Coe W. Ramsey is a media and entertainment lawyer with an emphasis in broadcast, music, and intellectual property law. A former disc jockey, Coe represents radio and television stations, programming networks, music-related businesses, musicians, producers, artists, new media companies, and others in nearly every area of media and entertainment law.
Coe’s communications and media practice focuses on FCC regulatory, transactional, corporate and intellectual property (copyright and trademark) matters. Coe represents radio and television operators throughout the country. He counsels and advocates for his clients on a variety of issues, including buying and selling radio and television stations, FCC ownership rules and policies, ATSC 3.0, digital broadcasting, and other new technology deployments, broadcast licensing and renewals, programming issues, cable and satellite carriage, political advertising, and music licensing. Coe also works with programming networks and new media companies, including national networks, Internet broadcasters, OTT and other digital programming networks and platforms, and app developers, and assists them on a variety of issues, including content acquisition and protection, distribution, licensing, privacy, terms and conditions, and advertising and promotions.
"My passions for media and entertainment stem from my previous years of experience in the business and fuel my law practice. It doesn’t get any better than working with clients in these industries."
Coe has a diverse entertainment practice that includes matters related to music, radio, film, television, and publishing. His passion for broadcasting and music stems from his years of experience in the industry as a DJ, re-mixer, and producer. A former mix show DJ for Greensboro, NC, radio station 102 JAMZ (WJMH), Coe has a deep understanding of the complex legal problems that entertainment clients face. He is a leading entertainment lawyer and counsels a variety of clients including artists, musicians, producers, radio and television stations, record and publishing companies, new media companies, advertisers, DJs, authors, and other related ventures in nearly every area of entertainment law. He represents clients on a variety of issues, including contract drafting and negotiation, music licensing, management agreements, record agreements, publishing agreements, copyright, trademark, litigation, intellectual property disputes, legal structures for bands, life story rights, sponsorship agreements, advertising, SAG-AFTRA, privacy, and formation and financing of entertainment companies.
The 2017 Chambers USA guide states that, "Coe Ramsey frequently acts in IP matters arising from the entertainment space, advising on areas such as litigation and contract negotiations. ‘He is amazing, and I won’t use anyone else,’ asserts one interviewee.”
Coe teaches entertainment law as an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Law.
Coe assists clients in virtually all aspects of intellectual property with an emphasis on copyright, trademark, and right to publicity matters. Coe’s clients include radio and television stations, programming networks, new media companies, artists and musicians, record and publishing companies, advertisers, Internet broadcasters, OTT and other digital programming networks and platforms, and other media and entertainment companies and entrepreneurs whose businesses involve intellectual property matters. He represents his clients on a variety of issues, including contract drafting and negotiation, licensing, intellectual property protection, and litigation. Coe teaches intellectual property law as an adjunct professor of entertainment law at Wake Forest University School of Law.
Honors & Recognitions
Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for Intellectual Property Law (2016-2021)
Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Entertainment Law - Music, Litigation - Intellectual Property (2019-2021) and Copyright Law (2021)
Recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) in Entertainment and Sports Law (2019-2021) and as a “Rising Star” in Entertainment & Sports Law (2011-2012) and Communications Law (2009)
Recipient, Irving E. Carlyle Distinguished Law Scholarship
AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating
Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., 1998, cum laude; Order of the Coif; Managing Editor, Wake Forest Law Review, 1997-98
- RecognitionChambers USA, 05.20.2021
- Press Release01.26.2021
- RecognitionNorth Carolina Super Lawyers, 01.14.2021
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.20.2020
- RecognitionChambers USA, 05.01.2020
- RecognitionNorth Carolina Super Lawyers, 01.22.2020
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2019
- RecognitionChambers USA, 04.29.2019
- Press Release02.25.2019
- Press Release01.29.2019
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2018
- Media Mention05.16.2018
- RecognitionChambers USA, 05.03.2018
- Press ReleaseBrooks Pierce Wins Key International Copyright and Trademark Infringement Case, Client Awarded Nearly $9 Million02.12.2018
- Media MentionBusiness Insurance, 09.14.2017
- Media MentionIP Watchdog, 07.28.2017
- Press Release07.26.2017
- Press ReleaseChambers USA, 05.26.2017
- Press Release02.02.2016
- Media MentionMSN, 11.13.2015
- Press ReleaseCoe W. Ramsey teaches Entertainment Law as an Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Law05.13.2015
- Press Release07.18.2010
- Media Mention01.31.2009
- Speaking Engagements09.19.2017
- Speaking Engagements01.04.2017
- Speaking Engagements09.29.2016
- Speaking EngagementsCoe W. Ramsey to Speak at 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association World of Bluegrass Business Conference09.26.2016
- Speaking Engagements09.09.2015
- Speaking Engagements07.09.2015
- Speaking Engagements04.17.2015
- Speaking Engagements02.09.2015
- Speaking Engagements09.28.2014
- Speaking Engagements08.13.2012
- Speaking Engagements08.03.2011
- Speaking Engagements04.09.2011
- Speaking Engagements04.15.2010
- Speaking Engagements04.04.2010
- Speaking Engagements03.04.2010
- Speaking Engagements01.27.2010
- Speaking Engagements09.30.2009
- Speaking Engagements01.31.2008
- Client AlertMusic Performing Rights Organizations and the “Full-Work” vs. “Fractional” Licensing Dispute: Government Seeks to Overturn Fractional Licensing Decision05.24.2017
- Client Alert11.03.2016
Professional & Civic
Professional & Civic Activities
Adjunct Professor, Wake Forest University School of Law (2013-present)
Chair, Sports and Entertainment Law Section, North Carolina Bar Association (2010-2011)
Council Member, Sports and Entertainment Law Section, North Carolina Bar Association (2008-present)
Member, Federal Communications Bar Association (1998-present)
Member, North Carolina Bar Association (1998-present)
I am a media and entertainment lawyer because I was a DJ. When I was in high school, I was a mix show DJ on one of the largest stations in the market. I knew at the time that 102 JAMZ was my “ticket,” I just didn’t know to where. My exposure on radio led to years of work as a mobile and nightclub DJ and as a re-mixer/music producer. I have always been fascinated by the power of radio and music. Music has a way of bringing people together unlike any other medium. Watching that happen while you are playing the music, whether from a 99,000 watt radio transmitter or in a DJ booth, is about as good at it gets.
In college, my philosophy classes introduced me to another passion – law. I realized there could be no better way to combine my passions than to become a media and entertainment lawyer. Broadcasters, entertainment entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, filmmakers, producers, and I are kindred spirits. My experience in and understanding of their businesses give me a unique legal perspective. Applying this perspective for clients in entertainment and media industries, advising and navigating them through legal issues, and helping them succeed is my passion.