Asked about the art of managing, the astute and witty manager of the New York Yankees, Casey Stengel, replied, “Managing is getting paid for home runs someone else hits.”

Entertainment Law

Astrachan Gunst Thomas’ entertainment attorneys represent clients in the areas of music, book publishing, motion pictures, documentary filmmaking, television, cable, theatre and multimedia. Our clients include national recording artists, television personalities, a couple of New York Times best-selling authors, filmmakers and world-class professional athletes.

New technologies and the Internet present opportunities and challenges for our entertainment industry clients. The Internet has produced new sources of revenue for the owners of entertainment properties, but it has been the scene of unprecedented assaults on traditional notions of copyright, trademark and rights of publicity. Our entertainment law attorneys have the background and experience to effectively represent our clients in this fast-changing field.

Astrachan Gunst Thomas lawyers counsel recording artists, producers, actors, authors and writers in the enhancement of their careers and the protection of their intellectual property and publicity rights. We represent individuals and companies in drafting and negotiating a variety of entertainment industry agreements including recording artist agreements, distribution and production agreements, music licensing agreements, content and rights licensing agreements, music and book publishing agreements, Internet agreements, host and talent agreements, management and agency agreements, releases, permissions and merchandising agreements. We review corporate sponsorship and product endorsement opportunities, and negotiate agreements and protect celebrity publicity rights for our clients who are professional athletes.

Representative transactions include negotiation of recording, distribution and publishing agreements for musical artists, negotiating talent agreements for children’s television performers, negotiating an endorsement agreement on behalf of a professional athlete with a major sports apparel company, negotiating Internet agreements for the creator of fantasy baseball and football games, negotiating master use and synchronization licenses for the use of music in television and motion pictures, negotiating distribution agreements for documentary filmmakers, and obtaining clearances and permissions for advertising, CD and DVD production and distribution, as well as distribution via all the newest technologies.

Astrachan Gunst Thomas lawyers litigate cases in the entertainment arena. We have represented the owner of master recordings in a copyright infringement action, an Internet music distributor in a copyright infringement action, a television talent in a case involving the unauthorized use of name and likeness (we have defended and prosecuted many of these cases, and took one to the Court of Special Appeals where we won), a songwriter and music publisher in a copyright infringement action, a videographer in a copyright infringement case, and the personal manager of Mississippi John Hurt in a dispute over music rights.

In addition to the above, Astrachan Gunst Thomas lawyers have negotiated and documented literally dozens of book contracts between authors and publishers.