Kenneth M. Kaufman is Senior Counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. His practice focuses on copyright, entertainment and media law, content and music licensing, digital media, and sports law. He represents a wide range of clients including international media and publishing companies, television networks and distributors, music publishers, digital media and technology companies, telecommunications companies, photographers, visual artists, copyright licensing companies, software publishers, Broadway theatre producers, private equity firms, foundations, composers, recording artists and authors.
Ken is a recognized authority in the fields of copyright and entertainment law. He was named the Washington, D.C. Copyright Law “Lawyer of the Year” in 2014 by The Best Lawyers in America (where he is currently listed in the practice areas of copyright law, intellectual property litigation, entertainment law-music, and entertainment law-motion pictures and television). He has also been recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers, Washingtonian Magazine’s Best Lawyers, and Legal Times. For several years he was a Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School, teaching a course on copyright, entertainment and Internet law, and has taught a course on copyright law at George Washington University Law School. In 2016 and 2017 he was an Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard University, where he has spoken on coalition building in education for gender equality.
Ken has extensive experience as both in-house and outside counsel in the entertainment and communications industries. Immediately prior to joining Manatt, he was a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel of Showtime Networks Inc. in New York; as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel of PolyGram Records, Inc. in New York; and as General Counsel of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. In two of those positions, he was the first in-house attorney and organized the in-house legal department. Previously, he served as Assistant Counsel of a U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee.
Ken co-chairs the annual PLI conference on Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industry and serves on the Governing Committee of the ABA’s Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries and on the Planning Committee for the annual Stanford Digital Economy Best Practices Conference. He teaches an annual course on “Copyright Law and Litigation” for the D.C. Bar, is a member of the Board of Directors of Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, and has served as a Trustee and Chair of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. He is a graduate of Harvard College (magna cum laude) and Yale Law School (where he was an Editor of the Yale Law Journal), and is admitted to practice in New York, California and the District of Columbia.