Instrumental to the music industry
In this new and constantly evolving age of entertainment, Manatt’s music practice combines commercial and strategic savvy, legal experience, and decades of industry leadership to promote and protect clients’ interests and to drive highly negotiated, boundary-pushing deals.
With one of the oldest music practices in the country, Manatt’s music team has been at the forefront of the major trends shaping the industry for more than 40 years.
Our lawyers represent rock, alternative, electronic, urban/hip-hop and country music songwriters and recording legends, as well as their estates. We draft and negotiate recording, publishing, management, distribution, touring, merchandising, licensing and partnership agreements, as well as devise strategies to help our clients protect their intellectual property rights and maximize value. Our lawyers are particularly knowledgeable about legal issues surrounding the content streaming industry.
In addition to our vibrant talent group, we also represent record and publishing companies, production companies, concert promotion companies and music industry executives and managers in connection with licensing and merchandising, corporate sponsorship, financing, copyright litigation, mergers and acquisitions, tax, real estate, privacy, Federal Trade Commission, and labor matters. We advise emerging companies in the music space on company formation, financing, partnerships and more.
Manatt is consistently ranked among the top entertainment law practices by international publications, including Chambers USA and U.S. News & World Report. In the 2019 Best Law Firms guide, Manatt was named the Law Firm of the Year in Entertainment – Music.
Our lawyers are widely recognized for their legal prowess, receiving accolades in Billboard, Los Angeles magazine, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. With offices in the entertainment hubs of Los Angeles and New York City—as well as in the regulatory center of Washington, D.C.—our music practice is international in scope, representing a broad range of high-profile clients.
What we do
Catalysts for change and innovation, our team is always ahead of the curve when it comes to the entertainment issues of the day. In addition to being sought after for top-tier legal counsel, we serve our clients as counselors and coaches.
We assist clients with the following:
- Joint ventures and strategic partnerships
- Copyright law and analysis for the digital age
- Intellectual property protection
- Recording agreements
- Copyright termination rights
- Digital service provider negotiations
- Catalogue sales
- Publishing agreements
- Distribution agreements
- Touring agreements
- Management agreements
- Merchandising agreements
- Neighboring rights agreements
- Master public performance rights agreements
- Licensing agreements
- Partnership agreements
- Producer agreements
- Sponsorship agreements
- Royalty audit and SoundExchange audit
- Artist and estate representation
- Employment, labor and workplace conduct
- Brand building, management and maximization
- Advocacy for creators’ rights and industry initiatives
The democratization of technology and social media has presented an opportunity for artists to engage with the public in a variety of ways that move beyond their music. Due to this exposure, we are seeing more artists use their influence to promote pressing social and political issues, with many of them launching companies, nonprofits and other initiatives. We actively represent clients’ interests in connection with their broader business, social or philanthropic objectives, and brands. For example, Manatt attorneys helped launch and serve in the executive leadership of Music Artists Coalition, an advocacy group comprising leading figures in the music industry.