Corporate & FinanceCapital MarketsVenture CapitalChair, Manatt Digital Mediaemail
The Media Revolution Is Being DigitizedWith the world becoming more connected in the digital space, people are consuming and producing different types of media across various distribution platforms and devices in ever growing numbers. Unlike traditional media, the digital media environment is egalitarian, easily accessed and freely shared from anywhere, and in its nascent stages regarding regulation. In this brave new world, it’s essential to know what’s needed in order to protect your rights, avoid violating the rights of others and build a business that succeeds.
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As a major player in entertainment and media law, Manatt has been plugged into the issues surrounding digital media from the very start. We help all kinds of digital media clients realize the opportunities for monetization and expansion of content—as well as tackle the legal pitfalls, piracy issues and infringement actions that can stymie them both.
While helping many major entertainment and media companies expand their businesses to the digital platform, we also represent many small firms seeking to be the next Tumblr, INgrooves or YouTube—entrepreneurs with transformational technologies for the delivery of digital content—as well as venture investors eager to get in on the action. Our lawyers counsel and advise:
Focusing on Your SuccessWe don’t see ourselves as simply digital media lawyers—we’re digital media business advisors. Beyond helping you protect your digital assets and avoid unintended use of others’ IP, we also strive to help you find new ways to generate revenues, finance your business and develop functionalities that will increase your market dominance. In short, we help your digital media business succeed.
Content Creation and LicensingOur lawyers advise the full spectrum of entertainment industry participants—artists, producers, directors, writers, investors and more—in the development, production, licensing, acquisition and distribution of content across a variety of platforms, including performing the necessary due diligence and handling the drafting and negotiations necessary to bring these transactions to a successful conclusion.
Strategic PartnershipsWe’re connected with some of the biggest names and companies in the entertainment industry, having handled everything for them from transactions and talent contracts to licensing and litigation. And we can connect you to them, too. In fact, our team has been influential in helping to create strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships between the artists we represent and a broad range of digital content creators and distributors.
General Corporate CounselOur lawyers can help you handle the business-end of digital media. We act as general corporate counsel throughout all stages of the business life cycle, from corporate formation and governance, to the development of intellectual property deployment and protection strategies, to the negotiation of licensing and distribution agreements, to the protection and enforcement of your brand and associated content.
FinancingWe represent both providers and users of capital in the digital media space, including private equity and venture capital investors throughout the world, in negotiating complex structured credit facilities and arranging loans for specific projects.
Branded EntertainmentIntegrating your brand into a third-party’s digital content can have a big payoff, but it’s a complex business that requires knowing how to structure deals that will maximize value for all parties. Manatt has years of experience sourcing, negotiating and managing branded content transactions for feature films, television, new media, music and video games. We have represented the interests of all key players—suits and creatives—including advertisers, advertising agencies, producers, major motion picture studios, television and music companies, talent agencies, talent managers and technology companies in structuring and implementing innovative integration and activation arrangements.
Mergers & AcquisitionsWe represent both digital media companies and private equity and venture capital investors in the purchase and sale of major music, television and film libraries including assets and properties developed exclusively for digital distribution. These transactions have taken a variety of forms, including forming enterprises out of talented individuals with a common goal, establishing partnerships between established content owners and cable/satellite providers, and assisting in strategic acquisitions by tender offer or auction.
Shifting Ad Dollars to Uncharted TerritoryAs ad dollars shift from traditional media to highly targetable personalized digital platforms replete with friends, followers, votes, points, likes, tweets, codes, contests, communities and commerce, we help you navigate what is essentially uncharted legal territory. Having researched the issues, tracked the trends and developed an understanding of how government regulators are likely to react, we apply these insights to inform your business strategies and help you maximize your return on investment.
Protecting Digital World Content With Real-World Litigation StrengthIn many ways, the world of digital media is like the Wild, Wild West when it comes to content creation, control and distribution. Despite laws in place to protect digital copyrights and distribution, both content creators and users often take an “anything goes” approach when operating in the digital space.
In such an environment, it’s essential to have a firm with a strong litigation practice. Manatt’s capabilities in pre-suit negotiation, litigation and trial and appellate advocacy are exceptionally strong—particularly in the digital space – due to our extensive representation of television, radio, motion pictures, music, art and advertising clients. In fact, we’re on a first-name basis with many of the major players in these industries. More importantly, our track record as litigation counsel for our entertainment and media clients is comparable to our transactional work.
From copyright infringement and Digital Millennium Copyright Act actions, to trademark dilution and right of publicity claims, to licensing suits and false advertising class actions, you can be confident of our lawyers’ counsel—because chances are, we’ve already handled a case like yours.
Digital Media Tombstone
Recent deals and engagements include the firm's representation of:
Corporate / Financing / M&A
Venture Capital /Private Equity Funds
We work with top-tier venture capital and private equity firms in multiple financings across the investment stages for digital media companies.
A group of investors who had purchased a 49% interest in a technology start-up company with a potentially valuable Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol patent. Our clients sued the promoter, patent holder, CEO, and 51% shareholder for securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and abuse. Following extensive discovery and multiple motions, the case was settled very favorably for our investor clients, who received alarge monetary award and effective control over the company.
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