Russell J. Frackman

Hollywood Law Impact List

Firm: Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp

The practice: The Napster case made Frackman a marquee name in the fight against Internet piracy, but he’s been in the trenches battling illegal copying for 35 years and has represented the Recording Industries Assn. of America for almost as long.

In the last decade, as digital piracy has began to encroach upon the film world, Frackman has added the Motion Picture Assn. of America as a client. “When I started out in the early ’70s,” Frackman says, “we were looking for pirated eight-track tapes at record stores and flea markets. It was great fun going on raids in Las Vegas. I learned a lot, and it all came into play many years later because even though the technology changes, the same basic principles of copyright law still apply.”

Recent and significant among Frackman’s vast list of copyright cases are Rossi v. MPAA, in which he was lead counsel for the motion picture org in a case involving the take-down provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; and 321 Studios v. MGM, in which he represents the MPAA in litigation involving the anticircumvention provisions of the act. Frackman also represents the rights holder in an important copyright infringement case against Google involving the search engine’s use of photos.

POV: “With each new technology, there is new piracy,” Frackman says. “When you arrive at the Internet, you have a copyright holder’s nightmare: a perfect copy and easy distribution.”

See the Hollywood law impact list.

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