Century City:
1999 Avenue of the Stars, 7th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067


Christopher Murray

Of Counsel

Christopher C. Murray is Of Counsel in O’Melveny’s Century City office and a member of the Entertainment, Sports and Media Practice, which he chaired from 1995-2004. He has over 30 years of experience in the legal and business aspects of the production, financing, and distribution of motion pictures, television programs, and music, as well as DVDs and other digital media, e‑commerce and digital distribution, videogames, the Internet, smart phones, musical concerts, sports, publishing, and the acquisition of entertainment companies, film libraries, and music publishers. He counsels clients in the fields of copyright, trademark, and merchandising/licensing and acts as outside counsel to major motion picture studios, publishers, entertainment companies, and others. He also represents high-profile individual performers, producers, and executives. In the merchandising area, he has acted as counsel for toy manufacturers, television and motion picture companies, and sports organizations.

Chris was recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers In America--Entertainment Law” (1995-2016); named a leading lawyer in Sports & Entertainment by Who’s Who Legal (2015); named “one of the leading media lawyers in the world” in the Expert Guide to the World's Leading Media Lawyers (2010); received a LexisNexis Martindale Hubbel Rating as an “AV Preeminent Rated Lawyer” (the highest rating available) (2011, 2015, 2016); included in the Chambers USA “Leaders in Their Fields” directory as a Leader in Media and Entertainment (2004-2015); named a “Super Lawyer” in a survey conducted by Law & Politics Media, Inc. and published in Los Angeles magazine (2004-2015); named one of the “Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America” by Lawdragon (2005-2009; Finalist in 2010); named to The Hollywood Reporter's list of “Power Lawyers: Top 100 Outside Counsel” (2007, 2008, 2009); named by The Legal 500 as distinguished in “Media, technology and telecoms: Technology: video and online gaming - advice to corporates” (2009); selected for Lawdragon 500 Groups, “New Stars, New Worlds,” described “as those who are carrying the profession to new frontiers” (2006); named one of “The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in California” by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal (October 27, 2003 and September 27, 2004); included as one of the “Best Lawyers In America: Entertainment Law” by IP Law & Business magazine (2003, 2007, 2015); named “Leading Lawyer in Media” by Guide To The World's Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers (1999-2008); chosen as “Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year” by the Century City Bar Association (2001); named one of the “50 Top Lawyers” by the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Who’s Who In Law” annual issue (2001); selected by Cyber, Esq. Magazine (Los Angeles Daily Journal) as one of only 16 lawyers chosen from around the country to make the “Suite 16” ranks, which identifies the top lawyers at the cutting edge of new media and the information age; and named one of “The Top 100 Most Influential Attorneys” in California by California Law Business (October 30, 2000).

Christopher also focuses on representing companies based outside the United States in connection with their motion picture, television, musical concert, Internet, and publishing activities in North America and throughout the world. The companies he has represented include well-known companies from Asia and Europe, among others.

Christopher has lectured and written articles on intellectual property and the digital revolution. He has acted as legal counsel (on a wide range of Internet-related matters, ranging from e-commerce, content licensing and domain name disputes, to strategic Internet ventures between companies in disparate industries) to a number of companies, ranging from established entities (some of which are leading digital production studios and special effects creators) to many start-up and emerging Internet and technology companies.

Illustrative Professional Experience

  • Represented a major studio in numerous digital distribution agreements (for Video on Demand, Subscription Video on Demand, Electronic Sell-through, and Download to Own rights)
  • Represented a major foreign telecommunications company in numerous agreements with major U.S. studios for Video on Demand and Subscription Video on Demand rights
  • Represented a major independent motion picture company in a Subscription Video on Demand distribution agreement
  • Represented a major computer and digital content distributor in documenting its settlement of a major trademark dispute
  • Represented a major independent film company in its exclusive DVD rental agreement with a major DVD rental distributor
  • Represented a major studio in the merger of networks to form a new TV network
  • Represented a major studio in restructuring its motion picture distribution and cofinancing arrangements with another major studio
  • Represented a leading supplier of flash memory data storage products in many content license deals ranging from classical music to classic rock bands
  • Represented a new set top box movies on demand service in the multiple motion picture Video On Demand and Download To Own license agreements with Universal, Fox, and Lionsgate
  • Represented a nationally recognized theatre and performing arts center in both DVD and print publishing agreements
  • Represented an independent production and film financing company in production, financing, and distribution agreements with Universal/Rogue Pictures
  • Represented an MMOG (Massive Multiplayer On-line Game) developer in its deal with Microsoft
  • Represented the producer of one of the most successful animated feature films series in his deal with DreamWorks
  • Represented the producer of an upcoming action/adventure movie in his deal with Universal
  • Represented a major studio in negotiating production, financing, and distribution agreements for major motion pictures
  • Represented a major software company in its acquisition of major digital music streaming and downloading service from two major record companies
  • Represented a major studio in the negotiation of videogame development and co-publishing agreements for an upcoming feature film release
  • Represented a major independent filmmaker in negotiating soundtrack album agreements for a major motion picture with record labels, and in negotiating music publishing agreements for the Score with a major music publisher
  • Represented a major documentary producer in its distribution agreements for an eight-hour documentary series with PBS
  • Represented a major independent filmmaker in its print publishing agreements for companion book to a major movie
  • Represented a major Asian telecommunications giant in its negotiation of video on demand license agreements with major U.S. studios for digital delivery of movies in Asia
  • Represented a major Internet Portal Site and ISP in the license of interactive rights to major sports leagues content
  • Represented a major videogame company in the license of interactive (video game and Internet) rights to famous books and movies
  • Represented a major studio in negotiating multiple motion picture distribution agreements with an independent filmmaker
  • Represented a major studio in negotiating license and equity agreements for satellite television service for Japan with major corporations in Japan
  • Represented a major independent filmmaker in its multiple picture distribution agreements with a major studio
  • Represented several Japanese studios in the negotiation of their distribution agreements for animated feature films with major U.S. studios

Professional Activities

Law Clerk,  Honorable Walter Ely, US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, (1974‑1975)
Member,  California Bar Association, Intellectual Property and International Law Sections; UCLA Entertainment Symposium, Symposium Advisory Committee (1987‑present); USC Institute on Entertainment Law and Business, Planning Committee (1986‑present); Los Angeles World Affairs Council (2004‑2005); United States Council for International Business, Intellectual Property Committee
Author/Co-Author,  “From Book to Hollywood Film: Structuring Agreements Granting Motion Picture and Television Rights to Publications,” Winning Legal Strategies for Publishing (Aspatore Books 2005); “Hard Lessons From Hollywood,” Euromoney Guide To The Worlds Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers (2003); “The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age,” National Academy Press (2000); “An Overview of United States Intellectual Property Law,” Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, Sweet & Maxwell, C.H. Beck, Editions Dalloz (1993)
Honors, Recognized by The International Who’s Who of Sports & Entertainment Lawyers as one of the “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” in the area of Sports & Entertainment (2013); named in Best Lawyers in America©, Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television (1995 - 2016); named a “Super Lawyer” in a survey conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. and published in Los Angeles magazine (2004-2015); named a leading lawyer by Euromoney's Technology, Media & Telecommunications Expert Guides (2015).
Speaker, "Entertainment and Corporate Communications Management: Academic Preparation and Professional Opportunities," Washington State University (2006-2011); “Contracting in the Face of New Technologies: The View from the Studios” Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley (March 2005); “Hollywood & Digital: The Integration of Entertainment and Technology: When Should Content go Cross Platform?,” UCLA (November 2004); “Lessons From Hollywood On Content & Convergence,” FWE CEO Summit (October 2003); “What’s the Latest in Digital Rights Management?,” Center for Management in the Information Economy Conference, Anderson School at UCLA (April 2002); “Protecting Intellectual Property Assets from Infringement on Internet,” British American Business Council Global Conference (November 2001); “Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industry,” Practicing Law Institute (April 2001); “The Nexus of Technology, Intellectual Property, and Entertainment Law” Southwestern University School of Law (March 2001); “Identifying, Valuing, and Protecting Digital Assets,” The IOC World Conference on Sport and New Media, International Olympic Committee (Lausanne, Switzerland, December 2000); “The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age,” The National Academies Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (Los Angeles, November 2000); “Covering Entertainment in the Digital Age,” Annenberg Journalists Seminar, Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, USC (Los Angeles, October 2000); “The Internet Explosion: New Challenges in the Law,” Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (August 2000); “Film & Interactive Online Entertainment,” Practicing Law Institute (Los Angeles, April 2000); “The Digital Dilemma Continues: Recent Legal Warfare In Cyberspace,” Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (Stanford, April 2000); “MP3’s On The Internet: Is Copyright Dead?” Bay Angels.Com Investors Conference (Sausalito, March 2000); “Intellectual Property Piracy On The Internet,” Digital Asset Management Conference (London, March 2000); “Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industry,” Practicing Law Institute (April 1999); “Dealing with the Dilemma of Copyright in the Digital Age,” Digital Asset Management Conference, USC/Annenberg Center (March 1998); “Digital Technology and Copyright: A Threat or A Challenge?” Franklin Pierce Law Center’s Seventh Biennial Intellectual Property Conference (November 1998); “Movie Dealmaking In The Interactive Age,” Screen Entertainment 2000 (London, November 1994); “Motion Picture Finance Seminar,” Nikkei (1990-1994); “Intellectual Property: Multimedia’s Achilles Heel,” Comdex (April 1992); “Structuring Investments in the Global Market for Motion Pictures,” Nomura (October 1990)
Arbitrator,  Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) (1980--2007)
Lecturer,  Stanford Law School, “Entertainment Industry Transactions” (1986-1990)
Study Committee Member, “Intellectual Property Rights and the Emerging Information Infrastructure,” Computer Science and Telecommunications Board for the National Research Council/National Science Foundation (1998-2000)

University of Southern California, J.D., 1974: Order of the Coif; Executive Editor of Lead Articles, Southern California Law Review

University of Illinois, B.A., 1971: Phi Beta Kappa