Entertainment, Media, Sports & Art Law

An artist's or athlete's time is best utilized practicing and perfecting their talents, not handling the often overwhelming legal, financial and marketing affairs of their professional lives. Building an experienced and motivated business team is perhaps the most overlooked, but integral factor in achieving success within today's multi-faceted entertainment industry. 

 

Personalized Legal and Financial Representation 


Media and entertainment law has grown to encompass a broad range of disciplines within today's modern legal landscape. At Florek & Counsel, LLC our team of practicing attorneys advise on how to best enhance and protect each client's work and talent across both traditional and emerging media outlets, from television to motion pictures, Internet to radio, live performance to studio recording, fashion to fine art, and theater to professional sporting arenas.

With over 25 years of combined licensing, financial, and entertainment industry experience, our team of attorneys aim to ensure all of our clients are protected throughout the various stages of their career. We understand an artist's or athlete's career may be short-lived, and similarly, so may be the time they have to realize their most significant gains. Our firm specializes in optimizing these potential gains by strategically negotiating and preparing contracts and licensing agreements that best reflect the present and future interests of our clients.   

We offer personalized and professional legal representation throughout the following areas of the entertainment industry: 

THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

 At Florek & Counsel LLC, we work closely with performing artists, recording labels, concert venues and performing rights organizations. Our experienced Counsel provide a wide array of professional legal services within the music industry, including:

  • Advanced Recording Deals
  • Performance Agreements
  • Copyright & Trademark Protection
    • Federal Registrations
    • Licensing Agreements
    • Infringement Actions
  • Tour Budgeting, Planning, Finance and Accounting
  • Band/Operating Structure Agreements
  • Studio Musician Work-For-Hire Agreements
  • Loan-Out Deals
  • Independent Production Agreements
  • Rights of Publicity and Likeness Licensing
  •  Advanced Royalty Accounting, Computations & Negotiations
    • Mechanical Royalties
    • Public-Performance Royalties
    • Songwriter Royalties
    • Printed Music Royalties
  • Publishing and Controlled Compositions Agreements
  • Synchronization and Transcription Licenses
  • Pressing & Distribution Deals
  • Upstream Deals
  • Joint Ventures
  • Motion Picture and Television Licensing
  • Composer Agreements

 

MOTION PICTURES, TELEVISION & THEATER 

From negotiations to final contracts, our team of attorneys advice actors, studios, producers, directors, script writers and guild members on all intricacies of the deal making process. Some of our services in this area include:

  • Depiction and Location Releases
  • Copyright and Trademark
    • Clearances
    • Licenses
    • Registrations
  • Literary Acquisition Agreements
  • Employment Contracts
    • Writer Employment
    • Director Employment
    • Actor Employment
  • Distribution Agreements
  • Rights of Publicity
  • Manager and Agent & SAG Motion Picture/Television Contracts
  • Line Producer Employment Agreements
  • Collaboration Agreements

 

PROFESSIONAL, INTERNATIONAL AND COLLEGIATE SPORTS 

At Florek & Counsel, our services go beyond simply negotiating the most immediately lucrative deals for our clients, we also look into what will be best for our clients' future. Our team of knowledgeable attorneys personally educate our clients on how to maximize their career opportunities by advising of potential exit strategies, lateral movement options, and off-the-field revenue. Our professional representation extends well beyond traditional deal structuring and integrates aspects of financial planning and wealth preservation techniques that aim to protect and optimize the value of our clients' present gains.  Our services in the professional, international and collegiate sports arena include:

  • Player Contract Representation
  • Employment and Labor Negotiations
  • Product Endorsement Deals
  • CBA Negotiations and Dispute Advocacy 
  • NCAA Compliance Investigations, Proceedings and Appeals
  •  Player Association Dispute Resolution
  • Tax Planning & Representation
  • Bill Payment & Cash Management
  • Trademarks & Rights of Publicity Licensing
  • Injury Compensation & Pensions Advocacy
  • Real Estate, Joint Ventures, and Financial Investment Planning
  • Charitable Foundations and Fundraisers
  • Cash Flow Planning and Financial Management

 

 

FINE ART & FASHION DESIGN 

The fine art and fashion industries are highly competitive global markets that require in-depth knowledge of laws relating to state, federal, and international intellectual property, contracts, and business partnerships. At Florek & & Counsel, our full service intellectual property and corporate legal team provide all the essential services necessary for domestic and international representation of professional artists and designers.  Our services in these areas include:

  • Intellectual Property & Counterfeit Good Prosecution
    • Copyright, Patent & Trademark
      • International & Domestic Registration
      • Infringement Prosecution, Litigation & Advocacy
  • Corporate Entity Structuring
  • Art Management and Protection 
  • Contracts, Assignments & Licensing Agreements
    • Marketing Agreements
    • Non-Compete Agreements
    • Confidentiality Agreements
  • Employment and Labor Agreements
  • Work-For-Hire Agreements
  • Authentication Services
  • Auction Representation 

 

While the articles and information on these pages aim to provide an accurate, objective and up-to-date portrayal and review of the facts concerning various disciplines within today's legal profession, the information contained within these articles is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. No reader should act on the basis of the content without seeking appropriate legal counsel.* 

News & Recent Developments

U.S. 6th Circuit Ct. of Appeals Reaffirms Thoery of Vicarious Liability in Artist Royalties Case

In the recent June 6, 2014 case of BMI v. Meadowlake Ltd., a bar owner was sued for refusing to pay roylaties on music played at his establishment. The owner argued that the music, which was played at the bar, was brought in, selected, and put-on by his patrons and he had no part in the selection or playing of the music.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, rejected this argument and affirmed that a defendant becomes vicariously liable for a direct infringement of a copyright “by profiting from [the] infringement while declining to exercise a right to stop or limit it.” Judge Sutton went on to note that a defendant’s ignorance about the infringement or the performances does not negate vicarious liability.

*While the articles and information on these pages aim to provide an accurate, objective and up-to-date portrayal and review of the facts concerning various disciplines within today's legal profession, the information contained within these articles is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. No reader should act on the basis of the content without seeking appropriate legal counsel.*

The NCAA Keller Settlement: Progress for College Athletes

The NCAA has grown somewhat infamous for not allowing their student athletes to realize any pecuniary gain from their participation within NCAA sports. However, it appears that this tradition may finally be coming to an end!

On Monday, June 9, 2014, roughly five long years after the commencement of the Keller Action, the NCAA announced their intent to settle in Keller v. NCAA. Plaintiff, Sam Keller, a former NCAA quaterback, filed suit in May of 2009 against the NCAA and EA Sports, claiming that the NCAA commissioned the use of his likeness for commercial gain in an NCAA video game without his consent, and in violation of the First Amendment.

On May 31, 2014, a $40 million settlement was reached between the parties. According to the terms of the settlement, if approved by the court, the NCAA will be required to dish out $20 million to Division I men's basketball and football players who attended particular colleges while the NCAA video games were sold.