Kenneth D. Crews


Kenneth D. Crews is an attorney, author, professor, and international copyright consultant.  He has been a consultant to businesses, universities, and governments in many countries in all parts of the world, and has received two national awards for his leadership on copyright issues.  His practice centers on copyright, trademark, branding, and intellectual property law for diverse business, entertainment, and nonprofit clients.  Dr. Crews works closely with clients regarding the complexities of their use and ownership of intellectual property, the strategic management of IP assets, and development programs of licenses, contracts, and policy positions.  Clients include software developers, film producers, major research universities, independent authors, and publishers of books, journals, and multimedia products.  Building on his academic background and diverse experiences, he has served as an expert witness in copyright litigation involving art, software, fashion design, and fair use at research universities.  

For more than 25 years, Dr. Crews has been a national and international leader, addressing copyright issues of importance especially to universities, museums, research institutes, and publishers.  He been an invited speaker in 44 states and on six continents.  He has consulted with national governments on issues of copyright reform in all parts of the world.  The World Intellectual Property Organization (a U.N. agency) commissioned him to analyze copyright exceptions from all 189 member countries, and that study is informing current discussions in Geneva regarding possible treaty development.  Kenneth Crews has been a professor of law, information science, and business; he held a named chair in law at Indiana University and served most recently at Columbia University in New York City.  He has been a visiting professor in Paris, Munich, Bayreuth, Helsinki, and Cairo.

Dr. Crews recently received the Mark T. Banner Award, granted annually by the American Bar Association, Section of Intellectual Property Law.  He was the first recipient of the annual L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award from the American Library Association, and his dissertation on copyright policies garnered two national awards.  He is listed in Who’s Who in America.  He enjoys art, architecture, movies, hiking, and early rock and roll.  Many of his friends and clients get to know him as “Kenny Crews.”


Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1990.
     Distinguished Scholar Award, UCLA Alumni Association, 1986.
J.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 1980.
     Editor and Senior Editor, Washington University Law Quarterly, 1978-1980.
B.A., Northwestern University, 1977.

Bar & Professional Memberships

The State Bar of California
     Member & Chair, the Committee on the History of Law in California, 1983-1986.
American Library Association
     Recipient, L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award, 1995.
French-American Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Chapter.

Practice Areas

Business Transactions
Intellectual Property

The attorneys of Gipson Hoffman & Pancione have engaged in a wide range of critical legal matters in service to their clients.  The following are representative of the work and accomplishments of attorney Kenneth D. Crews:

  • Served as the expert witness for the university parties in a major copyright infringement case arising at Georgia State University regarding fair use and electronic reserves for teaching; testified at length during the trial, and the court rulings were highly favorable to our client.
  • Provided expert testimony in depositions and reports in cases involving ownership of computer software, copyrightability of fashion design, and protection for commercial artworks.
  • Negotiated numerous agreements for the sale and acquisition of businesses where diverse forms of intellectual property need to be identified, assessed, and properly secured or conveyed.
  • Resolved through negotiations conflicts involving transfers of motion picture rights and implications under U.S. law and the law of various foreign countries.
  • Negotiated and drafted numerous agreements for the licensing of rights and the production of hardware and software products that include patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other forms of intellectual property.
  • Advised clients on complex cases involving termination of transfers of copyrights under U.S. law, including analyzing implications under foreign law and strategies to anticipate and prepare for possible litigation.
  • Retained by a major research university to address copyright matters in policy, acquisition agreements, faculty conflicts, and deployment of new technologies for online education.
  • Represented a leading national publisher of diverse scholarly and popular works as the publisher reworked all of its author agreements and implemented innovations in digital publishing, open access resources, and the use of Creative Commons licensing.
  • Engaged in protracted and confidential negotiations for a leading university press to complete a sensitive acquisition of book rights that were caught in a tangle of complications before going to press.
  • Represented one of the largest private funders of academic research as it reworked agreements with award recipients, addressing complex questions of intellectual property and public accessibility of grant-supported research projects.
  • Worked closely with a law professor preparing an innovative textbook and ancillary materials through the process of publication, clearing rights, negotiating agreements, and coordinating the project with his university.
  • Established the first dedicated copyright policy office at any university, based at Indiana University; served as Associate Dean for the Faculties for Copyright Management (academic affairs office); established a similar copyright policy office at Columbia University; and served on the faculty of Columbia Law School.
  • As a university professor and administrator, worked with all departments and schools, and with diverse administrative and research units, such as:   University libraries, university presses, technology transfer, information technology, grants and foundations, research compliance, human subjects, and many others.