Paul LiCalsi is a seasoned litigator who has worked in a wide variety of industries, with a particular concentration in entertainment and media. Adept at the complexities of high-stakes commercial and intellectual property disputes, Mr. LiCalsi has represented many leading entertainment and media institutions and individuals, including Apple Corps Limited (the Beatles), Cardi B, Taylor Swift, Elton John, Billy Joel, Dominic Dunne and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). His experience includes copyright, trademark, Internet rights, enforcement of personal services contracts, contract and commercial disputes, rights of publicity, and unfair competition, and he speaks frequently on issues at the frontlines of entertainment, media and intellectual property. Mr. LiCalsi brings the same insight and dedication that distinguish his longstanding role as counsel to the Beatles to his service on the Board of the T.J. Martell Foundation, the music industry's largest foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS.
Selected Case Results
Represented Apple Corps Limited (The Beatles) in obtaining dismissal of numerous claims under the Copyright Act alleging authorship and ownership of the film of The Beatles’ historic concert at Shea Stadium. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the action in its entirety on contract law, copyright law, and statute of limitations grounds after Mr. LiCalsi briefed and argued the motion to dismiss. Sid Bernstein Presents, LLC v. Apple Corps Ltd., et al., 16-cv-7084 (S.D.N.Y.).
Ace Arts LLC v. Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC et al.: On behalf of Apple Corps, Limited, won dismissal of $100 million in claims under Sherman Antitrust Act and state business tort law alleging that the defendants had conspired to prevent Ace Arts from distributing a film of The Beatles’ first American concert in Washington DC in 1964.
Represented American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in federal rate court proceedings against YouTube LLC.
Represents long-standing client Apple Corps Limited (The Beatles) throughout United States in wide variety of contentious and non-contentious matters, including intellectual property policing and licensing.
Successfully opposed a motion to dismiss Apple Corps Limited’s claims of breach of fiduciary duty and fraud against EMI Records Limited and Capitol Records Inc. in connection with sales of Beatles recordings in action before New York Supreme Court.
Represented Scholastic Inc. enforcing the embargo of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the United States before the book’s worldwide release on July 21, 2007. This nationwide task required leading a team of attorneys in five cities, along with computer forensics experts and investigators. During the last weeks before the book’s release, the efforts involved issuance of numerous subpoenas under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, civil litigation, coordination with law enforcement, and informal enforcement efforts.
Represented Vanity Fair writer Dominick Dunne in two actions in federal court in New York against claims of slander by former Congressman Gary Condit in connection with the disappearance of Chandra Levy.
Represented a major insurance company in multi-district litigation involving financial fraud and the enforceability of surety bonds guaranteeing payments under subprime equipment leases. These cases involved claims totaling over $400 million.
Represented H.J.M. Hunt, successor of E.H. Shephard, original illustrator of “Winnie the Pooh,” in litigation with Stephen Slesinger, Inc. and Disney Enterprises, Inc. regarding terminations of grants of copyright interest.
Duke University School of Law, J.D., with Honors
Yale University, B.A., cum laude
Co-Chairman, Litigation Committee of New York State Bar Association Entertainment and Sports Law Section
Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research
Copyright Law and Litigation – Annual Review New York State Bar Association, Entertainment and Sports Law Section, New York, New York (November 17, 2017)
The Art of Copyright War: A Look Inside the World of the Copyright Infringement Case North American Law Summit for Entertainment, Sports, and IP, Montego Bay, Jamaica (November 10, 2017)
Hot Topics and Emerging Issues in Entertainment Law Entertainment & Technology Law Conference (March 26, 2015)
Entertainment Law Through the Eyes of a Litigator American Bar Association 26th Annual North American Law Summit, Costa Rica (November 13, 2014)
The Legal Geniuses Panel Future of Music Coalition, Washington, D.C. (October 28, 2014)
Beyond the Copyright Claim Using All Your Ammunition CMJ Music Marathon 2012 (October 2012)
Featured Speaker: 23rd Annual North American Entertainment, Sports & Intellectual Property Law Conference (November 2011)
Representing Minors in New York New York State Bar Entertainment and Sports Law Section (October 2011)
Cutting Edge Music Conference (August 2009 and September 2011)
Annual Southern Regional Entertainment and Sports Law Conference (2000-2013)
From Hollywood to South Beach: The Second Annual International Legal Symposium on the World of Music, Film, Television and Sports ABA Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries (April 2011)
Entertainment Litigation can be Entertaining!!! North American Entertainment, Sports and Intellectual Property Law Conference (November 2010)
Irreparable Harm: Injunctive Relief in Copyright Infringement Actions After Salinger Moderator, New York State Bar Entertainment and Sports Law Section (September 2010)
World of Music, Film, Television and Sports American Bar Association's First Annual International Legal Symposium (April 2010)
Entertainment and Sports Industries American Bar Association Annual Meeting (October 2009) 17th Annual Cutting Edge Music Business Conference (August 2009)
Annual Meeting of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. Featured speaker on the subjects of political parody, fair use and copyright infringement (June 2009)
Named in Chambers USA as a Notable Practitioner in Media and Entertainment Category (2015-2019)
Named a “New York Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers (2018)
“Top 5% of lawyers in New York,” New York Super Lawyers (2006-2017)
“100 Top Outside Counsel in the Entertainment Industry,” The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. (2007-2008)