Benjamin E. Marks is Head of Weil’s Intellectual Property & Media practice. His areas of concentration include copyright, trademark, misappropriation, music licensing, unfair competition, and First Amendment issues.
Benjamin has served as lead counsel in copyright, trademark, music licensing, misappropriation, and media law cases for clients such as Getty Images, Sirius XM, Pandora Media, S&P Global and its S&P Dow Jones Indices division, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the North American Concert Promoters Association, The Spectator, and West Publishing, among 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. Benjamin 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 and secondary liability for performances by others.
His recent experience includes:
- Securing a major appellate victory for Getty Images, following oral argument before the Second Circuit, which upheld the district court’s grant of summary judgment in a multi-billion dollar copyright infringement litigation brought by a photo agency and numerous individual photographers.
- Serving as lead trial counsel for Sirius XM and Pandora Media in a royalty rate-setting trial against the recorded music industry before the Copyright Royalty Board (Web V).
- Representing S&P Global in First Amendment litigation against the Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) to defend S&P Global’s right to publish truthful, lawfully obtained information about FMG’s pricing practices.
- Serving as lead trial and appellate counsel for Pandora Media in a royalty rate-setting trial against the music publishing and songwriting industries in a pending proceeding before the Copyright Royalty Board (Phonorecords III).
- Representing the North American Concert Promoters Association in a copyright rate court proceeding against BMI and in music license dealings with ASCAP and SESAC.
- Representing Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company in trademark infringement and breach-of-contract litigation against Vanderbilt University.
- Securing a favorable trial ruling for Pandora Media in a 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 (Web IV).
- 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 litigating copyright rate court proceedings against ASCAP and BMI and an antitrust class action against SESAC.
- Representing S&P Global 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 obtaining a permanent injunction against the International Securities Exchange (ISE) and the Options Clearing Corporation to prevent their unlicensed offering of index options on the S&P 500 and DJIA.
- Obtaining summary judgment for West Publishing in a copyright infringement putative class action arising out of the publication of unlicensed materials on Westlaw on fair use and public policy grounds.
Benjamin has been widely recognized for his work. In 2022, for the second consecutive year, Billboard magazine named him as one of the top music lawyers in the country, and National Law Journal honored him as one of its national “Trailblazers” in the Sports, Gaming, and Entertainment fields. In 2021, Law360 ranked Benjamin as one of its five “MVPs” nationwide for Media & Entertainment, and The American Lawyer Litigation Daily honored him with its coveted “Litigator of the Week” award for his Second Circuit win referenced above on behalf of Getty Images. He is currently ranked by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer for Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secrets and for Media & Entertainment: Litigation, where clients have praised him for his “deep industry knowledge,” and his “decades of experience as a music and copyright litigator.” Commentators also have touted his “deep expertise in IP law,” named him “one of the best lawyers in the music business,” and called him “an excellent litigator” who “gives practical and thoughtful advice.” Benjamin is also highly ranked by Legal 500 for IP: Copyright, Trademark Litigation, and Media & Entertainment Litigation, where commentators have called him “excellent” and have noted that he is “practical and really knows his stuff," and by World Trademark Review’s WTR 1000 as a “Trademark Star.”
Benjamin is an Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law and serves on the Advisory Board of NYU’s Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy. He previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Benjamin has published numerous book chapters and articles on copyright, trademark, media and entertainment law and is a frequent speaker on those issues.
In addition to serving as the Head of Weil’s IP/Media Litigation practice, Benjamin is the Global Co-Chair of Weil’s Pro Bono Committee and oversees the Firm’s pro bono efforts worldwide.
Benjamin 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.