Anjan Choudhury is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. He practices in a wide variety of litigation and counseling matters, focusing primarily on matters for clients in the entertainment industry. He has represented clients in state and federal court as well as complex administrative proceedings, including before the Copyright Royalty Board.
Mr. Choudhury represents major television and film studios in a wide range of litigation disputes, including matters concerning profit participation, copyright, licensing of digital rights on emerging platforms, exclusivity and applications of California’s seven-year rule. These disputes include representing clients in active litigation such as defending Warner Bros. against claims brought by Sylvester Stallone’s loan out company, and defending Twentieth Century Fox Television in litigation brought concerning television shows such as The Wonder Years and Bones. Oftentimes, these disputes focus on issues raised by the growth of streaming and digital distribution.
Mr. Choudhury also represents clients, principally record companies, on matters concerning the digital music industry. He often advises major and independent record companies and global rights agencies negotiating on behalf of the same in matters concerning digital licensing with major music streaming services. He has represented music industry clients in a broad array of litigation in state and federal court. For instance, he represented SoundExchange on behalf of record companies and recording artists in the Webcasting IV Copyright Royalty Board proceeding that set statutory royalty rates owed by webcasters for non-interactive streaming in the United States through the year 2020. He also regularly represents clients in royalty disputes, including defending major record companies or rights agencies against claims brought in lawsuits by artists such as the band featured in the movie Spinal Tap, Young Money Entertainment and recording artist Lil Wayne, and recording artist James Taylor and his former producer Peter Asher.
Mr. Choudhury often speaks at industry conferences about music licensing, entertainment law and other legal issues, and he has written for the Copyright Alliance. Mr. Choudhury is a member of the Entertainment Law Committees of both the Media Law Resource Center and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
Mr. Choudhury was named an “Up Next” rising star in entertainment litigation in Variety’s 2015 Legal Impact Report. In 2016, he was named one of the “Best Under 40” lawyers in the country by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
Mr. Choudhury also maintains an active pro bono practice. Past matters include representing:
- Several leading civil rights groups in both current federal and state litigation against several federal agencies as well as the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, Human Rights Commission, and the Los Angeles Police Department concerning the adoption of the controversial “Countering Violent Extremism” program. This work was recognized in 2019 by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles for its outstanding pro bono contribution.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliates nationwide, as counsel of record, as amici curiae in the U.S. Supreme Court case Jennings v. Rodriguez, which concerns the due process rights of noncitizens subject to immigration detention.
- Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) in a variety of matters concerning the rights of trafficking victims and the privileges that apply to communications between service providers and those victims, including successfully obtaining a court order to protect the confidentiality of CAST’s shelter for survivors of human trafficking.
- Freedom Network, a national network of anti-human trafficking organizations as amicus curiae in challenges to multiple state immigration laws before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
- A victim of human trafficking in federal district court in obtaining a million dollar judgment against her diplomat employers.
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as amicus curiae at the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving the meaning of “aggravated felon” provisions at the intersection of criminal and immigration laws.
Mr. Choudhury is deeply committed to issues of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and community at large. He is co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee and the MTO Fellows Program, an innovative pipeline program that works with 25-40 diverse students each year in applying to law school and succeeding in the legal profession.
Mr. Choudhury is a member of the board of directors of the California ChangeLawyers and Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. He is also a past president and serves on the steering committee to the board of directors of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (SABA-SC). In 2017, Mr. Choudhury was awarded Mentor of the Year by SABA-SC. He has served on the board of governors for the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (APABA) and as a prior member of the executive committee of the Fulfillment Fund Leadership Council’s Board of Directors. He is also a past member of the board of directors of the South Asian Bar Association Public Interest Foundation.
Mr. Choudhury served as a clerk to the Honorable Marsha S. Berzon on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Choudhury received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor and Supreme Court chair of the Harvard Law Review.
Mr. Choudhury received his B.A. summa cum laude in political science from George Washington University, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa and awarded the John Morgan Prize. During his undergraduate education, he served as national director of political affairs for College Democrats of America.