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Brad Miller has left Amazon Studios, where he was associate general counsel, to rejoin David Wright Tremaine as a partner. Miller, who was an associate at Davis Wright earlier in his career, will work in the firm’s media and entertainment practice in Los Angeles. He has experience overseeing the legal affairs of productions, negotiating agreements with talent, and handling legal compliance, content review and production-related litigation. … The former co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s retail industry group Danielle Garno has joined Reed Smith’s entertainment and media industry group as a partner. Garno has represented top fashion brands including Cartier, Burberry, and H&M, advising multinational brands and startups on intellectual property matters, employment and business litigation. In an interview, Garno, who is based in the Reed Smith’s Miami, FL, office, said the firm’s entertainment and media group made sense because of the cross-over between the fashion industry and entertainment. “So much activity right now is between fashion and music and entertainment and e-sports and gaming,” she said. “Brands now are really interested in that space. … [I]nfluencers are becoming celebrities, and fashion brands use influencers to reach a market they couldn’t reach through traditional advertising. So it seems like the right fit for fashion to be in entertainment and media.” “I represent fashion technology companies,” Garno added. “They’re not your traditional brands …” What’s a fashion technology company? Garno continued, “I think fashion has a waste problem, and I believe that fashion technology companies are using technology to solve those problems that create waste.” Garno joined Greenberg Traurig in 2005 as an associate and made partner in 2013. She moved to Cozen O’Connor last spring. … Reed Smith’s London-based head of film and TV will leave the law firm to join Australia’s government-owned television and radio broadcaster as general counsel. Ingrid Silver will start at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in September and will replace current GC Connie Carnabuci, the network said. As a digital media, broadcast and communications transaction and regulatory expert, Silver developed an impressive range of skills and experiences to lead the ABC’s legal team, the broadcaster said. “This is a key role for the ABC and in many ways a unique role in the Australian media landscape,” ABC Managing Director David Anderson said in a statement. The ABC has also appointed Jacquie Foord and Grant McAvaney as associate general counsel, who will have responsibility for regulatory and editorial matters respectively. … Samira Shah has entered the ring at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to serve as the Stamford, CN-based media company’s next general counsel. As WWE’s new legal chief and corporate secretary, Shah will oversee the publicly traded company’s legal affairs, including litigation, intellectual property, corporate governance, government relations, risk management, talent contracts and compliance matters. Shah most recently served as the general counsel at Moda Operandi, an online marketplace for luxury fashions headquartered in New York. She joined the startup in 2019, then built and led its legal department, according to her LinkedIn profile. Before she went in-house for Moda Operandi, Shah practiced at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and O’Melveny & Myers. During her nearly two decades in private practice, Shah defended companies embroiled in complex commercial litigation and governmental investigations. She joins WWE as the company bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic, which spurred the company to adapt to closures and social distancing measures by holding live shows but without audiences. The company also leveraged its WWE Network, which recently launched on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming video service, to increase revenue from intellectual property rights and offset losses from canceled ticketed live events. WWE closed out 2020 with $974.2 million in revenue, a 1% increase over the prior year. For the first quarter of 2021, the company reported $263.5 million in revenue, a year-over-year decrease of 9%, or $27.5 million, primarily due to canceled live events. In announcing the first-quarter results, WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon stated that his company “continued to effectively execute our strategy, demonstrating our ability to adapt to a challenging live event environment and to expand the reach and monetization of our content in a changing media landscape.” … Former Boeing Co. general counsel Grant Dixton has joined Activision Blizzard Inc. as the Santa Monica, CA-based video game and entertainment company’s chief legal officer (CLO). Dixton succeeds Chris Walther, who announced in May that he was retiring as CLO. Walther had served as Activision’s chief lawyer since 2009. Activision revealed Dixton’s appointment in a June 2021 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Dixton landed at Boeing’s Chicago headquarters in 2006 as an assistant general counsel and worked his way up the legal department ladder to last year securing the chief lawyer seat at Boeing. He also was a member of the company’s executive council. Prior to joining Boeing, Dixton served as assistant counsel to President George W. Bush, providing legal, policy and strategic advice on lobbying and ethics reform, internal investigations and other government-related matters, according to his biography on Boeing’s website. Before his stint at the White House, Dixton worked for two years as an associate at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, DC.
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By Stan Soocher
Composers of pre-1978 works often assigned both the initial and renewal copyright terms in their works when signing songwriter agreements with music publishers. But what happens when a grant of the copyright renewal term of a pre-1978 work has been made post-1977?
By Bruce Love
With a significant amount of NFT activity arising from the entertainment and sports industries comes an inevitable need for legal services. But taking advantage of this economic growth is no simple matter for entertainment, media and sports lawyers. It requires an understanding not just of NFT transactions, but also of data security, intellectual property, public policy, and a whole raft of regulatory and compliance issues.
By Ben Thompson and Robert Moorman
There are frequent battles over trademark rights in the entertainment industry. Trademark publication can be an anxious part of the federal application process, with fear of aggressive opposition and costly proceedings looming in the background. But many trademark oppositions, whether they are only threatened or actually filed, afford the applicant a discussion with an opposer that can ultimately be helpful in nonobvious ways.
By ELF Staff
Notable court filings in entertainment law.