Entertainment Industry

News & Analysis as of

Mila Kunis’ open letter on gender bias at work

Many people know actor Mila Kunis for her role in the TV series “That ’70s Show” and her film roles in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the drama Black Swan. Kunis has recently been in the headlines for her open letter on sexism...more

Second Circuit Finds Use of "Who's on First" Routine Not Transformative and Not Fair Use

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a consequential opinion on the meaning and scope of what has become the "transformative use" factor of the fair use defense to copyright...more

California Employment Law Notes - October 2016

Newly Enacted California Statutes - Minimum Wage Increases - As of January 1, 2017, businesses with 26 or more employees must pay a minimum wage of $10.50 per hour; the rate increases to $15.00 per hour in 2022....more

September 2016 Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News Update

The past month’s judicial and administrative activity in the area of IC misclassification reflects the wide range of industries facing these types of claims: communications; cleaning services; transportation and delivery...more

2016 California Labor and Employment Legislation Update: It’s Final!

Seyfarth Synopsis: Employers in California: be aware and prepare for new laws increasing minimum wages and mandating overtime pay for agricultural employees; expanding the California Fair Pay Act to race and ethnicity and to...more

New California Law Will Require Online Entertainment Database Sites to Remove Age-Based Information

California’s governor has signed into law a bill aimed at discouraging discriminatory age hiring practices in the entertainment industry. The law focuses on internet websites identifying ages, but critics question whether...more

CA Governor Signs Bill Allowing Actors to Delete Their Age from Online Profiles

On September 24, 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1687 – a measure aimed at preventing age discrimination against film, television, and other professionals in the entertainment industry whose ages could be viewed...more

Is Chinese Investment in the U.S. Film and Entertainment Industry the Next Area of CFIUS Scrutiny?

U.S. lawmakers recently submitted a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) raising concerns about increased Chinese investments in the U.S. film and entertainment industry and questioning whether the Committee...more

From sports and entertainment to politics and social justice—when worlds collide in your workplace

It’s everywhere. Whether you like it or not, you can’t escape it. While the topics of politics and social justice are undoubtedly important discussions to have in our country, the reality is that they now seem ever present....more

Copyright Plaintiffs Keep Trying to Topple Empire. Can Proto-Cookie Succeed Where Others Failed?

Just in time for the Season 3 premiere, let’s take a look back at Empire’s year in IP litigation. Like the fictional Lyon family, which is constantly beset by threats from Feds, old criminal connections, and music...more

ITC Declines to File Petition for Certiorari – CAFC Holding that ITC Does Not Have Jurisdiction over Digital Imports Stands

The deadline has come and gone for the ITC and patentee Align to file petitions for certiorari seeking review by the Supreme Court of the Federal Circuit’s decision in ClearCorrect. On November 10, 2015, a panel of the...more

Producers Beware: What happens when your movie distributor files bankruptcy?

The Issue - There has been written a plethora of articles about Bankruptcy Code §365(n) regarding the rights of parties to license agreements when the licensor files a bankruptcy and rejects a license agreement....more

Artists, Entertainers and Mediation: Where the paths meet

I’m a lawyer and have been a full-time mediator for more than 20 years. Before I went to law school, I spent 10 years working as a professional dancer, seven as a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. I didn’t...more

The implications of Brexit on the entertainment and media industry

While the United Kingdom will not leave the European Union overnight, it is important to consider what the result of the Brexit referendum means to the entertainment and media industry. What are the challenges? How do we...more

The Blockchain: Beyond Bitcoin

Blockchain - While many people in the U.S. are still skeptical that bitcoin will become a mainstream currency, both private and public sectors are gaining interest in the idea that the underlying blockchain technology...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 6.30.16

US banks made a strong showing in part 2 of the latest round of the Fed’s stress tests. Only Morgan Stanley didn’t pass unconditionally (concerns over the company’s “internal controls and processes” tripped it up), while the...more

New Stats From The AAA

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) has not released statistics for years (other than to the CFPB). But recently, arbitration geeks got a summer solstice gift of (limited) new information. The piece is only three...more

Service Trade Dress?

When most people of think of trade dress protection they primarily think of a good. Generally, protecting a product’s configuration, which can never be inherently distinctive, or a product’s packaging, which can be inherently...more

Manatt Digital - June 2016

In this newsletter, we examine what's new in media as it relates to the Chinese market with specific emphasis on VR, Hollywood, and the ongoing digital transition....more

Cooling hot political buttons

During every political campaign, I am reminded of the notion that if we speak about our co-workers or subordinates in the manner in which the American voter speaks about political candidates, we should expect some remediation...more

Canadian Tax Credits: Lights, Credit, Axing!

As of October 1, 2016, British Columbia (B.C.) will reduce tax credits available to film and television productions. Basic production service tax credits will be reduced from 33 percent to 28 percent, and tax credits offered...more

No bluff: Wright demands equal pay on House of Cards

Actress Robin Wright, who plays the formidable Claire Underwood on House of Cards, is the latest in the entertainment world to speak out on equal pay. According to a recent interview, Wright demanded equal pay after...more

Order in the Court: How David Kelly of the Golden State Warriors Serves the Winning Team

As the general counsel of the Golden State Warriors, one of the NBA's best basketball teams, David Kelly lives the life of at least five different general counsel. He serves as a basketball lawyer, startup lawyer, consumer...more

Settlers and Snitches: Sony Breaks Ranks in Hollywood Wage-Fixing Claims

I previously wrote about two wage-fixing class actions, where some of the largest high-tech and Hollywood companies conspired not to hire one another’s employees to keep wages low. Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe attempted to...more

Is Evidence of Confusion Really Necessary to Succeed in a Trademark Infringement Case?

It is not every day that a massive international TV hit show is found to infringe a trade mark. A decision of the English High Court, approved recently by the Court of Appeal, held that the popular 20th Century Fox teenage...more

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