Sheppard Mullin's The Legit Ledger

Sheppard Mullin

The Legit Ledger is a podcast providing insights and practical tips on blockchain-related legal issues. Join Sheppard Mullin’s Blockchain Team and their guests as they discuss legal issues resulting from blockchain technologies and business models and practical solutions for keeping their use legit, including NFTs, DAO’s and generative AI. read less
NewsNews

Episodes

Plunging Into the Future: What Companies Need to Know as They Embrace AI
Sep 5 2023
Plunging Into the Future: What Companies Need to Know as They Embrace AI
In this episode of the Legit Ledger, Jim Gatto, a partner in Sheppard Mullin’s Washington D.C. office and co-chair of its AI team, joins host Sarah Ben-Moussa to discuss what companies should know as they embrace generative AI, including key legal issues, the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act, and unique due diligence concerns when acquiring or investing in companies that develop or use generative AI.   What We Discussed in This Episode:   What is generative AI, and why has it become so newsworthy? What are the key legal issues raised by AI? Who is liable if the output produced by generative AI infringes? Can you provide a broad overview of the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act?  How does the EU compare to the current landscape in the U.S.? Is it legal for companies to use your output to train their own AI models? What unique issues should be considered when conducting diligence for acquisitions or investments in companies using or developing generative AI? What are some of the most important things companies should do to minimize the risk when using AI? About James G. Gatto James G. Gatto is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s Washington, D.C. office, where he also serves as Co-Leader of the firm’s Artificial Intelligence Team and Leader of the Open Source Team.   Jim’s practice focuses on AI, blockchain, interactive entertainment and open source. He provides strategic advice on all aspects of intellectual property strategy and enforcement, technology transactions, licenses and tech-related regulatory issues, especially ones driven by new business models and/or disruptive technologies.    Jim has over 20 years of experience advising clients on AI issues and is an adjunct professor who teaches a course on Artificial Intelligence Legal Issues. He is considered a thought leader on legal issues associated with emerging technologies and business models, most recently blockchain, AI, open source and interactive entertainment.  About Sarah F. Ben-Moussa Sarah F. Ben-Moussa is an associate in the Corporate Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s New York office, where her practice focuses on domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, financings and corporate governance matters. As a member of the firm’s French Desk, she has advised companies and private equity funds in both the United States and Europe on mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, financings, complex commercial agreements, and general corporate matters.   As a member of Sheppard Mullin’s Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance team, Sarah also represents renewable energy companies, borrowers, financial sponsors, portfolio companies, commercial banks and other financial institutions in a variety of financing transactions. Her practice focuses on a variety of transactions in the energy sphere, representing renewable energy companies in project-level debt and equity financings of wind and solar facilities.    Before joining Sheppard Mullin, Sarah spent a year and a half studying and working in France,  focusing on corporate transactions and commercial contracts in Europe and internationally. Sarah is also committed to pro bono work, focusing on cases involving children seeking asylum or other immigration-related relief. Contact Information: James G. Gatto Sarah F. Ben-Moussa   Additional Resources: Copyright Office Artificial Intelligence Initiative and Resource Guide | Law of The Ledger Training AI Models - Just Because It’s Your Data Doesn’t Mean You Can Use It | Law of The Ledger Solving Open Source Problems with AI Code Generators – Legal Issues and Solutions | Law of The Ledger Congress Proposes National Commission to Create AI Guardrails | Law of The Ledger Sheppard Mullin Launches Artificial Intelligence Industry Team | Sheppard Mullin   Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week. If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.  It helps other listeners find this show.
Ripple v. Terraform, CFTC v. SEC – Where Next?
Aug 17 2023
Ripple v. Terraform, CFTC v. SEC – Where Next?
In this episode of the Legit Ledger, Matthew Lisle of Wedbush Securities joins Sheppard Mullin partner Bill Kane and associate William Sierra-Pambley to discuss recent developments impacting the digital asset marketplace, including the Ripple and Terraform opinions from the Southern District of New York. What We Discussed in This Episode: There remains a lack of judicial consensus in applying the 1946 United States Supreme Court case, SEC v. W.J. Howey, where the Court delineated a three pronged test for determining what constitutes a security subject to SEC oversight. 77 years later the courts remain in disagreement on how to apply the Howey test as illustrated in recent US District Court decisions Ripple and Terraform. Cryptocurrency industry leaders want clear and comprehensive digital asset industry regulation to promote market transparency and investor confidence. Mr. Lisle provides his views on why the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) should be the chief digital asset regulator and how it would benefit the market. Mr. Lisle discusses a path forward for the digital asset industry facing continued regulatory uncertainty. Self-regulation and legislative collaboration are discussed along with constructive solutions the Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Association has proposed.   About Matthew Lisle Matt Lisle serves as Chief Compliance Office (CCO) for the Futures Division of Wedbush Securities, one of the nation’s leading diversified independent financial services providers. A licensed attorney for over three decades, he has focused on legal and regulatory compliance in the futures industry for 25 years. Matt served as General Counsel for Drawbridge Lending, which Galaxy Digital acquired in 2020. At Galaxy, he served as CCO of the commodity pool and trading advisory business. Matt also co-founded and is Chairman of the Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Association.   About Bill Kane Bill Kane is a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s Chicago office, where his national litigation practice includes complex commercial litigation and advice across industry sectors in corporate governance, director and officer issues, shareholder rights, media/entertainment, and regulatory issues.  Bill represents clients before trial and appellate courts, administrative agencies, as well as private mediations and arbitrations. His government controversy practice includes representing clients in response to state and federal regulatory enforcement actions, including parallel proceedings, Presence Exams, and market issues related to 7 U.S.C. § 9 of  the Commodity Exchange Act, including its application in the Fin-Tech industry. He further conducts internal investigations for company board of directors and executive management in response to threatened and pending claims.   About William Sierra-Pambley William Sierra-Pambley is an associate in the Finance and Bankruptcy Practice Group and a member of the firm’s Alternative Finance team and Blockchain & Fintech team.  William represents corporate borrowers, financial sponsors, portfolio companies, commercial banks and other financial institutions in a variety of domestic and cross-border financing transactions. Some of the areas in which William has experience are senior secured and second-lien credit facilities in connection with broadly syndicated transactions, leveraged buyouts and add-on acquisitions. William also specializes in tribal-related financing projects.   Contact Information Matt Lisle  Bill Kane William Sierra-Pambley   Resources Global Digital Assets & Cryptocurrency Association Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week. If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.  It helps other listeners find this show. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
Copyright Issues with Generative AI with Jim Gatto and Yasamin Parsafar
Apr 5 2023
Copyright Issues with Generative AI with Jim Gatto and Yasamin Parsafar
In this episode of the Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Jim Gatto and Yasamin Parsafar explore copyright in the context of AI-generated works, including the recent registration guidance issued by the U.S. Copyright Office and the infringement issues that may arise with respect to training an AI model.   What We Discussed in This Episode:  What two works did the Copyright Office specifically address in its recent guidance on the registration of AI-generated works? What were some issues the Copyright Office sought to clarify by issuing the guidance? What instructions did the Copyright Office provide for submitting works that include AI-generated material? What copyright infringement issues arise with respect to training an AI model?  What are the potential consequences of infringement? About Jim Gatto Jim Gatto is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office, where he co-leads the Blockchain & Fintech Team. His practice focuses on blockchain, interactive entertainment, digital art, AI and online gambling. He advises clients on IP strategies, development and publishing agreements, licensing and technology transaction agreements, and tech regulatory issues. Jim has been involved with blockchain since 2012 and has been recognized as a thought leader by leading organizations, including Best Lawyers in America 2021-2022; Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2018; and Thought Leader on Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, National Law Review, 2018.   About Yasamin Parsafar Yasamin Parsafar is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's San Francisco office, where she serves as co-leader of the firm's Blockchain & Fintech team. Her practice focuses on protecting her clients' intellectual property rights through counseling, prosecution, enforcement and litigation. Yasamin leverages her litigation experience to strengthen and protect her clients' intellectual property, manage risks and position businesses to succeed in the event of a dispute. She frequently advises and protects brands venturing into web3 on various issues related to non-fungible tokens, metaverses, games, online marketplaces and other platforms.   Contact Information: Jim Gatto Yasamin Parsafar Resources: Copyright Office Guidance on AI   Copyright Office Artificial Intelligence Initiative and Resource Guide     Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week.   If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.  It helps other listeners find this show.   This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
Trends and Innovations with NFT-Based Music (Part 2)
Feb 28 2023
Trends and Innovations with NFT-Based Music (Part 2)
In this episode of the Legit Ledger, Achilleas Sarantaris of Async Art joins Sheppard Mullin attorney Sam Cohen to continue their discussion of the latest trends and innovations with NFT-based music, including the implications of using the Creative Commons “no copyright reserved” tool, or “CC0”, and common misconceptions and pitfalls to look out for when minting NFTs relating to music.    What We Discussed in This Episode: What are the implications of using the Creative Commons “no copyright reserved” tool, known as CC0? What are some common misconceptions and pitfalls when planning to mint an NFT tied to music or other content? What should artists and fans understand as NFT-based music products become more commonplace?   About Achilleas Sarantaris Achilleas Sarantaris is leading product at Async Art, an innovative platform exploring ways NFTs make sense above and beyond purely speculative use cases. A musician who’s been on both sides of the music industry, Achilleas is also pursuing a research degree in Philosophy at UCL in the United Kingdom.    About Samuel J. Cohen Sam Cohen is an associate in Sheppard Mullin’s Entertainment, Technology, and Advertising Practice Group in its New York City office. He represents emerging and established companies and creators in their business ventures across all facets of the entertainment and media industries, and frequently advises on transactions, intellectual property, and regulatory issues involving music licensing and exploitation, and disruptive technologies including NFTs, blockchain technology, interactive media, and broader web3 matters. A former in-house counsel at Sony Music, his extensive experience within the music industry allows Sam to provide artists, record labels, publishers, distributors, performing rights organizations, and other media companies with the guidance needed to effectively navigate the music, technology, and intellectual property aspects of their business endeavors and strategic transactions.    Resources Async Art   Contact Information Achilleas Sarantaris   Samuel J. Cohen   Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week.   If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.  It helps other listeners find this show.   This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
Trends and Innovations with NFT-Based Music (Part 1)
Feb 14 2023
Trends and Innovations with NFT-Based Music (Part 1)
In this episode of the Legit Ledger, Achilleas Sarantaris of Async Art joins Sheppard Mullin attorney Sam Cohen to discuss the latest trends and innovations with NFT-based music, including common use cases, Soulbound and generative NFTs, and granting commercial rights to music through NFTs.    What We Discussed in This Episode: The current trends and common use cases in NFT-based music. An overview of the Async Art platform. What are your thoughts on Soulbound NFTs? How are generative NFTs different from Soulbound NFTs? Discussion of common models used for generative music NFTs.  What questions arise as more artists grant commercial rights to visual and/or music content via NFTs? The importance of comprehensive and enforceable NFT license agreements.   About Achilleas Sarantaris Achilleas Sarantaris is leading product at Async Art, an innovative platform exploring ways NFTs make sense above and beyond purely speculative use cases. A musician who’s been on both sides of the music industry, Achilleas is also pursuing a research degree in Philosophy at UCL in the United Kingdom.    About Samuel J. Cohen Sam is an associate in Sheppard Mullin’s Entertainment, Technology, and Advertising Practice Group in its New York City office. He represents emerging and established companies and creators in their business ventures across all facets of the entertainment and media industries, and frequently advises on transactions, intellectual property, and regulatory issues involving music licensing and exploitation, and disruptive technologies including NFTs, blockchain technology, interactive media, and broader web3 matters. A former in-house counsel at Sony Music, his extensive experience within the music industry allows Sam to provide artists, record labels, publishers, distributors, performing rights organizations, and other media companies with the guidance needed to effectively navigate the music, technology, and intellectual property aspects of their business endeavors and strategic transactions.  Resources   Async Art   Contact Information   Achilleas Sarantaris   Samuel J. Cohen   Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week.   If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.  It helps other listeners find this show.   This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
NFT Regulatory Issues – a 2022 Review and 2023 Preview
Jan 31 2023
NFT Regulatory Issues – a 2022 Review and 2023 Preview
In this episode of the Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorney Jim Gatto joins Yasamin Parsafar to provide an overview of his recent article, NFT Regulatory Issues – a 2022 Review and 2023 Preview, discussing the latest with NFTs and the SEC and other issues.   What We Discussed in This Episode: What are fractional NFTs? Why might they lead to securities issues?How can companies selling NFTs or offering platforms where NFTs are minted, sold or traded avoid triggering securities fraud charges?What is the potential personal liability for anyone employed by a company involved in the minting, selling or trading of NFTs?Why should these types of companies consider implementing an insider trading policy?What are your thoughts about last year's Treasury Department study that identified high-value art (including NFTs) as vehicles for money laundering and terrorist financing?What prompted the OFAC to sanction an exchange and designate 57 cryptocurrency addresses associated with digital wallets as SDNs?What topics are the USPTO and Copyright Office considering as part of their joint study on IP law and policy in relation to NFTs?How do the SEC and FTC endorsement guidelines differ?What might 2023 have in store for NFT regulation?   About Jim Gatto Jim Gatto is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office, where he co-leads the Blockchain & Fintech Team. His practice focuses on blockchain, interactive entertainment, digital art, AI and online gambling. He advises clients on IP strategies, development and publishing agreements, licensing and technology transaction agreements, and tech regulatory issues. Jim has been involved with blockchain since 2012 and has been recognized as a thought leader by leading organizations, including Best Lawyers in America 2021-2022; Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2018; and Thought Leader on Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, National Law Review, 2018. About Yasamin Parsafar Yasamin Parsafar is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's San Francisco office, where she serves as co-leader of the firm's Blockchain & Fintech team. Her practice focuses on protecting her clients' intellectual property rights through counseling, prosecution, enforcement and litigation. Yasamin leverages her litigation experience to strengthen and protect her clients' intellectual property, manage risks and position businesses to succeed in the event of a dispute. She frequently advises and protects brands venturing into web3 on various issues related to non-fungible tokens, metaverses, games, online marketplaces and other platforms.   Contact Information Jim Gatto Yasamin Parsafar   Resources NFT Regulatory Issues – a 2022 Review and 2023 Preview | Law of The Ledger SEC Targets NFTs | Law of The Ledger SEC Announces 2022 Examination Priorities, Includes Crypto-Assets | Law of The Ledger NFT Insider Trading Charge Doesn’t Require the NFT To Be a Security | Law of The Ledger NFT Insider Trading – Can There Be A Crime If It’s Not A Security? | Law of The Ledger SEC Investigating Lack of Insider Trading Policies for NFT/Crypto Exchanges | Law of The Ledger NFT Insider Trading Compliance Policies – What They Cover and Why You Need One | Law of The Ledger Former NFT Marketplace Employee Charged with Insider Trading | Law of The Ledger SEC Targets NFTs | Law of The Ledger   Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week. If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.  It helps other listeners find this show. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
Automated Solution for NFT License Acceptance with Monax Labs’ Casey Kuhlman and Jim Gatto
Dec 27 2022
Automated Solution for NFT License Acceptance with Monax Labs’ Casey Kuhlman and Jim Gatto
In this episode of The Legit Ledger, Casey Kuhlman of Monax Labs sits down with Sheppard Mullin Blockchain Team Co-Leader Jim Gatto to discuss Monax’s technology solution for ensuring NFT purchasers affirmatively accept a NFT license before purchasing, both for primary sales and secondary sales.     What We Discussed in This Episode:   What are the challenges of using and ensuring acceptance of a customized NFT license when selling on a third-party marketplace?Why is affirmative acceptance of the NFT license necessary to have an enforceable contract?How Monax’s Aspen technology provides a solution to these issues?   About Casey Kuhlman Casey Kuhlman is the CEO of Monax Labs. He is an ex-marine, lawyer and software engineer with experience in legal process management, smart contracts, and decentralized autonomous organizations. He graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2008, and has since held positions in the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Public International Law and Policy Group, Watershed Legal Service, among others. He also co-founded Project Douglas, a company focusing on DAO and distributed organization system design and the open source technologies underlying it. Monax Labs is a web3 infrastructure studio on a mission to ensure that NFT transactions are safe, secure and legal. Monax’s solutions are unique because they address legal gaps associated with NFTs: IP protection, possession versus ownership, and the ability to assert title over NFTs. Monax Labs is building Aspen: a revolutionary NFT minting, management and transactional platform with integrated legal contracting.    About Jim Gatto Jim Gatto is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office, where he co-leads the Blockchain & Fintech Team. His practice focuses on blockchain, interactive entertainment, digital art, AI and online gambling. He advises clients on IP strategies, development and publishing agreements, licensing and technology transaction agreements, and tech regulatory issues. Jim has been involved with blockchain since 2012 and has been recognized as a thought leader by leading organizations, including Best Lawyers in America 2021-2022; Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2018; and Thought Leader on Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, National Law Review, 2018.   Contact Information: Monax Labs Aspen Resources: The Legit Ledger Episode 7: NFT Enforceable Licenses with Jim Gatto and Yasamin Parsafar The Legit Ledger Episode 1: Intellectual Property Considerations for Licensing NFTs with Yasamin Parsafar and Jim Gatto NFT License Breakdown: Exploring Different Marketplaces and Associated License Issues NFTs and Intellectual Property: What IP Owners and NFT Creators Need to Know Protecting IP and Limiting Liability When Licensing IP for Digital Art and NFTs   Thank you for listening! Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week.   If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.   It helps other listeners find this show.   This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
SEC Wins Battle Against LBRY’s LBC Token with Jim Gatto and Yasamin Parsafar
Nov 29 2022
SEC Wins Battle Against LBRY’s LBC Token with Jim Gatto and Yasamin Parsafar
In this episode of The Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorney Jim Gatto joins host Yasamin Parsafar to discuss the Court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of the SEC in its case against LBRY and takeaways from the Court’s order.   What We Discussed in This Episode:   What is LBRY? What are LBRY Credits?What drove the SEC to file suit against LBRY?What key issues did the Court address in awarding summary judgment to the SEC?Why did its Howey Test analysis ultimately lead the Court to decide that LBRY Credits were, in fact, securities?Why did the Court reject LBRY's Fair Notice defense?Could this decision have adverse implications for the crypto industry as a whole?How do the issues at play in LBRY compare to those raised in the SEC's case against Ripple? About Yasamin Parsafar Yasamin Parsafar is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's San Francisco office, where she serves as co-leader of the firm's Blockchain & Fintech team. Her practice focuses on protecting her clients' intellectual property rights through counseling, prosecution, enforcement and litigation. Yasamin leverages her litigation experience to strengthen and protect her clients' intellectual property, manage risks and position businesses to succeed in the event of a dispute. She frequently advises and protects brands venturing into web3 on various issues related to non-fungible tokens, metaverses, games, online marketplaces and other platforms.   About Jim Gatto Jim Gatto is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office, where he co-leads the Blockchain & Fintech Team. His practice focuses on blockchain, interactive entertainment, digital art, AI and online gambling. He advises clients on IP strategies, development and publishing agreements, licensing and technology transaction agreements, and tech regulatory issues. Jim has been involved with blockchain since 2012 and has been recognized as a thought leader by leading organizations, including Best Lawyers in America 2021-2022; Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2018; and Thought Leader on Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, National Law Review, 2018.   Resources:   Federal Court Rules LBRY Offered Security and Rejects Arguments SEC Did Not Provide Fair Notice   Securities and Exchange Commission V. LBRY; Is Your Crypto Project Illegal? Thank you for listening! Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week.   If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.   It helps other listeners find this show.   This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
NFT Insider Trading - Recent Enforcement, Rulings and Why You Need an Insider Trading Policy with Jim Gatto and Brittany Walter
Nov 18 2022
NFT Insider Trading - Recent Enforcement, Rulings and Why You Need an Insider Trading Policy with Jim Gatto and Brittany Walter
In this episode of The Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Jim Gatto and Brittany Walter join host Yasamin Parsafar to discuss the latest developments in the federal government's insider trading case against Nathanial Chastain, a former head of product at NFT marketplace OpenSea.   What We Discussed in This Episode:   What prompted the government to pursue this case?What charges were brought against Nathanial Chastain?Why did the Court refuse to dismiss based on Chastain’s argument that the case did not involve trading in securities?Why did the Court suggest that a couple of Chastain’s other arguments for dismissal might be valid?Why is it essential that companies who deal with NFTs consider implementing insider trading policies?   About Yasamin Parsafar Yasamin Parsafar is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's San Francisco office, where she serves as co-leader of the firm's Blockchain & Fintech team. Her practice focuses on protecting her clients' intellectual property rights through counseling, prosecution, enforcement and litigation. Yasamin leverages her litigation experience to strengthen and protect her clients' intellectual property, manage risks and position businesses to succeed in the event of a dispute. She frequently advises and protects brands venturing into web3 on various issues related to non-fungible tokens, metaverses, games, online marketplaces and other platforms.   About Jim Gatto Jim Gatto is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office, where he co-leads the Blockchain & Fintech Team. His practice focuses on blockchain, interactive entertainment, digital art, AI and online gambling. He advises clients on IP strategies, development and publishing agreements, licensing and technology transaction agreements, and tech regulatory issues. Jim has been involved with blockchain since 2012 and has been recognized as a thought leader by leading organizations, including Best Lawyers in America 2021-2022; Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2018; and Thought Leader on Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, National Law Review, 2018.    About Brittany Walter  Brittany Walter is an associate in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's San Diego (Del Mar) office, where she serves as associate co-lead of the firm's Technology & Commercial Transactions Team and is an active member of the Blockchain Team, Advertising Team and the Privacy and Cybersecurity Team. Brittany's practice focuses on technology transactions and counseling involving intellectual property, advertising and data privacy. She has a special focus on blockchain-based products and services, including non-fungible tokens, metaverses, virtual worlds and games.   Contact Information   Jim Gatto   Brittany Walter   Resources   NFT Insider Trading Charge Doesn't Require the NFT To Be a Security   NFT Insider Trading – Can There Be A Crime If It's Not A Security?   Former NFT Marketplace Employee Charged with Insider Trading   NFT Insider Trading Compliance Policies – What They Cover and Why You Need One   Thank you for listening! Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week.   If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.   It helps other listeners find this show.   This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
Fintech Enforcement In Light of the Ooki DAO Lawsuit with Bill Kane and Zack Golda
Nov 15 2022
Fintech Enforcement In Light of the Ooki DAO Lawsuit with Bill Kane and Zack Golda
In this episode of The Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Bill Kane and Zack Golda join host Yasamin Parsafar to discuss the CFTC’s recent lawsuit against the Ooki DAO for allegedly offering leveraged and margined retail commodity transactions in digital assets in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act. What We Discuss in This Episode: Why did the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) file this lawsuit?How has the CFTC defined the class of Decentralized Autonomous Organization (“DAO”) members in this case?Does the conduct alleged by the CFTC constitute a violation of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”)?Should the fact that this involves a DAO change the analysis at all?What issues does this case raise concerning litigation procedures?Do you see any meaningful difference between what the Securities & Exchange Commission has been doing recently in relation to "regulation by enforcement" and what the CFTC has done in this case?   About Yasamin Parsafar Yasamin Parsafar is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s San Francisco office, where she serves as co-leader of the firm’s Blockchain & Fintech team. Her practice focuses on protecting her clients’ intellectual property rights through counseling, prosecution, enforcement, and litigation. Yasamin leverages her litigation experience to strengthen and protect her clients’ intellectual property, manage risks, and position businesses to succeed in the event of a dispute. She frequently advises and protects brands venturing into web3 on various issues related to non-fungible tokens, metaverses, games, online marketplaces, and other platforms. About Bill Kane As a partner in Sheppard Mullin’s Chicago litigation group, Bill Kane's national litigation practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and advice across industry sectors in corporate governance, director and officer issues, shareholder rights, media/entertainment and regulatory issues. He has more than 30 years of experience representing clients before trial and appellate courts, administrative agencies, private mediations and arbitrations. Bill previously served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Illinois Attorney General’s office where he represented the legislative, executive and judicial branches of state government.   He actively represents clients in contract disputes, business tort claims, antitrust and consumer protection issues. Bill also has experience in Special Purpose Acquisition Company or SPAC litigation. In addition to his experience in SPAC-related litigation, he also represents clients in contract disputes, business tort claims, antitrust and consumer protection issues. Bill’s practice includes representing private equity investors, along with directors and officers in partnership and shareholder litigation.   About Zack Golda Zack Golda is an associate in Sheppard Mullin’s Business Trial Practice Group in the Orange County, California office, where he primarily focuses on general business litigation, including regulatory challenges, breach of contract, business torts, blockchain, sports and other high-stakes business litigation matters. As a member of the firm’s Blockchain Industry Group, Zack has litigated cases involving blockchain, privacy and regulatory issues. He has also drafted several articles about regulatory advances in the cryptocurrency space, covering topics such as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and SEC and CFTC regulation of the blockchain industry.   Zack also is a member of the California Regulatory Practice Group, where he advises clients on communicating with regulators, analyzing and responding to agency proposed rulemakings and, where necessary, litigating constitutional, statutory, and procedural challenges to newly passed regulations.   Contact Information Bill Kane    Zack Golda   Resources Legit Ledger Episode 6: DAO Liability in Light of the bZx DAO Class Action with Yasamin Parsafar and Christopher Bosch   Digital Asset Policy: Aspirations, Reality and Regulation   Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: Law of the Ledger   Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week.   If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.   It helps other listeners find this show.   This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
Understanding the Current Crypto Bankruptcies with Michael Driscoll
Nov 1 2022
Understanding the Current Crypto Bankruptcies with Michael Driscoll
In this episode of the Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorney Michael Driscoll joins host Afruz Sayah to discuss the current crypto bankruptcies involving Voyager and Celsius, including the circumstances that led to those bankruptcies, why the introduction of crypto complicates a Chapter 11 proceeding and how these latest bankruptcies will clarify legal issues around crypto insolvencies.   What We Discuss in This Episode: How did you become involved in blockchain and crypto?What led to the Voyager and Celsius bankruptcies?Why didn't these platforms have enough liquidity?Both platforms froze all accounts. Is that something they can legally do?How did the two products Celsius offers play into its bankruptcy?Why did these platforms choose Chapter 11 bankruptcy over Chapter 7?What will happen to the creditors' frozen assets during Chapter 11 proceedings?Why does the intro of crypto make a Chapter 11 proceeding more complicated?Do you think these bankruptcies will clarify the legal issues around crypto insolvencies?How do fraudulent actions play into bankruptcy proceedings?Does bankruptcy offer fraudulent actors any protection from criminal or civil proceedings?How will deposits be distributed to creditors once Chapter 11 concludes?Leaked audio suggests Celsius executives wanted to create an IOU cryptocurrency. What are your thoughts on such a plan?   About Michael Driscoll Michael Driscoll is a partner in the Finance and Bankruptcy Practice Group in the Sheppard Mullin New York office, where his practice focuses on problem loan workouts, bankruptcy, judicial and non-judicial foreclosure and creditors’ rights and commercial law.    Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Michael served as a Trial Attorney in the United States Department of Justice’s Office of the United States Trustee for the Southern District of New York. During his tenure, he represented the United States Trustee’s office in over 150 Chapter 11 cases by ensuring compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations during all phases of bankruptcy cases. About Afruz Sayah Afruz Sayah is an associate in the Corporate and Blockchain Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s New York office, where her work focuses on capital markets matters with a main concentration in blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFT and other digital assets. Additionally, she advises clients on ongoing compliance and regulatory issues of various digital assets from the SEC and CFTC. Contact Information Michael Driscoll   Afruz Sayah   Resources Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: Law of the Ledger  Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week.   If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.   It helps other listeners find this show. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
Government Overreach on Blockchain Tech? The Tornado Cash Lawsuit with Christopher Bosch and Zack Golda
Oct 18 2022
Government Overreach on Blockchain Tech? The Tornado Cash Lawsuit with Christopher Bosch and Zack Golda
In this episode of The Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Chris Bosch and Zack Golda join host Yasamin Parsafar to discuss the Tornado Cash lawsuit, which claims the OFAC exceeded its authority by prohibiting U.S. citizens from interacting with the crypto mixer. What We Discuss in This Episode: Can you provide a high-level explanation of what Tornado Cash is?What does it mean for an entity to be on the OFAC's SDN List?Why did OFAC add Tornado Cash to the SDN list?Are you aware of any other instance where a technology was added to the SDN list?Who are the plaintiffs in this case? What claims are they bringing in general?It appears OFAC published new FAQs specifically in response to the Tornado Cash lawsuit. What can you tell us about those FAQs?Can you explain how technology like Tornado Cash can be protected under the First Amendment?The OFAC position appears to be that it's regulating conduct, not speech. How would that  argument impact the First Amendment issue?Are there any First Amendment implications associated with dusting transactions?   About Yasamin Parsafar Yasamin Parsafar is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s San Francisco office, where she serves as co-leader of the firm’s Blockchain & Fintech team. Her practice focuses on protecting her clients’ intellectual property rights through counseling, prosecution, enforcement, and litigation. Yasamin leverages her litigation experience to strengthen and protect her clients’ intellectual property, manage risks, and position businesses to succeed in the event of a dispute. She frequently advises and protects brands venturing into web3 on various issues related to non-fungible tokens, metaverses, games, online marketplaces, and other platforms. About Christopher Bosch As an associate in the Governmental Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s New York office, Christopher Bosch primarily focuses on Securities regulation, compliance, and litigation, as well as internal investigations and white collar defense. He frequently represents banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, boards of directors, corporate officers, financial advisors and other securities professionals in connection with internal investigations and inquiries by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of New York and Northern District of California, the SEC, the CFTC, FINRA, the IRS, the FRB, the NY Department of Financial Services.   Christopher advises financial institutions on compliance with data privacy and cybersecurity legal mandates, and represented a blockchain investor in connection with shareholder derivative and class actions alleging securities law violations. He also advises firms regarding digital token issuances and regulatory compliance, and regularly publishes on regulatory developments in the cybersecurity, blockchain and cryptocurrency spaces.   About Zack Golda Zack Golda is an associate in Sheppard Mullin’s Business Trial Practice Group in the Orange County, California office, where he primarily focuses on general business litigation, including regulatory challenges, breach of contract, business torts, blockchain, sports and other high-stakes business litigation matters. As a member of the firm’s Blockchain Industry Group, Zack has litigated cases involving blockchain, privacy, and regulatory issues. He has also drafted several articles about regulatory advances in the cryptocurrency space, covering topics such as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and SEC and CFTC regulation of the blockchain industry.   Zack also is a member of the California Regulatory Practice Group, where he advises clients on communicating with regulators, analyzing and responding to agency proposed rulemakings and, where necessary, litigating constitutional, statutory, and procedural challenges to newly passed regulations.   Contact Information Christopher Bosch    Zack Golda   Resources OFAC Tornado Cash FAQs    Announcement of Sanctions Against Tornado Cash   Complaint
Tokenized Real Estate and Metaverse Land with Laura Pamatian and Jared Wachtler
Sep 19 2022
Tokenized Real Estate and Metaverse Land with Laura Pamatian and Jared Wachtler
In this episode of The Legit Ledger, Laura Pamatian, founder of the oldest independent advisory firm in the blockchain space to focus strictly on real estate HeightZero Real Estate, and real estate attorney Jared Wachtler, a member of Sheppard Mullin's Blockchain Team, discuss tokenized real estate and metaverse land, including the advantages of tokenization in the real estate space, high-level regulatory and legal concerns, and the concept of virtualized land in metaverses.   What We Discussed in This Episode Can you describe the scope of what HeightZero Real Estate does in the blockchain space?In addition to tokenization, what are some of the trends you're seeing related to real estate and blockchain?What are the advantages of tokenization in the real estate space?What are some noteworthy tokenization projects currently underway?How do you see tokenization evolving in the future?What are some high-level legal and regulatory issues people should be aware of?What is the biggest hurdle to implementation on a large scale?Can you explain the concept of virtual real estate in metaverses?Why would anyone want to buy virtual real estate?How is VR tech poised to change the overall real estate industry?   About Laura Pamatian Laura Pamatian is the founder of the oldest independent advisory firm in the blockchain space to focus strictly on real estate.  She has 20 years of experience in the domestic and international marketing and sales of luxury resort and vertical real estate development. Specializing in investment product, she has represented numerous 5-star, globally recognized brands, including; The Ritz Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, Auberge Resorts, and Grand Hyatt.   As a key member of the growing FIBREE Miami Chapter (Foundation for International Blockchain and Real Estate Expertise - fibree.org), Laura is instrumental in branding FIBREE throughout Florida. She is also a member of GBA (Government Blockchain Association - gbaglobal.org) and the Chair of FBBA's Real Estate Committee (Florida Blockchain Business Association -  fbba.io). She works closely with thought leaders in the space to organize initiatives and events to create more public, and private sector awareness and understanding of the transformative technology blockchain brings to the real estate industry.    About Jared Wachtler Jared Wachtler is an associate in Sheppard Mullin’s Real Estate, Energy, Land Use & Environmental Practice Group in the firm’s New York office. He advises clients in varying economic situations and guides them in their needs and decisions regarding all aspects of real estate finance, development, acquisitions, sales and leasing, and land use matters. As a member of the firm's Blockchain and FinTech team, he also helps bridge the intersection between blockchain, FinTech, and Real Estate.   Jared's clients include private equity funds, investors, developers, lenders, family offices, crowdfunding vehicles, and other owners with real estate transaction needs in New York and throughout the United States. He also represents the buyers and sellers of commercial properties, including residential, retail, industrial, and office projects.   Contact Information   Laura Pamatian    Jared Wachtler  Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week.   If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.   It helps other listeners find this show. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
Introduction to DAO Legal Issues with Alex Lazar and Gabe Khoury
Aug 30 2022
Introduction to DAO Legal Issues with Alex Lazar and Gabe Khoury
In this episode of The Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Alex Lazar and Gabe Khoury discuss the legal issues surrounding Decentralized Autonomous Organization or DAOs, including the manner in which DAOs function, the types of legal structures popular with DAOs, and important considerations for individuals thinking about creating or joining a DAO.   What We Discussed In This Episode: What exactly is a DAO?What happens when a member of a DAO proposes a rule?What types of proposals can a DAO’s members make?What are some legal structures popular with DAOs?What are the advantages and disadvantages associated with these different structures?Is the co-op structure a good fit for a DAO?How can a DAO's members decide which structure is best for them?What practical guidance would you offer someone planning to join or create a DAO?   About Alex Lazar Alex Lazar is a partner in the Corporate Practice Group in the firm's New York office, where he leads the firm's Emerging Company & Venture Capital Team and the Blockchain & Fintech Team. Alex advises clients on a range of matters from startup through IPO, including company formation and founder matters; seed, angel, venture capital, growth equity, and other capital raising transactions; mergers and acquisitions; technology and brand licensing; and other complex commercial transactions, including joint ventures, development, collaboration, and consulting arrangements. He also represents clients in structuring token rights and various matters involving token issuances and token and cryptocurrency trading and exchange.    About Gabe Khoury Gabe Khoury is an associate with the Corporate Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office. As Lead Associate of the Blockchain and Digital Assets team, he handles regulatory compliance issues relating to the use of blockchain technology, social media, Web3.0, video games, online gambling, virtual goods and currency, social tokens, decentralized autonomous organizations, decentralized exchanges, cybersecurity, privacy, Esports, the metaverse, money transmission, financial technologies, NFTs, and artificial intelligence. Gabe holds certifications in NFT technology, Metaverse Technologies, and Blockchain Law from the Blockchain Council.   Contact Information   Alex Lazar   Gabe Khoury   Resources Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every week.   If you enjoyed this episode, please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify.  It helps other listeners find this show. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
NFT Enforceable Licenses with Jim Gatto and Yasamin Parsafar
Aug 16 2022
NFT Enforceable Licenses with Jim Gatto and Yasamin Parsafar
In this episode, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Jim Gatto and Yasamin Parsafar continue to explore intellectual property considerations in NFT licensing, this time focusing on how IP owners can ensure their licenses are binding on the purchasers of NFTs containing their intellectual property. Topics discussed include the way IP licensing terms may be passed on to an NFT owner, what steps IP owners should take to ensure specific license provisions are enforceable, and how they can modify license terms if necessary.   About Jim Gatto Jim Gatto is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office, where he co-leads the Blockchain & Fintech Team. His practice focuses on blockchain, interactive entertainment, digital art, AI, and online gambling. He advises clients on IP strategies, development and publishing agreements, licensing and technology transaction agreements, and tech regulatory issues. Jim has been involved with blockchain since 2012 and has been recognized as a thought leader by leading organizations, including Best Lawyers in America 2021-2022; Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2018; and Thought Leader on Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, National Law Review, 2018.    About Yasamin Parsafar Yasamin Parsafar is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's San Francisco office, where she serves as co-leader of the firm's Blockchain & Fintech team. Her practice focuses on protecting her clients' intellectual property rights through counseling, prosecution, enforcement, and litigation. Yasamin leverages her litigation experience to strengthen and protect her clients' intellectual property, manage risks, and position businesses to succeed in the event of a dispute. She frequently advises and protects brands venturing into web3 on various issues related to non-fungible tokens, metaverses, games, online marketplaces, and other platforms.   What We Discussed in This Episode   Is it correct to assume that IP licensing terms are passed to the NFT owner through the metadata or smart contract?Many NFTs are purchased through third-party platforms. Are a platform's terms of service equivalent to an NFT license agreement?How can IP owners work with a third-party NFT marketplace to ensure their license terms are passed on to purchasers?What constitutes legal acceptance of license terms by an NFT owner?How can an IP owner ensure all license provisions, including arbitration and waiver of class action provisions, are enforceable?Can IP owners modify license terms? How do they go about doing so?What other recommendations or tips would you offer to IP owners looking to ensure their license terms are binding on NFT owners?   Contact Information   Jim Gatto   Yasamin Parsafar   Resources   The Legit Ledger Episode 1: Intellectual Property Considerations for Licensing NFTs with Yasamin Parsafar and Jim Gatto   The Legit Ledger Episode 3: Licensing Considerations for NFT Creators and Owners with Jim Gatto and Gabe Khoury: Sheppard Mullin This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
DAO Liability in Light of the bZx DAO Class Action with Yasamin Parsafar and Christopher Bosch
Jul 26 2022
DAO Liability in Light of the bZx DAO Class Action with Yasamin Parsafar and Christopher Bosch
In this episode, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Yasamin Parsafar and Christopher Bosch discuss Decentralized Autonomous Organization (or DAO) liability considerations in light of Sarcuni et al v. bZx DAO, a class action lawsuit alleging negligence due to inadequate security measures resulting in the loss of more than $40 million in funds for token holders.   About Yasamin Parsafar Yasamin Parsafar is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s San Francisco office, where she serves as co-leader of the firm’s Blockchain & Fintech team. Her practice focuses on protecting her clients’ intellectual property rights through counseling, prosecution, enforcement, and litigation. Yasamin leverages her litigation experience to strengthen and protect her clients’ intellectual property, manage risks, and position businesses to succeed in the event of a dispute. She frequently advises and protects brands venturing into web3 on various issues related to non-fungible tokens, metaverses, games, online marketplaces, and other platforms.   About Christopher Bosch Christopher Bosch is a Senior Associate with the Governmental Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s New York office. Christopher represents banks, broker-dealers, boards of directors, officers, and other professionals in connection with internal investigations and inquiries by government regulators, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Department of Justice.  He advises firms regarding digital asset regulatory compliance and has represented a blockchain investor in connection with shareholder derivative and class actions alleging securities law violations. Christopher also represents organizations and individuals in connection with a wide variety of corporate litigation.   What We Discussed In This Episode:   What is a DAO?How are DAOs governed?Can a DAO be sued?Why is the  bZx DAO class action important?Who are the plaintiffs in this case?Who are the defendants in this action?What is the theory on which plaintiffs seek to hold the defendants liable?Plaintiffs assert that  DAOs are general partnerships. Why is that significant?What are the requirements for forming a general partnership?What is the Doctrine Joint and Several Liability as it pertains to a general partnership?What advice do you have for individuals seeking to create a DAO, bring in investors, or pitch it to potential users? Resources DAO Liability and the bZx Class Action   Contact Information Yasamin Parsafar Christopher Bosch   This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
Cryptocurrency Sanctions with Reid Whitten and Gabe Khoury
Jul 12 2022
Cryptocurrency Sanctions with Reid Whitten and Gabe Khoury
In this episode of The Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Reid Whitten and Gabe Khoury discuss cryptocurrency sanctions, including the role of the OFAC, the consequences of engaging in an unauthorized transaction, risk mitigation strategies for avoiding unauthorized transactions, and more.    About Reid Whitten Reid Whitten is the Managing Partner of Sheppard Mullin's London office, where his practice focuses on international trade regulations and investigations. He shares his time serving clients out of the Washington, D.C. office and is also Leader of the firm’s CFIUS Team. In the areas of economic sanctions, export and defense exports, CFIUS, anti-corruption and tariffs, Reid supports clients in detecting and addressing potential compliance issues as well as conducting investigations and defending against enforcement actions. He also advises on U.S. anti-dumping, anti-money laundering, and anti-boycott regulations. Reid is recognized as a thought leader on cross-border business regulations and serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the New College of the Humanities in London, the Université Catholique de Lille in France. and Wake Forest University in the U.S. He is also a member of Chatham House, the UK's Royal Institute of International Affairs.   About Gabe Khoury Gabe Khoury is an associate with the Corporate Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office. As Lead Associate of the Blockchain and Digital Assets team, he handles regulatory compliance issues relating to the use of blockchain technology, social media, Web3.0, video games, online gambling, virtual goods and currency, social tokens, decentralized autonomous organizations, decentralized exchanges, cybersecurity, privacy, Esports, the metaverse, money transmission, financial technologies, NFTs, and artificial intelligence. Gabe holds certifications in NFT technology, Metaverse Technologies, and Blockchain Law from the Blockchain Council. What We Discussed in This Episode: What is the Office of Foreign Assets Control or OFAC?What is the SDN list? Where can it be found? What does it mean to be on the SDN list?Has OFAC issued any crypto-specific guidance?What possible consequences might a U.S. resident face for engaging in unauthorized transactions or dealing with sanctioned individuals or jurisdictions?What advice do you have for anyone who's engaged in an unauthorized transaction due to an honest mistake?Can you provide a brief background on the first-ever OFAC sanction on a virtual currency mixer?What is a blender, aka a virtual currency mixer?What exactly does it mean to be sanctioned?Are there any risk mitigation strategies for avoiding unauthorized transactions?What practical guidance do you have for individuals and entities concerned about OFAC sanctions while working in the crypto space? Resources Mentioned:   Office of Foreign Assets Control - Sanctions Programs and Information   Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN) Human Readable Lists   "The Crypto Enthusiast and The Regulator: What OFAC is, Could Be, and Should Be Doing to Regulate CryptoCurrencies" Contact Information:   Reid Whitten   Gabe Khoury
Detecting and Enforcing IP Infringement in Web3 with Kevin Tian, CEO at Doppel
Jun 28 2022
Detecting and Enforcing IP Infringement in Web3 with Kevin Tian, CEO at Doppel
In this week’s episode of The Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Yasamin Parsafar and Jim Gatto are joined by Kevin Tian, Co-founder and CEO at Doppel, to discuss the detection and enforcement of IP infringement in Web3, including the types of breaches typically seen and the options available for enforcement once a potential violation is identified.   About Kevin Tian Kevin Tian is a Silicon Valley veteran whose pre-Doppel career includes engineering stints at Uber and Lyft. Launched with co-founder and fellow ex-Uber engineer Rahul Madduluri in February 2022, Doppel indexes NFT data across various blockchains, including Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, and Flow, leveraging models that incorporate keywords and metadata to spot fraud. The Doppel platform is currently integrated with OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, and in the process of integrating with others. Dapper Labs, one of the biggest names in the space and the company behind the NBA’s Top Shot NFTs, has already signed on as a Doppel client. The company has also begun piloting its product with Yuga Labs, creator of the Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC) collection, and is in the early design stages with a few others.   About Jim Gatto Jim Gatto is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s Washington, D.C. office, where he co-leads the Blockchain & Fintech Team. His practice focuses on blockchain, interactive entertainment, digital art, AI, and online gambling. He advises clients on IP strategies, development and publishing agreements, licensing and technology transaction agreements, and tech regulatory issues. Jim has been involved with blockchain since 2012 and has been recognized as a thought leader by leading organizations, including Best Lawyers in America 2021-2022; Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2018; and Thought Leader on Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, National Law Review, 2018.    About Yasamin Parsafar Yasamin Parsafar is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s San Francisco office, where she serves as co-leader of the firm’s Blockchain & Fintech team. Her practice focuses on protecting her clients’ intellectual property rights through counseling, prosecution, enforcement, and litigation. Yasamin leverages her litigation experience to strengthen and protect her clients’ intellectual property, manage risks, and position businesses to succeed in the event of a dispute. She frequently advises and protects brands venturing into web3 on various issues related to non-fungible tokens, metaverses, games, online marketplaces, and other platforms.   What We Discussed in This Episode:   What types of IP Infringement are we typically seeing with Web3, particularly with NFTs?How does Doppel identify and monitor IP infringement in Web3?Is Doppel’s computer vision component similar to digital fingerprinting, or is it something different?Doppel has already onboarded Ethereum and a couple of other chains. What have you done there so far, and what are your plans for the future?Once Doppel has identified a potential infringement, what steps can be taken to abate it?Can Doppel determine where an actual NFT file is stored?What is the process once the storage location is identified?How does Doppel’s technology work when a file is stored on a decentralized server?How does storage on a decentralized system impact enforcement?What does the UDRP process entail?Are there any significant differences when identifying NFTs associated with the metaverse compared to monitoring marketplaces?Can Doppel’s technology detect changes in dynamic NFTs?     Contact Information:   Jim Gatto Yasamin Parsafar Kevin Tian Doppel This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.
Licensing Considerations for NFT Creators and Owners with Jim Gatto and Gabe Khoury
Jun 13 2022
Licensing Considerations for NFT Creators and Owners with Jim Gatto and Gabe Khoury
In this episode of The Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Jim Gatto and Gabe Khoury discuss licensing considerations for NFT owners and creators, including the range of licenses creators are using, the recent trend toward more commercial NFT licenses, and practical considerations to keep in mind when drafting an NFT license with commercial rights.   Jim Gatto is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office, where he co-leads the Blockchain & Fintech Team. His practice focuses on blockchain, interactive entertainment, digital art, AI, and online gambling. He advises clients on IP strategies, development and publishing agreements, licensing and technology transaction agreements, and tech regulatory issues. Jim has been involved with blockchain since 2012 and has been recognized as a thought leader by leading organizations, including Best Lawyers in America 2021-2022; Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2018; and Thought Leader on Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, National Law Review, 2018.    About Gabe Khoury Gabe Khoury is an associate with the Corporate Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office. As Lead Associate of the Blockchain and Digital Assets team, he handles regulatory compliance issues relating to the use of blockchain technology, social media, Web3.0, video games, online gambling, virtual goods and currency, social tokens, decentralized autonomous organizations, decentralized exchanges, cybersecurity, privacy, Esports, the metaverse, money transmission, financial technologies, NFTs, and artificial intelligence. Gabe holds certifications in NFT technology, Metaverse Technologies, and Blockchain Law from the Blockchain Council.   What We Discussed in This Episode: The various types of NFT licensesWhy have we recently seen a trend toward more commercial NFT licenses?Has there been any commercial NFT licenses by brands or IP owners?What are some well-known examples that have involved the granting of a commercial license?What are some of the other ways NFT owners are leveraging commercial licenses?How might an NFT creator benefit from granting broad rights in a commercial license?How might an NFT owner benefit from granting broad rights in a commercial license?What are some of the practical considerations NFT creators should think about when drafting a license with commercial rights? Resources Mentioned Tokenization and the Law NFTs and Intellectual Property: What IP Owners and NFT Creators Need to Know  Protecting IP and Limiting Liability When Licensing IP for Digital Art and NFTs   Contact Information: James G.Gatto Gabe Khoury
The Current State of NFT Regulation: What Market Participants Need to Know with Jim Gatto and Gabe Khoury
Jun 13 2022
The Current State of NFT Regulation: What Market Participants Need to Know with Jim Gatto and Gabe Khoury
In this week's episode of The Legit Ledger, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Jim Gatto and Gabe Khoury discuss the current state of NFT regulation, including misconceptions regarding the regulatory status of NFTs, the conditions under which an NFT might be considered a security, which regulatory agencies market participants should be watching, and more.   About Jim Gatto Jim Gatto is a partner with the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office, where he co-leads the Blockchain & Fintech Team. His practice focuses on blockchain, interactive entertainment, digital art, AI, and online gambling. He advises clients on IP strategies, development and publishing agreements, licensing and technology transaction agreements, and tech regulatory issues. Jim has been involved with blockchain since 2012 and has been recognized as a thought leader by leading organizations, including Best Lawyers in America 2021-2022; Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer, The National Law Journal, 2018; and Thought Leader on Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, National Law Review, 2018.    About Gabe Khoury Gabe Khoury is an associate with the Corporate Group in Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. office. As Lead Associate of the Blockchain and Digital Assets team, he handles regulatory compliance issues relating to the use of blockchain technology, social media, Web3.0, video games, online gambling, virtual goods and currency, social tokens, decentralized autonomous organizations, decentralized exchanges, cybersecurity, privacy, Esports, the metaverse, money transmission, financial technologies, NFTs, and artificial intelligence. Gabe holds certifications in NFT technology, Metaverse Technologies, and Blockchain Law from the Blockchain Council.   What We Discussed in This Episode: People frequently assume NFTs aren't subject to many of the same regulatory issues relevant to cryptocurrencies. Is that assumption accurate?Have there been any NFT-related regulatory enforcement actions?Has the SEC issued any guidance on NFTs?When might NFTs be subject to securities laws?How does FinCen's guidance on the applicability of the Bank Secrecy Act to convertible virtual currencies apply to NFTs?How does the Department of Treasury's recent study on the facilitation of money laundering and terrorist financing through the art trade relate to NFTs?Are there any sanctions-related issues that apply to NFTs?Many traditional video game companies have faced lawsuits over the alleged use of gambling mechanics. How might the growing use of NFTs in blockchain-based games play into that trend?   Resources: Tokenization and the Law: Legal Issues with NFTs OFAC Enforcement Impacts NFTs: As Crypto Enforcement Ramps Up to Combat Ransomware, Robust Compliance is Key  The Crypto Enthusiast and The Regulator: What OFAC is, Could Be, and Should Be Doing to Regulate CryptoCurrencies When Does Cryptocurrency Mining Create a Taxable Event? IRS Does Not Clarify Money Laundering and High-Value Art: Treasury’s Study Discusses Financial Crimes and NFTs SEC Announces 2022 Examination Priorities, Includes Crypto-Assets  Crypto and Russia Sanctions: A Primer and Survival Guide For Crypto Companies March 2022 Crypto Enforcement Actions Roundup April 2022 Crypto Enforcement Actions And Regulatory Guidance Roundup  May 2022 Crypto Enforcement Actions and Regulatory Guidance Roundup    Sheppard Mullin’s Law of the Ledger blog is designed to provide breaking news, insights, legal analysis, and resources on legal issues related to blockchain technology and the digital asset sphere. Subscribe now!    Contact Information: James G.Gatto Gabe Khoury