Todd Larson, an IP/Media partner in Weil’s Litigation Department, represents and counsels a wide variety of traditional and new media clients in connection with copyright infringement litigation, rate-setting litigation and trials before the ASCAP and BMI rate courts and the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), product development, and negotiation of music publishing and sound recording performance licenses.
Among his notable experience, Todd has served as a lead member of trial teams representing Sirius XM, Pandora and the Digital Media Association in several multi-week proceedings before the CRB to set sound recording performance rates for those companies, as well as on appeal before the D.C. Circuit. In previous rate-court cases, he helped background music service DMX secure the first ever “adjustable fee blanket license” from both ASCAP and BMI in consecutive trials in the Southern District of New York.
In addition to his role in cutting-edge music licensing litigation, Todd also regularly counsels clients – digital music services, social media providers (such as Facebook and Instagram), broadcast and cable television networks, background music services, and satellite and broadcast radio companies, among others – in a variety of intellectual property matters including the interplay between new product design, legal liability, safe-harbor protection, and music licensing requirements.
Todd’s interest in copyright and IP issues dates to his days at Harvard Law School, where he was an active participant at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and a contributor to the Berkman Publication Series, as well as to his experience as a lifelong musician. Todd has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in New York for Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secrets and Media and Entertainment: Litigation. Clients have noted that Todd’s “clear communication, expertise and attention to detail is invaluable,” that “he is smart, able and professional,” and that “he is a really fantastic lawyer.” Todd also is recognized by Legal 500 as a recommended lawyer for both Media & Entertainment: Litigation and IP: Copyright. In 2021 and 2022, he was named a “Top Music Lawyer” nationwide by Billboard magazine, and in 2014 and 2015, he was recognized as a “Rising Star” by New York Super Lawyers.
Todd writes and speaks regularly on IP developments and litigation. In 2020, he received a Burton Distinguished Legal Writing Award for an article he co-authored entitled “Music Licensing Overhaul Signed into Law,” which originally was published in Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal.
- In re Determination of Royalty Rates and Terms for Transmission of Sound Recordings by Satellite Radio and “Preexisting” Subscription Services (SDARS III) (U.S. Copyright Royalty Board 2017): represented Sirius XM in five-week trial before the CRB to set royalty rates for the public performance of sound recordings.
- SoundExchange, Inc. v. Sirius XM Satellite Radio Inc. (D.D.C. 2017): secured favorable settlement of longstanding dispute involving Sirius XM’s statutory license royalty payments.
- In the Matter of Determination of Royalty Rates and Terms for Ephemeral Recording and Webcasting Digital Performance of Sound Recordings (Web IV) (U.S. Copyright Royalty Board 2015): representing Internet webcaster Pandora, secured highly favorable sound recording performance royalty rates for the 2016-2020 license period following a six-week trial before the CRB; defended successfully on appeal in D.C. Circuit.
- In the Matter of Determination of Rates and Terms for Preexisting Subscription Services and Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services (SDARS II) (U.S. Copyright Royalty Board 2012): royalty-rate victory for Sirius XM following 19 days of trial in federal rate-setting litigation before the CRB; defended successfully on appeal in D.C. Circuit.
- Broadcast Music, Inc. v. DMX, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2010): precedent-setting trial victory on behalf of background music service DMX in the BMI rate court establishing rates and terms for the first ever BMI “Adjustable Fee Blanket License.”
- United States v. ASCAP (In the Matter of DMX, Inc.) (S.D.N.Y. 2010): complete trial victory for DMX in the ASCAP rate court establishing rates and terms for the first ever ASCAP “Adjustable Fee Blanket License.”
- Determination of Rates and Terms for Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services (SDARS I) (U.S. Copyright Royalty Board 2008): trial victory for Sirius XM establishing favorable rates and terms for sound recording performance rights; defended successfully on appeal in D.C. Circuit.
- Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Sage Publications, Inc. v. Mark P. Becker, et al. (N.D. Ga.): ongoing representation of academic publisher plaintiffs in copyright infringement litigation addressing the legality of unlicensed distribution of digital course-reading materials at Georgia State University.