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LAWCROSSING           THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH   LAW STAR                                            ...
LAWCROSSING             THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH       LAW STAR                                      ...
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Cathy Kirkman; Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Blogger, Silicon Valley Media Law

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Cathy Kirkman is a partner and shareholder Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati; Blogger Silicon Valley Media Law in Palo Alto, CA. She is specializes practice in Intellectual property.

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Cathy Kirkman; Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Blogger, Silicon Valley Media Law

  1. 1. LAWCROSSING THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH LAW STAR www.lawcrossing.com 1. 800.973.1177 Cathy Kirkman; Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Blogger, Silicon Valley Media Law [by Charisse Dengler] Cathy Kirkman’s client list may read like who’s who of the digital media world (Google, Napster, Creative Commons, FoxKids.com, and Bad Boy Technologies, among others), but navigating media laws for high-profile heavyweights isn’t the extent of her talent. She’s also one of many in the legal field diving headlong into the pool of opportunity that is blogging or, more appropriately, “blawging.”Kirkman, a partner and shareholder at However, Kirkman feels that lack of “Blogging is a great way to be engaged inWilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo accessibility to material is an obvious my field, and it’s a heck of a lot easier toAlto, CA, specializes in intellectual property downside to copy protection, and that’s why blog than to put out a weekly newsletter,”transactions and media-client consultations, she supports Creative Commons and its she said. “It definitely helps the communityboth in the digital media realm. goals. because it allows it to be more connected.”“Some of the cutting-edge clients I have “My blog is under Creative Commons Kirkman feels that the birth of the Internetloved working with include Google, Creative because I want people to be able to read it has led to significant changes in the legalCommons, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Napster,” without infringing and be able to benefit from profession and, specifically, in the field ofshe said. “I am always very excited when it,” she said. digital media law.things happen, like a client gets funding,goes public, closes an important business Kirkman’s blog, Silicon Valley Media Law, “The nuclear winter of the dot-com bustdeal, or successfully navigates a cutting- is a means through which she can actively was a challenge when nobody but the mostedge legal issue.” participate in the global world of legal forward-thinking wanted to invest in the gabbing; and her enthusiasm for the cyber digital media space,” she said. “Now, we’reKirkman has been a part of merchandise sport is contagious. way past that, and Web 2.0 [a second stagelicensing for Converse and MCI; worked of design for Web software] is going crazyon films such as Robin Hood: Prince of “I just love blogging,” Kirkman said. “It’s a in the [Silicon] Valley. A challenge is tryingThieves and Young Guns II; and delved into way to contribute to and participate in the to mediate the needs of content owners andthe gaming world on behalf of clients that technology entrepreneurs.” greater dialog surrounding legal issues.”include 3DO, Maxis, and Brilliant Media. Whether she’s blogging about John Stewart’s “The Internet has enabled us to try to achieveIn 2004, she helped draft a copyright movie piracy comments at the Oscars or the ultimate goal of being available to ourlicense for Creative Commons, a nonprofit historical presidential copyright cases, clients at all times—be virtual and availableorganization committed to achieving a Kirkman packs each entry full of hyperlinks, and make sure you’re doing all you can forbalance between total copyright deadlock offering readers additional sources of your clients,” she said.and complete artist exploitation. Creative information.Commons gives artists the ability to choose Kirkman said the world of virtual reality hasa copyright license that makes their material “Hyperlinks allow you to point to what others made it easier for her to integrate work and life.available, while still protecting it from piracy. are saying, instead of just putting forth your own opinion,” she said. “My greatest challenge is trying to achieveAs someone fighting on the front lines in the my day-to-day goal of making every clientbattle against piracy, Kirkman doesn’t think Early in her career, Kirkman knew that she feel like my only client,” she said. “This is notit will ever be completely eliminated. wanted to be a resource in the legal field; so a media law issue; but it’s what I aspire to,“Piracy has always existed, but I do think the she decided to put out a weekly newsletter since the practice of law is about providingmusic industry has had success in creating via fax. Needless to say, she’s thrilled to the best possible service to clients.”awareness about it,” she said. “They are now be free of the fax machine and greatlyleaning toward copy-protected CDs; and as appreciates the global community modern “Being a lawyer is a life of service,” she said.the world becomes more locked down with technology has created. And she counsels law students to think thecopy protection, the harder piracy becomes.” same way.PAGE continued on back
  2. 2. LAWCROSSING THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH LAW STAR www.lawcrossing.com 1. 800.973.1177“Think about the field of law as a field of “I had a professor, Paul Goldstein, and he “Do your own thing,” she said. “Ask yourself,service,” she said. “I think it can be very was a wonderful professor. I got excited ‘What’s my agenda? What do I want to besatisfying if you rationalize it that way. Also, about the subject and became his research doing at this firm?’”think about being a lawyer from day one and assistant,” she said. “As lawyers like to say,not an apprentice. If you do, you’re going to ‘but for’ that experience, I don’t know whatget to where you want to be faster because direction I would have gone in. I was doingyou’re aspiring to it and you’re excited about scrub work as a law student, but this helpedit.” me identify my passion for IP law.”Kirkman first became excited about the idea Kirkman encourages law students to identifyof practicing media law while at Stanford Law what it is they want to do and not simplySchool. conform to someone else’s mold.PAGE