Norwick & Schad is a nationally recognized law firm specializing in litigating and counseling clients in intellectual property, communications, First Amendment, and related matters. It was formed in 1982 by Tennyson Schad and Kenneth P. Norwick, each of whom had extensive prior experience representing authors, artists, photographers, and other creators as well as the agents, publishers, galleries, and others who disseminate their creative work. The firm flourished under Mr. Schad and Mr. Norwick until Mr. Schad’s untimely death in 2001.
An important new book, The Legal Guide for Writers, Artists and Other Creative People, written by the firm’s Ken Norwick with the firm’s Cooper Knowlton, was recently published. Click here for more about the book and a link to order it.
Ken Norwick has been a practicing lawyer and a leading authority on intellectual property, communications, and First Amendment law for more than five decades. Throughout that period he has litigated in courts across the United States and counseled and assisted clients in the conduct of their businesses.
He is the author of several books on legal and related subjects — his most recent book is The Legal Guide for Writers, Artists and Other Creative People, and numerous newspaper and magazine articles. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School, teaching Publishing Law, and has taught and lectured widely and appeared on many radio and television programs. He is a consultant to (and former official of) the American Civil Liberties Union.
Ken Norwick greets client His Holiness the Dalai Lama at a recent celebration of the latter’s 80th birthday. His Holiness is holding a copy of Ken’s book The Rights of Authors, Artists and Other Creative People.
In his legal practice, he has represented such publications as Playboy Magazine, The Source, Working Woman Magazine, Men’s Fitness Magazine, The Comics Journal, and El Diario/La Prensa, the nation’s largest Hispanic newspaper; such authors as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Garrison Keillor, Mitch Albom, Robyn Carr, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Suzanne Farrell, Michael Ondaatje, Terry Southern, Robert Pirsig, Christopher Andersen, Patricia Polacco, David Margolick, Michael Shnayerson, Lawrence Leamer, and Peter Wyden; such award-winning photographers as Annie Leibovitz, Jacques Lowe, Yunghi Kim, David Burnett, Sir Don McCullin, and Fred McDarrah; and such entities as Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.A., Norwich University, the Estate of Abbie Hoffman, the Estate of Stanley Kauffmann, WNET 13, the public television channel in New York City, Angel Records, Calvin Klein, Inc., Ralph Lauren, Inc., the Humane Society of the United States, Contact Press Images, Hal Leonard Publishing Co., Ziff-Davis Publishing Company, Page Street Publishers, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Fantagraphics Books, Inc., Mint Advertising, Rodale, Inc., Photobucket, Inc., and the Book Industry Study Group. He was General Counsel to the Association of American Literary Agents and its predecessor organizations for more than four decades.
Mr. Norwick is a member of the New York and Massachusetts bars, as well as the bars of the United States Supreme Court and numerous lower federal courts. He began his legal career in 1965 with the New York law firm of Greenbaum, Wolff & Ernst, and he subsequently worked in the administration of former New York Mayor John V. Lindsay and as Law Secretary to a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. From 1970 through 1975 he was Legislative Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, and since then he has served as a special counsel and consultant to both the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union. He served as a Special Professor of Law, teaching Constitutional Law, at Hofstra Law School, and later as Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School. He is a member of the Authors Guild; Media Law Resource Center; the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he has served as a member of its Judiciary and Communications Law Committees; and the New York State Bar Association, where he is a member of its Media Law Committee. He is a former Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Magazine Publishers Association. From 1975 through 1996 he served as a consultant to the Freedom to Read Committee of the Association of American Publishers. He was awarded the highest evaluation, AV, by Martindale-Hubbell and has been named a New York Metro Area “Super Lawyer” for many years.
Mr. Norwick received his J.D. degree in 1965 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Law Review and the founder and editor-in-chief of the Law School’s newspaper. He received his A.B. degree, cum laude, in 1962 from Syracuse University, where he majored in American Studies and was an editor and columnist for the University’s daily newspaper.
Mr. Norwick is the author of The Legal Guide for Writers, Artists and Other Creative People, published by Page Street Publishers. He was co-author of The Rights of Authors, Artists, and Other Creative People, published in 1992 by Southern Illinois University Press. He is the editor and principal author of Lobbying for Freedom in the 1980s: A Grass-Roots Guide to Protecting Your Rights, published by Putnam’s in 1983, and co-author of The Rights of Authors and Artists, published by Bantam Books in 1984. He is the author of Lobbying for Freedom: A Citizen’s Guide to Fighting Censorship at the State Level, published by St. Martin’s Press in 1975, and the editor of Your Legal Rights: Making the Law Work for You, which was originally published by the John Day Company in 1972 and republished in a revised edition in 1975. He is the author of a pamphlet entitled Pornography: The Issues and the Law, published by Public Affairs Pamphlets in 1972, and the co-author of a pamphlet entitled When Should Abortion be Legal?, published by Public Affairs Pamphlets in 1969.
From 1968 through 1971 he was co-author of a monthly column in Publishers Weekly entitled “But Can You Do That?,” and he is the author of numerous articles and columns on legal and political subjects.
Representative Court Decisions
In February 2018 Ken Norwick won a landmark court decision that New York Magazine said “had the potential to shake the very foundation on which the modern internet is built, changing the way websites from huge publications to one-person blogs do business online.” The court granted summary judgment to a photographer, ruling that websites that “embed” photos without the authorization of the copyright owners can be liable for copyright infringement. The case is Goldman v. Breitbart News Network, et al., 302 F. Supp.3d 585 (S.D.N.Y. 2018).
Conrad v. Yahoo! 20 cv 8638 (GHW), Docket No. 70 (S.D.N.Y. 2021) (defeated claim of “fair use” involving displays of photo Meghan Markle on a Yahoo! Website
- Estate of Stanley Kauffmann v. Rochester Institute of Technology, 932 F.3d 74 (2d Cir. 2019) (established author’s ownership of contributions to magazine, defeating claim they were owned by magazine as “work made for hire.” The Court relied on Ken’s victory in the 1995 Playboy case, discussed below)
- Dlugolecki v. Poppel, et al., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14904 (C.D. Cal. 2019) (defeated claim by the ABC Television Network that its unauthorized uses of photos of Meghan Markle were “fair use”)
- Wolk v. Photobucket.com, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11211, 2014 WL 2723015 (2d Cir. 2014) won summary judgment dismissing copyright infringement claims against the photosharing website Photobucket brought by an artist whose work appeared on the site)
- Seymour v. Lakeville Journal Co., 150 Fed. Appx. 103, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 22224, 2005 WL 2573985 (2d Cir. 2005) (successfully defended Connecticut newspaper against libel suit by a prominent local resident)
- Goldstein v. Time Warner New York City Cable Group, 3 F.Supp.2d 423 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) (obtained injunction against implementation of cable company’s new censorship policy)
- Playboy Enterprises, Inc. v. Dumas, 53 F.3d 549 (2d Cir. 1995) (successfully represented Playboy in landmark case establishing “work made for hire” status for contributions to the magazine)
- Malinowski v. Playboy Enterprises, Inc., 706 F.Supp. 611 (N.D. Ill. 1989) (successfully defended Playboy in copyright infringement case)
- Pillsbury Co. v. Milky Way Productions, Inc., 1981 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17722, 215 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 124; 8 Media L. Rep. 1016 (N.D.Ga. 1981) (successfully defended adult publication against copyright, trademark, libel, and other claims arising from satiric renditions of “doughboy” and “doughgirl” characters)
The Firm’s Other Lawyers
Cooper Knowlton is Of Counsel to the firm. He began his legal career in the litigation department of Cahill, Gordon & Reindel, where his practice focused on securities, antitrust, First Amendment, environmental, and general commercial and corporate cases. He received a B.A., cum laude, from Amherst College; an M.A. in Education from the City College of New York; and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was Associate Editor of the Michigan Journal of International Law. He spent two years as a Special Education teacher in the Bronx and two years in the Peace Corps in rural Cambodia. He will be involved in all aspects of the firm’s work, including its media, intellectual property, and general litigation matters. He worked with Ken Norwick on The Legal Guide for Writers, Artists, and Other Creative People. In addition to being Of Counsel to the firm, Cooper is also a partner in the New York based firm Bergstein, Flynn & Knowlton.s
This comprehensive authoritative and accessible book enables creators to understand their legal rights and safeguard their work from a wide variety of risks in both cyberspace and traditional media. It explains major developments in the applicable law and in the publishing, communications, art and entertainment businesses so you’ll be able with confidence to secure your work, negotiate contracts and avoid lawsuits.
This essential book guides you through the major legal areas of special concern to creators: copyright and other legal rights; libel, privacy, obscenity and other legal risks; contracts; the cyber revolution; and business and tax matters affecting creative people. Whether you are an author, artist, photographer or are in another creative field, this approachable guide will help you become legally savvy without having to wade through dense legal jargon or rely on Google searches or Wikipedia.
“Using plain language and examples from real cases, the valuable new book breaks down complicated legal issues into more clearly understood components and provides useful advice on how creators can best protect their works and careers. Drawing upon decades of experience, the book describes common business practices and provides practical advice for negotiations. Importantly, the book also discusses how best to protect creative work as others exploit it on the Internet without permission, credit or compensation.”
— Helen E. Freedman, Justice of the Appellate Division of New York Supreme Court (retired)
“The term “creative type” carries with it an implicit connotation that we authors and artists are good at creating, but not so good at navigating the legal and financial side of our business. I’m here to tell you that is absolutely correct, and that’s why I’m so grateful for a foolproof guide like this one to help show the way.”
— Willie Geist, host of NBC’s Sunday Today and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, bestselling author
“Everything you ever wanted to know about copyright but were too intimidated to ask! This is a must-have for all creators who wish to protect intellectual property interest in their work and better understand the laws that govern those rights. Written in straightforward and understandable form, the book addresses a wide range of subjects of concern to creators, from libel and privacy issues, to rights in cyberspace, through contracts and other business and tax matters.”
— Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel, National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)
“For authors and artists, for creative people of all stripes and convictions, this book goes to the heart of the matter—or the hearts of the matter, as the case may be—and provides a clear, concise and essential guide to the care and protection of the results of the creative process, with the basics as well as the caveats and exception carefully explained.”
— James A. Fox, senior vice president and general counsel (retired), HarperCollins Publishers
“For over 40 years, Ken Norwick has been my go-to lawyer for all matters involving the law of libel, copyright, obscenity, contracts and the rights of authors and artists. This book makes his learning and experience available to everyone. It does not provide legal advice in particular situations; you’ll need a lawyer for that. But for a clear, plain language, easy-to-read explanation of the law affecting the rights of authors, partners, photographers, etc., you won’t do better. And it’s even fun to read.”
— Ira Glasser, former executive director of the ACLU
“At a time when writers and artists need all the backbone they can summon, Ken Norwick’s accessible, savvy legal primer is a shot of high-grade concentrated calcium.”
— David Margolick, author, contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine and former law correspondent for the New York Times
“The contract—the binding agreement between a writer and the publisher—Is the backbone of the relationship between the two. It provides, in fact, for the best-case and worst-case scenarios for the author. Understanding the contract is essential for any writer. This book very clearly and thoughtfully lays out the basics of this agreement between creator and publisher and is a “must-read” for any aspiring artist who contemplates publishing his or her work.”
— Gail Hochman, president of the Association of American Literary Agents
“Ken Norwick’s book is a deft, straightforward and even entertaining handling of, at times, some pretty complex subject matter. Norwick is an expert on the topic who successfully untangles and simplifies copyright and related law. The book is a valuable resource both for content creators who want to know their rights and issues and for lawyers getting familiar with the field.”
— George Freeman, executive director of the Media Law Resource Center and former assistant general counsel of the New York Times
“Every author, artist, filmmaker, photographer and cartoonist, no matter how sophisticated intellectually or creatively, would benefit by reading this lucid and readable guide through the arcane, often frustrating, occasionally head-scratching maze of laws that guarantee is our freedom of expression and our ownership of that expression.”
— Gary Groth, publisher of The Comics Journal and Fantagraphics Books
“The Legal Guide for Writers, Artists and Other Creative People is an excellent, easy-to-understand guide to copyright law for the non-lawyer. It is well written and presents the complex ideas simply and clearly, while acknowledging that parts of the law are still unsettled.”
— Michael Gross, director of legal services for the Authors Guild
The Legal Guide for Writers, Artists and Other Creative People: Protect Your Work and Understand the Law
Kenneth P. Norwick with Cooper Knowlton