Richard Samson

Attorney | Negotiator | Mediator | Consultant
Practice AreasContact
photo of Richard Samson

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About Richard

Experienced New York City-based attorney with a deep expertise in digital and traditional media, entertainment, arts and technology. Skilled in advising C-suite and executive teams, as well as individuals, on intellectual property, domestic and international regulatory compliance matters, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, and litigation. Key thought leader and legal advisor to corporate departments, including corporate communication, strategic planning, investor relations, finance and risk management.

Major Practice Areas

Entertainment/Media Transactional

Decades of experience advising and negotiating on behalf of a broad and varied range of creative individuals, including writers and designers, production companies, live entertainment venues and artists’ estates.

Intellectual Property

Deep understanding of the complex issues surrounding copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity and related matters, offering a full range of services relating to protecting, licensing and enforcing IP rights worldwide.

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Contracts

Experienced in contract negotiation and drafting, particularly as they relate to IP, technology, and arts and entertainment issues: theater and film production documents, rights options, publishing and recording agreements and licenses.

Experience

The Video Consortium | Board of Directors and Corporate Secretary

New York State Unified Court System | Mediator

FINRA | Arbitrator

Current

Rutgers Law School  | Adjunct Faculty

Recent

Taught “Drafting Entertainment and IP Contracts.”
Guest lecturer in both Entertainment Law & Business, and Copyright and Trademark courses.

The New York Times Company | Vice President and Assistant General Counsel

2007 – 2018

Intellectual property and corporate counsel to The New York Times Company, the global media and information company, including advising The New York Times and related digital brands, including Wirecutter.com, The International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe and Boston.com. Counseling C-suite and executive teams on domestic and international regulatory compliance matters. Advising various business units regarding copyright, trademark, right of publicity, privacy, data protection, marketing and related issues, including GDPR, CASL, COPPA and FTC compliance; providing legal and strategic support to newsroom, product, virtual reality, marketing, consumer revenue, strategy & business development, venture investing, M&A and international distribution and licensing teams. Structuring, negotiating and drafting licensing and off-platform distribution agreements relating to intellectual property and technology; general media and corporate business and real estate matters. Providing pre-publication review of editorial content, videos, advertising and marketing materials. Reported to the General Counsel who reports to the CEO.

A&E Television Networks | Intellectual Property Counsel and Business Affairs Executive

2005 – 2007

Counseling various business entities (including A&E Network and The History Channel) on intellectual property issues on an international basis, including clearance, registration, enforcement and licensing. Movie development and production, including negotiation of book option, writer, executive producer, co-financing, license and development agreements, as well as advising drama executives on deal structure and rights-related issues; documentary programming, focused on negotiation and drafting acquisition, co-production and development agreements; technology and new media deals, including licensing content for streaming on mobile devices and through broadband streams and downloads; software-related agreements, as well as advising on privacy issues, domain names, consumer marketing and consumer promotions.

Law Offices of Richard Samson | Principal

1995 – Present

Counseled dozens of organizations and individuals in the arts, entertainment, media, technology and other creative industries on general corporate and contract matters, with a concentration on intellectual property and related matters. Served as Interim In-house Counsel to Corbis Motion (Bill Gates-owned stock footage licensing organization), handling license, vendor and production agreements, as well as the full range of general commercial contracts and intellectual property matters.

Proskauer Rose | Associate Attorney, Entertainment and Intellectual Property Group

1989 – 1994

Extensive experience in all areas of entertainment and media agreements and international trademark, copyright, right of publicity protection, licensing and enforcement. Counseling Broadway theater producers, non-profit entertainment and arts organizations, artists, publishers and estates and trusts of deceased composers, choreographers and artists. Theater, television, dance and concert production deals; book and news publishing, music publishing and licensing and recording agreements. Production counsel for Broadway shows.

Additional Experience

Education

Stalder Mediation & NYSBA
Completed Basic and Advanced Commercial Mediation Training

Rutgers Law School, J.D.
Articles Editor, Rutgers Law Review

Northwestern University, B.S.
Degree in Radio, Television and Film

 

Member, 2018-2022 New York State Bar Association Committee on Media Law.

Keynote Speaker at Rutgers Law Review Alumni Event, 2019

Moderator, Panel on First Amendment Issues, July 2019, The School of The New York Times, Summer Academy.

Lecturer, 2017 NYT “Times Journey” transatlantic crossing of the Queen Mary 2/Cunard.

Panelist, 2016 New York City Bar program: “The Legal Realities of Virtual Reality: Intellectual Property and Other Legal Considerations”.

Former Member, Communications & Media Law Committee (and the IP Subcommittee) of the New York City Bar Association.

Former Member, News Media Alliance (NMA) Legal Affairs Committee

Past Co-chair, ALM IP Trademark, Copyright and Licensing Counsel Forum, New York City.

Frequent speaker on intellectual property issues at U.S. conferences and seminars.

Other entertainment industry experience includes:

2005
Co-screenwriter
21st Century Fox/Fox 2000 Pictures
Feature film: “TUCKER AMES AS HIMSELF”

2000
Co-writer of stage show “CHRISTMAS IN GREENWICH”
Produced by The Drama Dept, NYC

1999
Associate Producer
Broadway play: “MARLENE,” Cort Theatre

1998
Producer
Broadway musical: “HIGH SOCIETY,” St. James Theatre
(Drama Desk nomination, Best Musical)

As a writer: Published in The New York Times.

 

News

Interview with Richard Samson: VP and Assistant General Counsel for the New York Times

Richard Samson is the Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at the New York Times, and recently spoke as a panelist at the JIPEL Careers in IP Symposium.
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Dispute over an iconic sports photo of The Babe quietly ends

On June 13, 1948 a frail and dying Babe Ruth stood in uniform with shoulders slumped, holding a hat and bat, by himself near home plate to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Yankee Stadium.
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You Are What You Refrigerate

Will a large, prominent tub of Greek yogurt in my refrigerator get you to buy my apartment? This, and similarly insane thoughts, plagued me as I anticipated putting my co-op on the market recently.
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The Job Was Simple. The Painter Wasn’t.

In retrospect, I realize that I never specifically mentioned to the painting contractor that I would need to open the door. To my apartment. To, you know, get out…
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Contact

Richard Samson

Attorney | Negotiator | Mediator | Consultant