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Mark Sableman


St. Louis
314 552 6103 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, 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 20 law review articles and book chapters. His article on Internet linking law won the International Trademark Association's Ladas Award in 2003, and his article on artistic expression won a Burton Award for Legal Achievement in 2008. Mark has taught Internet Law, and Censorship and Free Expression, at Washington University School of Law. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® from 1995-2021 (by BL Rankings), 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, Reuters, National Geographic News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Marketing News, Newsday and New York Post.


News reporting use of insurrection photo held to be fair use

Can Internet mischief be caught?

Supreme Court excuses copyright application mistake

Photo publisher’s checklist: Seven New Year’s legal resolutions for your website

FTC warns of penalties for false endorsements

Disinformation report suggests major legal reforms

Lessons from a long-ago deepfakes prosecution

Use of fake identities found deceitful in commercial email — why not elsewhere on the Internet?

Muting Misinformation: Resources for identifying and dealing with misinformation

Muting Misinformation: Only you can prevent the spread of political untruths

Thompson Coburn Publications

Intellectual property and other legal priorities during COVID-19

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


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


"Indecency and Obscenity,"
Sage Encyclopedia of Journalism, 2022

"Section 230, Communications Decency Act,"
Sage Encyclopedia of Journalism, 2022

“Clarifying Copyright: Supreme Court registration ruling changes little,”
NINK, June 2019

“Intellectual Property Basics for Authors,”
NINK, July 2018

“Typographic Legibility: Delivering your Message Effectively,”
SCRIBES Journal of Legal Writing, 2016-17

“Social Media Privacy: It’s a Reasonable Expectations Game,”
Copyright and New Media Law, Winter 2016-17

Co-author, "Will the Zippo scale for Internet jurisdiction slide into oblivion?,"
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; IP Litigator, November/December 2014

Co-author, "Advertising Law: It’s Not Your Father’s First Amendment,"
St. Louis Bar Journal, Fall 2013

Co-author, "Consumer Attitudes Toward Relevant Online Behavioral Advertising: Crucial Evidence in the Data Privacy Debates,"
Media Law Resource Center Bulletin, Fall 2013

Co-author, "A B-to-B Carve-Out in Privacy Legislation,"
National Law Journal, April 22, 2013

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

Co-author, "Missouri Recognizes Right to Deliver Unwanted Speech,"
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,"
St. Louis Bar Journal Summer 2011

"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; 2nd 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

Co-author, "Use of Intellectual Property in the Media,"
Missouri Media Law Handbook, 2009

Co-author, "Internet Publishing,"
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

Co-author, "Keyword-based Advertising: Filling in Factual Voids (Geico v. Google),"

"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,"
Journal of the Missouri Bar, May-June 2005

"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

"More Speech, Not Less: Communications Law in the Information Age,"
Southern Illinois University Press, 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,"
The Practical Lawyer, 1988


“Judges judging art: the strange world of parody and satire,”
St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, Dec, 11, 2019

“How copyright law may surprise you,”
Association of National Advertisers, St. Louis Chapter, Oct. 29, 2019

“Gateway to Legal Understanding,”
Gateway to Publishing conference, St. Louis, June 14, 2019

Co-presenter, “Tune In to Legal Compliance,”
Missouri Broadcasters Association convention, June 8, 2019

Co-presenter, “Staying Legal and Credible in the Age of Misinformation,”
Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, April 19, 2019

“Media Law,”
Mini-Journalism School for the Public, St. Louis Public Radio, April 17, 2019

Co-presenter, “Ethical Communications in the age of Photoshop and Facebook,”
Webster University Media Academy, March 7, 2019

Panelist, “Context: Alabama Story Discussion,”
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, January 7, 2019

“Copyright and Photography: what you should know,”
International Photography Hall of Fame, August 4, 2018

“Censored in the US Capitol: Pulphus v Ayers and its Implications,”
St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, April 30, 2018

“Public Access to Government,”
Missouri Bar Mini Law School for the Public, April 4, 2018

Co-presenter, “Legal Background of Influencers and Social Media Marketing,”
Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, March 28, 2018

Co-presenter, “Photos, Postings and other Problem Pixels: Keeping your website legal,”
Missouri Broadcasters Association convention, June 10, 2017

“Internet Twists of Digital Marketing,”
Midwest Digital Marketing conference, April 13, 2017

“Copyright for Artists,"
St. Louis Watercolor Society, Feb. 15, 2017

“Digital communications law for analog religious communicators,”
St. Louis Religious Communicators, February 9, 2016

"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, MO, 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, MO, April 24, 2014

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

"Media perspectives and Interests,"
"What You Need to Know About Public Records and Open Meeting" seminar, St. Louis, Jan. 30, 2014; Jan. 30, 2013; 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, NY, December 6, 2012

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

Co-presenter, "Free Speech v. Trademarks: Communication in a Proprietary World,"
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, MO, 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, MO, 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, IL, October 25, 2011

"Data Privacy,"
Association of Corporate Counsel, St. Louis, MO, May 12, 2011; Chicago, IL 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, St. Louis, MO, October 3, 2010

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

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

"Copyright - Myths, Fair Use and Infringement,"
Media Literacy Week at Webster University, St. Louis, MO 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, St. Louis, MO, 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, St. Louis, MO, July 7, 2007

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

"Marketing and the Law: How Not to Market Your St. Louis Attraction,"
St. Louis Attractions Conference, St. Louis, MO, 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 Romance Writers, March 18, 2006; Midwest Mysteryfest, September 24, 2005; St. Louis Writers' Guild, March 20, 2002

"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, St. Louis, MO, November 18, 2004

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

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

"Digital Millennium Copyright Act Practicalities,"
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, 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, MO, June 19, 2003

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


Thompson Coburn Attorneys Named to Missouri Top 100 Power List

​​​Mark Sableman Honored with 'Friend of Missouri Broadcasters' Award for 25 Years of Dedicated Support​

Missouri broadcasters win First Amendment right to advertise alcohol prices and discounts

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

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