Benjamin E. Marks is a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and a member of the Firm’s Intellectual Property & Media practice. His areas of concentration include copyright, trademark, misappropriation, music licensing, unfair competition, and First Amendment issues.
Mr. Marks has served as trial counsel in copyright, music licensing, misappropriation, and media law cases for clients such Pandora Media, McGraw Hill Financial and its S&P Dow Jones Indices division, the Television Music License Committee, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, DMX, and others. For many years, he has represented the Association of American Publishers on a wide variety of matters, including those involving intellectual property, First Amendment, and antitrust issues, among others. Mr. Marks also frequently represents music users such as television stations, television networks, and web site operators in connection with the acquisition of, and litigation over, rights to publicly perform musical compositions. Mr. Marks has been widely recognized for his work. He is currently ranked as a leading lawyer for Copyright and Trademark by Chambers USA and also is recommended in those areas by Legal 500. Clients in Chambers USA have praised him as “extremely helpful,” “responsive and insightful,” and a “great, smart, hard-working litigator.” His recent experience includes:
- Securing a favorable trial ruling for Pandora Media in a high-profile sound recording royalty rate-setting trial against the recorded music industry, in which the Copyright Royalty Board issued a very favorable ruling for Pandora and other webcasters, impacting billions of dollars in royalty payments.
- Representing Pandora Media in several cases centered on allegations that Pandora’s unlicensed performance of sound recordings that were fixed prior to February 15, 1972 and therefore not protected by federal copyright law, violates New York common law.
- Successfully representing McGraw Hill Financial and S&P Dow Jones Indices in federal and state court disputes concerning the unauthorized use of the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) as the basis of financial products, including most recently in successful litigation against the International Securities Exchange (ISE) and the Options Clearing Corporation to enjoin their unlicensed offering of index options on the S&P 500 and DJIA.
- Representing the nation’s commercial local television broadcasters, under the purview of the Television Music License Committee, in their music license dealings with, and litigation against, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, including most recently, litigating copyright rate court proceedings against ASCAP and BMI and an antitrust class action against SESAC.
- Serving as lead trial counsel for Barclays Capital, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley in their “hot news” misappropriation and copyright infringement litigation against Theflyonthewall.com.
Mr. Marks has been widely recognized for his work. He is ranked as a leading lawyer for Copyright and Trademark by Chambers USA 2015 and is recommended in those areas by Legal 500. He has been praised by Chambers for being a “great, smart, hard-working litigator.”
Since 2013, Mr. Marks has taught “IP Litigation in the Digital Age” at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Mr. Marks has published articles on copyright, trademark, and the First Amendment in publications such as the New York University Law Review, Bright Ideas and the Journal of Proprietary Rights. He is a member of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A., the Legal Advisory Committee of the Student Press Law Center, and the Lawyers Committee of the Association of American Publishers. He also is the Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, a non-profit arts organization that teaches documentary filmmaking to New York City teens.
Mr. Marks graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his J.D. from New York University, where he served as an articles editor of the New York University Law Review.