Entertainment Law

McAfee & Taft is uniquely qualified to understand and handle the specialized legal needs of artists and businesses in the entertainment and creative industries. Our leading attorney in this field, Jay Shanker, previously practiced in Los Angeles for nearly 25 years and has significant expertise in representing numerous entertainment companies, as well as individual actors, directors, producers, musical artists, authors, entrepreneurs and industry executives. Over the years, his individual clients have garnered prestigious international awards in every major creative media, including Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Clio award recognition.

Our firm provides legal services on behalf of a broad range of clients in the entertainment industry. Our clients – whether individuals, small businesses or large companies – are engaged in all aspects of these and other entertainment endeavors:

  • Motion Pictures
  • Broadcast and Cable Television Productions
  • Direct to Video Productions
  • Documentaries and Educational Media
  • Recorded Music Projects and Live Performance
  • Animation
  • Theater
  • Book Publishing
  • Online Interactive Entertainment & Video Games
  • Theme Park & Event Design
  • Merchandising and Licensing
  • Fine Art, Art Sales and Art Publishing

Our representative transactional services include structuring, negotiating and documenting agreements for:

  • Acquisition and sale of “underlying rights” (e.g., screenplays, novels, life stories, etc.) as the basis for motion picture and television productions
  • Motion picture and television production, financing and distribution
  • Employment of actors, writers, directors, producers and other key production personnel
  • Executive employment with studios, networks and other media companies
  • Agency and talent management company representation
  • Musical artist deals with record companies
  • Author/Publisher deals for fiction and non-fiction books
  • Merchandising and licensing of creative content
  • Infomercials and product endorsements
  • Copyright and trademark research and registration filings
  • Formation and maintenance of artist loanout companies and production entities

In addition, our attorneys work with entertainment clients to build and manage intellectual property portfolios, form and structure new business entities, and provide ongoing legal counseling in all facets of business operations, including organization, financing, employment and employee benefits, insurance, taxation and wealth management.