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Tulane Draws Top Entertainment Execs for April 6 Conference

April 12, 2018

Sanford Panitch

Columbia Pictures President Sanford Panitch (A&S ’89).

A veritable Who’s Who list of entertainment executives descended on Tulane Law School in April for a major conference examining the rapidly shifting frontiers of the entertainment industry.

The conference featured a keynote discussion on the future of Film and Television entertainment between Sanford Panitch (A&S ’89), President of Columbia Pictures, and Jeff Frost (L ’89), President of Sony Pictures Television Studios.

The conference, titled “Geaux Create: Disruption, Continuity and the Role of Law in Creativity,” also explored the powerful forces disrupting and remaking the industry, from new technologies and distribution channels to virtual reality and a melding of sports, media, and entertainment content.

“It’s an important moment where were we see new business models, user-generated content, preservation efforts all working in across film, television, sports, music and other creative disciplines.  This conference helped us glimpse the workings from an insider’s point of view,” said Tulane Law Professor Elizabeth Townsend Gard, one of the organizers and a law professor at Tulane University Law School.

Also, the event gave a rare opportunity to Tulane's law students to meet and network with distinguished executives in the industry, and discuss matters of law and possible career paths with them and other Tulane Law alumni.

Panelists represented some of the biggest names in entertainment, sports and intellectual property law, including executives from Columbia Pictures, Amazon Studios, Columbia Pictures, Fox Networks, Showtime, Microsoft, Sony Pictures, PlayStation and Xbox, the National Football League and the World Wrestling Federation, among others. In addition to Frost and Panitch, the distinguished panelists included:

Frost Scharff Pailey

Jeff Frost (L’89), President, Sony Pictures Television Studios moderated a panel that included Dan Scharf, Head, Television Business Affairs, Amazon Studios and Philip Pailey (L’89), Senior Vice President, Business Affairs, Showtime Networks. They discussed industry disruptors changing how entertainment is distributed.

•    David Boyle L '90, Special Advisor, Motion Pictures
•    Lee Goldsmith, Senior Vice President & Media Counsel, National Football League
•    Hope O’Keeffe, Senior Associate General Counsel, Library of Congress
•    Philip Pailey L’98, Senior Vice President for Business Affairs, Showtime Networks, Inc.
•    Kevin Reilly L’05, Senior Corporate Counsel, Sony PlayStation
•    Lisa Richardson, Senior Vice President for Business and Legal Affairs, Fox Networks Group
•    Betsy Rosenblatt, Legal Advisor, Archive of their Own
•    Dan Scharf,  Head of Television Business Affairs, Amazon Studios
•    Eric Schwartz, Partner, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
•    Sal Siino, Senior Vice President of Global Content Distribution & Business Development, WWE
•    Matt Skelton, Senior Attorney, Xbox at Microsoft
•    Kevin Yorn L’90, Founding Partner, Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Entertainment Law Firm
•    Tim Francis, Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, New Orleans

Conference panelists debated changes in entertainment and intellectual property law including issues surrounding distribution, protection of creative content, copyright and patent law and the role of talent in the industry.

Kevin Yorn 2

Lawyer to the stars Kevin Yorn (L’90), founding partner of Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman in Los Angeles, led an informal lunch discussion on the role of talent.

In addition, Kevin Yorn, a founding partner of Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman in Los Angeles and a 1990 graduate of Tulane Law, led an informal lunch discussion on the role of talent. Yorn’s firm represents such celebrities as Ellen DeGeneres, Zoe Saldana, Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Zach Galifianakis.

 “It's exciting to see some of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry at Tulane to discuss the dynamic changes reshaping sports, media and entertainment,” said Law School Dean David Meyer. “New Orleans has long been an engine of creativity in music, art, film, and entertainment broadly, and it’s fitting that this important conversation should take place here.”

In addition, the conference highlighted Tulane Law faculty members in various panels, including Townsend Gard, the Jill. H and Avram A. Glazer Professor in Social Entrepreneurship and director of the Tulane Center for IP Law and Culture and the Copyright Research Lab and Prof. Gabe Feldman, Director of the Tulane Sports Law Program.

Tulane Law also marked the 10th anniversary of the Durationator, a research tool developed at the Copyright Research Lab, and used by the content industry and libraries alike to determine the copyright status of works around the world.

View conference photos here.


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