Michael D. Nilsson is a partner with the law firm of
Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP. He advises and represents media and
communications companies before the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S.
Congress, the U.S. Copyright Office, foreign regulators, and international
regulatory bodies. He also represents these clients in commercial negotiations.
Video Programming. Mr. Nilsson has particular expertise on legal
issues associated with video programming.
- He has represented the largest U.S. satellite
television provider in connection with three renewals of copyright and
communications legislation governing satellite television. In doing so, he negotiated successfully
with the broadcast television industry and the largest copyright
owners. He has twice provided expert testimony on behalf of this
satellite provider before the U.S. Copyright Office.
- He routinely represents pay-TV providers in
negotiations for the rights to transmit video programming. He often
advises these clients on the legal implications of proposed new
- He represents a prominent distributor of video programming on a variety of matters, including international and domestic licensing issues.
- He has represented clients before the FCC in many of
the largest media mergers in recent years, as well as in the full range of
rulemakings affecting the media sector.
- He has represented foreign cable operators in
multi-jurisdictional mergers and copyright disputes, and has represented
pay-TV providers in anti-piracy matters before the Office of the U.S.
Trade Representative, the State Department, and the Department of
Communications Licensing and
Regulation. Mr. Nilsson
advises satellite, cable, wireline, and wireless communications companies with
respect to the licensing, deployment, and regulation of their services. He
represents these companies the full range of FCC rulemakings and ongoing
From 2001 to 2002, Mr. Nilsson served
as Legislative Assistant and Counsel, and principal telecommunications and
technology adviser, to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia.
He advised the Senator on issues such as broadband deployment, universal
service, spectrum auctions, satellite mergers, Internet privacy, digital
copyright, and homeland security.
Mr. Nilsson has co-chaired the Federal Communications Bar Association’s
Intellectual Property, Legislation, and Video Programming and Distribution
Mr. Nilsson has engaged in a number of pro bono representations, and serves as
outside counsel to the French Bulldog Rescue Network. He served two terms
on the Board of Directors of the Sitar Arts Center, a nonprofit arts education
center, where he also teaches saxophone.