Boni, Zack & Snyder LLC - Intellectual Property Attorney

Intellectual Property

Boni, Zack & Snyder has extensive experience in complex intellectual property litigation. We have represented authors, songwriters, journalists and ebook publishers in complex copyright actions. Often these cases address the intersection of copyright law in the digital age. We have brought copyright infringement actions on behalf of authors and other rights holders against electronic databases and online content providers. We litigated a copyright action against online retailers of song recordings and numerous aggregators of published song recordings, alleging that the sale by the aggregators to the retailers, and the sale by the retailers to their customers, took place without obtaining licenses they were required to obtain under the Copyright Act. We have also represented authors in royalty disputes over the ebook publishing of the authors’ works. Our clients include The Authors Guild, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, RosettaBooks, Arthur Klebanoff (CEO of RosettaBooks and Chair of the Scott Meredith Literary Agency), Open Road Integrated Media, Inc., the Kennedys folk/rock band, best-selling author and former Major League Baseball player Jim Bouton, and noted historian Joseph Goulden.

Representative Cases

Keiler, et al. v. Harlequin Enterprises Limited, et al., No. 12-5558 (S.D.N.Y.).

The firm was co-lead counsel in this class action brought by several romance novelists who claimed that the method by which their publisher calculated ebook royalties wrongfully deprived them of the ebook royalties to which they were entitled under their publishing agreements. After the district court dismissed the complaint, we secured a ruling from the appeals court reversing the dismissal. After the case was remanded, the district court certified the class. After discovery was taken by both sides, the parties reached a settlement, which the court approved.

Random House, Inc. v. Rosetta Books LLC, et al., No. 01-1728 (S.D.N.Y.).

Prior to the founding of this firm, Michael Boni was retained by ebook publishing company RosettaBooks, which was sued by Random House for copyright infringement, on the day RosettaBooks went into business. Random House brought a preliminary injunction proceeding to stop RosettaBooks from publishing in ebook form works that Random House was publishing in print form. The works at issue, authored by William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut, and Robert Parker, were the subject of standard book publishing agreements with Random House. When the authors entered into ebook publishing agreements with RosettaBooks, Random House took the position that its publishing agreements encompassed the publication of the authors’ works not only in print form but in electronic form as well. After extensive discovery and an evidentiary hearing on Random House’s motion for a preliminary injunction, Judge Sidney Stein ruled against Random House and in favor of RosettaBooks. Random House, Inc. v. RosettaBooks LLC, 150 F.Supp.2d 613 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). Judge Stein’s opinion was affirmed on appeal. Random House, 283 F.3d 490 (2d Cir. 2002).

In re: Literary Works in Electronic Databases Copyright Litigation, MDL No. 1379 (S.D.N.Y.).

We were co-lead counsel for the Authors Guild, American Society of Journalists and Authors and a class of freelance writers in a class action against the leading electronic databases. The plaintiffs alleged massive copyright infringement when the defendants included the freelancers’ works in their electronic databases without the freelancers’ authorization. The $18 million settlement of the case in 2005 was the largest copyright class action settlement in history. Although the settlement was overturned on appeal, the parties entered into a revised settlement that provided further benefits to the class, which was granted final approval.

The Kennedys.

We represented this noted folk rock group in a trademark dispute with a hip-hop duo using the same name. We prevailed in getting the infringing band to change its name without the need for litigation.

Jim Bouton.

We represented the celebrated author and major league baseball player Jim Bouton in negotiations for the ebook and audio publication of his best seller Ball Four as well as his follow-up work Foul Ball.


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