Daniel B. Lifschitz is Senior Counsel at Johnson & Johnson
Mr. Lifschitz has spent his career specializing in copyright and entertainment law. While in law school, he earned the top grades in his class for both Copyright Law and International Copyright Law, was awarded the 2012 Paul Miller Scholarship from the Los Angeles Copyright Society, had his scholarship on intellectual property published in Loyola's International and Comparative Law Review, and graduated with honors from Loyola's Entertainment Law Concentration. In practice, he has litigated industry-leading cases on a variety of copyright law issues, including pre-1972 sound recordings, mechanical licenses, and anti-bootlegging protections. He has also taken analytical lead on a number of class actions involving underpayment or non-payment of royalties to artists.
In addition to his litigation work, for which he has been repeatedly recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, Mr. Lifschitz teaches entertainment and copyright law courses at the University of California, Los Angeles and Southwestern Law School. He has written articles on entertainment law matters for the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals, Law360, Los Angeles Lawyer, the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Section, the New York State Bar Association, the Computer & Internet Lawyer, and the University of Southern California's Entertainment Law Spotlight, He has also participated in the lobbying efforts of the California Conference of Bar Associations, helping to shepherd multiple proposed amendments to California's anti-SLAPP law through to passage by the full Conference.
- Pursued class action litigation against Spotify concerning the mechanical licensing of musical compositions for its streaming service under Section 115 of the Copyright Act, resulting in a $43 million settlement on behalf of the class after certification as interim lead co-counsel and fueling passage of the 2018 Music Modernization Act.
- Served as lead associate in multi-state class action litigation against Sirius XM and Pandora on behalf of Flo & Eddie, two members of 60's rock group The Turtles, for the misappropriation and unlawful exploitation of pre-1972 sound recordings, resulting in a $25 million settlement on behalf of the certified class and fueling passage of the 2018 CLASSICS Act.
- Pursued class action litigation over allegations of royalty skimming from the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, resulting over five million dollars being returned to non-featured performers, a reduced administrative fee, and the implementation of significant procedural safeguards to prevent future misconduct.
- Pursued class action litigation over allegations of royalty skimming by Sony Music Entertainment on foreign streaming revenues, resulting in a $14 million settlement and 36% uplift in royalties for thousands of legacy artists.
- Pursued an anti-bootlegging and copyright infringement class action against Bill Graham Archives LLC d/b/a Wolfgang's Vault, establishing the defense's burden to prove artist consent for a recording under 17 U.S.C. § 1101 in a published federal district court opinion and resolving the matter via settlement.
- Defeated an anti-SLAPP motion brought by Bauer Media against Richard Simmons as part of an invasion of privacy suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, obtaining a published decision from the California Court of Appeals upholding the trial court's decision to deny the anti-SLAPP motion, and resolving the matter via settlement.
- Worked with a team of Johnson & Johnson attorneys to obtain a $9.6 million trial verdict on a right of publicity claim against The Coca Cola Company on behalf of the heirs of juice pioneer Hubert Hansen, believed to be the largest ever right of publicity trial verdict handed down by a court to date.
- Represented iconic music producer Quincy Jones against Michael Jackson's production company and record label for royalties owed in connection with Jones' work on Thriller, Bad, and Off The Wall, defeating an adverse motion for summary judgment and leading to a $9.4 million jury verdict in Jones' favor.
- Represented George R.R. Martin in a lawsuit over production rights to his novella "The Skin Trade," successfully resolving the matter via settlement.
- Obtained a settlement on behalf of a vocal engineer against a world-famous pop star for breaching an agreement to pay royalties on numerous hit songs.
- Obtained a settlement on behalf of a production music administrator against a major sports league to resolve allegations of rampant copyright infringement.
- Obtained a settlement on behalf of a well-known actress against a talent manager for financial fraud after successfully obtaining injunctive relief to freeze the manager's assets.
- Obtained a settlement on behalf of an ex-foreign inteliigence service agent against a major reality television series producer concerning an idea theft claim.
- Obtained a settlement on behalf of a famous artist for the misappropriation of her work in an advertising campaign for a major pop star's album.
- Obtained a settlement on behalf of a famous boxer against a major television studio for right of publicity violations in a television series
- Obtained a settlement on behalf of a founder and former CEO of a major music streaming company against the company's purchasers for breach of contract and fraud after defeating a demurrer
- Obtained dismissal of a copyright infringement complaint brought against a celebrity client by a screenwriter on the basis of an implied license defense
- Obtained a favorable reversal from the California Court of Appeal on behalf of the royalty recipients to a well-known Barry White song
- Represented a television producer in litigation against her former talent agency and a celebrity production studio stemming from a botched reality television series, leading to settlements with both defendants
- Beverly Hills Bar Association
- California Society of Entertainment Lawyers
Classes and Seminars
- Instructor, UCLA Extension, Legal Primer for the Entertainment Business and Copyright Law in the Entertainment Industry
- Adjunct Professor, Southwestern Law School, Copyright Law
- J.D., Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, with honors
- B.A., Washington & Jefferson College
- Entertainment Law
- Copyright Law
- Right of Publicity Law
- Free Speech and Defamation Law
- Business Litigation
- Class Action Litigation
- District of Columbia