RUSSELL “RUSTY” WEISS is a partner in Sidley’s Century City office and a member of the Technology and Life Sciences Transactions practice and Entertainment, Sports and Media industry group. Rusty represents clients in the media, entertainment and technology industries on complex transactions with a particular focus on transactions involving the convergence of entertainment and technology.
In the media and entertainment industries, Rusty represents motion picture, television, video game, cable, mobile, internet, telecommunications, music, toy, eSports and multimedia companies. He structures, negotiates and drafts a broad range of agreements for these clients, involving the financing, acquisition, development, production, marketing, promotion, branding, distribution, publishing, sale and other exploitation of motion pictures, television and internet programming, video games, eSports leagues and tournaments, music and consumer products.
In the technology industry, Rusty represents consumer electronics, cleantech, fintech, software, biotechnology, life sciences, wireless and semiconductor companies on their most important matters, including strategic alliances and joint ventures, technology development, licensing and procurement agreements, big data analytics and transactions, outsourcing and services arrangements, mergers and acquisitions, manufacturing and supply arrangements, distribution and reseller relationships, co-marketing agreements and venture capital deals.
Rusty also counsels clients on cutting-edge intellectual property issues, involving a broad range of topics, including fair use, privacy, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, right of publicity, piracy, advertising, marketing, promotions, risk management and contract compliance, unfair competition and trade secret protection and enforcement. He also represents clients on adversarial licensing and settlement agreements and has experience litigating and arbitrating cases involving intellectual property and commercial law issues in federal and state courts.
Frequently recognized in various legal publications for his achievements, Rusty was named by Variety in its Legal Impact Report (2017 – 2018, 2020 – 2022) and also by Variety in its 2019 and 2021 Dealmakers Impact Report. He is recommend by The Best Lawyers in America for Entertainment Law and Technology Law (2010 – 2022), Euromoney’s Expert Guides (2015 – 2021), and The Legal 500 US (2014, 2016 – 2017). In 2014, the Los Angeles Business Journal named Rusty one of their “Most Influential Lawyers in Digital Media and Ecommerce Law.”
Prior to joining Sidley, Rusty was a partner at an international law firm and previously served as counsel both in the motion picture division at Columbia Pictures, as well as in the business and legal affairs department of Disney Interactive, Inc. He earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School and his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.