Brian J. Murphy – Attorney & Counselor at Law

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Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney for what she claims is a breach of her contract to play the Black Widow character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie franchise. Just three months after Johansson signed an amendment to her contract to play the role, Disney’s then CEO announced on a conference call with Wall Street analysts its plans to launch their Disney Plus subscription streaming platform. Fast forward to July 9, 2021, Marvel’s live-action feature film entitled Black Widow starring Johansson in the lead role was released on Disney Plus the same day it hit theaters. Her 2017 contract allegedly provides…
The California state legislature is determined to boost the construction of new soundstages in Hollywood, increasing the number of productions filmed there and ultimately creating more jobs.  A new bill was recently announced that stands to gift the film and TV tax credit program an extra $330 million. The credit would allocate $180m over two years and a $150m tax incentive to be used on building new soundstages. Keep in mind this is in addition to the $330 million California already provides Hollywood in annual tax credits. Senator Anthony Portantino and assembly members Autumn Burke and Wendy Carrillo are sponsors…
While all Americans have the right to sell or license the rights to their NIL, college athletes forfeited this entitlement as part of the terms of signing scholarship contracts. However, this will no longer be the case. For college athletes, receiving compensation for the use of their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) is currently a hot topic of discussion.  The NCAA has received its share of pressure to set rules and guidelines for the use of NILs by college athletes. Without a federal law in place, states must pass legislation to allow college athletes to cash in on their NIL.…
Influencers Social media influencers and creatives have learned to monetize their fame and new changes are increasing revenues across the board. As an attorney for social media influencers, I’ve had a bird’s eye view of the rise of social commerce and the methods, integrations, and contracts that make it profitable for my clients. Influencers that use brands not only to monetize but create an even deeper connection with their followers are reaping the benefits. Some important players in the e-commerce space have taken notice. New SaaS and print-on-demand services are integrating with social media giving even more opportunities for monetization.Within…
How to handle your management relationship in an area with few formal rules and standards. Influencers have been disrupting the online advertising world for several years now, challenging traditional advertising methods and creatively leveraging their popularity for brand promotions. Since 2019 the influencer social media advertising space has skyrocketed, benefitting many influencers, but also allowing some to be taken advantage of by their managers and agents. With the tightening of privacy policies and calls for enhanced privacy rights in tracking online activity, companies need influencers to expand their brand reach and create brand buzz. Unfortunately, some creators and influencers are…
I’m often contacted by producers, writers, software designers/engineers and other creative professionals concerned about the provisions of a media or IP company’s employment agreement they are considering.  Typically the company’s proposed employment offer letter or agreement and attached standard terms will aggressively provide that the company owns all of your creative work without making any distinction as to creative works and/or projects that you created or contributed to prior to your taking the position with the company.  Also, many creatives have ongoing obligations to other co-creators on pre-existing projects with respect to which they’ve already invested significant amounts of money…
Here are some key points to keep in mind if you are approached by a blockchain developer to license your content for NFT (non-fungible token) creation and sale. Scope of NFT Licensed Rights If you only want to license your content for purposes of NFT creation, it’s critical that the scope of the license agreement is limited to NFT purposes with all other uses excluded or restricted.  In addition, your license should also include a dragnet provision that all other rights in your content are reserved to the content owner licensor. Similar to the concept of a modern artist’s limited-edition…
Did you know that, behind the scenes, Disney and its stars have been battling it out over streaming revenue for the past few years? Through a very convenient loophole, Disney has been keeping 80% of the revenue earned from older shows that it now distributes on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. How They Get Away With It Since VHS first made its debut, Disney has been subtracting an 80% royalty fee to cover all costs of manufacturing VHS videocassettes and their distribution. If you’re thinking this is normal – think again. Disney needing 80% of revenue to…
Influencer Management is fairly new in the entertainment world, but it’s a profession that is becoming increasingly vital for building a successful brand online. Influencer Managers are in high demand, which means more and more up-and-coming marketing and PR professionals are looking to steer their careers in this direction. If you’ve recently begun searching for an Influencer Manager, you may be finding yourself overwhelmed with the selection of agencies and freelancers. So how do you decide which one is the right one for you? Looking for these five skills will help you in narrowing down your choices. Strong Negotiating Skills…
Historically, record labels and the recording artists they partner with have operated under an exploitative business model, one that has been known to deplete the revenues artists generate from their music and increase the shares drawn by the record labels. The imbalance in the relationship extends across multiple pressure points, from unnecessary but long-standing industry standard clauses included in songwriter contracts, to record label ownership of masters, which leaves artists unable to control how, when, and where their music can be played. Not all chart-topping or award-winning artists have been subject to this exploitative relationship; a growing list of more…