Eric James German joined the SULA Semester team in 2009 as an adjunct professor. Mr. German is a practicing entertainment attorney, actively representing clients in the music, entertainment and intellectual property spaces from both a transactional and dispute resolution perspective. Mr. German is a Partner, through his professional corporation, in the law firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, where he has worked since 2002.
Mr. German has provided legal counsel to clients in the entertainment industry for over twenty years. After graduation from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications (TRF Production ’92), Mr. German worked in the live music production field, producing major concerts for many seminal acts. Becoming fascinated with the then-nascent concept that the music and entertainment industries’ would need to transition from physical to digital formats, Mr. German attended law school at Boston University School of Law, where he focused on the intersection of copyright law, the Internet and the entertainment industries and served as Note Editor of the Boston University Law Review, before graduating magna cum laude with a concentration in intellectual property law in 1997.
Upon graduation from law school, Mr. German served as Law Clerk to the Hon. T.G. Nelson, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, from 1997-98. Mr. German then moved to New York City, where he joined the law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP as an associate until joining MSK in the summer of 2002. Throughout his early career, Mr. German represented the major recorded music labels and motion picture studios via litigation work coordinated by their trade associations, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), including seminal cases such as A&M Records v. Napster, Universal Studios v. Remierdes, and MGM Studios v. Grokster. Mr. German also successfully litigated several important copyright and trademark infringement cases involving major recording artists, network television shows, and video game franchises, before being elected Partner at MSK in 2007.
Mr. German then began focusing on two major areas: (1) advocacy for independent record labels, both on an individual basis (including as long term counsel to Century Media Records, which sold to Sony Music in 2015) and through his work with the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM); and (2) direct representation of talent, primarily in the music industry. Today, Mr. German is a well-known connector in the hard rock and heavy metal music genre, although his client base includes a wide variety of developing as well as Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum –certified recording artists in a variety of genres, including alternative rock, hip-hop, and electronic dance music.
Mr. German was born in Columbus, Ohio (his parents were both graduate students at Ohio State University), was raised in the Albany, New York area (his father was a Professor of Engineering at Rennselaer Polytechnic Instistute), and now lives in Santa Monica, California with his wife, Laura, who also attended Syracuse University (they met at a bar on Marshall Street in 1991), and his daughter, Angela, who is in high school. Outside of work, Mr. German is well-known for his passionate, decades-long support for the Oakland Raiders NFL franchise, as well as his love for Syracuse sports.
Mr. German is admitted the bars of the State of California and New York, and also is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of California, the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.