Esports and Copyright: The Power of Rightsholders



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Original Air Date:
March 30, 2023
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You may be able to self apply for credits in states not listed. BHBA provides CLE accreditation as described above. 

About the Program

Esports has emerged as a major force in the entertainment industry, boasting millions of fans around the world and a rapidly growing market. With a market value projected to reach over $4 billion within the next five years, it is no wonder stakeholders are eager to hop on board. However, the rise of this industry has not come without its legal challenges, and experts are once again questioning the scope of copyright law and acts such as the DMCA. When fair use doesn?t cut it and the industry has seen the downfall of many beloved esports scenes such as Super Smash Bros and the Overwatch League, this panel begs the question… Esports & Copyright: Clutch or Choke?

Meet the Speakers
Arkadi De Proft



Arkadi De Proft is an attorney and a published author on copyright law and new media. His latest article, “Intellectual Property in Esports: Rightsholders v The World”, will be published in this month’s issue of the European Intellectual Property Review. The opinion is largely based on his award-winning research into the relationship between esports and copyright, for which Google bestowed upon him their Diversity Thesis Copyright Award. Arkadi is a member of the Executive Committee of then BHBA’s Entertainment Law Section, as well as a member of the Esports Bar Association. He is also an advising member of the American Bar Association’s Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Task Force on Intellectual Property. Arkadi is a New Technology Jurisprudence Specialist at PLF (www.creativelaw.com).

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David B. Hoppe


Gamma Law, PC

David B. Hoppe is the founder and managing partner of Gamma Law. Mr. Hoppe is an experienced international transactional lawyer and a recognized authority on emerging legal issues in high-growth media/technology sectors, including video games and esports, blockchain and digital assets, VR/AR/XR, and digital media/entertainment. Over a career spanning nearly three decades, based in New York, Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Stockholm, and Helsinki, Mr. Hoppe has advised clients ranging from the world’s largest corporations to founders and early-stage startups on matters ranging from international debt and equity financings, venture capital and M&A transactions, to high-value content and technology licensing agreements, film/TV option agreements, and crypto/blockchain regulatory compliance. 

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Simon Pulman


Pryor Cashman LLP

Simon’s practice focuses on entertainment and media law, with significant experience in company-side business affairs and sophisticated rights transactions for television, film, podcasting, and interactive clients. As outside business affairs counsel for studios, networks, production companies, and rightsholders, he helps clients negotiate complex development, production, financing, and licensing deals and is an industry leader in franchise building and complex “transmedia” deals. Simon has also rendered financing and distribution services on many independent films and documentaries.

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Harris Peskin



Throughout his career Harris has continuously sought to elevate legal academia, improve industry standard, and create a more sustainable economic foundation for esports teams and ancillary businesses. Harris is an attorney at ESG Law, the world’s first esports specific law firm, where he represents roughly 70% of all tier 1 North American and European esports teams, as well as their non-endemic professional sports partners. At the esports league level, Harris has played a crucial role in redefining team governance and revenue sharing rights, having played a leading role in LCS, LEC, OWL and CDL league-team negotiations since 2016. Harris has drafted and negotiated several of the most notable team sponsorship deals with endemic and non-endemic partners such as PUMA, BMW, AT&T, Logitech, and Dr. Pepper, among others. In 2017 Harris revolutionized LCS team-legal strategies when he became the first attorney to file an EB-1A (US Green Card) application on behalf of an esports player and in turn helped that player acquire US residency so as to avoid being counted as a foreign import against Riot’s team foreign import cap.

Since the start of 2018 Harris has led the esports academic community serving as Executive Director and Chairman of the Publications, Public Policy, and Membership Committees of the Esports Bar Association. Today the EBA has: over 200 attorney and student members, organized three esports legal conferences, distributed the first ever esports legal academic journal, and advised state legislatures on policies that will affect the esports business landscape. The EBA is primed to become a leading esports policy and academic organization in the United States. Harris is an adjunct professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law where he lectures on esports gambling legal issues. 

In 2016 Harris brokered the acquisition of H2K Gaming on behalf of US based investors. At the time, the acquisition was one of the largest in European esports history. After brokering the acquisition, Harris served as Chief of Operations and Associate General Counsel for H2K Gaming where he helped to assemble the famed H2K squad that finished third in the world at the 2016 League of Legends World Championships

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