Wednesday, August 17, 2011


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 17, 2011 – A federal copyright infringement lawsuit was filed today on behalf of award-winning composer and pianist Malek Jandali. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C., alleges that the American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC) illegally played an audio recording of Jandali’s performance of  “Watani Ana” at its national convention on June 11, 2011.

The lawsuit claims the recording was played without Jandali’s authorization or consent, and after the ADC revoked his invitation to perform at the event.

“We are confident that we have a solid copyright infringement case,”
said Stuart P. Ross, a partner with Troutman Sanders LLP, the law firm representing Jandali.

In April 2011, Jandali composed the music and the lyrics for “Watani Ana,” which translates to “I am my homeland” in Arabic. He produced and released the song as a universal call for freedom, dignity and human rights. The ADC then invited Jandali to perform at the June event.

But as Politico previously reported, “The ADC, a Washington civil rights group, repeatedly asked Malek Jandali to reconsider his piece choice . . . When he refused, Jandali was told that he couldn't perform at this weekend's event. Observers immediately speculated that the organization wanted to avoid offending the embattled Syrian regime, drawing a chorus of criticism.”

Jandali said that after ADC revoked his invitation, “it was profoundly disturbing to me that they still played ‘Watani Ana’ without my permission.”

“Despite this, I then offered an olive branch to resolve the matter amicably by requesting an apology and a donation to the Societies of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent,” Jandali said.  “I did not ask for one penny for myself.  ADC swiftly refused to issue an apology and instead offered me $46.80 to go away. This is very offensive to me as an American citizen and an artist with rights.”

Jandali stressed that he is not against the “noble mission” of ADC, “but I cannot accept a violation of my rights, especially by an anti-discrimination group and when certain board members hijack an entire organization to suit their special interest.”

Michael Hobbs, Jr., a Troutman Sanders attorney who also represents Jandali, said the law firm reached out directly to the ADC several times in an attempt to amicably resolve the matter, but was rebuffed.

“The only alternative with which we are left is to litigate," Hobbs said.

Malek Jandali is an internationally renowned composer and pianist who has appeared as a soloist in performances around the world.  Mr.
Jandali is the first Syrian and the only Arab musician to arrange music based on the oldest music notation in the world, which was discovered in the Bronze city of Ugarit, Syria. The album titled “Echoes from Ugarit” includes original compositions for piano and orchestra recorded with The Russian Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow.

The Troutman Sanders LLP Media and Entertainment practice group assists clients with the complex and rapidly changing issues facing the media, entertainment and sports industries. Troutman Sanders lawyers in this area provide sophisticated legal services to businesses, artists, investors, lenders and other clients that participate in the multimedia marketplace.

Michael Hobbs, Jr.
Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 CONTACT:
August  15, 2011                                                        Gil Kulick, 212-866-7570


J STREET activists and supporters will deliver tens of thousands of signed postcards to their Members of Congress in dozens of cities across the country on Aug. 23 to show support for President Obama’s vision of two states.

New York, NY– J Street NYC will join activists across the country in a day of action on Tuesday, August 23 to demonstrate that American Jews support bold U.S. leadership to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In more than 100 Congressional districts, J Street supporters will organize activities and drop off tens of thousands of signed postcards backing President Barack Obama's vision for a two-state solution based on 1967 lines, with agreed-upon land swaps and security guarantees.

In New York City, dozens of J Street activists plan to rally at 11:45 am in front of the main New York Public Library, 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, at which author and journalist Peter Beinart will speak. From there the crowd will march to the offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, where they will present thousands of post cards from local J Street supporters expressing full support for President Obama’s effort to secure a two-state solution to the Israeli -Palestinian conflict. This is one of nearly 40 events planned by J Street in more than 100 Congressional districts nationwide. For details on covering the event, please contact Gil Kulick at 212-866-7570 or

J Street's Day of Action comes at a particularly heated time in the region, with ongoing demonstrations across Israel against economic inequality, anti-democratic legislation in the Israeli Knesset, and diplomatic maneuverings by Palestinians and Israelis ahead of a possible UN resolution in September. Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a negotiated two-state solution is key to ensuring stability, security and prosperity for Israel.

The Day of Action is the culmination of J Street’s Two-State Summer Campaign, launched to show that the American Jewish community backs strong U.S. leadership to help bring Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table to resolve the conflict. The campaign included intensive outreach to the Jewish community via more than 200 house meetings countrywide and collecting signatures to show the robust support that exists for urgent action. Contrary to those who have questioned American Jewish backing for the President’s vision, J Street’s campaign shows that the President can rely on American Jews when it comes to pushing for a negotiated settlement.

J Street NYC is the local grassroots arm of J Street, the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.  J Street was founded to give political voice to mainstream American Jews who understand  that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essential to Israel’s survival as the national home of the Jewish people and as a vibrant democracy. J Street’s mission is two-fold: first, to advocate for urgent American diplomatic leadership to achieve a two-state solution and a broader regional, comprehensive peace and, second, to ensure a broad debate on Israel and the Middle East in national politics and the American Jewish community.