Daniel M. Mayeda


Tel 424.204.4331
Fax 424.204.4350
Los Angeles

Daniel M. Mayeda litigates media, publishing and entertainment matters and handles insurance coverage disputes involving those industries. His practice encompasses libel, privacy, copyright, trademark, right of publicity, breach of contract, breach of confidence, license disputes, unfair competition, Lanham Act violations, and advertising injury in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the United States.

Aside from his experience directly defending motion picture and television studios, distributors, production companies, writers, directors, television networks, publishers, record companies and advertisers, Dan also has represented a number of insurance companies that cater to entertainment and media industry entities and productions.

Dan regularly counsels clients on domestic and international copyright, trademark, piracy, licensing and other entertainment, media, publishing, and internet-related matters.

Prior to moving to the West Coast, Dan practiced communications law in Washington, D.C. He also served on the staff of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance.

Dan is the Associate Director of the Documentary Film Legal Clinic at UCLA School of Law. In that role, he supervises second- and third-year law students in their pro bono representation of independent documentary filmmakers.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained summary judgment for Frankie Valli and the other creators of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement and an accounting based on a theory that defendants became co-copyright owners of a biographical manuscript about a former Four Seasons member. Corbello v. DeVito, et al., 832 F.Supp.2d 1231 (D.Nev. 2011); 844 F.Supp.2d 1136 (D.Nev. 2012). After the Ninth Circuit reversed summary judgment for defendants and remanded for trial, obtained dismissal as a matter of law for defendants Frankie Valli and Robert Gaudio during the trial. Following an adverse jury verdict for plaintiff on copyright infringement, filed post-trial motions for Judgment as a matter of law and for new trial. The Court granted judgment to all remaining defendants on the ground that the very limited amount of protected material that was potentially copied from plaintiff's work into the play was a "fair use" as a matter of law (2017 WL 2587924 (D.Nev. 2017)).
  • Successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal to affirm summary judgment of a claim brought by plaintiff writer against defendant writer for breach of implied-in-fact contract for the sale of ideas and breach of confidence relating to the Paramount motion picture Year of the Dog. Kightlinger v. White, 2009 WL 4022193 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 23, 2009)
  • Successfully argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm denial of a motion to enjoin release of a Universal Studios motion picture based on the alleged infringement of the plaintiff's internet website domain name and the title of the plaintiff's proposed motion picture. Guichard v. Universal City Studios, 2009 WL 4884582 (9th Cir. Dec. 14, 2009)
  • Secured dismissal on an anti-SLAPP motion of invasion of privacy suit brought by the "drunken frat boys" against the 20th Century Fox motion picture Borat.
  • Secured equitable contribution payment from one insurance carrier to another of $1.5 million following a successful summary judgment motion in a state court lawsuit involving three carriers and an insurance broker.
  • Represented plaintiff publisher in copyright infringement claims that, on remand, were tried to a jury verdict for plaintiff. Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) v. Ananda Church of Self-Realization, 206 F.3d 1322 (9th Cir. 2000).
  • Regularly counsels an international publisher in intellectual property and publishing matters, including domestic and international copyright and trademark registrations; negotiating publishing contracts; prosecuting copyright and trademark infringement of publications, domestically, internationally and on the Internet; and drafting location and personal releases for the filming of the publisher's facilities and personnel.
  • Secured dismissal on an anti-SLAPP motion of a libel and invasion of privacy suit brought by George Lutz, the real life participant in events depicted in the MGM motion picture remake The Amityville Horror.
  • In a separate lawsuit involving George Lutz and relating to The Amityville Horror, secured summary judgment for MGM on the ground that Lutz had previously granted remake rights to MGM’s predecessor-in-interest.
  • Regularly provides coverage analysis to various insurance carriers regarding claims and lawsuits involving motion pictures, television shows, radio broadcasts, newspapers, books, computer software, advertising, the internet and related matters.
  • In title arbitrations before the MPAA, secured the right of studios to title their motion pictures Meet the Fockers, Pecker, and Ever After: A Cinderella Story.
  • Successfully argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm summary judgment for MCA Records on copyright infringement lawsuit against the Tom Petty composition, "Runnin' Down a Dream."
  • Defended Star Magazine in defamation and right of publicity action brought by Ed McMahon.
  • Succeeded in modifying and severely limiting the scope of a preliminary injunction against the maker of a fashion doll compatible with plaintiff's "Barbie" doll.
  • Secured summary judgment and attorneys' fees for Universal against a copyright infringement suit brought by plaintiff Dana Rowe regarding the motion picture Back to the Future.
  • After Back to the Future II and Back to the Future III were released, Rowe sued again, this time on various state law claims. After securing dismissal of the suit on demurrer, the California Court of Appeal reversed and remanded. The case ultimately was dismissed in exchange for a waiver of costs and sanctions against the plaintiff.
  • Secured dismissal of breach of contract claim arising out of the motion picture The Cannonball Run. Franklin v. Cannon Films, Inc., 654 F.Supp. 133 (C.D. Cal. 1987).

Pro Bono Experience

Dan has presented extensively on intellectual property, media and Asian American community issues. He is a member of the Board of Directors, and past president and pro bono legal counsel of East West Players, the nation's premier Asian Pacific American Theatre organization. Since 2000, Dan has helped lead a national multi-ethnic coalition of civil rights and media activism groups to advocate for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in Hollywood and in the media. He is Chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, and formerly served on the national Diversity Advisory Council for Comcast Corporation.

Recognitions & Accomplishments

Named to Southern California Super Lawyers, 2007-2009


Co-author, "Copyright Fair Use, the First Amendment and New Communications Technologies: The Impact of Betamax," 38 Federal Communications Law Journal 59, 1986

"High Potential in Low Power, A Model for an Efficient Low Power Television Service," 33 Federal Communications Law Journal 419, 1981

University of California, Los Angeles (J.D. 1982)
Chief Articles Editor, Federal Communications Law Journal

University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., magna cum laude, 1979)


District of Columbia