Media & Entertainment
Carolyn S. Toto
Cydney A. Tune
Pillsbury represents management, agencies, performers, sports figures and corporate entities involved in the media and entertainment industries. We resolve issues ranging from negotiating and documenting routine contracts to collaborating on, structuring, negotiating and documenting complex multilevel capitalization and finance deals. We are particularly adept in matters arising from the confluence of interactive media and technology.
Pillsbury’s extensive global resources serve our media and entertainment clients wherever content meets the consumer. We regularly advise and counsel clients regarding potential claims for copyright infringement, idea submission, defamation, invasion of privacy and rights of publicity, and have handle related antitrust, labor and equal opportunity cases. We counsel clients on trademark and trade secrets matters and defend against injunctive relief for alleged infringement of trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. We litigate personal services contracts, advertising disputes, labor matters and criminal actions.
By combining our experience in intellectual property, business, labor, tax and real estate, we provide world class legal representation to our media and entertainment clients. The Media and Entertainment practice group offers the following services for our clients:
Film, Television & Music Production/Distribution. We provide advice on financing, lending, producing and distributing motion pictures, and counsel both management and talent in the music industry. We advise on the acquisition of film and programming rights and the purchase and sale of libraries. We also handle copyright infringement cases and idea submission and right of publicity cases for television and film production companies, advertising agencies and record companies. Our significant experience in the representation of lenders in film finance disputes, in both bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy courts, contributes a corporate dimension to our media practice.
Talent. Our attorneys counsel numerous prominent talent clients including performers, producers, musicians, screenwriters, novelists, radio personalities, and directors. We assist with agreements, recommendations, contract interpretation, and general tax, financial planning and wealth management.
Internet. We counsel clients on state and federal laws affecting content, including content disseminated on the World Wide Web. As businesses in every industry adapt (and readapt) to the Internet, our clients are expanding their dissemination of content, either in the form of advertising or as a primary product. Our attorneys help clients license, enforce, and defend their rights to information, fiction, non-fiction, advertising, trademarks, domain names, logos, music, photographs, videos, film, animation, graphics, and other forms of content.
We protect our clients’ content by obtaining, enforcing, and protecting rights to intellectual property, including copyrights, trademarks, and service marks. Our lawyers are well versed in the new anti-cyber squatting laws and in prosecuting actions under ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution procedures. We represent licensees and licensors in transfers of rights to content.
Multimedia. We cover all aspects of the multimedia industry, from business counseling and licensing to complex patent enforcement litigation. Clients cover every market segment, including hardware, software, semiconductors and internet telecommunications. We are nationally recognized attorneys in licensing, venture capital and securities law, trademark and copyright law, patent prosecution and protection. We litigate intellectual property cases before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including federal district courts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and the International Trade Commission.
We regularly advise our clients on methods to avoid litigation by assisting with prepublication review, the appropriate response to demands for retraction, protection from disclosure of documents and testimony in civil and criminal proceedings by asserting applicable First Amendment and statutory standards, including reporters’ shield laws, in obtaining access to judicial or governmental proceedings, utilizing our in-depth knowledge of applicable state and federal standards, our familiarity with court procedures and personnel, and our resources to respond quickly to assert First Amendment rights. We also prosecute actions under the Freedom of Information Act and various state records statutes to obtain information our clients need. We advise reporters on how to gather news while avoiding exposure to suits for tortious conduct or to criminal prosecutions, and provide copyright and trademark advice as well as advice on contract matters, contests and other promotions to media and other clients.
Executive Employment. Our entertainment attorneys represent numerous executives in the film, television and music industries in their employment agreements with major entertainment companies. We counsel clients on certain issues unique to the industry, such as hiring, firing and benefits within the context of editorial and related First Amendment freedoms. We also counsel our clients with respect to tax and estate planning and other related issues.
Professional Sports. We represent professional sports leagues, teams and athletic talent as well as a collegiate athletic association. We provide our sports clients with general business representation, public and private financing and partnerships, intellectual property issues such as trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and patents, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and project development, risk management and regulatory issues. We also represent our clients as they negotiate and structure management, agent and license agreements.
Advertising. We represent advertising agencies, both domestic and international, in negotiating, documenting, securing and litigating publication rights and association agreements with Hollywood talent and sports figures, as well as litigating matters.