Sy Damle, former General Counsel at the US Copyright Office, litigates industry-defining matters at the intersection of copyright law and emerging technology. 

Mr. Damle combines a deep understanding of the technology on which his clients have built their businesses and his robust federal government experience to represent technology and new media companies — including leading streaming services, software companies, and online commerce platforms — in:

  • High-stakes trials
  • Regulatory proceedings before federal agencies including the US Copyright Office and Copyright Royalty Board
  • Complex product counseling matters

A former software engineer, Mr. Damle deftly navigates high technology matters, including those involving computer systems and networks and artificial intelligence. Mr. Damle is regularly called upon by private industry and government agencies to advise on cutting-edge issues of law and technology. He has testified before Congress and the US Copyright Office on issues involving generative AI and copyright law.

Before joining the firm, Mr. Damle served as General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights at the US Copyright Office, where he oversaw the agency’s litigation, regulatory, and other legal work. Previously, he served as a US Department of Justice litigator, focused on IP, administrative law, and constitutional matters.

Mr. Damle teaches copyright law at George Washington University and is an adviser to the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Copyright Law project. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Children’s Museum and as Technology Chair for the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court.

He served as a clerk for Judge Sandra L. Lynch of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. 

Sy’s recent experience includes representing:

Software and AI

  • OpenAI in defense of all copyright infringement suits brought against it for AI training, including those by Sarah Silverman and The New York Times
  • Anthropic in defense of a copyright infringement suit brought by major music publishers related to AI training 
  • A major networking equipment manufacturer in defense of software copyright infringement claims related to code implementing a networking standard
  • Oracle in winning a US$30 million jury verdict in copyright infringement suit against HPE
  • Johnson & Johnson in a software copyright infringement dispute against its main competitor for theft of code for an ophthalmic laser surgery system, which resulted in a nearly US$200 million settlement for J&J 
  • A major venture capital firm in hearings before the US Copyright Office regarding generative AI technologies
  • Apple in:
    • Software copyright infringement and Digital Millennium Copyright Act litigation against a company that sells virtual web-based versions of the company’s mobile operating system
    • Defense of copyright infringement claims relating to diverse emoji
  • A cloud-based email security provider in defense of software copyright infringement claims
  • An online resume building company in copyright infringement litigation against a copycat service
  • A leading technology company in software copyright infringement and Digital Millennium Copyright Act litigation against a company that sells virtual web-based versions of the company’s mobile operating system

Music and Digital Media

  • The National Association of Broadcasters in successive industrywide proceedings before the Copyright Royalty Board to set rates under Section 114/112 of the Copyright Act
  • The Digital Media Association (DiMA), a trade organization of music streaming companies, in a variety of copyright-related regulatory proceedings
  • Spotify in litigation to establish the rates it pays for musical composition licenses
  • The commercial radio industry in litigation with the music licensing organization Broadcast Music Inc.

Thought Leadership

  • Witness, “Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property: Part I — Interoperability of AI and Copyright Law,” House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, May 2023
  • Panelist, “Navigating the Minefield of AI-Generated Content,” 33rd Annual Entertainment Law Institute, November 2023
  • Moderator, “Legal Issues with Artificial Intelligence,” Association of General Counsel Annual Meeting, September 2023
  • Panelist, “Artificial Intelligence: The Next Generation of Productivity,” Austin Chamber of Commerce, September 2023
  • Panelist, “Artificial Intelligence and Artists’ Rights,” American University Intellectual Property Brief Symposium, March 2023
  • Panelist, “Web 3 & IP: Understanding the NFT and IP Connection,” January 2023
  • “Repair of Software-Enabled Devices,” Practicing Law Institute, September 2022
  • Panelist, Pauline Newman IP Inn of Court, “Google v. Oracle at the Supreme Court,” February 2021
  • Panelist, “Google v. Oracle,” American University, October 2020
  • Panelist, “Copyright in the Supreme Court,” Copyright Society of the USA, February 2020
  • Speaker, “Google v. Oracle and Computer Software Interoperability,” Columbia Law School, March 2018

Bar Qualification

  • District of Columbia
  • New York


  • JD, University of Virginia, 2005
    Graduated first in class
  • BS in Systems Science Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, School of Engineering and Applied Science, 1999
  • BS in Economics & Jerome Fisher M&T Program, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, 1999
February 16, 2024 Recognition

Litigator of the Week Runners-Up and Shout Outs — Telefónica and OpenAI

Two Latham teams were recognized for getting a summary judgment win for multinational telecom company Telefónica in a busted deal suit involving the client’s operations in Costa Rica, and for securing an important early win for OpenAI in a proposed copyright class action brought by Sarah Silverman and other authors.