Essential workers in the coronavirus crisis run the spectrum from EMTs and nurses to supermarket clerks and warehouse pick-and-packers. Off hours, the essential activity for everyone is consuming content, from streaming movies and music to reading e-books borrowed online from the local public library.

The public’s prodigious appetite for content is making copyright essential, too, says Glenn Pudelka, president of the Copyright Society of the USA (CSUSA). Even while courthouses are shut for the pandemic, he notes, copyright attorneys are hard at work.

“You are still seeing people looking to register their works, still looking to protect their works. In fact, often in these types of crises or economic downturns, that’s when clients and content owners look to protect what they have even more,” Pudelka tells me in a recent CCC podcast. “They’re looking to ways to generate revenue or maintain revenues, so they look to their lawyers to help them protect things. So there’s lots going on in the copyright space.”

In the Boston office of Locke Lord, Pudelka is a senior counsel in the firm’s intellectual property department and co-chair of the firm’s trademark, copyright, and advertising group. Prior to joining the firm, he worked for eight years as a book editor for several publishing houses in New York City.

Pudelka’s term as CSUSA President ends this month, coinciding with the organization’s annual meeting. As with so many other such programs, the two-day conference, originally set for Newport, Rhode Island, was cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic. In its place, the CSUSA has created an innovative virtual event.

“We decided to make all of June our annual meeting, and starting on June 9, we host a panel on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next three weeks after,” Pudelka explains. “Our annual meeting is also never just to have panels and get your CLE credit. The most important piece of this is the social aspect and the networking aspect. So we’re going to have Friday events that are focused on the social aspect. We’ll have a virtual happy hour on one of them.

“Copyright attorneys are some of the best attorneys in the world,” he declares. “They have a passion for content, music, literature, art, photographs. Often for many copyright attorneys, this is their second career. They were musicians. They were photographers. And they continue that passion in the legal space as well.”


Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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