Digital Media and Technology
Digital Media and Technology
In today’s interconnected marketplace, technology is fundamentally changing how we create and share content.

The ability to connect has become ubiquitous—from phones, tablets and computers to smart homes, cars and consumer products.

The proliferation of new digital content services, social media platforms and mobile applications blurs the lines between commercial and expressive content.

The growing connection between content and technology, and between businesses and consumers, not only challenges traditional paradigms, but stretches the framework of laws and regulations governing an entire spectrum of communications—from entertainment to advertising, and from telecommunications to the Internet.

Our Digital Media and Technology Group understands the shifting competitive and regulatory landscape.  We help clients stay ahead of the curve in today’s fast-paced business environment, delivering practical analysis and business-driven solutions to the most pressing legal issues in advertising, consumer protection, intellectual property, IT and outsourcing, privacy and data security, and communications, among others.

Our interdisciplinary team handles the full range of legal and policy issues facing multi-platform content providers, including software and video game designers, publishers, cable, mobile application developers, direct broadcast satellite providers and other over-the-top and video service providers.

We counsel clients on issues related to on-demand access to content, as well as interactive user feedback campaigns and creative participation.  Our proficiency in content distribution and our knowledge of broadband and mobile wireless regulation allow us to provide clients with invaluable tools to navigate and adapt to the converged media environment.

Our services include:

User-Generated Content

  • Site terms for websites, apps and social media

  • Rules for promotions and campaigns featuring consumer-generated content

  • Contracts to secure rights to content submitted by users

  • Advice on liability for unlawful or unsuitable content

Mobile Marketing

  • SMS campaigns

  • Premium subscription services

  • Text-to-win sweepstakes

Social Media

  • Terms of use

  • Guidelines for endorsements and reviews

  • Privacy policies

Viral Marketing

  • Vendor agreements

  • E-mail refer-a-friend programs

Network Agreements

  • Content distribution and peering agreements

  • Privacy and data security provisions

  • Cloud, data hosting and WebRTC deployment support:

  • Open source integration, new product development and go-to-market, and technology procurement

  • Use of Big Data to inform greater operational efficiencies, cost reductions and reduced risks

  • Draft and negotiate transaction documents for analytics engagements

Regulatory and Legislative

  • Compliance counseling related to legal and regulatory requirements of the FCC, FTC, FDA, other agencies and state attorneys general

  • Broadband, distribution and equipment regulations

  • Classification of services and application of regulatory fees and telecom-related taxes

  • Strategies for leveraging or avoiding consequences of regulation

  • Export Controls:

    • Design and implement efficient, tailored compliance systems and conduct due diligence export compliance reviews for acquisitions and successor liability

    • Significant experience preparing voluntary disclosures and helping clients resolve export enforcement investigations, including assistance with enforcement site visits and post-shipment verifications

    • Routinely help clients obtain export licenses for products, software and technology, and provide day-to-day advice regarding time-sensitive export issues

  • Law enforcement obligations

  • Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy:

    • Engage Congress and federal regulatory agencies on behalf of clients to ensure that they sustain market leadership, protect a competitive business environment or achieve a specific policy objective

    • Track and analyze legislative initiatives and regulatory rulemaking to keep clients aware of, and engaged with, the federal legislative and administrative processes and inform their strategic considerations and business decisions

Cybersecurity and Privacy

  • Preparation and review of privacy and data security statements, policies and programs

  • Compliance counseling with respect to federal and state privacy and data security laws and regulations

  • Internet of Things (IoT)

  • Post-breach counseling and defense

Litigation

  • Litigation regarding content, representing content providers, users, creators and distributors

  • First Amendment–related litigation, including defamation, invasion of privacy and right of publicity

  • Litigation relating to the use of consumers’ personal information, geolocational and device data, and Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI), including consent for e-mail marketing, text messaging and online behavioral/preference marketing, related laws including the FCC’s CPNI regulations, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the CAN-SPAM act.

​Trademark and Copyright

  • Strategic trademark counseling and management of domestic and international portfolios, including trademark clearance and prosecution of trademark applications

  • Copyright counseling, including acquisition and registration of copyrighted works, evaluation of ownership interests and development of copyright protection strategies

  • Advice, negotiation and drafting of trademark and copyright licenses, distribution agreements, assignments and security agreements

  • Negotiating and drafting of confidentiality agreements and work-for-hire agreements

  • Due diligence investigations and audits with respect to trademarks, copyrights and other IP assets

Internet Domains and Content

  • Assist brand owners in applying for new gTLDs and enforcing rights pursuant to ICANN’s related Dispute Resolution Policies

  • Counsel regarding creation and content of websites

  • Resolve domain name, hyperlink and framing disputes

  • Prepare and file copyright applications for website content and source codes

Patent

  • Prepare opinions on patentability, validity and noninfringement

  • Prepare and prosecute U.S. and foreign patent applications

  • Provide strategic advice on matters such as infringement avoidance, alternative dispute resolution and settlement options

  • Counsels clients in high tech industries on issues such as trade secrets, product clearance and designing around patents

  • Advise new media and other businesses targeted by patent licensing demands from various nonpracticing entities

  • Counsel on various aspects of patent acquisition, transfer and licensing, including related issues such as antitrust considerations

  • Represent clients in matters before U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Customs Service

  • Represented a major shoe company in an investigation by the FTC into a Pinterest contest, ending a potential enforcement action.  The inquiry focused on whether pins were endorsements of their products and incentivized by the opportunity to win a $1,000 shopping spree.

  • Assisted a leading travel company in running the largest Facebook promotion in history, including 13 trips and over $1 million in prizes.  Drafted rules for the promotion, coordinated with counsel in the U.K. and Canada, and drafted agreements with prize providers.

  • Assisted various clients with contests involving consumer-generated content, including contests where consumers were invited to create commercials, develop software and even design clothing.  We drafted rules for the promotions, helped protect our clients from problematic content and secured rights to the winning submissions.

  • Assisted various clients in designing sweepstakes that allow consumers to enter by sending text messages via their mobile phones.  We helped these clients structure the promotions in such a way as to avoid the lawsuits that have recently plagued other companies that have offered text-to-win sweepstakes.

  • Advised clients on the risks associated with allowing consumers to post content on the clients’ sites and drafted terms of service designed to protect the clients from the potential liability associated with content posted by consumers.

  • Advised various clients on options for structuring campaigns through which individuals were given incentives to endorse a company’s products.

  • Advised clients on the risks associated with employee blogs and helped clients develop internal policies addressing blogging by employees in order to minimize legal exposure to the company.

  • Counseled several clients, including a Fortune 500 athletic apparel company, a national wireless telecommunications carrier and a children’s retailer on issues in product design and services that involve online/wireless gaming and social media components.

  • Provide consumer protection counseling to several major mobile application developers and marketers, including privacy-related counseling.

  • Helped clients identify the privacy implications associated with collecting information through new media and have assisted clients to ensure that their privacy policies and practices comply with applicable laws.

  • Litigated and favorably settled a federal lawsuit for breach of contract and alleged trademark violations brought by an Israeli company against our Singapore telecommunications client concerning the global launch of a smart phone app.

  • Litigating a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of a new-media, Internet-based client accused by consumers of using text messages in violation of federal telemarketing laws.

 
 

Overview

In today’s interconnected marketplace, technology is fundamentally changing how we create and share content.

The ability to connect has become ubiquitous—from phones, tablets and computers to smart homes, cars and consumer products.

The proliferation of new digital content services, social media platforms and mobile applications blurs the lines between commercial and expressive content.

The growing connection between content and technology, and between businesses and consumers, not only challenges traditional paradigms, but stretches the framework of laws and regulations governing an entire spectrum of communications—from entertainment to advertising, and from telecommunications to the Internet.

Our Digital Media and Technology Group understands the shifting competitive and regulatory landscape.  We help clients stay ahead of the curve in today’s fast-paced business environment, delivering practical analysis and business-driven solutions to the most pressing legal issues in advertising, consumer protection, intellectual property, IT and outsourcing, privacy and data security, and communications, among others.

Our interdisciplinary team handles the full range of legal and policy issues facing multi-platform content providers, including software and video game designers, publishers, cable, mobile application developers, direct broadcast satellite providers and other over-the-top and video service providers.

We counsel clients on issues related to on-demand access to content, as well as interactive user feedback campaigns and creative participation.  Our proficiency in content distribution and our knowledge of broadband and mobile wireless regulation allow us to provide clients with invaluable tools to navigate and adapt to the converged media environment.

Our services include:

User-Generated Content

  • Site terms for websites, apps and social media

  • Rules for promotions and campaigns featuring consumer-generated content

  • Contracts to secure rights to content submitted by users

  • Advice on liability for unlawful or unsuitable content

Mobile Marketing

  • SMS campaigns

  • Premium subscription services

  • Text-to-win sweepstakes

Social Media

  • Terms of use

  • Guidelines for endorsements and reviews

  • Privacy policies

Viral Marketing

  • Vendor agreements

  • E-mail refer-a-friend programs

Network Agreements

  • Content distribution and peering agreements

  • Privacy and data security provisions

  • Cloud, data hosting and WebRTC deployment support:

  • Open source integration, new product development and go-to-market, and technology procurement

  • Use of Big Data to inform greater operational efficiencies, cost reductions and reduced risks

  • Draft and negotiate transaction documents for analytics engagements

Regulatory and Legislative

  • Compliance counseling related to legal and regulatory requirements of the FCC, FTC, FDA, other agencies and state attorneys general

  • Broadband, distribution and equipment regulations

  • Classification of services and application of regulatory fees and telecom-related taxes

  • Strategies for leveraging or avoiding consequences of regulation

  • Export Controls:

    • Design and implement efficient, tailored compliance systems and conduct due diligence export compliance reviews for acquisitions and successor liability

    • Significant experience preparing voluntary disclosures and helping clients resolve export enforcement investigations, including assistance with enforcement site visits and post-shipment verifications

    • Routinely help clients obtain export licenses for products, software and technology, and provide day-to-day advice regarding time-sensitive export issues

  • Law enforcement obligations

  • Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy:

    • Engage Congress and federal regulatory agencies on behalf of clients to ensure that they sustain market leadership, protect a competitive business environment or achieve a specific policy objective

    • Track and analyze legislative initiatives and regulatory rulemaking to keep clients aware of, and engaged with, the federal legislative and administrative processes and inform their strategic considerations and business decisions

Cybersecurity and Privacy

  • Preparation and review of privacy and data security statements, policies and programs

  • Compliance counseling with respect to federal and state privacy and data security laws and regulations

  • Internet of Things (IoT)

  • Post-breach counseling and defense

Litigation

  • Litigation regarding content, representing content providers, users, creators and distributors

  • First Amendment–related litigation, including defamation, invasion of privacy and right of publicity

  • Litigation relating to the use of consumers’ personal information, geolocational and device data, and Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI), including consent for e-mail marketing, text messaging and online behavioral/preference marketing, related laws including the FCC’s CPNI regulations, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the CAN-SPAM act.

​Trademark and Copyright

  • Strategic trademark counseling and management of domestic and international portfolios, including trademark clearance and prosecution of trademark applications

  • Copyright counseling, including acquisition and registration of copyrighted works, evaluation of ownership interests and development of copyright protection strategies

  • Advice, negotiation and drafting of trademark and copyright licenses, distribution agreements, assignments and security agreements

  • Negotiating and drafting of confidentiality agreements and work-for-hire agreements

  • Due diligence investigations and audits with respect to trademarks, copyrights and other IP assets

Internet Domains and Content

  • Assist brand owners in applying for new gTLDs and enforcing rights pursuant to ICANN’s related Dispute Resolution Policies

  • Counsel regarding creation and content of websites

  • Resolve domain name, hyperlink and framing disputes

  • Prepare and file copyright applications for website content and source codes

Patent

  • Prepare opinions on patentability, validity and noninfringement

  • Prepare and prosecute U.S. and foreign patent applications

  • Provide strategic advice on matters such as infringement avoidance, alternative dispute resolution and settlement options

  • Counsels clients in high tech industries on issues such as trade secrets, product clearance and designing around patents

  • Advise new media and other businesses targeted by patent licensing demands from various nonpracticing entities

  • Counsel on various aspects of patent acquisition, transfer and licensing, including related issues such as antitrust considerations

  • Represent clients in matters before U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Customs Service

Experience

  • Represented a major shoe company in an investigation by the FTC into a Pinterest contest, ending a potential enforcement action.  The inquiry focused on whether pins were endorsements of their products and incentivized by the opportunity to win a $1,000 shopping spree.

  • Assisted a leading travel company in running the largest Facebook promotion in history, including 13 trips and over $1 million in prizes.  Drafted rules for the promotion, coordinated with counsel in the U.K. and Canada, and drafted agreements with prize providers.

  • Assisted various clients with contests involving consumer-generated content, including contests where consumers were invited to create commercials, develop software and even design clothing.  We drafted rules for the promotions, helped protect our clients from problematic content and secured rights to the winning submissions.

  • Assisted various clients in designing sweepstakes that allow consumers to enter by sending text messages via their mobile phones.  We helped these clients structure the promotions in such a way as to avoid the lawsuits that have recently plagued other companies that have offered text-to-win sweepstakes.

  • Advised clients on the risks associated with allowing consumers to post content on the clients’ sites and drafted terms of service designed to protect the clients from the potential liability associated with content posted by consumers.

  • Advised various clients on options for structuring campaigns through which individuals were given incentives to endorse a company’s products.

  • Advised clients on the risks associated with employee blogs and helped clients develop internal policies addressing blogging by employees in order to minimize legal exposure to the company.

  • Counseled several clients, including a Fortune 500 athletic apparel company, a national wireless telecommunications carrier and a children’s retailer on issues in product design and services that involve online/wireless gaming and social media components.

  • Provide consumer protection counseling to several major mobile application developers and marketers, including privacy-related counseling.

  • Helped clients identify the privacy implications associated with collecting information through new media and have assisted clients to ensure that their privacy policies and practices comply with applicable laws.

  • Litigated and favorably settled a federal lawsuit for breach of contract and alleged trademark violations brought by an Israeli company against our Singapore telecommunications client concerning the global launch of a smart phone app.

  • Litigating a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of a new-media, Internet-based client accused by consumers of using text messages in violation of federal telemarketing laws.

Partner
Email (202) 342-8544(202) 342-8544
John Heitmann, chair of the Communications practice, counsels wireless, wireline and cable broadband and telephony service providers, and other entities, large and small, international and domesti...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8633(202) 342-8633
Christie Grymes Thompson chairs the firm’s Advertising and Marketing and Consumer Product Safety practice groups.  Named the 2016 Washington, D.C. advertising “Lawyer of the Year&...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8612(202) 342-8612
Steve Augustino’s telecommunications practice is both broad and deep, ranging from regulatory, legislative and administrative law counsel to transactional advice, advocacy and litigation.&nb...
Partner
Email (310) 712-6125(310) 712-6125
Lee Brenner serves as chair of the firm’s nationwide Media and Entertainment practice group.  Lee is dedicated to getting the result his clients want, and focuses on creativity when it ...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7853(212) 808-7853
Andrea Calvaruso chairs the firm’s Trademark and Copyright practice group.  She represents clients from a wide range of industries, including retail, fashion, entertainment and consumer...
Partner
Email (310) 712-6170(310) 712-6170
David Fink is an experienced and proven litigator at both the trial and appellate court levels.  With more than two decades of experience in multifaceted state and federal litigation and dispu...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8566(202) 342-8566
Josh Guyan advises providers of wireline, wireless, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and satellite services on domestic and international experimental compliance and licensing, as well as Unive...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7528(212) 808-7528
August Horvath is a false-advertising and antitrust lawyer.  Clients most appreciate August’s levelheadedness, even under the most contentious of situations.  He is consistently va...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8603(202) 342-8603
Alysa Hutnik delivers comprehensive expertise in all areas of privacy, data security and advertising law.  Her experience ranges from counseling to defending clients in FTC and state attorney...
Partner
Email (312) 857-2350(312) 857-2350
Hank Kelly is the managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office. Hank’s practice is focused exclusively on communications, energy and public utility law and regulation, where he p...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7697(212) 808-7697
Marisa Lorenzo is a litigator who focuses on investigations, enforcement actions and lawsuits involving the communications industry.  Marisa works with clients, including communication service...
Partner
Email (212) 808-5082(212) 808-5082
Michael Lynch is chair of the firm’s Litigation practice and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.  Michael has extensive trial experience, both from his days as a prosecutor...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7811(212) 808-7811
Neil Merkl is a commercial lawyer, litigator and trial attorney with more than thirty years of experience in contract, commercial law and civil litigation. Neil represents innovative businesses wh...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8576(202) 342-8576
Gonzalo Mon’s practice is focused on marketing and advertising law.  He advises a wide range of companies in all aspects of promoting their brands, and works closely with them to find p...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7982(212) 808-7982
Deepak Nambiar is a partner in the firm's New York office.  He focuses his practice on a wide range of corporate and general commercial matters, with special emphasis on technology licens...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8821(202) 342-8821
Lew Rose serves as managing partner of Kelley Drye, and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Lew also served as managing partner of the Washington, D.C. office and past chair ...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8588(202) 342-8588
Dana Rosenfeld chairs the firm’s Privacy and Information Security practice.  A former assistant director of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection and attorney...
Partner
Email (312) 857-2537(312) 857-2537
Mike Ryan chairs the firm’s Technology Transactions and Sourcing practice group.  He focuses his practice on a variety of complex transactional matters in the technology and business pr...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7965(212) 808-7965
Rob Steiner is the managing partner of Kelley Drye’s New York office. A proven litigator and trial attorney with two decades of experience in complex business litigation, Rob has handle...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7586(212) 808-7586
Damon Suden is an experienced and talented litigator and trial attorney.  His practice includes commercial and complex civil litigation and class action defense in both state and federal court...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8805(202) 342-8805
Kristi Wolff’s practice focuses on food, drugs, dietary supplements, medical devices, personal care and consumer health products, as well as wearable technology and health privacy issues.&nb...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8540(202) 342-8540
Chip Yorkgitis is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.  He focuses his practice on telecommunications. Chip represents clients with interests and concerns related to sp...
Special Counsel
Email (312) 857-7087(312) 857-7087
Michael Dover’s practice focuses on technology litigation and dispute resolution.  Mike has extensive first and second chair experience before various federal courts, state courts and st...
Special Counsel
Email (212) 808-7542(212) 808-7542
Amy Gaven is special counsel in the firm’s New York office as part of the Trademark and Copyright practice group. She focuses her practice on all aspects of intellectual property, including ...
Special Counsel
Email (202) 342-8429(202) 342-8429
Chris Loeffler has a transactional and regulatory practice focused on advertising, privacy, data security, licensing, sponsorships, e-commerce and other consumer protection issues.  He helps c...
Special Counsel
Email (202) 342-8614(202) 342-8614
Denise Smith represents telecommunications companies, including international service providers, competitive local exchange carriers, interexchange carriers, conference calling service providers a...
Senior Associate
Email (202) 342-8466(202) 342-8466
Spencer Elg is an attorney in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. A former litigation attorney for the Federal Trade Commission, Mr. Elg focuses his practice on helping clients navigate con...
Senior Associate
Email (310) 712-6467 (310) 712-6467
Crystal Skelton is an associate in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Her practice includes representing a wide array of clients – from tech startups to established companies – in pr...
Associate
Email (202) 342-8503 (202) 342-8503
Avonne Bell is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on telecommunications and technology matters. Prior to joining Kelley Drye, Avonne was a Senior Manage...
Associate
Email (202) 342-8465(202) 342-8465
Brad Currier is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.  His practice focuses on communications matters. Prior to joining Kelley Drye, Brad served as an Assistant ...
Associate
Email (212) 808-7678(212) 808-7678
Jameson Dempsey counsels wireless, wireline, cable and advanced communications service providers on federal and state privacy, information security, and communications issues.  He draws on a ...
Associate
Email (202) 342-8534(202) 342-8534
Ilunga Kalala is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. His practice focuses on advertising and marketing, privacy and information security, and other consumer protection law ma...
Associate
Email (202) 342-8635(202) 342-8635
Ross Slutsky is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. His practice focuses on communications, technology policy, privacy, data security, and emerging technology matters. Throug...
Associate
Email (202) 342-8557(202) 342-8557
Katie Townley is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on advertising and marketing, privacy and information security, product safety, and other consumer p...
Associate
Email (202) 342-8459 (202) 342-8459
Jenny Wainwright is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.  Her practice focuses on federal and state regulatory and transactional matters involving communications service ...