Entertainment Arts & Sports Law Section

  • 2014 CMJ Music Marathon
    The Entertainment Business Law Seminar at CMJ Music Marathon October 24, 2014
  • EASL Children at Work
    "Caution: Children At Work” What You Need to Know about Child Employment in the Entertainment Industry Save the Date! November 13, 2014 | 4:00pm - 7:30pm
  • Section Events
    • 2014 CMJ Music Marathon

      Entertainment Business Law Seminar in association with CMJ Music Marathon 


      The Entertainment Arts & Sports Law (EASL) Section of The New York State Bar Association, in association with CMJ Music Marathon, will host the all-day MCLE accredited Entertainment Business Law Seminar on October 24, 2014 at New York University 60 Washington Square South, New York City.  
      This program is accredited for a total of 6.0 MCLE credit hours, 5.0 in Professional Practice and 1.0 in Ethics, this program is non-transitional and does not qualify for newly admitted attorneys 
      The Entertainment Business Law Seminar will feature speakers at the center of the industry discussing the changing landscape of the entertainment business. 
      For questions on the MCLE Seminar: Beth Gould at bgould@nysba.org 
      For those seeking CPE Credits you may register through the NYSBA Site, just select the CPE Registration Option on the Registration Page, Pricing is the same as OPTION 1 below.  


      7:30 AM: Registration and Breakfast

      9:00 – 10:00 AM: Panel 1: Litigation Strategies and Current Cases that affect the Entertainment Industry 
      2014 has seen many exciting copyright and entertainment cases enter the litigation arena. This panel will examine some of the high profile cases (e.g., the Google Books decision, Beastie Boys v. Goldieblox, Spirit v. Led Zeppelin, the Supreme Court's holding in Petrella a/k/a the "Raging Bull" case, etc.), not just for their results but more importantly to highlight the parties’ litigation strategies. From fair use defenses and declaratory judgments to class action certification to the interaction of injunction practice and the age-old defense of laches, this panel will spotlight new weapons to deploy from today’s litigation arsenal.

      Scott Sholder, Esq., 
      Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP

      Todd McCormick, Esq., 
      Sedgwick, LLP
      Edward H. Rosenthal, Esq., 
      Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein & Selz, P.C.
      Carla Miller, Esq., 
      Universal Music Group

      10:10 – 11:10 AM: (Choose one of two simultaneous panels)

      Panel 2a – The Descent of the Major Labels and the Ascent of the Self-Distributed Artist 
      Every new musical artist who walks into your office is eager to learn how to make money and become successful in this digital age. Industry experts will explore the best response to this question that plagues new artists in this new world where labels are tight on the purse strings, and not so quick to dish out advances or to provide tour support. Lawyers are faced with a challenging environment with many variables:

      • should the artist take a complete Do It Yourself approach,
      • what is the anatomy of an agreement with investors and what does that mean for the artist,
      • how does the artist derive revenue from publishing, how does the artist make money from records and merchandising, and
      • how can an artist maximize results through promotion teams and social media plus what those results really mean.

      Daniel M. Shulman, Esq., 
      Tavel & Shulman, P.C.

      Marc Jacobson, Esq., 
      Marc Jacobson, P.C.
      Gerald M. Stern, 
      WOW Production Services, LLC
      Joseph L. Serling, Esq., 
      Serling Rooks Ferrara McKoy & Worob LLP

      Panel 2b – The Value of an Intern: Controversy, Law Suits and Best Practices for Internship Programs
      An internship working on a movie set, at a record label, or in the fashion closets of a major magazine publisher may seem useful on a resume or as an opportunity to develop industry contacts. For many entertainment industry professionals, their first “professional” experience was as an intern. Yet, despite the competition for internship positions, a rash of recent lawsuits have claimed that internships are really a way for companies to get free labor to perform menial tasks with very little “learning” involved. This panel will examine the recent flood of lawsuits brought by unpaid interns and their effects on federal and state laws, and discuss the best practices for companies seeking to maintain or establish internship programs.

      Kenneth Anand, Esq., 
      Vandenberg & Feliu LLP

      Alfred Feliu, Esq., 
      Vandenberg & Feliu LLP
      Rachel Bien, Esq., Outten & Golden LLP 
      Allan Bloom, Esq., Proskauer Rose LLP

      11:20 – 12:20 PM: (Choose one of two simultaneous panels)

      Panel 3a – Masters on the Market: The Return of a Marketplace for Master Recordings 
      For the past several years, music publishing assets have been the preferred asset class for strategic and financial investors. However, while the available inventory of prime publishing assets has diminished, the competition for deals is as fierce as ever. At the same time, the expansion of digital streaming and synch revenue has led some investors to take a fresh look at master recordings. This panel will discuss the rationale behind investing in masters, how masters are being valued and the legal issues associated with acquiring masters, including the potential exercise (or threatened exercise) of termination rights.

      Michael Poster, Esq., 
      Vandenberg & Feliu LLP
      Nari Matsuura, Esq., 
      Massarsky Consulting
      Brian Caplan, Esq., 
      Caplan & Ross LLP
      Mark Robinson, Esq., 
      Senior VP and General Counsel BMG Rights Management (US)

      Panel 3b – Counseling the New Film Maker Client
      By the time the new filmmaker reaches your office, the business of filmmaking has come into focus for him or her and financing, film distribution and making a profit are in the spotlight. Crowdfunding, the perceived panacea, continues to evolve, and in many ways marketing and distribution have become part of the independent filmmakers’ business. The old adage know your audience rings ever true, but in the era of multiple screen platforms, it is just as important is knowing where to find your audience and structuring not just one, but several deals to offer the film on a variety of platforms. While the traditional model of securing a single major distributor for the long term is the typical filmmaker’s dream, it is rare in both occurrence and resulting profits for the filmmaker. The alternative of splitting the rights may be a viable path to distribution if the filmmaker is up for the hands-on adventure. In this session our experts will provide an overview of film financing and discuss the array of distribution paths and deals open to the independent filmmaker and guidance on what works (and what does not).

      Stephen B. Rodner, Esq., 
      Pryor Cashman, LLP

      Thomas A. Crowell, Esq., 
      Director, Indie Film Clinic – Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law 
      Paul Brennan, Esq.,
       Bruns Brennan Berry PLLC
      W. Wilder Knight II, Esq., 
      Pryor Cashman, LLP
      Nicholas Brennan
      , Producer, Hard Rock Havana

      12:20 – 1:20 PM: Lunch with Keynote Speaker, David Lowery

      1:30 – 2:30 PM: Panel 4 – Legislative Fix for Copyright Woes: Reality or Pipe Dream
      Recently, we have seen a flurry of activity regarding potential legislative copyright reform. The Copyright Office solicited comments, commissioned roundtables and published reports on a variety of important copyright topics, including a “making available” right, orphan works, mass digitization and generally, the “music licensing marketplace.” Meanwhile, Congress has held equally varied hearings addressing similar issues relating to copyright reform. Music-focused legislation has also been introduced by Congress, including The Songwriter Equity Act, which seeks to reform rate-setting standards and rules for both public performance and reproduction rights. Courts and legislatures in New York, California and Tennessee continue to grapple with the proper treatment of pre-1972 sound recordings. Our distinguished panel of practitioners will guide you through this labyrinthine series of developments while also providing a global perspective.

      Professor Justin Hughes, 
      William H. Hannon Professor of Law, Loyola Law School

      John Beiter, Esq., 
      Partner, Shackelford, Melton, McKinley & Norton, LLP
      Julia Massimino, Esq., 
      VP of Global Public Policy, SoundExchange, Inc. 
      Keenan Popwell, Esq., Sr. Corporate Counsel, Rhapsody International Inc.

      2:40 - 3:40 PM: (Choose one of two simultaneous panels)

      5a – Cross Border Digital Rights: The Long and Winding Road to Clearing Cross Border Digital Rights Abroad
      Navigating the digital rights landscape in Europe is daunting and proposed changes to streamline the process may ultimately further complicate it. Learn from lawyers who have successfully mapped a path for Cross Border Digital Rights clearance of music for a variety of uses, and gain insight on what the future might look like under a pan-European licensing scheme (and if a single-source licensing model is even feasible). Then, just when you think you’ve got Europe figured out, we’ll explore Cross Border Digital Rights in Asia and Latin America. Join us on this tour of multi-market clearance on the grand global scale; who knows where we will land.

      Jeffrey Liebenson, Esq., 
      Liebenson Law, President of the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers

      Cliff Fluet, Esq., 
      Lewis Silken (UK)
      Aileen Atkins, Esq., 
      Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, LLP
      Mitch Rubin, Esq., Microsoft

      Panel 5b – Curation, Aggregation and Syndication of Entertainment Content
      The growth of creative content (both in terms of volume and ease of creation) has made organizing, contextualizing and featuring the hottest new media a bigger business than ever before. Moreover, the approaches that both legacy media companies and digital
      platforms are taking to distribute content and drive revenues are shifting as the digital ecosystem grows. This panel will examine emerging curation, aggregation and syndication business models, related legal issues and best practices.

      Christine A. Pepe, Esq., AVP Business & Legal Affairs, ASCAP

      Jason Pascal, Esq.,
       VP of Licensing & Associate General Counsel, The Orchard
      Chandani Patel, Esq., Senior Legal Counsel, PopSugar
      Gary Greenstein, Esq., Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati 

      3:50 – 4:50 PM: Panel 6: Blurred Lines: CPA and Attorney Ethics Issues in Entertainment
      Accountants and attorneys work closely with other advisors comprising a management team that collectively serves their Artist clients. While CPAs are frequently engaged to provide tax and accounting services, their involvement as a trusted advisor to the Artist can sometimes lead to an evolving role in which they assume responsibilities outside the scope of their engagement leaving them at risk to professional liability. Attorneys similarly assume responsibilities and decision making that often expand outside functioning merely as a legal advisor. Both professionals, in New York as well as California, are often paid on a percentage of an Artist’s gross earnings, which raises other issues of conflict of interest and fiduciary responsibility. This panel of leading experts in professional liability will discuss recent cases of accountant and attorney liability in the entertainment industry and address other matters such as conflict of interest among professionals jointly serving Artist Clients.

      J. Christopher Hull, CPA, Partner, Prager Metis CPAs, LLC

      Nicole I. Hyland, Esq., Partner, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC
      Christopher J. Marino, Esq., 
      Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla P.C.
      Bruce R. Braun, Esq., Partner, 
      Winston & Strawn LLP


      OPTION 1: Entertainment Business Law Seminar Only (This option includes admission to the Entertainment Business Law Seminar (Friday, October 24, 2014) providing 6.0 New York MCLE/6.0 New York CPE credits, written course materials, refreshments and luncheon.) Please note that this option DOES NOT include a CMJ Music Marathon 2014 registration. 

      $249.00 (NYSBA Members Only)
      $299.00 (Non-NYSBA Members)
      $149.00 (Law students with Valid Student ID) 

      OPTION 2: Entertainment Business Law Seminar + 2-Day CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Badge (This option includes admission to the Entertainment Business Law Seminar (Friday, October 24, 2014) 6.0 New York MCLE/6.0 New York CPE credits, written course materials, refreshments and luncheon, plus 2-Day CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Badge. The 2-day CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Badge MUST be picked up Friday, October 24, 2014 from 7:30am to 6:30pm. 

      $299.00 (NYSBA Members Only) 
      $349.00 (Non-NYSBA Members)

      OPTION 3: Entertainment Business Law Seminar + Full 5-Day CMJ Music Marathon 2013 Badge (This option includes admission to the Entertainment Business Law Seminar, 6.0 New York MCLE/6.0 New York CPE credits, written course materials, refreshments, luncheon and a 5-day CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Badge valid during the entire event, Tuesday, October 21, 2014 through Saturday, October 25, 2014.) The 5-day CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Badge can be picked up beginning Tuesday, October 21, 2014 beginning at 9:00am. Please register for this option at the CMJ Site: http://www.cmj.com/marathon/attend/

      For more information, contact: Beth Gould bgould@nysba.org

      For more information on the full week festival visit: http://www.cmj.com/marathon/  

    • Representing Comic Book Properties: From Creation to The Panel To The Silver Screen

      Representing Comic Book Properties: From Creation to The Panel To The Silver Screen

      Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | New York City | PC: 0DS24
      New York State Society of CPAs | 14 Wall Street, 19th Floor | New York, NY 10005
      12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m.
      Not Able to Attend in Person? A Live Webcast Option is Available!*
      * Note: Newly admitted attorneys (less than twenty-four months) must attend the program in person to receive New York MCLE credit.
      2.0 TOTAL CREDITS: 2.0 Credit Hours in Skills
      Comic books are the new hot properties; movies, television, and the publishing industry are all scrambling to acquire the latest graphic novels. This CLE will help introduce lawyers and law students to the business and legal landscape of the comic book industry with an emphasis on practical skills.

      Some of the issues explored in this CLE:
      • An overview of comic book creation, publishing, distribution, and popular “D.I.Y.” alternatives
      • Critical IP issues in representing the comic book creator 
      • How to help your client get her comic book into the hands of the right publisher
      • Taking a comic property from the printed page to the silver screen
      • Key deal points involved in:
      o Comic book publishing agreements 
      o Illustrator agreements
      o Motion Picture Option/Purchase Agreements

      Thomas A. Crowell, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Lane Sash and Larrabee, LLP, in the firm’s New York office. He is also the director of The Indie Film Clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Mr. Crowell counsels clients on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues, in practice areas that range from film and television to comic book publishing, music, and the graphic arts.

      He is the series editor of the Focal Press “Pocket Lawyer for…” series and author of both “The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers” (Focal Press, 2ed. 2011) and the soon-to-be-published “The Pocket Lawyer for Comic Book Creators.” Mr. Crowell received his JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he graduated cum laude, Order of the Coif. He is admitted to the bars of New York, New Jersey, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

      Who Should Attend:
      Intellectual Property Attorneys. Arts and Entertainment Attorneys. General Counsel. Anyone who is interested in the world of comic book properties.

      ELECTRONIC COURSE MATERIALS: NYSBA distributes all program materials exclusively online in searchable PDF format. Traditional printed course books can be ordered at the program site for a discounted price and will be shipped subsequent to the program date.

      Register Today!
      NYSBA Members: $95
      Non Members: $195
      Note: Registration fees increase ten days prior to the program date.

      Registration: 11:30 a.m. Program: 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

      Additional Information: This course has been approved for all attorneys, including those who are newly admitted (less than twenty-four months). Newly admitted attorneys must attend the program in person to receive New York MCLE credit.

      New York State Society of CPA's
      14 Wall Street
      New York, NY 10005

    • Caution: Children At Work What You Need to Know about Child Employment in the Entertainment Industry

      "Caution: Children At Work,” What You Need to Know about Child Employment in the Entertainment Industry

      Thursday, November 13, 2014 | 4:00pm - 7:30pm with Reception to Follow
      Loeb & Loeb LLP| 345 Park Avenue (between 51st & 52nd) | New York, NY 10154-1895

      This program is accredited for up to 3.5 MCLE Credit Hours in Professional Practice.   

      Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section and Labor & Employment Law Section Member Rate: $50.00
      NYSBA Member Rate: $90.00
      Non-NYSBA Member Rate: $125.00 

      The glamour and privileges for children in the entertainment industry are historically accompanied by unsafe, inappropriate and abusive working conditions, a lack of proper educational instruction and supervision, and historically, a misappropriation of their earned funds.   This fall program will present a panel of speakers, which is scheduled to include, Mark Knox, Esq.  of the New York State Department of Labor, Alan Simon and Karin Farrell of On Location Education, Doreen Small, Esq., of Marquart and Small, Avram Morell of Pryor, Cashman LLP., Michael Maizner of Kauff, McGuire and Margolis and  Diane Krausz, Esq.  The discussion will cover the new regulations that apply to models as well as child performers, education requirements and licensing, general work laws and permits, and court approval procedures pursuant to Article 35.03 of the NYS Arts and Cultural Affairs Law in New York Courts. You will benefit from this program whether you are new to this area of practice or are an experienced attorney looking to compare your knowledge and techniques with those of the faculty members.

      This program is co-sponsored by the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section and the Labor and Employment Law Section of the New York State Bar Assocaition.

      For questions about the program please contact Beth Gould: bgould@nysba.org 

      To register over the phone or to join NYSBA call our State Bar Service Center at 1-800-582-2452


      SAVE THE DATE LEGAL ASPECTS OF PRODUCING AN INSIDE APPROACH TO NAVIGATING Wednesday, March 25, 2015 Thursday, March 26, 2015  The Entertainment Arts and Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, in collaboration with the Commercial Theater

  • The EASL Blog

    Entertainment, Arts  and Sports Law  Section Blog

    The Blog Provides a Forum and News Source on Issues of Interest The blog acts as a new informational resource on topics of interest, including the latest Section programs and Initiatives, as well as provides a forum for debate and discussion to anyone in the world with access to the Internet. It is available through the New York State Bar Association Web site at http://nysbar.com/blogs/EASL

    To submit a Blog entry, email Elissa D. Hecker at eheckeresq@eheckeresq.com

  • EASL Journal

    EASL Journal


    Diverse opinions contribute to the vitality of the law, and for every topic there are many issues to be addressed. TheEntertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal is a forum for ideas and a repository for legal analyses and theories. The EASL Journal presents topics that EASL attorneys address on a daily basis, and provides comprehensive overviews of both large issues that affect a majority of the EASL Section membership and analyses of more specific issues that affect only a few. In addition to contributions from practicing attorneys, the EASL Journal accepts articles from laypersons involved with issues that affect many in the EASL fields. Edited by Elissa D. Hecker, Esq., the EASL Journal is published three times a year by the Entertainment, Art and Sports Law Section and distributed to Section members free of charge.

    Read Now>

  • EASL Member Community

    Start using your EASL member community now.

    What are Member Communities?
    The member communities are private, online professional networks, built on the concept of listserves that offer enhanced features such as collaboration tools and document libraries. They offer you a variety of tools to help you connect, network and work collaboratively with fellow NYSBA members. 

    To participate, each member has a profile based on their basic membership information. You can enhance your profile by adding your photo, professional affiliations, volunteer activities and other accomplishments. You have the option to pull information from your LinkedIn profile, or even link to your personal blog or other social media feeds.

    How Can I Use It?
    Seamlessly integrated with nysba.org, no additional login or password is needed to enter a community. You just need to be a NYSBA member. 

    Just like a listserv, members of a specific community can share information with one another using email. Documents are emailed among members using links as opposed to email attachments, as attachments can be problematic with spam filters or limits on file size. Members can receive community emails as the messages are posted, or in digest form. These resource libraries have no space limitations, accept all file types, and can be organized using folders. Any member of a community can contribute to the library.

    If you are a member of a NYSBA Section, Committee or Task Force, and working to develop a report, white paper, policy change or recommendation, an online community is the perfect forum for you and your colleagues. You have a dedicated space designed to facilitate an efficient and collaborative work effort.

    Start using your EASL member community now.