Our Entertainment Industry Group offers a combination of substantive legal knowledge, relationships at the highest levels of the industry and in-depth understanding of our clients’ business issues. We are a broad-based practice focusing primarily on the music and motion picture industries, counseling clients in connection with disputes and dispute avoidance in areas that include contracts, copyright, licensing, trademark, false advertising, unfair competition, First Amendment, defamation and internal investigations.
We also act as strategic advisors in connection with a broad range of transactional matters, including acquisitions, financing agreements, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. In addition, we coordinate with many of our other practices to provide a wide range of services to the entertainment industry that include employment and labor law, executive compensation, tax, securities law, patents, bankruptcy and restructuring, insurance, privacy and data security, and corporate governance.
We have represented many of the world’s leading artists and entertainment and media industry institutions, including, on the artist side: Madonna; U2; Michael Jackson; Janet Jackson; Lady Gaga; Ke$ha; Bon Jovi; Green Day; John Legend; Rob Thomas/Matchbox 20; My Chemical Romance; Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails; Shania Twain; Sting/The Police; The Eagles; Whitney Houston; and Meat Loaf. On the institutional side, we have represented: Bertelsmann A.G.; Sony Music Entertainment (including The RCA Records Group, Arista Records, J Records and Jive Records); BMG Music Publishing; Universal Music Group (including Interscope Records and Island/Def Jam); Warner Music Group (including Warner Bros. Records, Elektra Records, Maverick Records, Atlantic Recordings and Warner/Chappell Music); EMI (including Capitol Records, Virgin Records and EMI Music Publishing); Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures; Hasbro; Sega; Live Nation Merchandise; Palm Pictures; AEG Live; Wind-up Records; Blackground Records; Ken Ehrlich Productions; and Primary Wave Music Publishing.
We represent the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the “GRAMMY” Award organization) and one of our partners serves as the Academy’s national legal counsel. And, we represent the GRAMMY Museum.
Chambers USA says that our group is “right at the heart of the industry,” is “admired for its national capacity and resources” and “enjoys a top-notch reputation.” It also notes that we are considered “the go-to firm for issues concerning copyright in the entertainment industry,” and that we possess the ability to "come up with very creative strategies and find paths to success."
Areas of Focus
- Litigation and Counseling
Copyright and Trademark
- Transactions and Corporate Work
Madonna, WB Music Corporation and related entities in a copyright infringement action regarding Madonna’s hit musical composition and recording entitled “Vogue”
Lady Gaga and her related entities in a copyright infringement action regarding Lady Gaga’s musical composition and sound recording entitled “Judas”
John Legend and Sony Music Entertainment in a copyright infringement action involving Legend’s musical composition and sound recording entitled “Maxine’s Interlude”
The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (the Recording Academy) in successful defense of a lawsuit challenging the Recording Academy’s decision to trim its GRAMMY Award categories from 109 to 78, resulting in dismissal of the suit
Live Nation Merchandise in defense of a copyright infringement action brought by a well-known music photographer regarding Live Nation’s use of an image of Pete Townshend, the lead guitarist of the rock band The Who, on a variety of merchandise
U2 in copyright infringement litigation regarding the hit single “Vertigo” from the band’s album “How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb”
RCA Records in a class action against the four largest record companies, in which the court dismissed the complaint seeking a declaratory judgment that the digital and other new media exploitation rights belonged to virtually every recording artist who had ever recorded for a major label