Brian J. Murphy – Attorney & Counselor at Law

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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…
You’re gaining status as an influencer, and your follower counts are high and climbing. You’ve tapped into a cultural current, and your content is resonating with members of a large and growing audience. Well done! That’s not an easy feat. And if the followers you’re attracting are the followers you actually want, that’s even better. You’re on a roll! It may be time to start reaching out to brands with the goal of convincing them to sponsor, support, or just signal boost you in some way that gives you even more leverage as an influencer. Ideally, a monetary contract would…
Becoming a bona fide “influencer” is a little like becoming famous; it’s a fun and common goal, but it’s not usually something we just decide to do and it magically happens. It takes effort, strategy, and luck to build an online following large enough to draw the attention of brands hoping to ride the wake of your success and good name. And of the three, effort and strategy are the only two that fall within your control. Here’s a key tip that can help with both: Start building relationships with your favorite brands BEFORE you reach your target of 1,000, 100,000 or a million followers.   Brands (most of…
When it passed in 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act failed to renew a provision contained in 2004’s Jobs Creation Act, known as Internal Revenue Code Section 181, which allowed film, television and media producers to immediately expense costs that would otherwise need to be capitalized and deducted over the course of ten years. Without Section 181 in place, a motion picture or media project, much like a building, is treated as a depreciable asset for which expenses cannot be used to offset revenues for tax purposes until the asset is finalized and put to use. But with Section…
Video Games Soar During Pandemic While the Movie Industry Navigates It. The pandemic has had an undeniable cooling effect on live-action motion picture production, and both film creators and decision makers in the theatrical exhibition industry are still looking for ways to bring the in-theater movie experience back on track safely. But in the meantime, video games have roared in to fill the gap in our altered lives. The rise of interest in gaming through a wide range of devices (consoles, tablets, smartphones, etc.), appears to be pushing enormous amounts of attention and money toward big names in the industry…
AMPTP Strikes New Deals with Major Motion Picture & Television Union Groups In spite of the unique negotiating circumstances stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has recently reached new agreements with each of The Directors Guild of America, The Writers Guild of America, and The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.  Here are some of the highlights from each new union deal reached. DGA DGA members overwhelmingly voted to approve a three-year successor deal to the DGA Master Contract for feature films and primetime television which went into effect on…