Find Lawyers in San Francisco, California for Copyright Law
Practice Area Overview
Copyright applies to original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. An original work of authorship is one that is independently created and includes a minimum level of creativity. Examples of the types of works to which copyrights apply include literary works, drawings, paintings, sculptures, movies, music, video games, and other works of art. Copyright protection also applies to computer software.
Copyright protection does not protect ideas, but protects the expression of an idea. A work does not need to be registered with the Copyright Office to be afforded copyright protection. However, it must be registered with the Copyright Office to bring a lawsuit for copyright infringement. In addition, significant benefits arise from the timely registration of copyrights.
The author of a work is vested with a number of exclusive rights when copyright protection arises. These exclusive rights include, among other things, the right to reproduce (copy), adapt, display, and publicly perform the work. The author may transfer all or some of his or her exclusive rights in the work to another party. For example, the author of a novel may transfer the right to adapt a novel into a screenplay to a movie studio, while still retaining the copyright in the novel itself. Another significant component of copyright law is the area of fair use, which allows use of a copyrighted work without permission in certain limited circumstances (e.g., for the purpose of commenting on or criticizing the work).
Copyright lawyers assist clients with identifying materials that are protectable by copyright, registering copyrightable works with the United States Copyright Office, and counseling clients in the various ways in which copyrights may be acquired, protected, and exploited. Litigation also is a large part of a copyright lawyer’s practice.
Copyright law also addresses issues involving digital rights management, which are measures designed to manage digital copies of works. With the advent of digital copies, some copyright owners seek to restrict the ability to make copies of a particular work. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is part of U.S. copyright law, prohibits circumventing measures that are designed to prevent copying of copyrighted works. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act also, among other things, provides a framework for online service providers for avoiding copyright infringement based on the acts of the online service provider’s users.
Joel D. Leviton, Co-Chair of Copyright Practice
Kristen McCallion, Co-Chair of Copyright PracticeFish & Richardson
Corporate Law & Commercial Litigation Legal Guide 2023View Legal Guide
Pam Fulmer has substantial experience litigating all types of intellectual property and commercial disputes with a special emphasis on licensing disputes. Her cases have included copyright, trademark, trade secret and patent infringement, as well as privacy related lawsuits. Pam also has experience in lawsuits involving the Lanham Act and false advertising, unfair competition, trade libel, licensing, and other complex litigation. In addition to her intellectual property practice, Pam has deep...
Darryl Woo is a veteran trial lawyer who has successfully tried numerous cases to verdict, and concentrates his practice on patent litigation and other complex technology litigation, principally in the areas of semiconductors, information technology, life sciences and biotechnology. He has appeared as lead counsel in patent litigation across the country, including the ITC, dealing with technologies ranging from software to semiconductor fab equipment, materials chemistry, voice over IP, fiber...
Amber Harezlak is a technology & IP transactions partner in the Salt Lake City and San Francisco offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Amber works closely with Kirkland’s M&A practice on technology, intellectual property, cybersecurity and data privacy aspects of complex corporate transactions. She also represents clients in connection with strategic commercial agreements such as joint ventures, licenses, and collaborations. Amber’s practice spans numerous industries, inclu...
Natalie Sinzig is an intellectual property litigation partner in the Bay Area office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Natalie focuses on patent, copyright, and trademark infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and other intellectual property-related litigation. She has worked on cases in state court, federal court (including the Federal Circuit), and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Natalie has experience taking and defending both fact and expert witness depositions, as well as prep...
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Our methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.
Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.