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Straus entertainment law students visit NBCUniversal's Legal Department

On April 22nd, students from Straus Institute Professor William Nix's Entertainment & Media Dispute Resolution class met with the members of NBCUniversal Studios Legal Department in their offices on NBC's Studio Lot. The students were able to hear inside stories about how studio lawyers and technology teams service the varied needs of their film, television, video and other clients, and keep pace with the demands of new technology and pirate operations in order to protect the Intellectual Property assets of the Studio and its partners.

The class was given a special tour of the Studio's state-of-the-art anti-piracy laboratory and briefings by the following members of their Creative Content Protection Group:

  • Steve Kang – Vice-President, Creative Content Protection (Legal)
  • Braxton Perkins – Vice-President, Creative Content Protection (Technology, Operations and Research)
  • Angela McCrae – Creative Content Protection Coordinator (Technology, Operations and Research)
  • Andrew Skinner - Director, Operations (Creative Content Protection - Technology, Operations and Research)
  • Casey Zmudzinski – Manager, Operations (Creative Content Protection - Technology, Operations and Research
  • Jeremy Mortley – Intern, Content Security & Technology (Creative Content Protection - Technology, Operations and Research)

In addition to its individual activities, NBCUniversal is also an active member of the CreativeFuture educational coalition whose CEO, Ruth Vitale, along with Chris Reed of Fox, spoke to the class earlier in the semester about their outreach efforts in the schools, in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere as part of the creative industry's national initiatives to raise awareness about real-world the impact of piracy on the lives of individuals and companies in the creative industries. For further information on those programs and this organization, please see: www.creativefuture.org
The class then had an opportunity to visit the Upper Lot with its Universal Studios City Walk, located near the gated entrance to Universal's Studio Tour, the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the famous Universal Studios globe and fountain, situated immediately next to the set where EXTRA, the daily syndicated newsmagazine delivers the latest in celebrity buzz, featuring Mario Lopez, Tracey Edmonds, and Charissa Thompson, is telecast each day.

This rounds out other opportunities that the Pepperdine Law Sports & Entertainment Law Society (SELS) helped provide throughout the year, including guest speaker Bryan Cahill (JD '04), who shared his expertise and inspirational story of success and integrity in athlete representation; a screening of "Doped: the dirty side of sports" including a Q&A panel with professionals of the industry such as film producer/director Andrew Muscato, attorney Howard Jacobs, arbitrator Jeff Benz, and attorney David Woolley; guest speaker Canadian Sports Agent Layth Gafoor; ESPN Legal Analyst and Prof. Roger Cossack who spoke on Deflategate and addressed other student questions; and an appearance by Pepperdine Law alumna Vikki Karan (JD '04), who spoke about her career as head of client services at William Morris Endeavor.