Melinda Eades LeMoine is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson who specializes in complex business litigation on behalf of clients in the entertainment and media industries.
Ms. LeMoine is a recognized subject-matter expert in cases involving music companies, in particular in cases involving issues of music licensing. Her significant matters in this area include representing:
- SoundExchange, the collective representing all sound recording copyright owners and artists in the United States, in a key trial proceeding before the Copyright Royalty Board to set the royalties for the use of sound recordings in non-interactive internet webcasting via services like Pandora, iHeartRadio, and SiriusXM.
- Universal Music Publishing Group in in the Justice Department’s review of consent decrees governing the licensing of performance rights through performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI, and in two heavily publicized disputes between Pandora Media, Inc. and ASCAP and BMI.
- Universal Music Group in a federal court trial alleging infringement of nearly 100 musical composition copyrights in connection with records sold in download form through the iTunes Store.
- Universal Music Publishing Group in a case alleging a knowing material misrepresentation under DMCA Section 512(f) in connection with a notice to YouTube.
- Universal Music Group in a case brought by former music producers for the recording artist Eminem, alleging that permanent downloads are subject to “license” royalty rates under artist recording agreements. Ms. LeMoine and the Munger Tolles trial team successfully persuaded a unanimous jury that downloads should be treated as ordinary record sales, rather than accounted for pursuant to “license” provisions.
- Warner Music Group labels in a purported class action on behalf of recording artists including Sister Sledge, Gary Wright and Ronee Blakeley.
- Warner Brothers Records in a breach of contract action brought by the recording artist James Taylor and his former producer Peter Asher.
- Capitol Records in several breach of contract actions brought by various recording artists including Kenny Rogers, the estate of Ricky Nelson, and members of the Knack.
Ms. LeMoine also has significant intellectual property expertise and experience. Prior to law school, Ms. LeMoine spent several years as a private investigator, focusing on investigations into the potential infringement of clients’ valuable trademarks and other intellectual property. As a lawyer, Ms. LeMoine has continued her passionate defense of clients’ intellectual property rights, including in several high-profile anti-piracy matters. Her most significant matters in this area include representing:
- Recorded music labels within Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, EMI and Sony in obtaining a permanent injunction against the notorious pirated music service LimeWire, and the ensuing damages trial that led to a $105 million settlement on behalf of the labels.
- A major motion picture studio in a large-scale investigation into the theft and unauthorized distribution of a major motion picture months before its planned release.
From her earliest days at the firm, Ms. LeMoine has been actively involved in the firm’s work defending clients facing putative class actions. Over the course of her career, Ms. LeMoine has obtained positive results for firm clients facing class actions at every stage of the litigation: in successful motions to dismiss, in successful class certification oppositions, and in complex settlement negotiations.
Ms. LeMoine has also devoted much of her practice to pro bono work. She spent four years as the primary attorney on the Munger Tolles team representing a state prisoner on Nevada’s death row. She is committed to the firm’s tradition of community service, and currently serves on the boards of directors for Just Detention International, Antaeus Theatre Company and the Walden School.