Copyright Alliance Profiles Kelly Klaus

Litigation attorney Kelly M. Klaus discussed his inspiration for pursuing a career in copyright law, his cutting-edge cases and his work with the Copyright Alliance in a recent interview with the organization.

“Even though a case may involve new technology or a seemingly new business model, the critical input for many of the businesses in cases I have litigated has been popular copyrighted content like movies or music,” Mr. Klaus said. “Over and over again, the tension is whether and to what extent the law allows one deliberately to exploit such content for commercial gain or advantage without paying for it.”

Mr. Klaus said in the Jan. 22 profile that he was inspired to pursue copyright law when he was first introduced to the discipline by Professor Paul Goldstein at Stanford Law School. “His class really focused us on the fundamentals of copyright; most notably, that the system is designed to provides incentives for people to be creative and to take risks in trying to bring their works to an audience,” said Mr. Klaus.

“What seems to be lost in much of that discussion are the countervailing realities that arise because of the sheer magnitude of infringement that can be effected with modern technology, and what that does to the underlying incentives,” Mr. Klaus added.

The article noted some of Mr. Klaus’ recent cases including his representation of: 

  • Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Group, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group, in their action against LimeWire and its founder. After obtaining a permanent injunction against LimeWire, Munger Tolles proceeded to a damages trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Two weeks into trial, the defendants agreed to pay the record companies $105 million.
  • The six motion picture studio members of the Motion Picture Association of America,
    • in securing an injunction against the operators of Zediva, an unlicensed video-on-demand service that transmits performances of copyrighted motion pictures to Zediva customers through the Internet; and
    • in obtaining permanent injunctions against RealNetworks “RealDVD” device for copying DVDs.

Munger, Tolles & Olson is a member of the Copyright Alliance’s Legal Advisory Board. The board works with the organization and its members to advance copyright strategy.