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Media | Entertainment

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Waller’s media and entertainment practice goes beyond the typical Nashville representation of country music artists and labels to include companies and individuals in a wide range of entertainment and media sectors. Clients include traditional and new media clients including:

  • Advertisers and agencies
  • Broadcast television networks and affiliate stations
  • Cable television networks
  • Newspapers
  • Book publishers
  • Music publishers
  • Internet service providers
  • Manufacturers and retailers
  • Gaming providers
  • Individual artists (written, musical and visual arts)
  • On-air talent

Media-related clients retain our services for a variety of needs:

  • Licensing and commercial transactions
  • First Amendment access
  • Intellectual property litigation
  • Case review and counseling
  • State and local tax issues
  • Wealth management and estate planning
  • Lobbying and government relations
  • Contract negotiations
  • General dispute resolution, litigation, and corporate needs
  • Corporate acquisitions
  • Name, image, and likeness rights
  • Real estate transactions
  • Trademark protection

Harnessing our collective experience in multiple areas of business law, along with our multi-disciplinary approach, respect for privacy, and dedication to achieving success as defined by our clients, Waller attorneys are tenacious advocates and trusted advisors.

Litigation

Waller represents music, film, publishing and television clients in contract matters and royalty and intellectual property disputes in federal and state courts throughout the country. We have successfully defended clients in numerous defamation and privacy suits, as well as in publicity, trademark and copyright claims. We provide "around-the-clock" pre-broadcast and pre-publication review of print and broadcast materials raising potential defamation or privacy issues. We also offer counsel on access to court issues, open meetings, public records, and news-gathering techniques.

Representative litigation matters include copyright, trademark and publicity infringement related to:

  • Movie titles and content
  • Infringement claims against songwriters and labels
  • Documentaries and reality programs
  • Breach of publishing and distribution agreements
  • Musical compositions
  • Sound recordings

Transactional

Publishers, writers, directors, sports personalities, song performers, a state-wide writers association, healthcare companies, literary agents, and a start-up internet company focused on the book industry seek advice from Waller in a variety of matters involving publishing and licensing. Representative matters include:

  • Early termination of a relationship between an author and publisher which included resolution of a royalty dispute, resolving certain matters related to intellectual property ownership of those works, and working with her New York-based literary agent to prepare for a rights auction between several publicly traded publishing companies
  • Resolution of a dispute between publishers and a institutions of higher education which involved allegations of infringement in a best-selling series of books using sports team logos and colors
  • Advising a variety of publicly traded companies regarding potential disputes with performing rights societies related to the use of music at various corporate events and venues
  • Advising a publisher on intellectual property rights and antitrust considerations regarding distribution arrangements for intellectual property in the United States and Canada
  • Pre-publication review of a manuscript which involved potential international disparagement claims
  • Representation of an on-air personality and best-selling author in negotiations with New York publisher for domestic and international rights to upcoming books
  • Advising a publishing company about acquisitions in books, a popular website and speaking rights by a best-selling author and on-air personality
  • Advising a start-up publishing company regarding production of works, creation of form agreements, and general advice related to disparagement claims, invasion of privacy, use of third-party trademarks, etc. 

Additionally, a number of high-profile entertainers and performers in Music City depend on Waller for handling a variety of personal and professional transactional matters, which have included:

  • Acquisition of masters from a music label
  • Acquisition of airplanes and their use by related entertainment entities
  • Sale of a music catalog by a performing group
  • Structuring the creation of a music publishing company and ongoing representation of another music publishing company
  • Estate planning involving songwriter copyrights, masters, etc.
  • Structuring the asset purchase of a recording studio
  • Merger of several S-corporations holding video and audio masters which involves unique aspects of state tax law
  • Financing for entertainers using real property as collateral
  • Multi-state corporate and LLC tax analysis on the manufacture and production of records where shipped from a manufacturer to a retailer for nationwide distribution (cutting out the labels entirely)
  • Licensing of master recordings, video and artwork associated with the CDs and DVDs

 

    Contact Us
    Robb S. Harvey
    Partner
    Direct  615.850.8859
    Nashville, TN
    robb.harvey@wallerlaw.com
    E. Andrew "Andy" Norwood
    Partner
    Direct  615.850.8491
    Nashville, TN
    andy.norwood@wallerlaw.com
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