Munger, Tolles & Olson is a trusted advisor to leading entertainment and media companies. The firm has built its reputation over decades by successfully representing startup and established entertainment firms in commercial litigation, copyright, antitrust, investigations, mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures.
Our clients include all six of the major motion picture studios, all three of the major recorded music companies, the trade associations for both industries (the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America), numerous television networks and many others.
Our lawyers are frequently showcased in leading entertainment and legal publications and rankings, including The Hollywood Reporter, Law360, Chambers USA, Daily Journal and The American Lawyer, among others. In addition, the firm as a whole is a recognized leader in representing entertainment and media clients as demonstrated by a top-tier ranking in Media and Entertainment by Chambers USA, and by being named a Law360 Media & Entertainment Practice Group of the Year.
We work on behalf of movie and television studios, record labels, media outlets and other companies in all manner of litigation. In bet-the-company cases, other high-stakes litigation and more routine matters, our litigators possess a sophisticated understanding of the law, a reputation for efficiency and a successful track record in and out of the courtroom.
Some of our experience includes representing:
- 21st Century Fox, Fox Entertainment Group, 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and Fox Broadcasting Company in a vertical integration dispute concerning the television series “Bones,” the longest-running scripted drama on the FBC network.
- The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (the six member studios of the Motion Picture Association of America, along with Amazon and Netflix) in obtaining a stipulated judgment and permanent injunction against TickBox for inducing infringement of their movies and television shows.
- Disney, Lucasfilm, Fox and Warner Bros. in securing an affirmance of a preliminary injunction against the VidAngel streaming service for violating the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
- Disney, Lucasfilm and Marvel in obtaining a preliminary injunction against Redbox regarding its unauthorized sale of digital codes sold in DVD “Combo Packs.”
- Disney in defending claims for copyright infringement involving the motion pictures “Inside Out” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” as well as the song “Let It Go.”
- ESPN in obtaining dismissal of a class action alleging that the network disclosed Roku device IDs to a third-party data analytics company in violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA).
- FX Networks and Pacific 2.1 Entertainment Group in winning dismissal of actress Olivia de Havilland’s lawsuit alleging breach of the right of publicity and false-light claims based on the FX docudrama “Feud: Bette and Joan.”
- The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its member studios from a potential class action alleging that the MPAA’s ratings agency misled the public by failing to apply automatic “R” ratings to any movie that included tobacco use.
- ROAR LLC co-founder Jay Froberg in retaining co-ownership of the entertainment music company after his three partners tried to expel him.
- SoundExchange, the collective representing all sound recording copyright owners and artists in the United States, in a key trial proceeding before the Copyright Royalty Board to set the royalties for the use of sound recordings in non-interactive internet webcasting via services like Pandora, iHeartRadio and SiriusXM.
- Turner Entertainment Networks in resolving breach of contract claims and obtaining the return of production funds following misconduct allegations against documentarian Morgan Spurlock.
Attorneys at Munger, Tolles & Olson are frequently called upon to lead confidential investigations arising out of the #metoo movement involving allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct by talent or industry employees. Such matters include representing:
- Warner Bros. in an internal investigation related to reports of alleged misconduct on the set of “Bachelor in Paradise.”
- A major television studio in multiple highly sensitive and confidential internal investigations regarding allegations of workplace misconduct, including sexual harassment.
Clients turn to our attorneys for some of their most significant mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, joint ventures and other corporate transactions. In addition, many well-known financial institutions, studios, entertainment companies, media entities and networks turn to the firm for its high-caliber work. For example, the firm represented:
- Beats Electronics and Beats Music in the companies’ $3 billion acquisition by Apple.
- Independent members of the DreamWorks Animation board of directors in the company’s $3.8 billion acquisition by NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast Corporation.