We have extensive experience in entertainment law, representing a wide array of creative companies and individuals in the worlds of arts and entertainment, having negotiated numerous deals with such companies as Disney, Sony Music, Def Jam Records, Jim Henson Company, Netflix, PBS, CBS Sports, NBC Television, Marvel Entertainment, and Simon and Schuster. We not only draft and negotiate entertainment industry contracts, but we also help with clients develop smart, pragmatic and cost-effective legal strategies to make their businesses as successful and protected as possible.
Among the types of clients we represent are:
• Film and television production companies, producers, actors, screenwriters, directors, and talent on unscripted/reality television
• Nationally known and Grammy-winning musical artists in the field of rock, folk, jazz, pop, country, R&B, hip hop, and classical
• Producers and sponsors of festivals, tours and other live events
• Authors and publishers
• Advertising agencies and manufacturers active in the world of branded entertainment
• YouTube personalities and Multi-Channel Networks (“MCNs”)
• Computer game developers and publishers
• Artists, illustrators, sculptors, and photographers
• Comic book artists and publishers
• Universities and university presses with copyright and entertainment issues
• Website development companies
• Theatre companies, and stage producers and actors
• Investors in entertainment industry companies
Here are some examples of matters we handle:
Film and Television. We provide legal advice to production companies, writers, directors, producers, actors, managers, agents, and others in the film, television, and interactive media worlds. We draft and negotiate all types of film and television contracts, including, for example, option/purchase, literary purchase, production, financing, co-financing, negative pickup, sales agent, and distribution agreements. We also frequently handle rights clearances on behalf of filmmakers and producers, as well as providing clients with ‘fair use’ and ‘chain of title’ opinion letters and helping them obtain Producers Errors and Omissions insurance policies (which are normally required by film distributors and networks in the case of distribution and broadcast agreements). In addition, we often represent individuals who are the subjects of films, to assist them with the negotiation of Life Story Rights Agreements with filmmakers and studios.
Music. We represent recording artists, producers, remixers, managers, record companies, distributors, aggregators, songwriters, film and television composers, music placement and marketing companies, agents, music libraries, and music publishing companies, to help them strategically promote and protect their businesses and their intellectual property rights. We draft and negotiate record, publishing, producer, management, distribution, touring, merchandising, corporate sponsorship, licensing, and Internet agreements, as well as band partnership and LLC agreements We also handle agreements relating to the sale and purchase of publishing catalogs and record company catalogs, and assist with the ‘due diligence’ review associated with such transactions. We also assist clients with royalty collection matters and maximizing their various sources of income – for example, online income and foreign income.
Publishing. We draft and negotiate all types of book and magazine publishing agreements, for both traditional and new media. We also assist authors and publishers with exploiting their works in other venues, such as negotiating Literary Purchase Agreements on behalf of authors, publishers, and literary estates. We also do work for university presses having specialized copyright and entertainment issues.
Artists, Illustrators, Sculptors, and Photographers. We represent a wide range of visual artists and photographers with contract drafting and negotiation services (for example, consignment and sales agreements), as well as legal strategies to maximize the legal protection of their copyrights and businesses. We also advise artists in connection with their rights under the federal Visual Artists Rights Act (“VARA”) and assist them with enforcing their rights under that statute.
Branded Entertainment. We represent companies which integrate brands into productions and events – for example, sponsorships, endorsements, and product placements. We also often assist advertising agencies with rights clearance advice and services.
E-Commerce. For clients transacting business on the Internet, we draft website development agreements, service agreements, website terms of sale and use, privacy policies, affiliation agreements, content licenses, and supplier and distribution agreements.
Rights of Publicity. We assist high profile clients (including performers and athletes) with protecting their personal brands, as well as reviewing and negotiating contracts offered to them.
Theatre. We assist theatre companies, university presses, and producers with the drafting and negotiation of agreements and any necessary rights clearances. For example, negotiating stage rights agreements with music publishers, composers, authors and literary estates and advising university presses on stage production agreements with theatrical producers.
Related Contracts. We assist clients with various contracts pertaining to the internal operations of their businesses – for example, work for hire agreements, and non-compete and non-disclosure agreements.
Business Formations. We assist clients with forming new legal entities, such a partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies.
Investors. We advise investors on entertainment law and intellectual property issues concerning entertainment-related companies they are considering investing in or acquiring. We also represent investors in connection with the negotiation of investment and acquisition agreements and assist them with the ‘due diligence’ activities typically involved with such transactions.