Since the early Hollywood era, O’Melveny has stood at the forefront of entertainment and media law, advising leading figures on the groundbreaking deals and high-profile disputes shaping film, television, and music. We are well known and trusted in all corners of the industry.
Motion picture studios, television and cable networks, production and distribution companies, streaming and internet ventures, video game developers and publishers, record labels and satellite radio, and agencies and talent all turn to us for guidance on the critical issues of the day.
Entertainment and Media Transactions
O’Melveny puts its experience in Hollywood to work every day for its clients. We know the business. Our team of sophisticated, innovative, and commercially savvy practitioners is widely recognized as a world leader in entertainment and media transactions. We bring an informed, diverse, and creative approach to our clients’ every goal, including:
- company formation, capital raising, acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, day-to-day operations, and exit strategies
- technology and commercial agreements, capital markets transactions, slate finance, and finance involving the acquisition and securitization of music rights
- commercial licensing arrangements in connection with traditional and digital means of exploitation, theme parks, virtual and extended reality, celebrity and influencer partnerships, fan engagement platforms, and NFTs
- cross-border joint ventures and other transactions to produce, finance, and distribute content—or to commercialize other premium intellectual property—around the world
Entertainment and Media Disputes & Investigations
Few firms in the US can match the experience and practice depth we bring to complex, high-profile entertainment and media disputes and investigations. Our rich history gives us unique perspective on the entertainment landscape and a keen understanding of the importance of tailoring innovative strategies to the needs of each case or controversy. Our work includes:
- protecting valuable IP assets in copyright, trademark, and patent litigation
- defending contract and profit participation disputes and litigation
- conducting sensitive investigations and handling litigation involving wrongful termination, discrimination, misconduct, executive poaching, and other employment claims
- defending antitrust claims in consumer class actions, civil litigation, and cases brought by the US Department of Justice
- resolving disputes involving speech restrictions, defamation, libel, and privacy
Prevailed when a California appellate court affirmed a permanent injunction won in the trial court barring Netflix from poaching Fox employees with fixed-term employment contracts.
As lead trial counsel for the parties in the DOJ’s challenge to the $85.4 billion merger—the first vertical merger challenge tried to verdict in the US in decades—we helped secure a “sweeping victory” for the defense.
Advised Korea’s leading entertainment company in its acquisition of an 80% stake of the scripted business of US-based global premium content studio Endeavor Content for an enterprise valuation of US$850 million.
Scored a decisive victory when the Central District of California granted our motion to compel arbitration in a class action suit accusing DirecTV and the NFL of monopolizing Sunday out-of-market NFL football broadcasts.
Counseled client as sole lead arranger and administrative agent on up to US$95 million in financing toward the relaunch of noted Hollywood film production company Castle Rock Entertainment, headed by director Rob Reiner.
Advised the sports-focused streaming service on its acquisition of Molotov SAS, France’s number one live TV streaming company. For fubo, which previously operated in the US, Canada, and Spain, the deal marked a significant expansion of its reach in Europe.
Represented client as agent and lead bank in US$550 million in debt financing for independent rights management and music publishing company Kobalt Music Group Ltd. for the acquisition of music copyrights.
In closely watched litigation at the intersection of copyright licensing and antitrust law, we successfully resolved what we believe to have been the first challenge to the licensing practices of a dominant performing rights organization.
Achieved a complete victory in defense of a patent infringement case brought by Sound View Innovations. The complaint originally asserted six patents alleged to cover aspects of database management techniques and methods of streaming multimedia data.
Won important victories for the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter in ongoing litigation filed by her former record producer, Lukasz Gottwald (known as Dr. Luke), alleging she breached an exclusive recording agreement and defamed him by accusing him of sexual abuse.
Advised on its private offering of US$575 million aggregate principal amount of its 3.75% convertible senior notes due 2028, including notes with an aggregate principal amount of US$75 million issued pursuant to the exercise of an option granted to the initial purchasers, which was exercised in full.
Counseled the studio on its sale of a controlling interest in Pantaya, a US Hispanic subscription video streaming service, to Hemisphere Media Group.
Secured dismissal of a US$2.85 billion defamation suit filed in Tennessee state court by SmileDirectClub.
Counseled the Hollywood studio in a co-financing deal with New Republic Pictures for ten films.
Obtained a series of precedent-setting victories on a critical issue in the music industry, allowing Sirius XM and others to play music from recordings created before 1972 for the public without paying record companies.
Helped client acquire a 49% stake in film and television studio MIRAMAX from beIN Media Group for a total committed investment of US$375 million.
Advised client in its acquisition of a majority stake in the acclaimed Spanish language content producer Fox TeleColombia & Estudios TeleMexico from the companies’ founding family and The Walt Disney Company.
Successfully defended client in a number of high-profile copyright litigation matters involving Zootopia, Predator, The Shape of Water, and others.
Successfully defended studio in several large rights litigations, including those involving King Richard, The Conjuring, War Dogs, and The Last Samurai, and in long-running disputes over copyrights to the Superman character and Harry Potter franchise.
Five-time Winner, Media & Entertainment Practice Group of the Year