In recent years, the surge in athlete trademarks has marked a strategic shift in how sports personalities approach their personal brands. Having recognized their inherent commercial value, athletes today are viewed as powerful brands with marketable identities.Continue Reading Guarding the Name of the Game: The Role of Lawyers in Safeguarding Athlete Trademarks
The Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) Endorsement Guides have evolved over the past forty years from regulating celebrity endorsements and testimonial advertisements to policing social media advertising, including influencer endorsements and native advertising. On February 12, 2020, the FTC announced that it had voted 5‑0 to approve a proposed Federal Register Notice, seeking comment on whether to make changes to its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (“the Endorsement Guides”), which were enacted in 1980 and amended in 2009, as part of a systematic review of all current FTC rules and practices. The Endorsement Guides have steadfastly required transparency in advertising and, if there is a connection between an endorser and the company selling the product or services being advertised or promoted which, if disclosed, might affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement, such connection must be disclosed clearly and conspicuously.Continue Reading FTC Finalizes Revisions to the Endorsement Guides, Proposes New Rule for Consumer Reviews and Testimonials and Updates FTC Staff Guidance
Just like Napster triggered a global, technological shift in the way music is consumed and distributed, we are now on the precipice of another major revolution certain to disrupt the music industry. Artificial intelligence, or “AI” as it is more commonly referred, has quickly emerged as a game changer across a myriad of industries and music is no exception. AI offers the promise of innovative opportunities and avenues for music creation, publishing, recording, synchronization, distribution, consumption and revenue generation. However, these opportunities also present significant, novel challenges for music rights holders and users alike—and the legal challenges have just begun.Continue Reading Rise of the Machines: How AI is Shaking Up the Music Industry
Now more than ever, access to quality data translates to monetization opportunities and this is especially true in the world of collegiate and professional sports. In the past two decades, data analytic tools measuring athlete health and performance have come a long way, and now, it is not just players or teams that stand to potentially profit. In particular, the advent of wearable technology has produced a sports biometrics boom that could soon become a gold rush for players, teams, universities, and companies looking to use or sell biometric data.
Continue Reading Navigating the Sports Biometrics Boom
The first domino fell in late 2019 when Governor Newsom signed The Fair Pay to Play Act into law. This was the first statute allowing collegiate student-athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness (NIL). Specifically, the statute bars universities, athletic conferences and the NCAA from preventing student-athletes in California from profiting off their NIL. Despite the NCAA’s vigorous opposition initially, close to 30 states have since enacted similar legislation or have otherwise legalized NIL deals in their own states. Moreover, last year’s unanimous Supreme Court ruling in NCAA v. Alston may not have reached the issue of NIL, but it did chip away at the NCAA’s ability to regulate student-athlete compensation. Sensing the inevitably of its waning grip over its NIL policies, the NCAA then committed to a dramatic policy shift within days of the Alston ruling by permitting all student-athletes to begin profiting off their NIL as of July 1, 2021. Even if a state has not yet passed NIL legislation, the NCAA policy change applies nationwide and now brands can partner with student-athletes in every state.Continue Reading What Brands Can Expect from College Sports’ Ever Evolving NIL Landscape
With content distribution methods evolving rapidly, major players within the entertainment industry are looking to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as a means to strengthen their position and maintain market share. Industry insiders predict a continued increase in M&A activity within the entertainment sector. In light of the likelihood that entertainment companies may be presented with an M&A opportunity, either as a buyer or as a seller, it would serve entertainment companies well to prepare for such an opportunity.
Continue Reading Practical Considerations for Reviewing Entertainment Agreements in M&A Transactions
At least three different types of marketplaces facilitate the sale and/or resale of NFTs. These include open marketplaces, curated marketplaces and proprietary marketplaces. Other variations do exist, however, and it is likely that other alternatives will be developed. In the attached article, we examine some of the differences between these types of marketplaces and business models, highlight some of the varying license terms of these marketplaces and discuss why IP owners who license their IP for NFTs often are best served by developing their own licenses to be used in connection with sale of their NFTs.
Continue Reading NFT License Breakdown: Exploring Different Marketplaces and Associated License Issues
There are a number of issues relating to distribution that arise in split rights deals for motion pictures. Whether it’s an acquisition, co-production or co-financing arrangement, one of the more important deal points is what kind of agreements a distributor should make vis-à-vis the sharing with or granting access to another party of picture materials. These can range from physical materials such as trailer materials and TV, airline or other versions of the picture, to marketing materials such as artwork, value-added materials and electronic press kits. If you’re a distributor and are contemplating sharing materials you’ve created (or those created on your behalf) with a counterparty, here are some key considerations when negotiating terms that will apply to this arrangement.
Continue Reading Sharing Motion Picture Materials: Practical Considerations
Nollywood, as Nigeria’s movie industry is widely known, has grown in leaps and bounds since the acclaimed 1992 home video movie, “Living in Bondage”. In less than two decades, the average film production budget has increased by ten-fold to about US$250,000 to US$750,000 while straight to DVD release has given way to windowing across theatrical, TVOD, SVOD, and/or DVD. Nigeria’s TV and video market revenue grew by 7.49% to reach US$732 million in 2018 and was projected to reach US$806 million by the end of 2020. Widely known for comedy, drama, and romance (many times of average storyline and quality), Nollywood producers and directors have in recent times pushed the envelope with the few resources at their disposal. Genres have expanded into horror, period pieces, musicals, animations and “nolly-noir”. However, the industry is still struggling and filmmakers are unable to be bold and ambitious particularly due to budgetary constraints.
To state the obvious, Nollywood needs co-production treaties to move to the next level.Continue Reading Nollywood Needs Co-Production Treaties to Move to the Next Level
A newly inked strategic partnership between Sony Music Entertainment and Roblox is another indication of a maturing relationship amongst the music, gaming, and esports industries, a synergy that has evolved for years and in particular, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The major record label and game creation platform have enjoyed the mutual success of their recent collaborations and are now gearing up to allocate more resources to developing “innovative music experiences for the Roblox community that offer a range of new commercial opportunities for Sony Music artists to reach new audiences and generate new revenue streams around virtual entertainment.”
Continue Reading Strategic Partnerships Advance Music and Gaming Synergy
Live entertainment venues, an economy nearly destroyed by the COVID-19 pandemic, are finally re-opening around the country and must consequently adapt to varying state restrictions for holding indoor events. Despite being able to reopen, many venues will remain closed until regulations and capacity maximums are relaxed, reasoning that such restrictions make reopening financially implausible.
Continue Reading Safe in Sound: A Reopening Checklist for the Live Entertainment Industry