Photo of Bruce G. Joseph


B.A., B.S.Econ., summa cum laude, University of Pennsylvania

J.D., magna cum laude, Harvard Law School

Law Journals

Editor, Harvard Law Review


Law Clerk for the Honorable James Hunter III, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1979-1980)

Bar and Court Admissions

District of Columbia Bar

Pennsylvania Bar

Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Ninth, District of Columbia, and Federal Circuits

U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Bruce serves as senior counsel to Wiley Rein LLP. He represents clients in connection with copyright litigation, music and sound recording licensing negotiations and litigation, copyright and digital content protection legislation, regulation and inter-industry activities, and copyright and trademark licensing and registration. Bruce has been deeply involved in issues relating to the Internet, digital technology protection measures, and DRMs. 

Chambers USA calls Bruce “an expert on matters relating to sound recording licensing and ISP liability” (2014) and “one of the USA’s foremost experts in copyright protection” (2012). It also has described him as “a renowned specialist in copyright protection and litigation matters” (2013) and commended him for his “excellent legal mind” (2014), “deep understanding of the law and business” (2011) and for being “an utterly phenomenal litigator” (2010). The Legal 500 US 2012 edition recommends Bruce as “one of the premier copyright lawyers in the USA.”

Bruce also has been named by Legal Times as one of the DC-region’s 10 “Leading Intellectual Property Lawyers” in the areas of copyright and trademark and by Washingtonian magazine as one of “Washington’s Top Lawyers,” among other honors.

Representative Experience

  • Serving as lead counsel for the radio industry in litigation before the Copyright Royalty Board to establish sound recording license fees for webcasting for 2016-2020.
  • Served as lead counsel representing major wireless services in Rate Court litigation against the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in connection with ringback tones, ringtone previews, and mobile video, successfully obtaining summary judgment that ringtones do not implicate the public performance right.
  • Served as lead counsel representing broadcast radio and subscription satellite radio clients in prior sound recording fee proceedings before the Copyright Royalty Board and argued D.C. Circuit appeal on behalf of certain radio broadcasters.
  • Testified and submitted extensive comments on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters, CTIA-The Wireless Association, and Verizon, successfully opposing a rule proposed by the U.S. Copyright Office that would have required services making streamed performances of music to pay a distribution royalty in addition to the public performance royalties they already pay. The proposed rule would have had broad ramifications for all services making digital performances and displays of copyrighted content.
  • Represented various clients in negotiations leading to enactment of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the 2004 Copyright Royalty and Distribution Act, the 2002 Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act, the 2002 Small Webcaster Settlement Act, and the 1992 Audio Home Recording Act.
  • Represented a leading Internet service provider in a successful challenge to the recording industry's use of expansive DMCA subpoenas (Verizon v. Recording Industry Association of America).
  • Defended Google against claims by the Agence France Presse (AFP) that the Google News website infringed AFP copyrights in news headlines, story leads, and photographs.
  • Represented the wireless industry during the Copyright Office's 2009 and 2012 triennial rulemakings under section 1201, submitting comments and testifying (2009) in opposition to proposed exemptions to permit the circumvention of certain mobile phone system locks. 
  • Participated extensively in multi-industry content protection activities including the Copy Protection Technical Working Group, the DVD Copy Control Association, the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group, and the Secure Digital Music Initiative.
  • Filed amicus briefs and memoranda in leading copyright and music licensing cases, including MGM v. Grokster in the Supreme Court; Authors Guild v. HathiTrust; RIAA v. Diamond Multimedia; U.S. vs. ASCAP (the DMX, MobiTV and Music Choices cases); ALS Scan v. Remarq; Ellison v. Robertson; and CoStar Group, Inc. et al. v. LoopNet Inc.


  • Advisory Board, Bloomberg BNA's Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal (1996-Present)
  • Trustee (1996-1998) and Past President, The Copyright Society of the USA, Washington, DC Chapter


  • Listed by Chambers USA as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (2010-2016)
  • Named by The Legal 500 US a "recommended lawyer" in Copyright Law (2011-2016)
  • Named the Washington, DC Copyright Law "Lawyer of the Year" by The Best Lawyers in America directory (2017)
  • Named one of DC's "Super Lawyers" for Intellectual Property by Super Lawyers magazine (2010-2016)
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America directory for Copyright Law (2014-2017)
  • Named by Lawdragon as one of "3000 Leading Lawyers in America" (2010-2011)
  • Named one of "Washington's Best Lawyers" (2011, 2013) and "Washington's Top Lawyers" (2009) by Washingtonian magazine
  • Named as one of the Washington, DC area's 10 "Leading Intellectual Property Lawyers" by Legal Times in the areas of copyright and trademark (2008)
  • AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell's highest ranking by peers for general ethical standards and legal ability

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