Sanford Michelman presented, “How to Escape the Confusing Purgatory of Information Privacy Laws” at the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of California (IIABCal) 2016 Blue Ribbon Conference on the Big Island of Hawaii on May 3, 2016. The presentation explored the genesis of modern day privacy laws and how they apply specifically to insurance brokers, dealers and agents. In this segment, Sanford details the basic requirements of information privacy laws to which all companies must adhere.
Michelman & Robinson, LLP (M&R) Chairman Sanford Michelman, Firm Managing Partner Dana Kravetz and Orange County Office Managing Partner Mona Hanna were named to the 2016 list of Top 1oo Attorneys in Southern California by Super Lawyers. This is the second straight year that Michelman & Kravetz made the Top 100 list. While Hanna was also selected one of the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Southern California and among the Top 50 Attorneys in Orange County.
Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Each year, the research team at Super Lawyers Magazine undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area and a good-standing and disciplinary check.
Yesterday we blogged about the widespread coverage of David Lowery’s class action lawsuit against Spotify for releasing copyrighted material without first obtaining proper licenses from artists. We followed up that post with an All Things Considered NPR piece on the subject. Much more has been written on the Spotify lawsuit over the last day including the following articles that quote Sanford Michelman:
“[Spotify] should have reached out to the various artists and said we want to enter – engage in to a license with you, and enter into a royalty agreement. Just like you would in any other situation.”
Michelman & Robinson, LLP filed a $150 Million class action against Spotify over unpaid royalties on behalf of musician David Lowery of the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. The suite alleges that Spotify unlawfully reproduces and distributes copyrighted material without first obtaining mechanical licenses. According to Courthouse News Service, Lowery “seeks class certification, an injunction preventing Spotify from infringing on copyrighted works, restitution, and compensatory and statutory damages.” CNS also quotes Sanford Michelman, the lead attorney for the class, stating:
“I hope that Spotify acts in a corporately reasonable manner. These individuals – especially songwriters – put their hearts and souls in their works.”
Read more about the case at the:
UPDATE: NPR adds additional color to the story including the following:
“Lowery’s lawyer, Sanford Michelman, says Spotify may owe tens of millions of dollars not just in unpaid royalties but for copyright infringement, which can run as high as 150-thousand dollars per violation.”
Sanford quoted by Reuters:
Hanna’s co-lead counsel, Sanford Michelman, said Spotify typically negotiates royalty amounts in advance with top artists who have the resources to defend their work, but is less diligent about tracking down the license holders of music by lesser-known or independent artists.
“This is fundamentally wrong for the entire industry,” he said. “Spotify shouldn’t be playing ‘catch me if you can.’ (Lowery) has raised his hand and said ‘I’m going to stop this.'”
CNN Money is on the case:
Lawyer Sanford Michelman, who’s representing Lowery in court, said that putting money aside to pay out royalties later is a clear indication Spotify knowingly violated copyright law. He said those have to be paid via contracts hashed out before copyrighted work is used.
“It’s like saying, ‘We know we’ve taken these people’s work, we’ve never made an attempt to find them, but we know we’re playing something without the proper license,” he said.
Mega-stars like Taylor Swift and Adele are among the artists who have kept some music off Spotify. Some have criticized streaming services for cutting into industry profits by weakening album sales and offering small royalty payments.
But Michelman said the plaintiffs in this case were never contacted by the streaming service for a contract, and therefore have not received any royalties at all. He said it’s just like “stealing a car” off the lot.
M&R was named among the “Top 10 Best Midsize Law Firms to Work For” by Vault, the respected rankings and review source for attorneys nationwide. The rankings were derived from Vault’s Law Firm Associate Survey of over 17,000 associate participants. M&R scored particularly high in the Quality of Life categories, including Satisfaction and Firm Culture.
Michelman & Robinson, LLP is pleased to announce that four M&R attorneys have been selected for inclusion to the list of 2016’s Best Lawyers in America.
Congratulations to Sanford Michelman (Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law), Mona Hanna (Commercial Litigation, Insurance Litigation), Dana Kravetz (Labor Law – Management), and Andrew Selesnick (Health Care Law)!
Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers lists have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.
View the Best Lawyers in America Michelman & Robinson, LLP page.