Close-Ups

Entertainment and Media News

Venable is pleased to announce that Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam has joined the firm as a partner in the eCommerce, Privacy, and Cybersecurity Practice in its Los Angeles office. Mr. Nigam has nearly 25 years of experience in solving online security, privacy, and safety challenges facing celebrities, pro athletes, high-net-worth individuals, corporations, and start-ups, as well as government and law enforcement. He has extensive experience conducting end-to-end cyber assessments and protection and often provides counsel on…
There is more demand for content than ever, and media and entertainment companies face a wide variety of challenges that come along with the increase in production and distribution of content. In-house and outside counsel for media and entertainment companies need a working knowledge of how to deal with insurance issues that arise in their business, including the types of insurance policies that may cover the legal risks they face, and how to navigate the…
This article was previously published on Venable’s All About Advertising Law blog. Background Advertisers, e-commerce websites, affiliate networks, and publishers each play a large role in the development of the Internet. One reason they have been able to do so is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), which immunizes online interactive services from liability arising from third-party content on their platforms. The CDA does so in twenty-six words: “No provider…
The latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been unsuccessful. On June 17, 2021, the Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision in California v. Texas, 593 U.S. ____ (2021), dismissing the case for the plaintiffs’ lack of standing to sue. California v. Texas challenged the constitutionality of the ACA, but the Court did not rule on this issue and, instead, dismissed the case on procedural grounds. Last year, some taxpayers filed protective claims…
On May 10, 2021, Shane Nix and Sam Djahanbani published “Taxing Termination Rights” in Los Angeles Lawyer and were featured on the cover of the magazine’s 37th annual Entertainment Law Issue. The following is an excerpt from the article: As the music touring industry faced an almost overnight collapse with the pandemic entirely shutting down touring in 2020, music streaming revenues surged by more than $1 billion as fans streamed more music while under quarantine. Ultimately, however,…
In a case involving Andy Warhol’s works known as the “Prince Series,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reined in the fair-use defense for visual art that is based on copyrighted photos. The works consist of fourteen silkscreen prints and two pencil illustrations based on an unpublished photo of musical artist Prince taken by professional photographer Lynn Goldsmith. In its ruling, the Court clarified that a secondary work must convey a “‘new…
On April 12, 2021, Alex Weingarten was featured on WealthManagement.com’s podcast, Celebrity Estates: Wills of the Rich and Famous, where he discussed the tumultuous estate of R&B singer Aretha Franklin and the need for good communication when developing an estate plan. According to the podcast, it was believed at the time of her passing that Franklin left no will, therefore leaving her estate to be divided equally among her children. Since then, new developments have surfaced. Four…
On April 8, 2021, Variety released its annual Legal Impact Report, featuring the top in-house attorneys, litigators, and transactional attorneys in the entertainment industry. Venable partner and chair of the firm’s West Coast Tax and Wealth Planning Practice Michele Mulrooney made her eighth consecutive appearance in the report. She was joined by partner Alex Weingarten, included for the fifth consecutive year, as well as partner and vice chair of the Entertainment and Media Group Paul Bernstein
Taxpayers who owe quarterly estimated taxes must make such payments by April 15,2021, notwithstanding the extended filing deadline this year. On March 17, 2021, the IRS announced a one-month extension of the tax filing deadline for individuals from April 15 to May 17 of this year. The rationale, per IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, was that the IRS wanted to “continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic,…
Hollywood is abuzz about NFTs—nonfungible tokens—the digital assets that are being sold at eye-popping prices by celebrities, athletes, and artists as limited-edition collectibles on blockchain marketplaces. Prices are being driven by a relatively small group of buyers who made fortunes by getting in early on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. But as the supply of NFTs increases exponentially over the coming months, it is almost universally expected that prices for new NFTs will sputter. The NFT…