Partner

Phone: D: (202) 981-5538

Email: kklaus@dbllawyers.com

Office: Washington DC

  • Kurt R. Klaus, Esq., is a media/entertainment business and legal affairs attorney – backed by years of in-house, law firm, and Of Counsel experience.  Acknowledging that media is ever changing- Kurt believes it is a privilege to work on media/entertainment matters that bring new challenges at a rapid pace- viewing these as means to learn, lead, and grow and thus opportunities to help clients advance their endeavors at a timely pace.
  • Kurt provides business and legal counsel mirroring the needs of emerging and conventional media/content landscapes.  He designs, implements, and supports legal frameworks for digital and conventional media content and related asset development, creation, production, distribution, and exploitation.  He supports legal aspects of neighboring marketing and social media functions and partnerships including influencer engagements.  Kurt uses a proactive approach to identify and implement collaborative and often cross-functional solutions and risk mitigation options.  He simultaneously supports senior executives and multiple other stakeholders across a variety of matters.
  • Kurt regularly functions as lead attorney on domestic and international transactions involving many of the world’s leading media companies and provides creative and practical guidance with related legal and business strategies.  He has been legal counsel to top world brand corporate marketing departments, in-house legal departments, social media departments, deal leads of branded content, television networks, content syndication/licensing departments, independent producers, production companies, web designers, TV talent, musicians, music composers, recording studios, digital game developers, and media entrepreneurs on a wide variety of media, intellectual property, project financing, and corporate organization matters.
  • Outside of legal practice, Kurt was an executive in two mid-sized media production and distribution companies and functioned as a producer, assistant director, and production manager of television commercials and industrial films (140+ projects), earning 16 regional and national awards.  Kurt also worked in the production department of multiple LA-based studio feature films.
  • When not at his children’s lacrosse matches, Kurt enjoys photography, sailing, and road biking.
    • Media/Entertainment Law – Audiovisual (TV, Film, Digital, Web-based) & Music
    • Entertainment Representation Matters (Agents and Managers)
    • Media/Entertainment Content Production, Financing, and Distribution
    • Copyrights
    • Trademarks
    • Corporations (Profit & Nonprofit)
    • Contracts
    • Influencers
    • FTC Compliance – Influencers & Native Advertising
  • J.D. Law, University of Tennessee – Knoxville
  • M.S. Communications / Advertising, University of Tennessee – Knoxville  (Thesis: Account Planning In Advertising Agency Management:  One Rejoinder To Dynamics Which Exist Among Second- And First-Order Consumers Of Advertising.)
  • B.S. Recording Industry Management, Middle Tennessee State University – Murfreesboro
  • Roxanne Hovland, Kurt Klaus, and Eric Haley, “Commercial Speech After Fox: There’s A Rule for Every Exception,” Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the American Academy of Advertising, April 1993.
  • Kurt R. Klaus, “Attractive Programs Reduce Risks,” TIVA/ITVA, January 2006.
  • Kurt R. Klaus, “Idea Protection:  The Confidential Disclosure Agreement,” Women In Film and Video, March 2006.
  • Kurt R. Klaus, “A General Approach To Understanding Joint Works of Authorship and Work For Hire Under United States Copyright Law,” Cafe Magazine, April 2001.
  • Kurt R. Klaus, (six articles), “Rights To Publicity,” “Just A Face In The Crowd?” “Less Gets More,” “Act Like You Know What You Are Doing,” “There’s One For You, Nineteen For Me . . . Taxman!” “Idea Protection: The Confidential Disclosure Agreement,” FTV, January 1996 – November 1996.
  • Kurt R. Klaus, “To Employee Or Not To Employee, That Is The Taxing Question,” NFVA, Dec. 1995.
  • New York
  • Tennessee
  • Connecticut
  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • Washington, D.C. Bar, Arts, Entertainment, Media & Sports Law Section
  • Washington, D.C. Bar, Intellectual Property Section
  • Washington, D.C. Bar, Government Contracts Section
  • Anne Arundel County Bar Association
  • Women In Film & Video, Washington, DC
  • Board Member, Lutheran Mission Society Compassion Place
  • Presenter/Panelist: “Equity Investment,” Women In Film and Video, Script DC, Washington, DC, October 12, 2019.
  • Presenter: “Intellectual Property and FTC Compliance Issues in a Digital World,” Communicator Summit, Baltimore, MD, September 26, 2019.
  • Industry Executive:  “New Project Pitches,” Film-Com, Nashville, TN, June 20, 2019.
  • Industry Executive/Panelist:  “Unscripted: Current Opportunities and Best Ways To Launch,” Film-Com, Nashville, TN, June 19, 2019.
  • Industry Executive/Panelist:  “Representation: Agents, Managers & Legal Counsel,” Film-Com, Nashville, TN, June 19, 2019.
  • Participant/Panelist: “Orphan Works and Mass Digitization Round Tables,” U.S. Copyright Office, Washington, DC, March 10, 2014.
  • Panelist:  “Music Rights Clinic,” Washington DC Independent Film Festival, Washington, DC, March 13, 2011Panelist: “So You’ve Written A Script, Now What,” Women In Film and Video, Script DC, Washington, DC, October, 2010.
  • Presenter:  “Expert Talks – Legal Side of Placing Music in Documentaries,” Docs In Progress, Washington, DC, October 16, 2009.
  • Moderator: “Negotiations,” Women In Film and Video, Script DC, Washington, DC, October, 2009.
  • Panelist:  “Songwriting & Publishing / Licensing Film/TV/Radio,” Baltimore Music Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, September 19, 2008.
  • Panelist: “Intellectual Property: What About It,” Women In Film and Video, Script DC, Washington, DC, October, 2008.
  • Producer/Moderator: “Business Affairs for Scriptwriters,” Women In Film and Video Scriptwriting Conference, Washington, DC, October 2007.
  • Presenter: “IP Rights, Music, and Audiovisual Motion Pictures,” DC Film Salon, Washington, DC, October 16, 2007.
  • Presenter: “IP Rights,” Women In Film and Video (Maryland), Baltimore, Maryland, March 15, 2007.
  • Panelist: “Scriptwriting,” Women In Film and Video Wednesday One, Washington, DC, October 2007.
  • Moderator: “Screenwriters Get Down To Business,” Women In Film and Video, Script DC, Washington, DC, October, 2006.
  • Panelist:  “Talent Roundtable,” Women In Film and Video, Washington, DC, March 2006.
  • Panelist: “Music For Film and Television,” The Indie Sessions 2002 Music Conference Series, Nashville, Tennessee, August 24, 2002.
  • Presenter/Panelist: “Business Affairs and Intellectual Property Issues For Filmmakers,” WYSIWYG Christian Film Festival, San Francisco, California, October 2000.
  • Producer/Lecturer: “Legal and Business Affairs For The Internet Entrepreneur,” WebWorks 2000, hosted by Society for Technical Communication, Nashville, Tennessee, September 2000.
  • Producer/Lecturer: “Clearances,” Nashville Independent Film Festival, Nashville, TN, June 1998.
  • “Legal Considerations For Film Producers,” Producer/Panelist, Watkins Film School Symposium, Nashville, Tennessee, May 1998.
  • Producer/Moderator: “Entertainment Ventures:  Securities and Corporate Law Considerations,” Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program for the Entertainment and Sports Law Committee of the Nashville Bar Association, Nashville, Tennessee, July 1997.
  • Producer/Panelist: “Exploiting Your Package,” Nashville Film\Video Association, Nashville, Tennessee, August 1997.
  • Producer/Panelist: “Start-Up Businesses,” Creative Forum, Nashville, Tennessee, February 1997.
  • Lecturer: “The Role Of Legal Counsel In Special Interest Motion Picture Production and Distribution,” Special Interest Video Association, Nashville, Tennessee, August 1995.
  • Lecturer: “The Investor’s Role In Nashville’s Growth As A Center For Motion Picture Production,” for the Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission, Nashville, Tennessee, July 1995.
    • Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN  (2001 – 2003)
      • Course:  Legal Problems, RIM 4700:  Upper-level mandatory class on media and entertainment intellectual property issues, transactions, and business practices especially as applied to the recording industry and musical works.
      • Course:  Copyright Law, RIM 3700:  Upper-level mandatory class focusing on copyright law.
    • Watkins College of Art & Design – Nashville, TN (1997 – 2003)
      • Course: Entertainment Law, FLM 450:  Upper-level mandatory class on media legal problems and business practices especially as applied to the motion picture industry and audiovisual works.