Home > People > Mark Sableman

Mark Sableman


St. Louis
314 552 6103 direct

Mark's practice focuses on facilitating clients' communications, in media, marketing and business. He helps news media clients gather and publish news, and business clients build their brands, and fight infringement and false advertising. He helps all clients protect and use information technology, and conduct business in the online world. In legal terms, he concentrates in intellectual property, media, and information technology law.

Mark is a trial lawyer, having spent many months in federal and state courtrooms trying business, media and intellectual property cases. But he recognizes that most cases are resolved out of court, and he directs his practice toward resolving disputes quickly and effectively through correspondence, direct negotiations, and alternative dispute resolution techniques.

Mark litigates copyright, trademark, advertising, libel, privacy, unfair competition, and trade secret cases, as well as technology and Internet-related claims. He advises clients on intellectual property, media, technology, and Internet issues.

Mark has written one book, "More Speech, Not Less: Communications Law in the Information Age," and more than a dozen law review articles and book chapters. His article on Internet linking law won the International Trademark Association's Ladas Award, and his article on artistic expression won a Burton Award for Legal Achievement. Mark has taught Internet Law, and Censorship and Free Expression, at Washington University School of Law. He has been listed since 1995 in The Best Lawyers in America®, and is currently listed in seven areas.

Mark writes for the "Internet Law Twists and Turns" blog found at internetlawtwists.com, and "In Focus, the Photo Copyright Blog," found at copyrightfocus.com. Mark has been quoted on media, Internet and intellectual property law issues in various publications, including the New York Times Cyber-Law Times column, Wall Street Journal, B-to-B, National Geographic News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Marketing News, Newsday, and New York Post.


Bumble stumbles: State policy interests override dating app’s contractual forum

Concerns about misinformation could lead to limits on key media freedoms

Dentist’s failed suit demonstrates a copyright’s bite needs more than teeth

Social media photos, once again, are not fair game

Copyright Office identifies visual arts copyright problems, solutions

Media literacy in a time of misinformation: A Q&A with Don Corrigan

Why we permit fake identities, even for Russian disinformation campaigns

Fair use isn’t arithmetic

Too hyperbolic to be believed: How social media is transforming libel law

Are campaigns running on infringement?


Advertising and Communications for Institutions of Higher Education

Goldilocks and business records: Business and litigation perspectives

Buzz, Cookies, Targeting: A Business Guide to Rapidly Expanding Data Privacy Laws

Thompson Coburn Publications

Could graffiti art prevent your redevelopment project?

9th Circuit’s VidAngel decision vindicates lawful video filtering service

Your trademarks now can (but needn’t) be offensive

Trademark Office warns about deceptive trademark-related solicitations

Clearinghouse opens for protecting brands on new top-level domains


"More Speech, Not Less: Communications Law in the Information Age,"
Southern Illinois University Press (1997)

"Will the Zippo scale for Internet jurisdiction slide into oblivion?" (co-authored with Mike Nepple)
Journal of Internet Law July 2016

"Copyright Licensing - Creative Commons Licenses Can Provide Copyright Defenses,"
The Licensing Journal, June/July 2016

"Making websites ADA compliant",
O’Dwyers, June 2016

"PR pros must know Spam, fax regulations,"
O'Dwyers February 2016

"Opinion and Libel",
The SAGE Guide to Key Issues in Mass Media Ethics and Law May 2015

"Data Privacy",
The SAGE Guide to Key Issues in Mass Media Ethics and Law May 2015

"Cameras in Court",
The SAGE Guide to Key Issues in Mass Media Ethics and Law May 2015

"Copyright and Performance Rights in an Online Video World",
The Licensing Journal, January 2015, and IP Litigator, November/December 2014

"Advertising Law: It’s Not Your Father’s First Amendment" (co-authored with Mike Nepple);

"Consumer Attitudes Toward Relevant Online Behavioral Advertising: Crucial Evidence in the Data Privacy Debates" (co-authored with Heather Shoenberger and Esther Thorson of University of Missouri-Columbia);
Media Law Resource Center Bulletin, Fall 2013

"A B-to-B Carve-Out in Privacy Legislation" (co-authored with Tom Carpenter of Wexler Walker);
National Law Journal, April 22, 2013

"Who owns Marilyn Monroe?";
Gateway Journalism Review, Fall 2012

"Missouri Recognizes Right to Deliver Unwanted Speech" (co-authored with Michael Nepple);
American Bar Association Section of Litigation First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee website, July 25, 2012

"'We Know What You Like': Online Behavioral Advertising and the New Focus on Data Privacy,"

"Behavioral Advertising: Its Varieties and its Critics,"
Media Law Resource Center Bulletin (March 2011)

"Where Are Those Simple Fair Use Guidelines?"
Gateway Media Literacy Partners (October 3, 2010)

Editor and Contributor,
MISSOURI BAR MEDIA LAW HANDBOOK (1st ed. 1997) and (2d ed. 2009)

Editor, "Practically Pocket-Sized Internet Law Treatise,"
Media Law Resource Center Internet Law Committee (2009-2012)

"Journalist's Right to Privacy Primer,"
Missouri Media Law Handbook 2009

"Use of Intellectual Property in the Media," (co-authored with Jennifer Visintine),
Missouri Media Law Handbook 2009

"Internet Publishing," (co-authored with Jennifer Visintine),
Missouri Media Law Handbook 2009

"Resolving Advertising Challenges Early and Efficiently," in Inside the Minds: Managing Advertising and Marketing Legal Issues,
Aspatore Books (2008)

"Targeting With Others' Trademarks: The Uncertain Law of Keyword-Based Online Advertisements,"
Media Law Resource Center Bulletin (May 2008)

"Protecting Your Business from Cyber-Opportunists,"
Saint Charles Business Magazine (October/November 2007)

"Assessing Consumer Understanding of the Advertisement's Message," in Advertising and Marketing Litigation Best Practices
Aspatore Books 2007

"Keyword-based Advertising: Filling in Factual Voids (Geico v. Google)," (co-authored with Jacob J. Jacoby)

"Artistic Expression Today: Can Artists Use the Language of Our Culture?"

"Don't Just Dash Off the Usual 'Nastygram,'"
Midwest In-House (May 2006)

"Fair Comment, The 'Brightest Jewel in the Crown of the Law,' as Protection for Free Speech and Against Abusive SLAPP Suits,"

"Link Law Revisited: Internet Linking Law at Five Years,"

"The Hidden Camera Conundrum: A Media Lawyer's Perspective" in "Hidden Cameras Hidden Microphones,"
Radio and Television News Directors Foundation (1998)

"Business on the Internet, Part I: Jurisdiction," and "Part II: Liability Issues,"
53 J. MISSOURI BAR 137, 223 (1997)

"News Media Access to Computer Records: Updating Information Laws in the Electronic Age,"

"The Court's Role In Interpreting Language in Libel and Slander Cases,"
45 J. MISSOURI BAR 399 (1989)

"How To Prevent Defamation Claims,"


"Website Law 101” webinar, Commercial Law WebAdvisor,
May 3, 2016, May 20, 2015, December 16, 2014

Communications law in the social media era,”
Missouri Professional Communications, February 2016

“Internet of Things and Other Emerging Developments,”
Association of Corporate Counsel, St. Louis, MO Sept. 18, 2015

Moderator, “Protecting Journalists and Free Speech when Police and Protesters Collide,”
Media and the Law Conference, Kansas City, April 17, 2015

Moderator, “Extreme Makeover: Reputation Edition – How to rehabilitate, restore or rewrite damaged online reputations, and the legal and ethical issues this raises for journalists,”
Media and the Law Conference, Kansas City, April 24, 2014

"Big Data: Orwellian Abuses Versus Benign Benefits";
Webster U Media Trends Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, April 4, 2014

"Media perspectives and Interests"; segment in
"What You Need to Know About Public Records and Open Meeting" seminar, St. Louis, Jan. 30, 2014, Jan. 30, 2013 and Mar. 12, 2009

Moderator, "Data Protection: Everything You Need to Know But Were Afraid to Ask";
MLRC Conference, London, England, September 23, 2013

"Ads Made for Me";
American Academy of Advertising, Albuquerque, NM, April 4, 2013

"Mobile Privacy";
American Business Media Digital Media Council meeting, New York, December 6, 2012

"Fax, E-mail & Telemarketing";
American Business Media Audience Development Committee, New York, June 21, 2012

"Free Speech v. Trademarks: Communication in a Proprietary World"; (co-presented with Bryan Wheelock)
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, June 13, 2012

"Trademark Law: The Basics and the Bizarre";
Thompson Coburn Rewind Client Seminar, June 6, 2012

"Buzz, Cookies, Targeting: A Business Guide to Rapidly Expanding Data Privacy Laws";
Thompson Coburn TCLE Webinar, May 9, 2012

"Fair Use for Filmmakers";
St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, April 23, 2012

"Data Privacy and what it means for freedom of information";
Investigative Reporters and Educators Conference, St. Louis, February 24, 2012

"IP 101: What You Need To Know About Intellectual Property Law and Your Business";
Thompson Coburn Client Seminar, January 18, 2012

"How Legislation and Regulation Can Impact Your Business Practices";
American Business Media Executive Forum, Chicago, October 25, 2011

"Data Privacy";
Association of Corporate Counsel, St. Louis, May 12, 2011, and Chicago, October 25, 2011

"Buzz, Cookies, Targeting: A Business Guide to Rapidly Expanding Data Privacy Laws";
Thompson Coburn Client Seminar, November 4, 2010

"Contracts, Copyrights and the Quirks of Protecting Your Creativity in the Electronic Age";
St. Louis Writer's Guild, October 3, 2010

"Copyright, Fair Use & Creative Commons";
St. Louis Publishers Association, January 13, 2010

"Behavioral Advertising Update";
American Business Media Executive Forum, Austin, Texas, November 3, 2009

"Copyright - Myths, Fair Use and Infringement";
Media Literacy Week at Webster University, October 8, 2009

"Online in '09: A Breakfast Conversation About Interesting Online, Marketing and Communications Law Developments";
Thompson Coburn client seminar, September 15, 2009

"Publishing Law Basics and the New World of the Google Book Settlement";
St. Louis Publishers Association, May 13, 2009

"Marketing and Advertising Legal Tips: Practical Techniques for Strong Trademarks, Effective Advertising and Keeping Your Competitors in Line";
Thompson Coburn Client Seminar, February 11, 2009

"What You Need to Know About Electronic Discovery";
Thompson Coburn Client Seminar, October 23, 2008

"Litigation in the Electronic Age: Pitfalls and Promises of e-Discovery";
Arkansas Information Technology Symposium, Southern Arkansas University, March 14, 2008

"Copyright: Beyond Myths and Old Wives' Tales";
St. Louis Writer's Guild, July 7, 2007

"Litigation in the Electronic Age: Pitfalls and Promises of eDiscovery";
St. Louis Regional CIO Meeting, April 13, 2007

"Marketing and the Law: How Not to Market Your St. Louis Attraction";
St. Louis Attractions Conference, July 19, 2006

Panel Chair, "Twisting in the Wind of Intellectual Property Enforcement: What's Left of the Right to Engage in Parody, Satire and Commentary";
Media and the Law Conference, Kansas City, MO, April 8, 2005

"Writers' Rights and Wrongs--A Guide to Meeting Legal and Ethical Expectations, and Protecting Your Own Rights, Too";
St. Louis Writers' Guild (March 20, 2002); Midwest Mysteryfest (September 24, 2005); St. Louis Romance Writers (March 18 2006)

"Things Free-Lance Writers Don't Even Know to Ask About";
Missouri Press Women, January 8, 2005

"Privacy and Publicity Rights";
St. Louis International Film Festival, November 18, 2004

"Handling High Profile Cases";
St. Louis Legal Secretaries Association, September 11, 2004

"Putting Electronic Discovery Theory Into Practice In Business Litigation";
UMKC Seminar, May 10, 2004

"Digital Millennium Copyright Act Practicalities";
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, August 27, 2003

"The Magic of Copyright: How the Law Creates Wealth from (and Sets Limits on) Words, Images, and Music... and Why It Is Important to You";
Missouri Scholar's Academy, Columbia, Missouri, June 19, 2003

"Advertising by Facsimile: Illegal or Constitutionally Protected?";
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis Communications and the Media Committee Sponsored Seminar, July 24, 2002

"Privacy - Its Shrinking Boundaries in the Electronic Era";
American Association of University Women, Creve Coeur, MO, November 6, 2000

"Legal Tips for the New Economy";
St. Louis Business Journal Economic Forecast Breakfast, September 22, 2000

"Link Law Update";
The Law of Internet Business seminar, George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, VA, June 7, 2000

"The Controversy over Sensation and the Law of Sensation";
American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri annual meeting, May 24, 2000

Panelist, "The Media and Judicial Ethics";
Forum on Judicial Independence, Fair and Unfair Criticism of Judges, sponsored by American Judicature Society, the Missouri Bar, BAMSL and Missouri League of Women Voters, November 21, 1998

"Internet Law and Practicalities";
Association of Microsoft Solution Providers, November 18, 1998

"The Media, Information Privacy and the Health Care Field';
Missouri Hospital Public Relations and Marketing Association, Lake of the Ozarks, MO, November 4, 1998

"How to Make a News Subject Into a Millionaire: Lessons from Food Lion and Other Disastrous Recent Media Cases";
Missouri Broadcasters Association convention, Lake of the Ozarks, MO, June 20, 1998

"From Paper to Pay-Per: Copyright and Information Law Trends for Educators and Libraries";
Copyright in an Educational Environment Conference, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, April 25, 1998


Back to school: Thompson Coburn kicks off higher education webinar series

116 Thompson Coburn attorneys featured in 2019 Best Lawyers® list

Missouri broadcasters win First Amendment ruling to advertise alcohol sales, discounts

Thompson Coburn again named best copyright firm in the nation

The right type makes your message more effective

Thompson Coburn brief provides key underpinning for major 9th Circuit copyright ruling

Mark Sableman talks ‘internet twists’ at Midwest Digital Media Conference

New Thompson Coburn blog In Focus covers photo copyright cases

112 Thompson Coburn attorneys featured in 2015 Best Lawyers list

Mark Sableman talks to Bloomberg BNA about Europe’s historic ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling

Krissa Lubben, Mark Sableman named 2014 Lexology Client Choice Award winners

Mark Sableman launches Internet Law Twists & Turns blog

More than 50 attorneys named to 2012 Missouri Bar Pro Bono Hall of Fame

Mark Sableman co-authors NLJ article on data privacy legislation

19 Thompson Coburn partners named 2013 St. Louis Lawyers of the Year

Mike Nepple, Mark Sableman publish ABA article on cyberharassment

Mark Sableman and Jennifer Visintine help educate documentary filmmakers

Thompson Coburn successfully challenges school district’s censoring of LGBT websites