Donald C. Brace Memorial Lecture 2016

When: November 17, 2016 at 6:30pm - 6:30pm EST - This event has passed

To be given by

Roger L. Zissu

Expanding Fair Use: The Trouble with Parody, the Case for Satire


Roger L. Zissu has practiced in the area of copyright, unfair competition, and trademark law for over 50 years.  For 42 of those years, he has been a partner in two of New York City’s prominent intellectual property firms:  Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C. (1990 to date) and Cowan Liebowitz & Latman, P.C. (1974-1990). 

Mr. Zissu’s extensive litigation practice includes several important copyright cases in the areas of termination (Milne v. Stephen Slesinger, Inc., 430 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 2005) (rejecting an effort to terminate under §§304(c) 304(c)(4)(D) of the Copyright Act rights granted to Slesinger in 1930 to the characters in A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh); proof of damages (Polar Bear Prod., Inc. v. Timex Corp. 384 F.3d 700, amended by U.S. App. Lexis 22140 (9th Cir. 2004) (holding that there was no non-speculative causal nexus to support any profit recovery under section §504(b) of the Act); work for hire (Estate of Hogarth v. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., 342 F.3d 149 (2d Cir. 2003), aff’g 62 U.S.P.Q.2d 1301 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (upholding a decision that the copyright in two illustrated Tarzan books drawn by the late Burne Hogarth were works made for hire for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.); and Playboy Enterprises, Inc. v. Dumas, 960 F. Supp. 710 (1997), aff’d, 159 F. 3d 1347 (2d Cir. 1998) (unpublished summary order) (holding that the copyrights in paintings created by Patrick Nagel for Playboy made during the last year of the 1909 Act were owned by Playboy and the copyrights in paintings made under the 1976 Act were owned by Nagel’s widow); and derivative work of a joint work/fair use (Weissman v. Freeman, 868 F.2d 1313 (2d Cir. 1989) (reversing, the Court held that where one of two joint authors prepares a derivative work of the joint work, the other author is infringing and has no fair use, when he uses the derivative work for the same purpose for which his co-author had prepared it, changing only the title and authorship credit.)

Mr. Zissu has been a leader in the copyright bar, serving as President of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A (1992-94) and Chair of the Committee on Copyright and Literary Property of the New York City Bar (1989-92).  He has presented frequently before both organizations and published in legal journals on a variety of copyright issues, including Funny is Fair:  The Case for According Increased Value to Humor in Copyright Fair Use Analysis, 55 J. Copyright of the U.S.A. 393 (2008). In 2013, Mr. Zissu was a recipient of the Second Circuit’s annual American Inns of Court Professionalism Award. With this Brace lecture, Mr. Zissu and his father, Leonard Zissu, become the second father and son to give the Brace lecture.  Melville and David Nimmer were the first father and son Brace lecturers.

Mr. Zissu is a graduate of Dartmouth College (A.B. 1960, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School (LL.B., 1963).  He clerked for the Honorable John F. Dooling, Jr., District Judge, E.D.N.Y., 1963-65.

About the Brace Lecture

The Brace Lecture is given in memory of the publisher Donald C. Brace, who founded Harcourt, Brace & Co. in 1919. Apart from his interest in the art of literature, Donald Brace was deeply interested in copyright legislation, the protection of creative talent and freedom of the press. In 1950, he was awarded the Columbia University Medal of Excellence in recognition of his distinguished contributions to publishing. This series was originally established by a gift from his daughter, Mrs. Donna Brace Ogilvie.

For more than four decades, the Brace Lectures on domestic copyright have featured leading figures in the field, including judges, practitioners, policymakers, publishers and academics.

For a list of past Brace Lecturers, please click here.

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Refunds must be requested in writing by November 13, 2016. Refunds will not be issued after that point. Unfortunately, we will not be able to credit your registration payment toward a future event, but you may allow another person attend in your place.