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 distribution models.
- 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 Commerce.
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 compliance
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 co-chairs the Federal Communications Bar Association’s Intellectual
Property Committee. He has previously co-chaired the Legislation
Committee and the Video Programming and Distribution Committee.
Mr. Nilsson has engaged in a number of pro bono representations, and serves as
outside counsel to the French Bulldog Rescue Network. He serves on the
Board of Directors of the Sitar Arts Center, a nonprofit arts education center,
where he also teaches saxophone.