Michael Elkin is the managing partner of Winston & Strawn’s New York office, chair of the copyright, entertainment & digital media practice, and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He is a widely recognized trial lawyer who has recently earned two “Litigator of the Week” honors from The American Lawyer from his successful defense in two separate “bet-the-industry” digital media copyright disputes, involving the streaming of motion picture, television, and music properties. Indeed, his December 2011 appellate victory for client Veoh Networks in a series of cases involving the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was selected by Corporate Counsel as one of the “10 Biggest IP Litigation Wins of 2011.”
Mr. Elkin and his core team have collectively tried more than 100 cases to verdict, including disputes involving major entertainment and digital media companies, representing the defense of billions of dollars in the liability and the recovery of massive awards for our clients. This winning experience has made him the go-to litigator in new media law in the country (The American Lawyer) and the go-to attorney in digital copyright cases (Chambers USA). Mr. Elkin’s new media work was also earned him an “Intellectual Property MVP” recognition by Law360, which noted that his “outcomes frequently test the boundaries of the nascent new media environment.”
In addition, under his leadership, Law360 selected the firm’s Advertising, Marketing & Entertainment Law Practice as a 2011 Media and Entertainment Group of the Year, citing our record in cases that helped determine the legal standard for user-generated content and copyright infringement. Further, U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Winston as National Tier 1 for IP Litigation in its “Best Law Firms” issue, with one of our clients stating: “In the four companies I have been CEO of, I have dealt with many IP/Litigation firms. Michael Elkin at Winston & Strawn is the very best in this area.”
As lead counsel in numerous complex commercial actions, Mr. Elkin’s counseling and dispute resolution experience has enabled him to successfully resolve highly publicized trademark, copyright and unfair competition matters that are currently shaping the law governing media and emerging technology in the entertainment industry. Experience in this area that has captured national attention includes all aspects of the DMCA and the development, distribution, and use of technologies that push the boundaries of IP law.
In addition to his work involving negotiations and litigation relating to entertainment industry contracts, Mr. Elkin advises and counsels entertainment clients on capital markets transactions and licensing of intellectual property. He represents clients in the acquisition of companies and raising financing through securitization, public offering, private placement, venture capital, and commercial loan transactions. He also structures licensing arrangements covering copyrights, trademarks, and publicity/likeness rights of entertainers, artists, athletes, and other celebrities.
Mr. Elkin’s international experience includes private litigation and arbitration that required the application of treaties, conventions, and foreign and domestic law on subjects such as the extraterritorial gathering of evidence, foreign sovereign immunity, recognition of foreign country judgments and foreign arbitral awards, and international conflicts of law.
Prior to joining Winston & Strawn, Mr. Elkin served as vice chairman of another major law firm and managing partner of its litigation practice.
Honors and Awards
- Named an “Intellectual Property MVP” by Law360 in 2012.
- Recognized by the National Law Journal “Intellectual Property Hot List,” in 2012 and 2013 featuring highlights from some of the IP group’s victories, including Mr. Elkin’s win for Veoh Networks.
- Selected as one of Hollywood Reporter, Esq.’s Top 100 Power Lawyers for litigation from 2006-2010, 2012, and 2013, including recognition for "Case of the Year" in 2013.
- Recognized by Law360 as part of the firm’s Advertising, Marketing & Entertainment Law practice being selected as a 2011 Media and Entertainment Group of the Year.
- Recognized by The AmLaw Litigation Daily as a “Litigator of the Week” in July 2012 for a significant victory in a copyright dispute relating to remote television antenna and DVR streaming and in December 2011 for a favorable ruling on behalf of Veoh Networks, which is expected to affect pending cases involving copyrighted content hosted online.
- Recognized by The American Lawyer in connection with the firm being selected as a finalist for Am Law’s IP Litigation Department of the Year in 2010.
- Listed in Variety’s “Legal Impact Report 2012: 50 Game-Changing Attorneys.”
- Named to the World Trademark Review’s “WTR1000” rankings for 2012 and 2013.
- Listed in Chambers USA among the best lawyers for Media & Entertainment: Copyright & Contract Disputes, Intellectual Property: Trade Mark & Copyright, and Intellectual Property: Patent.
- Named to Lawdragon’s 2012 “The Influencers: The 500 Leading Lawyers in America,” the 2011 “Lawdragon 500: Leading Lawyers in America” guide to the nation’s top lawyers; profiled in Lawdragon’s “Lawyer Limelight” in July 2010.
- Recognized in The National Law Journal’s 2010 “Appellate Hot List” as lead counsel in the successful defense of a landmark copyright case (Arista Records LLC v. Launch Media Inc., 578 F.3d 148 (2d Cir. 2009), cert. denied (2010)).
- Listed in the July/August 2009 Corporate Counsel edition SuperLawyers for Intellectual Property Litigation in New York and as a New York Super Lawyer in New York Super Lawyers Magazine in 2011.
- Recognized in the Legal 500 US 2012 as a top attorney in Copyright and in the Legal 500 US 2009 in Media, Technology, and Telecoms.
- Listed in Who’s Who in American Law 2009-2012.
- Named to The American Lawyer’s list of “Star Laterals of the Year” in 2008.
- Recognized as a Super Lawyer each year from 2006 through 2011.
Mr. Elkin is the managing partner of Winston & Strawn’s New York office and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. In addition, Mr. Elkin is a member of Law360's Intellectual Property Editorial Board.
The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Copyright Society of the United States of America
Mr. Elkin is deeply immersed in French-American cultural, social and charitable pursuits.
French-American Chamber of Commerce, Vice President and Secretary, Executive Committee for National and New York Chapter
Paris American Club
Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (NY Chapter)
Brooklyn Law School (J.D., 1984)
Rutgers University (M.S.W., 1981)
Rutgers University (A.B., 1979)
L’Université de Tours (1978)
Faculté des Lettres
L’Université de la Sorbonne (1977)
Speeches and Publications
- “Contributory Liability and the Duty to Police Internet Content,” USC Gould School of Law 2013 Intellectual Property Institute, Beverly Hills, California (March 2013)
- “Current Issues in Copyright,” Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts, Columbia Law School, New York (February 2013)
- “Digital Television Innovation, Competition and Copyright,” National Association of Recording Merchandisers Entertainment Law Conference Series, Los Angeles (October 2012)
- “Current Issues in Copyright,” Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts, Columbia Law School, New York (February 2012)
- “Cloud Media Law: MP3 Tunes, Amazon Cloud Music and Cartoon Network v. Cablevision,” National Association of Recording Merchandisers Entertainment Law Conference Series, New York (November 2011)
- “Music and Copyright: A Panel Discussion Featuring George Clinton,” Brooklyn Law School, New York (October 2011)
- “Cloud Computing vs. File Sharing,” CMJ 2011 Music Marathon & Film Festival 6th Annual Entertainment Business Law Seminar, New York (October 2011)
- “Copyright Law and the Internet’s Evolution Continues to Break New Ground – Three Cases and a New Law that Shook the World,” ALM 23rd Annual Corporate Counsel Conference, New York (June 2011)
- “The DMCA Safe Harbor: Anchored or Adrift?” New York State Bar Association, New York (March 2011)
- “The Law Firm Partners' Perspective on IT and Expectations of the CIO,” The American Lawyer 7th Annual Law Firm Chief Information & Technology Officers Forum, New York (February 2011)
- “After YouTube and Veoh: Have Courts (or Congress) Failed Creators or Struck the Right Balance?” National Association of Recording Merchandisers Entertainment Law Conference Series, Los Angeles (October 2010)
- Speech to the Los Angeles Copyright Society regarding the decision in Io Group, Inc. v. Veoh Networks, Inc., the first case to consider whether the operator of a user-generated content Web site can obtain safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (December 2008)
- “Navigating the Latest Precedent-Setting Cases that Affect Emerging Technologies Used to Disseminate Creative Content Online,” presented at an entertainment and media meeting of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, New York (April 2008)
- “Navigating the Latest Precedent-Setting Cases that Affect Emerging Technologies Used to Disseminate Creative Content Online,” presented at the Bloomberg Intellectual Property Law Seminar, San Francisco (November 2007)
- “Declining Record Sales: Causes and Solutions,” Entertainment and Sports Conference, sponsored by the Entertainment and Sports Committee of the NYSSCPA, Crowne Plaza, New York, Panelist (May 2005)
- “A Change is Gonna Come: New Opportunities and Evolving Strategies in Music and Digital Entertainment,” 4th Annual Billboard Music & Money Symposium, St. Regis Hotel, New York, Panelist (March 2005)
- “Protecting Intellectual Property Assets for Entertainment Companies,” Forbes Radio Interview, November 2003
- “The Business of Hip Hop: From The BlingBling to The Ka Ching,” M.R. Beal 15th Anniversary Forum, Ritz Carlton Battery Park, New York, Panelist (June 2003)
- “Examining the Structure of Music, Entertainment & Copyright Securitizations,” Advancing IP Structured Finance sponsored by the World Research Group, Crown Plaza, New York, Speaker (May 2003)
- “Finding the Funding that Fits,” 2nd Annual Billboard Music & Money Symposium, St. Regis Hotel, New York, Panelist (March 2003)
- “A Time To Heal, A Time To Rebuild,” Hip Hop to Wall Street — Investment and Management Plenary, RainbowPUSH 5th Annual Wall Street Project Conference and Gala: Hilton New York Hotel, Moderator (January 2002)
- Co-author: “California, New York’s Different Approaches, Viewed Through Pending NCAA Student Athlete Licensing Litigation: The Right of Publicity Goes Digital,” New York Law Journal, Aug. 16, 2010.
- Co-author: “Arista Records v. Launch Media, Inc.: Second Circuit Grapples with Interactivity,” NYSBA Bright Ideas, Winter 2009.
- Co-author: “Free With Registration: Digital Millennium Copyright Act — California Ruling May Influence Viacom’s Suit Against YouTube,” New York Law Journal, Dec. 30, 2008.
- Co-author: “Termination of Copyright Transfers, Record Labels’ Rights,” New York Law Journal, Oct. 29, 2004
- Co-author: “Speed Bumps on Woodley Road,” Lodging Law, Vol. 7, Issue 10, October 2004
- Author: “Napster Near and Far: Will the Ninth Circuit’s Ruling Affect Secondary Infringement in the Outer Reaches of Cyberspace?,” 27 Brooklyn J. Int’l L. 381, 2002