How David Helps Clients
You won't find a more experienced entertainment lawyer in Western Pennsylvania than David Gurwin. As an attorney who is also a professional musician, David brings unique insight to entertainment law, technology transactions and copyright matters.
David leads the firm's Entertainment, Media & Sports Law Practice Group and co-leads the Technology, Licensing and Commercial Contracts Practice Group, whose members focus on representing companies and individuals—regardless of industry—with commercial transactions involving technology-related issues. He is also the firm's Copyright Practice Group Leader.
David and his colleagues understand the business of technology and apply a combination of legal knowledge, practical business experience and sound technical insight when advising clients on the acquisition, use, development and commercial application of technology. He is also a member of the Venture Capital and Emerging Companies Group.
David represents clients in a variety of industries, with a focus on Internet, computer, advertising, life sciences and technology clients, as well as those involved in the entertainment industries.
A professional jazz pianist, David possesses firsthand experience with the entertainment industry and assists clients with contractual drafting and negotiations, business formation, licensing and intellectual property matters involving the protection and commercialization of entertainment talents, works and persona. His entertainment industry clients have included musicians, record companies, recording artists, record producers, concert promoters, songwriters, music publishers, advertising agencies, authors, literary publishers, book packagers, television personalities, broadcasters, webcasters, playwrights, actors, motion picture production companies, film investors, video game developers, arts organizations, professional athletes and sports organizations.
In the technology arena, David represents clients in a variety of industries including Internet, e-commerce, software and information technology, biomedical, consumer products, manufacturing, insurance, advertising and retail industries in connection with licensing and other business transactions involving the sale, acquisition and commercial development of software, biotechnology and other technology assets. David also practices in the areas of copyright, trademark and intellectual property law.
What Clients Can Expect
David combines the practical with the scholarly to offer clients a unique brand of legal expertise. Clients rely on his legal knowledge and his business acumen. He is committed to client service with a genuine interest in his clients' success.
Outside the Office
When not working David looks forward to time with his wife and their two sons. He is also a professional jazz pianist, composer and arranger, who has been performing since his early teens. If you listen to jazz radio, you've probably heard music from one of his albums.
- Represented Fortune 500 film manufacturer in license and technology agreements concerning digital imaging, back-end support agreements and placement of kiosks in retail stores; represented same manufacturer in connection with development and implementation of Internet-based photographic delivery systems.
- Represented consortium of universities in connection with an Internet-based degree granting distance-learning initiative.
- Represented software vendor with application service provider services in the field of e-commerce fulfillment.
- Represented leading interactive advertising agency in connection with acquisition, content licensing, Americans with Disabilities Act issues and various Internet and advertising issues.
- Represented web social media platform in connection with technology protection and IP issues.
- Represented various clients in connection with negotiations of agreements with Business Software Alliance.
- Represented one of the nation's first webcasters in connection with licensing, content and royalty issues.
- Represented software vendor in connection with implementation of website access for airlines for in-flight use.
- Author of Information Technology Consulting and Other Professional Services Agreements Line by Line (published by Thomson West Publishing).
Entertainment and Sports Law
- Represented both facilities and sponsors in connection with sports and music venue naming rights deals
- Represented both universities and licensees in connection with NIL (Name Image Likeness) policies and licenses
- Represented news anchors in negotiations with broadcasters
- Represented NFL teams in connection with music use and licensing issues
- Represented universities in connection with broadcasting and other media rights licensing
- Represented cartoonist in connection with negotiation of license with film production company and in connection with publication of two graphic novels
- Represented theatrical production company in all legal aspects of the producing of a one man play, including negotiating contracts with the creative; negotiating investment agreements with the show’s executive producers and financial backers; negotiating sponsorship agreements and agreements with venues; and handling all intellectual property registrations and licensing issues for the project.
- Represented recording artist in connection with recording agreement with a major international record label.
- Represented Grammy-award winning record label in negotiations with recording artists and distributors
- Represented nonprofit organization in connection with agreements related to commissioning of film production and licenses for broadcast on PBS.
- Represented a theater company in connection with commissioned work agreement.
- Represented well-known business personality in connection with negotiation of "ghost writer" agreement for production of biography.
- Represented filmmaker in connection with creation of music documentary
- Represented film producer in connection with investment in major motion picture.
- Represented novelty t-shirt maker in connection with a series of film character licenses
- Represented video game development company in negotiations for development of and royalty structure for a new video game with a leading game console manufacturer.
- Author of Gurwin's Keyboard blog at gurwinskeyboard.com.
Recognitions and Awards
- IAM Patent 1000 every issue, World's Leading Patent Practitioners
- AV® Preeminent certification, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review
- Best Lawyers in America® (2015-2024), Copyright Law, Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television, Entertainment Law - Music, Entertainment Law - Theater and Information Technology Law
- Named by Corporate INTL magazine as Entertainment Lawyer of the Year in Pennsylvania for 2019 and 2020
- Named Entertainment Law Expert of the Year, Pennsylvania by Leaders in Law for the 2020 and 2021 Global Award
- Named by Acquisition International as Leading Entertainment and Media Lawyer of the Year in Pennsylvania - 2019 & 2020 Leading Advisor Awards
- Named by Global Law Experts as Pennsylvania Entertainment Lawyer of the Year in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022, 2023
- Named by Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards as Entertainment Lawyer of the Year - USA for 2018
- Named Best Entertainment IP Attorney in Pennsylvania by Acquisition International magazine, Business Excellence Awards
- Named by The Lawyer Network as Entertainment Lawyer of the Year in Pennsylvania since 2022
- Named Entertainment Expert of the Year in the United States by Leaders in Law for the 2022 Global Awards
- Named Entertainment Lawyer of the Year in Pennsylvania for the 2023 and 2024 Corporate INTL Global Awards
The Ohio State University, J.D., 1985, with honors, Order of the Coif, Article Editor, Ohio State Law Journal
The Ohio State University, B.S.Bus.Admin., 1982, summa cum laude, Accounting
- New York
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Adjunct Professor, Carnegie Mellon University (Entertainment Technology Center and Heinz College of Public Policy)
Guest lecturer, Duquesne University, music law and business
Guest lecturer, University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business, MBA program
Past Chair, Arts and the Law Section, Allegheny County Bar Association
Forum Committee on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, Science and Technology, and Intellectual Property Sections, American Bar Association Section of International Law
International Technology Law Association
Past Chairman and Board of Trustees, MIT Enterprise Forum of Pittsburgh
Guest lecturer, The Ohio State University, entertainment law, intellectual property and business law
Guest lecturer, La Roche College, graphic design law
Guest lecturer, Point Park University Cinema Arts Program
Guest lecturer, Robert Morris University Media Arts Program
Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association
Member, Global Law Experts
Board of Directors, Pittsburgh Technology Council
Board Member, Law360 Media & Entertainment Editorial Advisory Board
Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation, Board of Directors and Executive Committee
Pittsburgh Technology Council, Board of Directors
Hampton Alliance for Educational Excellence, past member, Board of Trustees
Jazz Arts Group of Columbus, past member, Board of Directors
Hampton Township School District, past School Director and Board President
Adat Shalom Synagogue, member, Vice President, Board of Directors and Musical Director
MIT Enterprise Forum of Pittsburgh, past Chairman