Entertainment and Media

Overview

With over three decades of experience, Miller Thomson’s Entertainment and Media Group offers legal and business expertise to Canadian and international clients on corporate and structured financing, protection and licensing of intellectual property rights, resolving litigation disputes, commercial entertainment contracts and regulatory advice and strategy in proceedings before the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Our clients include major studios, broadcasters, independent producers, distributors, financial institutions, Internet service providers, software publishers, video game developers and publishers, special effects and post-production houses, celebrities, musicians, authors, multimedia and animation studios.

Our services include:

Corporate Finance: We have extensive experience in structured production financing, the creation of institutional “AA” grade debt for film production, the introduction of initial and secondary public market equity participation for Canadian entertainment and media companies, and the development of private investment conduits for high net worth individuals.

Intellectual Property: We assist with identifying, registering and protecting intellectual property assets. We offer preventive and trial protection for libel, defamation, copyright, trademarks and breach of contract matters. We also advise on development agreements, the acquisition and licensing of rights, and the provision of opinions on claims under errors and omissions insurance policies.

International Co-productions: We have special expertise in advising on the structuring of international treaty co-productions.

Litigation: We assist in resolving disputes and substantive areas of critical importance, including production, financing and other contractual disputes, tax litigation, bonding disputes and other insurance coverage matters, libel and media law, employment law, salary arbitration, competition/antitrust and intellectual property matters.

Video Gaming: We represent game developers and publishers, talent agencies, content producers and the major studios in the negotiation of software development agreements, publishing agreements, rights clearance, music licensing and financing matters.

Production, Distribution and Financing: We act for lenders, borrowers, producers, private equity and other stakeholders on structuring and financing transactions for television, motion picture new-media productions and other entertainment properties. We provide structuring advice to help maximize assistance from various government tax credit programs and other funding agencies. Some of our transactions include single-production financings of feature films, television movies and series, inter-provincial and international co-productions and joint ventures, bridge and gap financing, and private investment.

Taxation: We offer tax structuring for individuals, partnerships, corporations and other business entities, and advise film producers and distributors on maximizing tax credits and addressing transfer pricing issues.

Regulatory:  We provide key regulatory advice and strategy in proceedings before the CRTC and in relations with federal and provincial government departments and agencies. We provide advice on the foreign ownership rules governing Canadian entertainment and media companies, aspects of copyright and trademark law, the legal regime governing the Internet, foreign investment rules in Canada’s cultural industries, competition policy in the media sector, and the overall legislative and regulatory framework for the industry.

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