Joseph P. Salvo currently serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Sesame Workshop, the home of the iconic children’s educational program “Sesame Street”, a position he has held since May 2016. Prior to his role at Sesame Workshop, He served from 2008 until 2016 as General Counsel of HiT Entertainment, an international children’s entertainment company that owns such pre-eminent pre-school brands as Barney, Thomas the Tank, Bob the Builder and Angelina Ballerina, with responsibility for a combined Legal & Business Affairs team with offices in NYC and London. He also served as Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Mattel, Inc., (which acquired HiT in February, 2012) with shared responsibility for the Mattel Legal & Business Affairs group. Each of Sesame Workshop, HiT and Mattel are involved in all forms of audio and audiovisual production and licensing, including television, film, sound recordings and music publishing, digital services and home video, as well as licensing their brands for use in books, games and consumer products.
Prior to becoming General Counsel to HiT, Salvo spent 13 years working for a combination of Sony Music, Arista Records and Sony BMG Music Entertainment, where he was involved in a wide variety of .contract, licensing and intellectual property issues and personally handled contract negotiations and drafting for such diverse artists as Bruce Springsteen, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Yo Yo Ma and John Mayer. He started his career as a litigator at Weil Gotshal & Manges in NY for 5 ½ years, where he specialized in copyright and IP litigation.
Salvo also served as Counsel at Weil Gotshal and Manges from 2006-2008, where he counseled many of the largest internet music service providers on international publishing and sound recording rights issues, including Apple, MySpace, Yahoo, AOL, Pandora, MediaNet and Sony, and coordinated the trial team for the UK Copyright Tribunal proceeding that set the first-of-its-kind UK publishing rates for internet distribution of music on behalf of a number of digital services.
Salvo served as President of the Copyright Society of the USA, the pre-eminent, national copyright bar association from June 2012-14, and has been an adjunct professor of law, teaching Entertainment Law at St John’s University School of Law, since 2001. He is a frequent lecturer at law schools, bar associations and colleges on copyright, entertainment law and entertainment law issues.