Media, Entertainment & Sports Law

As entertainment and technology continue to evolve and converge, many media and entertainment companies are faced with various new challenging legal issues, many of which did not exist in the traditional marketplace. Sedgwick has responded to these challenges by forming a litigation and transactional media, entertainment and sports law practice led by experienced and respected attorneys in all substantive areas relevant to entertainment, media and sports law, including First Amendment defense, all manners of communications, entertainment content issues, news gathering concerns, licensing, intellectual property rights, antitrust, new and existing technologies, distribution, financing, acquisitions and divestitures of interests in sports and media properties and businesses, employment, bankruptcy, real estate and constitutional law.  

Our attorneys understand the unique issues and challenges facing those in the media, entertainment and sports industries and work hard to stay on the cutting edge. We represent clients in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia in deals and disputes arising from all types of entertainment, and media matters, including print/literary, music, motion picture, broadcast and cable television, radio, advertisement/branding, and digital technologies (such as Internet and mobile). Members of the Sedgwick media, entertainment and sports law group have represented professional sports teams and owners and investors in professional sports teams and other sports-related properties in connection with acquisition, sale, financings, and ongoing operational matters.  

We offer a broad range of legal services that cater to the specific needs of our clients. In addition to offering extensive transactional and trial experience and vigorous advocacy in both, our attorneys are also mindful of the benefits of cost-efficient transactional business dispute resolution and work with our clients to develop the best and most effective protection plans or defense possible.

Daily Operations

Sedgwick’s media, entertainment and sports law attorneys regularly counsel and represent clients on matters of daily business operations, including:

  • First Amendment and newsgathering advice and defense
  • Drafting and negotiating agreements for the creation, development, production, distribution, licensing and dissemination of all manner of entertainment content, products and services   
  • Privacy issues, including misrepresentation of photographic images
  • Security issues
  • Litigation
  • Trademark and trade dress selection, licensing and enforcement and infringement defense
  • Copyright licensing and enforcement and infringement defense
  • Unfair competition defense
  • Anti-dilution statutes
  • Clearance work and prepublication reviews
  • Right of publicity advice, enforcement and defense
  • Entity formation
  • Equity and debt financings
  • Purchase and sale of media and entertainment properties and businesses
  • Employment matters

Entertainment and High-Tech Agreements, Contracts, Licenses and Releases

Our attorneys guide our clients through creation, negotiations and help secure all of the various transactions that may arise while producing and developing entertainment content and services, including:

  • License agreements
  • Entertainment unions and guilds
  • Entertainment joint ventures and entities
  • Merchandising/branding
  • Advertising agreements
  • Distribution agreements and licenses
  • Production agreements and licenses
  • Film agreements and licenses
  • Talent agreements and releases
  • Options
  • Commission contracts
  • Negotiate music publishing rights
  • Clearance work and secure requisite intellectual property rights for literary works 
  • Negotiate artist management rights
  • Legal production for music festivals and other live events and club promoters

Government Policy and Regulation

Sedgwick’s media attorneys counsel and help our clients navigate and comply with complex regulatory schemes applicable in the following areas:

  • Communications Decency Act
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act
  • Privacy Protection Act
  • Open government laws
  • FCC regulations on indecency and obscenity
  • Consumer privacy and data security
  • Copyright and trademark licensing, enforcement and liability
  • Internet
  • Government contracting
  • International law

Sports 

Our sports attorneys counsel athletes, teams,  and sports companies in the following areas:

  • Contractual and right of publicity matters
  • Licensing disputes
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Agency disputes
  • Equity and debt financings
  • Purchase and sale of teams and interests in teams and related properties
  • Leasing and real estate matters
  • Employment matters 

International 

Sedgwick’s associated foreign counsel assist our global clients with compliance of the local laws in foreign jurisdictions, including:

  • Foreign film licenses
  • Trademarks
  • Purchase of and investment in foreign companies
  • Copyrights
  • Content creation and distribution

Litigation

Our direct experience, knowledge and training have led to a significant number of successful verdicts in both defending and bringing claims. We have successfully gotten multiple summary judgments for clients who have been sued without having them incur the expense of lengthy discovery. We also have won numerous interlocutory appeals. Our approach is an efficient resolution to litigation. In addition to trying numerous cases to victory, our attorneys also successfully resolve disputes valued at millions without the need for litigation. 

Technology & Media E&O Insurance Defense

Sedgwick’s media and entertainment practice includes the defense technology and media entities insured under media and specialized E&O policies. We work closely with both the insured and the insurer to provide effective, economical claim resolution.

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Cybersecurity and privacy risks and the exposures they present are one of the top concerns for companies in every industry. Every business needs the ability to protect its data and to have uninterrupted use of its networks. The Sedgwick Cybersecurity & Privacy Group is a multi-disciplinary group of attorneys with extensive experience working closely with clients to address and reduce their cybersecurity and privacy risks and exposures. Sedgwick counsels and defends clients in all areas of cyber security and privacy, from adopting sound privacy practices to ensuring regulatory and legal compliance and defending against consumer class actions.