- Direct: 202.450.3758
- Main: 202.480.2999
- J.D. summa cum laude, American University Washington College of Law
- B.A., Tufts University
- District of Columbia
- New York
Scott Zebrak is a founding partner at Oppenheim + Zebrak, LLP. Scott has more than 25 years of copyright litigation and counseling experience, with a particular focus on content protection issues that involve digital media, new technology, and disruptive business models. He represents some of the world’s most prominent companies in music, education, publishing, and other creative industries.
Scott is nationally recognized for his accomplishments in copyright and related litigation. The independent legal rankings agency Chambers USA ranked Scott as a leading intellectual property litigation attorney, noting that Scott “is sought after for his adroit handling of copyright infringement disputes.” One source also told Chambers, “He is a great trial lawyer and very professional. He is pragmatic, resourceful, efficient and among the best lawyers I know.” The peer review-based Best Lawyers guide named Scott a ”Best Lawyer®“ (for intellectual property law) and the “Lawyer of the Year” for copyright in DC. Billboard magazine named Scott to its distinguished “Top Music Lawyers” list. Managing IP recognized Scott as a ”Copyright Star” on its “IP Stars” list. Super Lawyers ranked Scott as a “Top Rated Intellectual Property Litigation Attorney” in Washington, DC. In addition, Scott is rated AV Preeminent®, the highest peer review rating standard by Martindale-Hubbell.
Scott’s cases have been at the forefront of online copyright protection and mass infringement, including one of the earliest and most significant disputes involving user uploads; a landmark action against the largest peer-to-peer file sharing service and its founder; and litigation against Internet Service Providers and others for providing service to known repeat infringers. His cases have shaped the law and set precedent, reformed or shutdown illegal services, and achieved settlements or jury verdicts of $34 million, $105 million, and $1 billion, among others.
Scott’s litigation practice encompasses not only complex, high-profile copyright cases, but also trademark and related commercial and Internet matters. Scott litigates in such areas as online piracy, counterfeits, Internet intermediary liability, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), fair use, and unfair competition. In addition to litigating, he counsels clients on intellectual property (“IP”) issues connected to the management and protection of content and brands.
Prior to launching O+Z, Scott served for four years as Vice-President, Litigation & Legal Affairs, at the Recording Industry Association of America ((“RIAA”). He advised on the preeminent copyright and DMCA issues of the day and handled significant music industry litigation, including both the LimeWire and Usenet.com cases.
Before the RIAA, Scott was Deputy General Counsel & Director of IP at CoStar Group, Inc. He built CoStar’s anti-piracy program, protected its robust IP portfolio, and provided strategic advice on associated licensing, marketing, product development, and Internet matters.
Scott began his career as an IP litigator at the Venable law firm, where he focused on copyright, trademark, and false advertising cases. He joined Venable after serving as a judicial clerk for a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Hachette v. Internet Archive
Representing four major book publishers, Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Wiley, in a copyright litigation against Internet Archive over its mass scanning of print books and online distribution of the resulting digital copies. (Southern District of New York)
American Chemical Society v. ResearchGate
Representing the American Chemical Society and Elsevier in a copyright litigation involving infringement claims against ResearchGate, an online social network and file sharing/download service, based on its use and copying of peer reviewed published journal articles. (District of Maryland)
Bedford Freeman & Worth v. Shopify
Represented Cengage, Elsevier, Macmillan Learning, McGraw Hill, and Pearson in litigating claims of contributory and vicarious copyright infringement and contributory trademark infringement against Shopify, an e-Commerce platform, for helping known online infringers to sell pirated copies of eBooks and related teaching and testing materials. (Eastern District of Virginia)
Sony v. Cox
Obtained a $1 billion jury verdict for Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV, and Warner Chappell against Cox Communications, based on its contributory and vicarious infringement of over 10,000 copyrights. This verdict was reportedly the 5th largest jury verdict in the United States in 2019. (Eastern District of Virginia)
AAP v. Frosh
Obtained a preliminary injunction and a declaratory judgment for the U.S. publishing industry against the Maryland Attorney General, establishing that a state statute that forced publishers to license their literary works in eBook format to public libraries is invalid and unconstitutional because of federal preemption. (District of Maryland)
UMG Recordings v. Kurbanov
Obtained terminating sanctions and an award of $83 million for Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Warner Music in a copyright infringement and DMCA anti-circumvention litigation against the offshore owner of a pair of “stream-ripping” websites, flvto.biz and 2conv.com. (Eastern District of Virginia)
Cengage v. Book Dog Books
Successful litigation against a U.S. commercial distributor for willful trademark and infringement, resulting in $34.2 million jury verdict, a fee award, and a permanent injunction against any further infringement. Represented Cengage, McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson, and John Wiley & Sons. (Southern District of New York)
Higher Education Publishers’ Anti-Counterfeiting Enforcement
Successfully litigated lawsuits in courts throughout the country against commercial suppliers and sellers of counterfeits. Venues have included federal district courts in Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Represented different combinations of the nation’s leading educational publishers.
Higher Education Publishers’ Online Anti-Piracy Enforcement
Successful litigation and non-litigation enforcement against hundreds of pirate websites, storefronts, or other illicit online sellers, obtaining millions of dollars of judgments, injunctions, and seizure of domain names and other assets. Represented different combinations of the nation’s leading educational publishers.
Pearson v. Boundless Learning
Successfully litigated a copyright and Lanham Act case against an online business for developing and marketing versions of our clients’ leading products. The resolution included a judgment and injunctive relief with damages payments, destruction of offending items, and additional copyright and brand protection. Represented Pearson, Cengage, and Macmillan Learning. (Southern District of New York)
John Wiley & Sons v. Golden
Successfully litigated a copyright and trademark action arising from the sale of material diverted from destruction at a recycler and then refurbished. Represented Pearson and Wiley. (District of New Jersey)
CoStar Group Theft of Service Cases
Successfully litigated cases arising from the misuse of online subscription services, obtaining injunctive relief, damages, and settlements. Represented CoStar Group. (District of Maryland)
Disney v. Hotfile
Served as a testifying expert retained by the movie studio plaintiffs in a copyright litigation against Hotfile, an online cyberlocker / distribution service. (Southern District of Florida)
John Wiley & Sons v. Kirtsaeng
Successfully defeated a multi-million-dollar attorney fee petition following a negative Supreme Court ruling. Represented John Wiley & Sons. (Southern District of New York)
Hoops v. SIIA
Successfully defended against state law tort claims based on an allegedly improper takedown notice sent to an online marketplace. Represented the Software & Information Industry Association. (Eastern District of Tennessee)
Represented clients in different industries in defense of infringement claims involving alleged unauthorized reproduction and distribution of photographs.
Prior to O+Z
Arista Records v. LimeWire
Obtained injunctive relief, based upon a finding of willful secondary copyright infringement, against the proprietors of the LimeWire peer-to-peer file-sharing service, along with a $105 million settlement reached during a damages trial. Represented the major record companies. (Southern District of New York)
Arista Records v. Usenet.com
Obtained spoliation sanctions and summary judgment against a Usenet service named Usenet.com, with a finding of direct and secondary copyright infringement and a multi-million-dollar damages award. Represented the major record companies. (Southern District of New York)
Arista Records v. MediaServices (AllofMp3.com)
Successful copyright infringement suit against an illegal download site (AllofMp3.com) based in Russia. Represented the major record companies. (Southern District of New York)
Atlantic Recording Corp. v. Project Playlist
Successful copyright infringement suit against Project Playlist, a service billing itself as music search engine. Represented the major record labels. (Southern District of New York)
A&M Records v. LaMonte
Obtained injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees, and a destruction order in a litigation proceeding to halt the unauthorized auction of music copyrights. Represented the major record labels. (Central District of California)
Actively oversaw a historic mechanicals proceeding before the Copyright Royalty Board to determine rates and terms for the compulsory license under Section 115 of the Copyright Act. Represented the major record companies. (Library of Congress)
Blount v. CoStar
Successful defense of litigation claims alleging defamation, tortious interference and unfair competition. Represented CoStar Group. (Southern District of California)
CoStar Group v. LoopNet
Seminal copyright litigation against LoopNet online listing service regarding unauthorized posting of photographs. Represented CoStar Group. (District of Maryland, Fourth Circuit)
Amdahl Corporation v. CHE
Successful litigation of copyright and trade secret claims over use of a computer manufacturer’s proprietary diagnostic software. Represented Amdahl. (Middle District of Pennsylvania)
Decision Support Systems v. Hughes Communications
Successful trademark litigation involving allegations of reverse confusion. Represented Decision Support Systems. (Eastern District of Virginia)