Judith B. Bass

Top rated Entertainment & Sports attorney in New York, New York

Law Offices of Judith B. Bass
Judith B. Bass
Law Offices of Judith B. Bass

Practice Areas: Entertainment & Sports, Media & Advertising, Intellectual Property

Licensed in New York since: 1977

Education: New York University School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2023

Law Offices of Judith B. Bass

1325 Avenue of the Americas
28th Floor
New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212-873-6568 Email: Judith B. Bass Visit website


Judy Bass is a media and entertainment attorney with over thirty years of experience at a firm, in-house and as a business affairs executive at premier media and entertainment companies. She currently has her own practice dedicated to addressing the needs of companies and individuals in the creative community. She concentrates on literary publishing, option and shopping deals, television, film, animation, podcasts, theater, digital media and licensing.  Her clients include major book and magazine publishers, authors, content creators and developers, children’s television and film producers and property owners, podcast developers, producers, directors and talent, television chefs and cookbook authors, documentary and independent film producers, non-profit theater, licensing companies and digital media entities.

Judy started her career at the law firm of Rogers & Wells (now Clifford Chance). She then spent over twelve years at Time Inc., first in the Time Inc. Law Department where she served as Associate General Counsel. She left the Law Department to become the first and only Director of Business Affairs for her clients, Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated for Kids Magazines. She then joined CBS as Vice President of Business Affairs at CBS Enterprises where was responsible for the structuring and negotiation of all contractual arrangements for CBS Broadcast International, CBS Video and CBS Consumer Products. After leaving CBS, she became the Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs of Marvel Enterprises, working on matters involving Spider-Man and other members of Marvel’s vast character library.

Judy served as Chair of the Entertainment Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association from 2013 to 2016 and is currently a member of the Copyright Committee.  She is the First Vice-Chair of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section (EASL) of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and Co-Chair of the EASL Literary Works Committee, as well as a member of NYSBA's Committee on Media Law. She is also a member of the Media Law Resource Center, the Copyright Society, the Author’s Guild and New York Women in Film and Television. She is a frequent speaker on bar association and industry panels and often chairs and organizes bar association programs.


First Admitted: 1977, New York

Professional Webpage: http://www.jbbasslaw.com/biography/

Educational Background:
  • Jackson College of Tufts University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1973
  • New York University School of Law, J.D.  Managing Editor, Journal of International Law and Politics., 1976
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Co-Chair, SCRIC.  Co-Chair and co-founder of community coalition in NYC dealing with issues relating to the refugee and immigration crisis,  including the arrival of migrants in NYC.  Working with City and non-profit partners to develop pro se legal clinics to assist asylum seekers.  , 2024
  • Women In the Arts & Media Coalition, Special Advisor, 2024
  • Mishinnah Productions, Board Member, 2020
  • West Side Campaign Against Hunger, Board Member, 2012-2021, 2021
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • We explored the legal and business challenges in the entertainment industry presented by generative AI technology, including its impact on screenwriters, authors, actor and other content creators, and highlighted by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes where AI's potential replacement of humans is a major issue, Program Co-Chair and Organizer, The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Entertainment, New York State Bar Association, Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section, Annual Meeting, January 2024,, Legal, Film And Television, Technology, 2024
  • In Warhol v. Goldsmith, the Supreme Court's finding that the licensing of the Andy Warhol portrait was for a commercial purpose fails to recognize licensing for editorial uses and will make fair use determinations more difficult going forward. , Author, The Court's Failure to Recognize Image Licensing for Editorial Purposes is Bad News for Content Providers, ABA Landslide Magazine, Vol. 16, No. 2 (2024), Legal, Publishing, Art, Advertising, Photography, 2023
  • An analysis of the decision in Sketchworks Indus. Strength Comedy, Inc. v. Jacob, No. 19-CV-7470-LTS-VF, 2022 WL 1501024 (S.D.N.Y. May 12, 2022) in which Chief U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York, found that a play entitled "Vape: The Musical" that was advertised as "A Live Musical Parody of Grease" constituted a fair use of Grease. The decision is not being appealed.  This article was originally published in the Media Law Resource Center's May 2022 Media Law Letter.  , Author, A Parody Play Receives a Positive Review in S.D.N.Y.: Vape, a Theatre Production Based on Grease, is Found to Be Fair Use, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol. 33, No. 3 (2022) at 33, Legal, Theater, Film And Television, 2022
  • A summary and analysis of New York's new right of publicity law that went into effect on May 29, 2021 including protections that will benefit performers and celebrities and their estates without negatively impacting the film, television, theater, newspaper and publishing communities that regularly use the images to tell stories, report the news or otherwise.  The new legislation adds a new § 50-f to the New York Civil Rights Law entitled “Right of Publicity.”, Author, New York's New Right of Publicity Law: Protecting Performers and Producers, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal 2021, Vol. 32, No. 1 and on www.nysba.org (March 17, 2021), Attorneys, Entertainment, Film And Television, Publishing, Newspapers, Theater, 2021
  • Presenters from different sectors of the performing arts and entertainment industry addressed disability                                                                     rights and issues, with each panelist discussing their personal experiences and perspectives about                                                                           embracing non-ableism in their own (and their clients’) creations and productions and making workspaces                                                                  more accessible. The panel also looked at changing depictions of disability in the media and provided                                                               recommendations for best practices by producers and companies in the industry. The session was led by                                                               an expert in disability rights law., Co-Chair and Organizer, Accessibility, Visibility and Disability in Entertainment Media and the Performing Arts, New York State Bar Association, Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section, Annual Meeting, January 2022, Legal, Theater, Dance, Television And Film, 2022
  • A presentation about media liability insurance for authors addressing topics such as the nature of coverage for libel, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement and other claims, the difference between “claims-made” and “occurrence” policies, the kind of insurance provided in book publishing contracts, how to understand deductibles and retention amounts, the vetting requirements in policies, the practical impact of litigation, damages and settlement clauses, the extent of coverage for promotion and social media, and the availability of insurance for self-publishing., Chair and Moderator, Author Insurance: What Lawyers Need to Know, New York State Bar Association, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section, Literary Property and Related Rights Committee, Legal, Publishing, Insurance, 2021
  • This program examined systemic bias and other impediments that have permitted racial inequality and injustice to continue in book publishing.  It also reviewed some of the positive changes implemented to combat the issues. The program included specific, recommended actions going forward and how to effectively advocate for them.  Speakers included people from various sectors of the publishing industry including publishing executives, book distributors and marketers, representatives from nonprofit organizations, literary agents, authors, editors and lawyers who work in publishing., Co-Chair and Organizer, Writing Wrongs: Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Book Publishing, New York State Bar Association, Entertainment and Sports Law Section, Annual Meeting, January 2021, Legal, Publishing, 2021
  • We reviewed some of the standard terms and conditions in a trade book contract such as author and publisher termination rights, force majeure/delays in publication, bankruptcy, warranties, indemnities and insurance, and option and competitive works clauses. Several of these clauses deserved a closer look and re-evaluation during these current pandemic times., Moderator and Chair, Publishing Contracts--Boilerplate Provisions Newly Significant Now, New York State Bar Association, Entertainment Arts and Sports Law Section, Publishing, Entertainment, 2020
  • In August 2020, both houses of the New York State Legislature passed a bill establishing a right of publicity in New York for the first time. The bill also provides for a private right of action for unlawful dissemination of sexually explicit depictions of individuals., Author, A Right of Publicity Bill in New York State Has Finally Passed and Is Awaiting Governor Cuomo's Signature, New York State Bar Association, Entertainment Arts and Sports Law Section, Blog, Entertainment, Film And Television, Media Law, Publishing, 2020
  • Moderated, chaired and organized program on underlying rights in all media for annual meeting of New York State Bar Association EASL section, January 2019, Chair and Moderator, “Underlying Rights in All Media: Adaptation/Option Deals and Challenges from Rights Owners” , Annual Meeting, Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law (EASL) Section of the New York State Bar Association, January 2019, 2019
  • Analysis of development of e-publishing, including e-books, self-publishing, hybrid publishing and other models., Co-Author, "Digital Publishing: E-Books, Self-Publishing and Other Models,” a chapter in Siegel on Entertainment Law (2018). , Siegel on Entertainment Law, 2018
  • Analysis of the hybrid publisher criteria issued by the Independnet Book Publishers Association., Co-Author, Best Practices for Hybrid Publishers: A Look at the New IBPA Hybrid Publisher Criteria, NYSBA Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, 2018
  • Practical advice on negotiating book and e-book contracts., Speaker, "Introduction to Book and E-Book Contracts/TV/Film Option Deals", New York Foundation for the Arts, Arts Business Incubators Program, 2017
  • An analysis of hybrid publishing., Co-Author, "Hybrid' Publishing: Best of Both Worlds?", EASL Journal, Spring 2017. , NYSBA Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, 2017
  • A summary of major developments in publishing in the last 30 years., Co-Author, 30 Developments in Publishing in 30 Years: A Review of New Business Models, Trends and Court Cases from 1988 to 2018, NYSBA Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, 2018
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • 1st Vice-Chair, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section (EASL), New York State Bar Association (2024-present),  2nd Vice-Chair, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section (EASL), New York State Bar Association (2022-2024) Member, Executive Committee, EASL (2011-2022), 2024
  •  Co-Chair, Literary Works and Related Rights Committee, EASL (2011-present), 2024
  • Member, Committee on Media Law, New York State Bar Association, 2024
  •  Affiliate Member, Copyright and Literary Property Committee, New York City Bar Association, 2023-present, Member, Copyright and Literary Property Committee, New York City Bar Association, 2020-2023,   Member, Communications and Media Law Committee, New York City Bar Association, 2017-2020,, 2024
  • Member, Copyright Society, 2024
  • Member, Media Law Resource Center (2007-present), 2024
  • Chair, Entertainment Law Committee, New York City Bar Association, 2013-2016, 2016
Industry Groups:
  • Digital Media
  • Publishing
  • Television And Film

Office location for Judith B. Bass

1325 Avenue of the Americas
28th Floor
New York, NY 10019


7 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2023

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