Entertainment & Sports

Navigating a rapidly changing entertainment industry calls for holistic counsel. We watch for potential risks and pitfalls so that our clients can focus on their creative pursuits and goals.

Overview

Our Entertainment & Sports team represents clients across the entertainment industry spectrum including film, television, radio, theater, music, visual arts, publishing, and athletics. We handle complex transactions, litigation, investment and financing, intellectual property protection and licensing, and wealth transfer and charitable planning. As the entertainment industry continues to evolve, we help our clients navigate their inevitable legal and business challenges, offering the peace of mind and confidence necessary for our clients to focus their energies on creative pursuits. Several notable projects are highlighted below as representative of the work our attorneys do in these areas.

Film
AGG counsels major and independent film production companies on issues that arise in film production from start to finish. These include financing arrangements, talent negotiations and contractual engagements, production requirements, IP protection and licensing, content clearance, advertising and promotions, and ancillary activities. We are particularly adept in handling film tax credit issues.

Television
We assist production companies, talent, third-party vendors, and service providers in the broadcast, cable, on-demand, and streaming television business. AGG attorneys handle matters regarding project development and production, property licensing and distribution, and intellectual property protection and exploitation.

Theater
Theatrical production companies turn to AGG to handle the negotiation of contracts with on-stage and other creative talent, licensing of music and stage adaptation rights on original works, and other intellectual property matters. We also handle legal issues associated with live-stage productions.

Music
Our clients include Grammy-award nominated and winning recording artists, independent artists, major and independent record labels, unsigned artists, songwriters, composers, producers, venues, touring/production companies, management teams, recording studios, music retailers, and a national association of independent media stores. We also help promoters and production companies handle matters associated with music festivals and similar events.

Sports

Our attorneys are private business advisors to athletes, including professional athletics, coaches and teams, on matters including private wealth issues and ongoing business concerns. We also represent other sports entities on corporate and intellectual property matters, including licensing.

Visual Art and Images 
We represent a wide array of clients, including museums, galleries, artists and their estates, muralists, photographers, and celebrity tattoo artists. We represent clients in everything from contracts, to licenses and intellectual property protection, to merchandising and commissioning arrangements, complex sales, sponsorship, and licensing transactions.

Publishers and Digital Media
AGG attorneys represent publishers, brand influencers, tastemakers, and content creators. Our clients include magazines, journalists, book publishers (traditional and e-books), authors, and bloggers who turn to us to assist with literary agent and publishing agreements, trademark and intellectual property fair use, licensing, promotions, and advertising.

Experience

Film

Recent Projects:

  • Represented a major film studio with all production elements associated with a feature film project.
  • Represented independent production companies with various film-related projects including, private placement, script acquisition, financing and investment matters, director, casting and producer agreements, talent and production crew agreements, location releases, intellectual property protection, and merchandising arrangements.

Television

Recent Projects:

  • Counsel for national television cable channel assisting in-house legal team with a variety of matters, including intellectual property matters, production and talent agreements, location releases, and technology agreements.
  • Assisted the producers of a hit reality television show with the negotiation of numerous development agreements.
  • Represented a television production company in its formation, fundraising efforts and talent agreements, and sponsorship and product placement engagements.
  • Our expertise includes negotiating contracts for on-air media clients, e.g. ABC, CNN, NPR, Buzzfeed, as well as severance packages for media employees.

Theatre

Recent Projects:

  • Assisted a live-theatre production company with legal matters associated with its international tour, including its formation, private placement, venue and artist agreements, and intellectual property matters.
  • Provide pro bono legal assistance to the Center for Puppetry Arts on all contract, licensing and intellectual property matters.

Music

Recent Projects:

  • Successfully defended a multi-million selling Grammy Award-winning recording artist in a copyright infringement suit.
  • General counsel to award winning multi-day music festivals on land, sea, and trains.
  • Assist recording Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame artist with 360 Deal and legacy catalog publishing contract.
  • Representation of a specialized vinyl record club in connection with a sale to a major record label.
  • Represent UK record label in federal lawsuit against heirs of GRAMMY Legend Award winner

Visual Art & Images

Recent Projects:

  • Represent award winning mural and graffiti artist in connection with commissioned works and public installations in connection with the Super Bowl.
  • Assist celebrity tattoo artist with licensing and merchandising matters with a world famous fashion designer.
  • Represent photojournalist in connection with unauthorized publication and exploitation of award winning photographs.

Publishers & Digital Media

Recent Projects:

  • Represent largest magazine publisher in US in connection with various content infringement claims.
  • Assist author with securing intellectual property and copyright licenses in connection with the production of an audiobook.

Miscellaneous

  • Represented entertainment production company, Halftime Live, with all legal needs, including formation, private placement fundraising and negotiation of various entertainment-related contracts, including talent agreements, agency agreements and reality television show production agreement
  • Counseled client in the television industry regarding trademarks, copyrights, and brand protection.
  • Serving as general copyright, intellectual property, licensing and contract counsel to a Grammy Award-winning independent record label.
  • Represented sports agent in connection with separation of employment with sports agency and related restrictive covenant dispute.
  • Represented Atlanta-based puppet theatre, Center for Puppetry Arts, in clearing rights in and to copyright-protected musical works for use in various original puppet shows created by and performed at the theatre.
  • Assisted client in the acquisition of sports league franchise system and thereafter provided legal counsel on franchise regulatory and contract issues.
  • Represented the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, Inc. in connection with global immigration matters, processing thousands of visas in the areas of broadcasting, IT, culture and the arts, and athletics.
  • Counsel to independent film production companies and filmmakers.
  • Represent talent in connection with story, likeness, and talent agreements.
  • Represented Grammy-winning archival record label in licensing of historical sound recordings, artwork and related materials from major label for inclusion in book and CD box set and digital release.
  • We manage a majority of client’s US trademark filings, including for LUDA and DISTURBING THA PEACE. We also advise the client on an ongoing basis on trademark infringement disputes. We recently resolved litigation concerning a claim by a pro se plaintiff that the client copied and is infringing on the plaintiff’s DISTURB THE PEACE mark. We prevailed on summary judgment at the district court level, which was affirmed on appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (2017 WL 2954398).

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