concerning Guitar Hero III.
  • Prevailed in an anti-SLAPP motion on behalf of Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games against right of publicity claim and claims of fraud and misappropriation of likeness regarding the lead character in their hugely popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.  
  • Currently defending a developer and publisher of video games in a contractual dispute concerning services rendered for a popular eSports world championship tour.
  • As co-lead counsel for the defense, obtained judgment as a matter of law, following jury trial, on behalf of all Defendants, dismissing Plaintiff’s copyright infringement claim that Jay Z and Timbaland’s song “Big Pimpin’” infringed his alleged copyright in an Egyptian composition.
  • Represented Norwich Union, one of the largest insurance companies in the world, in connection with a fraudulent insurance claim, initially brought and tried in Gibraltar and ultimately confirmed and enforce after trial in California. Won a multi-million dollar verdict after trial against the claimant and its counsel.
  • Successfully confirmed, at arbitration, a movie studio’s rights in a top grossing film franchise.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar judgment against a satellite broadcasting system on behalf of an international television network.
  • Represented one of the largest internet entertainment content providers in all aspects of trademark, copyright, First Amendment, right of publicity and litigation matters.
  • Generally represents film/TV production companies in a variety of disputes, including royalty disputes, licensee issues, copyright and trademark matters. 
  • Represents record companies in all types of litigation matters, including royalty disputes, copyright claims, related business disputes, and class actions.
  • Represented plaintiffs and defendants in various right of publicity, right of privacy, and misappropriation matters, involving musicians, recording artists, athletes, actors and personalities. 
  • Obtained multi-million dollar verdict after trial for insurance company in international fraud case. 
  • Represented well-known television personality in dispute with management/production company, successfully terminating management contract. 
  • Successfully defended well known entrepreneurs and their companies from wrongful termination lawsuits. 
  • Successfully defended (after trial) major record company in dispute over ownership of sound recordings, rights of publicity, and credit issues. 
  • Achieved summary judgment for well-known musicians against claim for royalties and breach of contract. 
  • Successfully represented record companies/producers/songwriters in copyright dispute and “sampling” issues. 
  • Represents musical groups and their members in litigation over group names. 
  • Prevailed at numerous arbitrations for international film distributors in disputes over foreign distribution rights. 
  • Represented several law firms in successful defense of malpractice claims. 
  • Successfully represented musical group in contract claim by former manager.

Honors & Awards

  • "Top Music Lawyers," Billboard (2023-2024)
  • AV® Preeminent™ Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Professional, Business and civic Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section


Events & Speaking Engagements


  • California, 1987
  • U.S. District Court
  •    Central District of California, 1987
  •    Southern District of California, 1987


University of California Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 1987

Binghamton University, State University of New York, B.A., 1984, with Honors

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