English poet William Cowper is famously quoted as saying “variety is the spice of life.” That phrase rings true to Greg Olaniran and is embodied in his taste of music . . . varied and colorful. But Greg doesn't just consume music, he likes to create it . . . as an aspiring DJ. Some of Greg’s earliest memories include playing music in his home as a child on the family’s old turntable, studiously playing album after album. The joy and satisfaction he got from making family members happy with endless turns of the vinyl is something that he’s carried his entire life.
Leaving his native Nigeria for college in the United States, he brought his love for DJing with him to the campus of Morgan State University. He fondly remembers being the one that consistently volunteered to play the music for parties hosted by his Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Greg’s DJing tools have evolved over time, from the early days of turntables to the cassette tracks of the ‘80’s to his modern “spins” of the iPod at neighborhood and family parties.
While Greg is a far cry from becoming a professional DJ, a goal he hopes to achieve some day, when you hear him describe the experience of playing music for friends and loved ones you can sense the genuine enjoyment he gets from sharing tunes he knows they favor. And he also loves seeing them experience new genres they would otherwise not be exposed to in their normal traversing of life. As Bob Marley said “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
As the consummate people pleaser, Greg has a knack for understanding his audience and providing them with the perfect experience, something that translates well into servicing his legal clientele.
Representation of clients in copyright ownership and enforcement matters, and in other copyright and contractual matters, with special expertise in statutory license matters involving cable, satellite and other delivery systems. Advise and counsel clients regarding content creation and distribution of television series, movies, documentaries, reality shows and other programming transmitted by broadcast television, cable, satellite, and other platforms. Represents clients before the Copyright Office, the Copyright Royalty Judges, the Federal Communications Commission, and state and federal trial and appellate courts.
- Obtained summary judgment based on an implied license defense for a health insurance industry client in a copyright infringement action involving software code (WH Administrators v. Corepex Technologies, Inc., U.S. District for Eastern District for Virginia, September 2017)
- Represents collectively more than 100 producers and distributors of copyrighted television content in disputes regarding their share of hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties. Served as lead counsel in several multi-million dollar royalty disputes, including:
- In re Distribution of Section 111 Cable Royalty Funds For 2004-2009, Docket No. 2012-6 CRB CD 2004-2009 (Phase I) and In re Distribution of Section 119 Satellite Royalty Funds For 1999-2009, Docket No. 2012-7 CRB SD 1999-2009 (Phase I). (his creative advocacy resulted in a historic settlement of a $1.5 billion dispute among eight parties);
- In re Distribution of Section 111 Cable Royalty Funds For 2000-03 (Phase I), Docket No. 2008-2 CRB CD 2000-2003;
- In re Distribution of Section 111 Cable Royalty Funds For 1998-99 (Phase I), Docket No. 2001-8 CARP CD 98-99
- Served as lead counsel on appellate cases, including:
- Independent Producers Group v. Librarian of Congress, No. 13-1274, et al., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11166 (D.C. Cir. 2015);
- Independent Producers Group v. Librarian of Congress & Register of Copyrights, 759 F.3d 100 (D.C. Cir. 2014);
- Worldwide Subsidy Group v. Motion Picture Assn. of America, Inc., No. B236717, 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5383 (Cal. Ct. App. July 20, 2014);
- Hargrave v. TV One LLC, No. 2371 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. May 6, 2014) (cert. denied, 101 A.3d 1063 (Md. App. Ct. 2014);
- Program Suppliers v. Librarian of Congress, 409 F.3d 395 (D.C. Cir. 2005)
- Co-counsel on the team that obtained summary judgment, in a copyright infringement action, in favor of the director and producers of one of the most successful major motion pictures of all time.
- Obtained summary dismissal of a copyright infringement action regarding a television program on behalf of a major cable network.
- Successfully defended a major cable network in an alleged defamation action.
- Represents clients in administrative litigation, including royalty distribution proceedings, rate-setting proceedings, notices of inquiry proceedings, rulemaking proceedings and settlement negotiations.
- Counsels copyright owners regarding pending legislation and on protecting owners’ broadcast and distribution rights against possible dilution resulting from new content delivery technologies.
- Advises clients on licensing issues raised by ownership and/or transfer of copyrights and other copyright matters raised by the internet.
- Advises clients on general business matters, including negotiating various business agreements, including leases, technology licensing agreements, database management agreements, consulting agreements and service agreements.
Honors & Awards
- Top Rated Intellectual Property Attorney in Washington, DC, Super Lawyers (2016-2018)
Professional, Business and civic Affiliations
- Member, American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries
- Member, District of Columbia Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section
- Member, Maryland State Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section
- Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, The Horizon Foundation of Howard County
- Board Member, Alpha Foundation of Howard County
- Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Columbia, MD Chapter)
- Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
- Member, Governing Board, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
Other Career Experience
- Partner, Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP (2002-2010)
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA) (inactive)
- January 8, 2018
- MSK Mentioned in The American Lawyer and Law.com for Their Efforts in Honoring the Heather Heyer FoundationAugust 28, 2017
- August 28, 2017
- January 20, 2017
- April 15, 2015
- September 19, 2013
- ACC Docket, February 19, 2016
- Case Summary for Perfect 10 v. Giganews (Maryland State Bar Association Annual IP Update)June 2015
Events & Speaking Engagements
- The Nuts and Bolts of Digital Media Deal Making: How to Structure and Negotiate Digital Media and Streaming AgreementsOctober 27, 2017
- September 16, 2015
- Global Intelligence: Models of Inclusion & Keys to Uncovering TalentApril 2014
- Brand Protection In An Era of Social MediaMarch 2014
- November 9, 2012
- Practical or Principled Approach to the Digital Revolution: What to do when the law is on your side but market forces are not?October 6, 2012
- The Whistleblower, Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) 8th Annual General Counsel Invitational and Diversity Leadership SummitApril 2011
- Washington Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Seminar on Diversity
- Government Regulation and Business
- Maryland, 1995
- District of Columbia, 1997
- U.S. District Court
- District of Columbia
- District of Maryland
- U.S. Court of Appeals
- District of Columbia Circuit
The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1995
Morgan State University, M.B.A., 1986
Morgan State University, B.S., 1984; Double major, Accounting and Business Administration, cum laude