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October 2010 Archives

October 7, 2010

MEDIA AGENCY POSITION

Job Title: Media Partnership and Contracts Director, NA
Level: Senior Partner

Reporting to: Direct to Managing Partner, Head of Investment for major Client
Indirect to Client Finance Director

Key relationships with: Client Counsel/Legal team
Agency Counsel and external Counsel working on behalf of Agency CFO
Legal/Business Affairs at networks/vendors

Location: New York City with limited travel

Job Description:

Leading media agency in NA, newly created role, seeking a candidate with solid transactional experience in strategic alliances and media investments/partnerships. The successful candidate will be comfortable in managing transaction risk and being actively involved in client discussions and working closely with various attorneys.

This is an exciting opportunity to work alongside one of the largest and most dynamic client teams in the agency that leverages all media from national broadcast to local to all digital channels. The successful candidate will help to manager our client’s integration and sponsorship agreements in some of today’s premier media properties. This role will focus on many of the national broadcast contract negotiations and administration.

Candidates must possess outstanding communication, negotiation and drafting skills as well as the ability to effectively manage a variety of projects and demanding client groups.

Primary responsibilities will include:

a. working closely with lead managing partner of investments to determine terms and
conditions and expanding on deal points as they relate to media partnerships and
commitments;

b. capturing all deal points into one comprehensive document for all related parties;

c. structuring, drafting and negotiating contracts;

d. providing counseling and legal advice to executive and non-executive level colleagues;

e. working closely with client counsel and external counsel to ensure that all agreements
comply with standard terms and conditions

Requirements:

Qualified candidates will business affairs/contract administration experience with 4 - 5 years of substantive transactional experience. A J.D. is a definite plus but not required.

Agency, publishing, entertainment or holding company experience is highly desirable.

The candidate will have outstanding negotiation and drafting skills with a keen attention to detail and process. Excellent interpersonal communication skills are required.

Compensation:

Attractive package, including base and benefits.

All inquiries should be sent to Marjory Frummer at O’Hare & Associates:
marjory@ohareny.com

October 13, 2010

SPEED-DATING NETWORKING: BREAKING INTO THE INDUSTRY

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

6:30pm – 9:00pm

(7:00pm – official start time)

At the Village Pourhouse (Upstairs space)

366 West 46th Street, NY, NY

(between 8th and 9th Avenue)


Sponsored by the EASL’s Young Entertainment Lawyers Committee

Program Description: Our Speed-Networking event provides attendees a chance to meet young entertainment and sports attorneys from a variety of practice areas in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We all hate going to an event and never having enough time to speak to everyone in the room. Well, here’s a chance to mingle away while enjoying our open bar and hor d’oeuvres.

Come meet us for a wonderful night of dating . . . we mean . . . NETWORKING! Space is limited so please hurry and register.

Registration: $15 for EASL members

$20 for non-EASL members (NYSBA members)

$25 for non-NYSBA members and tickets at the Door

Please register by calling toll-free at 1-800-582-2452.

THIS IS A NON-CLE EVENT

For more information, contact lscully@nysba.org

The 5th Annual Entertainment Business Law MCLE Seminar

"How To Take It With You"

One-Day Event Offers 6 MCLE Credits for Attorneys

Presented by the CMJ Music Marathon in Association with the New York State Bar Association Entertainment Arts & Sports Law Section

The 5th Annual Entertainment Business Law Seminar at CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival 2010 in New York City has announced its complete panel schedule and participants including keynote speaker, President of Lava Records Jason Flom.

The Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) accredited one-day event titled “How to Take it With You” will be held on Friday, October 22, 2010 at New York University’s Helen and Martin Kimmel Center, in the Richard L. Rosenthal Pavilion. Leaders at the center of the entertainment industry will discuss how legal practitioners can best protect their clients’ creative property in the digital age. The seminar is presented by CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival in association with the New York State Bar Association Entertainment Arts & Sports Law Section (EASL).


Program panels for the law seminar include:

Today Manhattan, Tomorrow The World - How U.S. entertainment content providers can succeed in foreign markets.

Compensation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery - Exploring the latest developments in likeness & publicity rights.

The End is Near: What You Need to Know About Copyright Terminations - Discussing key issues in copyright terminations including who is eligible and what is dissolvable as well as termination impacts and gray areas.

How to Avoid the FRPR Blues: Ethical Issues in Music, Film & Entertainment Law - Exploring ethics issues that arise when lawyers assume non-traditional legal roles or take on multiple roles while representing entertainment clients.

Rights, Restrictions & Compatibility: The Challenges of Mobile TV - Addressing issues facing lawyers negotiating distribution deals for mobile content including what is “mobile” versus “Internet.”

The Changing Landscape of Film Distribution: A Digital Vision - Examining new partnerships between film festivals and digital platforms to increase the accessibility and visibility of independent films.

The Kid Stays in the Picture: Agreements with Minors - Investigating the rules and risks of contracting with minors including tips on the best approach to dealing with them.
How to Legally Make an App for That - Looking at dealmaking issues in this new media stream including licensing and content use.

Lawyers attending the seminar will receive six (6) New York State MCLE credits, consisting of four (4) in Practice Management, one (1) in Skills and one (1) in Ethics, plus breakfast, lunch and refreshments.

For registration and complete line-up of panelists please visit http://cmj2010.com/daytime-events/cle-legal-program/ or www.nysba.org/EASLCMJ2010.

NOTE: An additional amount of fifty dollars ($50) will be added to the registration fee if you register after 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13 so REGISTER TODAY!!

USING SOCIAL NETWORKING TO BUILD YOUR BRAND

The Copyright Society of the U.S.A. is pleased to invite you to a program on Monday, November 8, 2010, entitled:

USING SOCIAL NETWORKING TO BUILD YOUR BRAND

Why has social media become essential to marketing and brand development? It’s because Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and other platforms are powerful devices to engage with customers and clients, build relationships and monitor the marketplace. But the learning curve to master and exploit these tools is steep.

The Copyright Society of the U.S.A. has assembled a distinguished panel of professionals. They will help you understand, navigate, employ and not misuse these new technologies to enhance your business and brand. Please join us.

Location and Date of the Program:

November 8, 2010 at Hit Entertainment
230 Park Avenue South, 13th Floor, NYC (Entrance on 19th Street)

Time:

6:00 p.m. -- 6:30 p.m. Registration, networking and light refreshments
6:30 p.m. -- 8:15 p.m. Program
There is no charge to attend this program.

To Register, click on http://csusanmi2010.eventbrite.com/ or please use the attached form.
Registration deadline is November 3, 2010.

Panelists:

Andrew Berger will outline some simple steps you may take to avoid the legal risks arising from your use of social media tools and will also help you create a social media policy to protect your company should your employees misuse these tools.

Andrew Berger is a copyright/trademark lawyer at the New York firm of Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt. He authors a blog on IP issues at www.ipinbrief.com, speaks about them frequently and is an active Twitter user.

Julie Haas Brophy will discuss how her use of Facebook grew her unorthodox company into an international phenomenon that spurred a book publishing deal and other projects.
Julie Haas Brophy earned a BA from Columbia University and is a mother of two young children. She created S**tMyKidsRuined.com and****MyPetsRuined.com, two sites that have attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world in the past year. Her book, **** My Kids Ruined - An A-Z Celebration of Kid Destruction will be released on November 23rd. Julie and her brother recently co-founded Sibling Thrivelry, LLC, a small media company, and together they’ve launched a number of other humor websites.

Yao-Hui Huang will give a general overview of social media platforms and also focus on search engine optimization, blogger outreach, affiliate marketing and ecommerce.

Yao-Hui Huang, with extensive experience in business, marketing and technology, functions at the heart of entrepreneurship in New York. She founded the Hatchery, http://www.hatchery.vc/, in 2007, a venture collaboration forum that assists emerging companies to grow their businesses. The Hatchery also sponsors Hatch Match, an annual event that brings together entrepreneurs, investors, and other parties interested in growing and being part of New York’s vibrant internet/web/information economy. Further, Yao for the last six years has served as CEO of GigaPixel Creative, an award-winning New York-based strategic design and development agency.

Mistina Picciano will discuss how you can blog and use Twitter to brand and market your business to a global audience.

When a college professor convinced Mistina that good writing could actually pay, and after spending several years as a brand manager in the corporate world, Mistina founded Market It Write, http://marketitwrite.com/blog/I, a writing and marketing firm. She is an expert in corporate communications with a large Twitter following and an active blog.

Elissa D. Hecker will moderate the program.

Elissa D. Hecker is an attorney who practices in the entertainment and business fields, specializing in copyright, trademark and business law. In addition to her private practice, Elissa edited the books Entertainment Litigation - Know the Issues and Avoid the Courtroom and Counseling Content Providers in the Digital Age. Elissa is also the Editor of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law (EASL) Blog, http://nysbar.com/blogs/EASL/. Her website is EHECKERESQ.com.

The Copyright Society of the U.S.A. is the premier organization in the U.S. serving the copyright community of business people, lawyers in private practice and in-house, law professors and law students who share a common interest in copyright and related intellectual property rights. A not-for-profit corporation founded in 1953, the Society works to advance the study and understanding of copyright law and related rights, the scope of rights in literature, music, art, theater, motion picture, television, computer software, architecture, and other works of authorship, and their distribution via both traditional and new media.

The Copyright Society of the USA
352 Seventh Avenue Suite 739
New York NY 10001
P: 212- 354-6401
F: 212-354-2847
W: www.csusa.org
E: amy@csusa.org

Upon Review, NFL Owners Overturns League's Call on Exclusive Reebok Licensing Deal

By Joseph M. Hanna

NFL Owners decided at their October 12, 2010 meeting in Chicago to award new licensing deals for NFL Apparel to seven different companies, splitting up the rights previously held exclusively by Reebok. In 2002, the NFL granted Reebok a 10-year exclusive rights agreement as the league's official on-field and sideline apparel distributor. The deal covered all apparel that is visible on the field during games and practices, including uniforms, and called for Reebok to make a line of NFL branded sportswear under a new apparel division that is dedicated to the NFL.

The NFL/Reebok partnership faced a number of challenges, including a loss for the League and Reebok at the Supreme Court over anti-trust allegations. While the League firmly backed its decision to enter into the exclusive agreement, the owners have voted to return to a multiple license system in order to boost revenues. Reebok will remain on board with the NFL until the expiration of its licenses at the end of the 2011-2012.

In a victory for one of Reebok's rivals, the NFL has decided to enter into an agreement with Nike, Inc. to provide on-field and NFL-branded apparel. Nike will provide uniforms and other on field apparel and New Era Cap Co. Inc. will provide on-field headwear. In addition to Nike and New Era, the NFL has also signed licensing agreements with five other companies. Under Armour Inc. will continue to remain as the sponsor of the NFL Combine and will begin selling related apparel. Gill and VF Corp. will manufacture fan gear and '47 Brand will manufacture headwear for fans. Overstuff Ltd. will continue as the NFL's youth apparel provider.

While details of the agreements have not been made public, it is estimated that the five-year deals that will begin in 2012 could be worth up to $1 billion to the NFL.

October 19, 2010

Dora Explores a Minor Platform

By Diane Krausz and Jennifer Bellusci

Chapter Nine "Contracting with Minors", in the recently published Counseling Content Providers in the Digital Age, describes and compares the approval procedures required by New York and California courts for agreements signed by minor performers. Glenn Litwak and I, as the co-writers of the Chapter, conclude as follows: "...California offers a more streamlined and less expensive process than that required under the laws of the State of New York." For this reason, apparently, many New York based production companies have decided not to petition for court approval when dealing with agreements for minor performers with, until now, very little publicly reported consequences.

On October 7, 2010, it was reported that a complaint had been filed by Caitlin Sanchez, performing as the voice of "Dora the Explorer", against MTV Networks, et al. Ms. Sanchez, who is now 14 years old, lives in New Jersey. Her services for Dora were performed in New York City pursuant to an agreement with Uptown Productions, Inc., a production entity of Nickelodeon. The complaint claims that Ms. Sanchez was "swindled", "deceived" and signed a contract with "convoluted, vague, incomplete and misrepresented terms." It also claims that both MTVN (Nickelodeon's parent company) and CESD, Ms. Sanchez's agent, failed to pay Ms. Sanchez appropriate compensation for her services in connection with the program, including residuals, merchandise products, and recordings. The complaint does not contain even one citation for a law, statute or case in support of its position. More interestingly, it fails to allege or even mention, what if true, is the most important fact: Neither of the contracts signed by Ms. Sanchez was submitted to a court and was not court approved pursuant to New York State Arts and Cultural Affairs Law 35.03, and therefore, Ms. Sanchez, a minor, has the right to disaffirm and void the contracts as a matter of law.

A minor disaffirming a production, agent, or manager contract is nothing new. This is precisely why Section 35.03 was enacted, to provide a mechanism similar to the California procedure where a production company/employer could have a minor's employment contract approved and rendered not able to be disaffirmed. In New York, this procedure is neither required nor used as often as in California, where its frequent application and use is limited mostly to certain counties in the Los Angeles area. Further, the extent of effort and time required to file a petition either in New York Supreme or Surrogates' Court is often a significant deterrent to a company's desire to protect the enforceability of its minors' contracts. In many instances, a minor’s reputation and employability are factors in that decision, i.e., who wants to hire someone, even a minor, who would void an agreement after the fact? So it is interesting that the Sanchez case was brought at all, and that when it was in fact commenced, the claims contained no grounds that involved her status as a minor, but rather, included claims that could apply to any actress of majority that had been allegedly treated improperly in contractual dealings.

There is virtually no case law in New York that deals with what should occur where a minor disaffirms on a completed services agreement that has not been approved by the court. The law has been upheld to allow a manager or agent to collect the value of his or her respective commission for the work done to date, on a quantum meruit theory (see Scott Eden Mgmt vs. Kavovit (149 Misc 2d.262, 563 N.Y. S. 2d. 1001 (Sup Ct. Westchester Co. 1990) and Rice v Butler (160 N.Y. 578)), which held that a talent manager or an agent must be paid for commissions actually earned, even if a contract was disaffirmed.

In the case of Sanchez, it appears that with a non-court approved contract, provided that the producer does not remove the minor's services from the continued exploitation of the program, it is likely that the minor will be able to claim a greater amount of compensation, as well as a full accounting of "back-end" merchandising and other royalties given the subsequent huge success of the "Dora" franchise. This is, of course, provided that the complaint is re-pleaded in the future in accordance with the comments in this article.

October 21, 2010

Photographer Wins Lawsuit against Homeland Security to Photograph Outside of Federal Courthouses

By Joel L. Hecker

Antonio Musemeci, a software developer who works with the radio show Free Talk Live, and is a member of the Manhattan (New York) Libertarian Party, was arrested by an officer of the United States Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service on November 9, 2009 while taking photographs of another Libertarian party member who had been handing out pamphlets in front of the Daniel Moynihan United States Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street in Manhattan.

The arresting officer took his camera and memory card and charged him with violating 41 CFR Section 102-74.420, which places restrictions upon photographing certain federal property. The criminal charge was eventually dismissed and on April 22, 2010 Musemeci filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The case, Musemeci v. US Department of Homeland Security, Docket No. 10 Civ. 3370 (RJH), sought to enjoin government officials from restricting non-commercial photography in outdoor public areas where pedestrians have an unrestricted right of access. He was represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union.

That case has now been settled with a complete victory to Mr. Musemeci, other photographers and the public at large. In the settlement agreement filed on October 15, 2010 FPS agreed to provide a written instruction to its officers and employees engaged in law enforcement, stating that for federal courthouses under its protective jurisdiction, there are generally no security regulations prohibiting exterior photography by individuals from publicly accessible spaces, absent a written local rule, regulation or order. The instruction will also inform FPS officers and employees that the public has a general right to photograph the exterior of federal courthouses from publicly accessible spaces.

The settlement does not preclude FPS or any other government agency from taking any legally permissible law-enforcement action, including but not limited to approaching any individual taking photographs and asking for the voluntary provision of information such as the purpose of taking the photographs or the identity of the individual, or taking lawful steps to ascertain whether unlawful activity or reconnaissance for the purpose of a terrorist, or unlawful, act is being undertaken.

FPS also agreed to release Musemeci's memory card which it had seized for use as possible evidence in the initial criminal matter. In addition, FPS will pay Musemeci the sum of $1,500 in damages and $3,350 for his attorney's fees and costs. The stipulation also included mutual general releases.

This settlement and directive would appear to clarify what professional and amateur photographers may do when taking photographs of certain federal courthouses, subject to the specified permissible security measures. Such photographers however, need to be aware of local laws or regulations which might apply to taking photographs in public places.

This settlement is obviously a welcome and long-coming clarification of this federal statute, and what photographers as well as the public at large may do in these situations.

Joel L. Hecker, Of Counsel to Russo & Burke, 600 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10016, practices in every aspect of photography and visual arts law, including copyright, licensing, publishing, contracts, privacy rights, and other intellectual property issues. He can be reached at (212) 557-9600, website www.heckeresq.com, or via email: HeckerEsq@aol.com.

October 22, 2010

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SAY - "I WANNA BE A PRODUCER"?? THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PRESENTS "LOMBARDI" on BROADWAY

By Diane Krausz and Jennifer Bellusci

On September 21st, the National Football League (NFL) "touched down" on Broadway as a first time producer with the play "Lombardi", about the revered football coach Vince Lombardi who transformed the Green Bay Packers " into one of the NFL's most formidable championship franchises and Lombardi into the archetype for the all-American coach." (The New York Observer 9/10/10) Since the Green Bay Packers, the football team Lombardi coached is a name and logo significantly featured both in the Play and its proposed marketing and merchandising campaign, licensing the right to use the Green Bay Packers' logo, name and brand is essential element required both in the play and for its marketing and advertising campaign. Also, Lombardi's "lead" or main producer, Tony Ponturo, has a long and very strong history in sports and marketing, including employment with the NFL, and clearly understands how the NFL's endorsement as producer, and the marketing through its 32 franchise teams, would be an enormous promotional boost to the Play in markets that most Broadway shows never even attempt to approach. This does not even take into account the legitimacy and prestige that the NFL name provides as an authentic sports history certified event.

Therefore, the addition of the NFL as a Producer to Lombardi is of great value to the marketing and promotion of the play, particularly to an audience that is usually not regarded as "theater friendly", e.g., the sports fan.

The publicity and news regarding the play have reported that the NFL has made no actual direct financial contribution in exchange for its producer credit and participation. There is no doubt, however, that, in exchange for its enormous contribution in marketing, promotion and advertising support, both in using its own internal resources and in additional special advertising and marketing, the NFL is most deserving of a standard producer's gross royalty and net profit participation, including in any ancillary rights that may occur after the initial Broadway production.

In most cases, to earn a producer or associate producer credit, a individual or entity will raise a certain amount of the capital investment required to fund the play, or invest his/her/its own funds. In other instances, a producer will contribute "sweat equity" or some other form of consideration that translates into an investment and producer credit. On occasion, a producer has made a significant "in kind" donation where a bond with a union, such as Equity, has been guaranteed or posted by a producer/investor. The NFL, in the case of "Lombardi", has more than provided its fair share by contributing the licensing rights of its franchises and advertising support, both of the standard theater type and of a much more expanded variety, such as internet advertising on all team sites and large billboard ads, as well as other more sports-oriented marketing programs. According to Brian McCarthy of NFL Properties, the NFL is also sponsoring several special evenings at the theater, including a "retired players" night in the beginning of the play's run. Mr. McCarthy assures me that the NFL has access to a standard industry right of "house seats", e.g., orchestra tickets, usually in the first ten rows, available for purchase by producer each performance at retail cost, available up to 48 hours notice prior, although he would not comment on whether or the amount of the percentage of gross and net percentage participation the NFL had in the weekly box office proceeds of the play and subsidiary rights.

Among members of the theater community, particularly those who work on Broadway, the type of new audience members that the NFL name and franchise could potentially attract would certainly be welcome.

October 25, 2010

VALUABLE ART LAW LECTURE AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY

By Leila Amineddoleh

For EASL members interested in attending a fabulous event related to art and antiquities law, SAFE (Saving Antiquities For Everyone) is hosting its annual Beacon Awards this Friday evening. The Beacon Awards promises to be a valuable event and fascinating look into art and antiquities law.

Learn more about the event by visiting http://www.savingantiquities.org/event.php?eventID=235.

Please do not hesitate to contact Leila Amineddoleh (Co-Chair of EASL's Lawyers-in-Transition Committee and Legal Chair of SAFE) at Leila.Alexandra@gmail.com for more information.

October 26, 2010

Morning Lecture Series: Breakfast and Art on Thursday, November 4


One of the legal community's fastest growing fields is art law. The New York State Bar Association's Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section invites you to an introductory lecture about this developing area of law. Leila Amineddoleh will be presenting a 1-hour overview about art law on Thursday, November 4th, from 8:30am-9:30 am at Sotheby's Institute of Art (570 Lexington Ave).

Join us for breakfast, networking opportunities, and a lecture about art law. The event is $10 for non-NYSBA EASL members, $5 for NYSBA EASL members, and free for students. Please join us for this fascinating lecture presented by the Lawyers-in-Transition Committee. Please RSVP to Leila.Alexandra@gmail.com.

October 27, 2010

“Media Masala"

“Media Masala – Current Trends and Issues in
US – India Film, Television and Music Programming, Production and Distribution”

The New York City Bar Association Entertainment Law Committee presents an evening of industry professionals sharing experiences, developments and challenges in the rapidly expanding media markets between India and the U.S.

Date: Monday, November 8, 2010
Time: 6:00-8:00

Location: New York City Bar Association
42 West 44th Street
New York, New York 10036
(212) 382-6600

Admission: Free
RSVP to: Michelle Adams at madams@cdas.com


Panelists:

Megha Bhouraskar
Founding Partner, Poppe and Bhouraskar LLP

Steve Stander
Vice President & Deputy General Counsel
A&E Television Networks, LLC.

Salil Gandhi
Co-founder, Cry Baby Media

Anadil Hossain
Co Founder, Dillywood Inc.

Mark Merriman
Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz
Production counsel, “Darjeeling Limited,” Wes Anderson, Director

Co-sponsored by Entertainment Law Committee members Joanne Cassidy and
Madhu Goel Southworth


About October 2010

This page contains all entries posted to The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Blog in October 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

September 2010 is the previous archive.

November 2010 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.