We know there’s an art to doing business.
Winners16 days ago
Congratulations to our client Amy Shark who has won the 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition with her smash hit ‘Adore’. Also shout out to our client Dave Le-aupepe from Gang of Youths who was awarded 2nd and 3rd prize for the songs ‘Let Me Down Easy’ and ‘The Heart is a Muscle’, and to Grace Shaw aka Mallrat who won Best ‘Unpublished’ Work for her pop tune ‘Better’. The Vanda and Young prize is one of the most coveted songwriting awards with over 4,056 entries from over 30 countries!
Read more here https://www.theindustryobserver.com.au/2018-vanda-young-songwriting-competition-winners/theindustryobserver.com.au
Revolutionary Changes to Privacy Law: Today, 25 May 2018, marks the commencement of the EU General Data Protection Regulation – a law pioneering stronger protections around how businesses collect, use and store personal data. These regulations are far-reaching and apply to any business that controls or processes the data of EU citizens.
Achievement in ArtLast month
Our very talented client Kim Kim Kim Hyunji has taken out the 2018 Bluethumb Art Prize for her portrait of tattoo artist Luke Robinson. Kim’s work won out over more than 2,300 other entries! A massive congratulations to her and to our client Bluethumb for another successful award night celebrating Australian Art!
QLD Music Awards10 days ago
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees at the 2018 Queensland Music Awards! A special shout to our award winning clients, in no particular order:
Jeremy Neale for winning Song of the Year for Dancin’ & Romancin’
The Jungle Giants for winning Album of the Year for Quiet Ferocity
Amy Shark for winning Highest Selling Single for her hit Adore, Pop Album of the Year, Regional Album of the Year, Singer Songwriter of the Year and for also receiving the Export Achievement Award
The Kite String Tangle for winning Electronic / Dance Album of the Year
Waxx for winning Video of the Year for Same Same
For a full list of winners, click here:
Exciting News17 days ago
We are thrilled to be nominated for the IP Specialist Law Firm of the Year in the 2018 Australasian Law Awards! The Australasian Law Awards acknowledge excellence in the legal profession by highlighting the outstanding achievements of leading firms in the previous year. This prestigious event will take place next Thursday 17 May 2018 – wishing luck to all fellow nominees!
For a full list of finalists, click here http://www.auslawawards.com.au/index.php/finalists/2018
Celebrating our Sydney solicitor Sarah Woolcott’s first plaque at Media Arts Lawyers for her contribution to Tyron Hapi ft. Mimoza’s single ‘Anyway’ (Teamwrk Records) which has now reached Gold status! Congratulations to all involved and awesome work Sarah! Couldn’t be prouder!
Big shout out to our client Aldous Harding for winning the Taite Music Prize for her album ‘Party’. The Taite Music Prize is awarded for the best album in New Zealand and is judged purely on artistic merit. As the winner, Aldous will receive a $10,000 cash price to further her music career – we can’t wait to see where this exciting opportunity leads her!
Read more at:
APRA Music AwardsLast month
We had an awesome night celebrating with winners and nominees at the APRA Music Awards! Special shout out to our award-winning clients, in no particular order
Peking Duk and Kaelyn Behr (Styalz Fuego) who swept up Dance Work of the Year and Most Played Australian Work with ‘Stranger’ feat. Elliphant
A.B. Original for winning Songwriter of the Year
M-PHAZES for winning Urban Work of the Year with ‘Catch-22’
Amy Shark and M-phazes for winning Pop Work of the Year with ‘Adore’
Ben Abraham for winning the Overseas Recognition Award
For a full list of winners, click here:
Industry EventLast month
We’re looking forward to the 2018 APRA Music Awards taking place tonight! Shout out to our clients who have been nominated for the following awards:
Song of the year – Amy Shark, Gang of Youths & Ainslie Wills
Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year – Ben Abraham, Gretta Ray
Country Work of the Year – The McClymonts
Dance Work of the Year – Peking Duk, Starley, Kaelyn Behr (Styalz Fuego)
Pop Work of the Year – Amy Shark, Vance Joy, M-PHAZES
Rock Work of the Year – KINGSWOOD, DUNE RATS
Urban Work of the Year – Tkay Maidza, Nicholas Martin, Kaelyn Behr (Styalz), M-Phazes
Most Played Australian Work – Amy Shark, Starley, Peking Duk, Kaelyn Behr (Styalz), M-Phazes
Good luck to all!
Scoop on Spotify2 months ago
The music streaming platform that famously allows users to curate their own public playlists is yet again taking interactive music listening to another level. Spotify is launching a new software called ‘Line-In’ that will allow users to edit track details to provide more accurate descriptions of genres, mood, tags, artist roles and other information. Will this ability for everyday people to define the music they are listening to change how we categorise and describe music? Tell us what you think!
Read full article at
Congratulations to our very own Julian Hewitt, who received ‘Music Lawyer of the Year’ at the first annual Industry Observer Awards last night (and pipped our other nominated partners David Vodicka and Stephen King at the post)! It is well-deserved recognition of Julian’s outstanding contributions to the Australian music industry and we couldn’t be prouder! #TIO
Spotlight on Independent Theatre2 months ago
The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) has released their first set of best practice guidelines specifically aimed at Independent Theatre Productions. The guidelines were released in response to long rehearsal hours, little to no remuneration and unsafe work environments in the independent theatre scene. If you’re thinking of putting on a production, or are participating in a show, familiarise yourself with these new standards that are sure to shake up this industry.
Read more here: meaa.org
International Women’s Day2 months ago
Happy International Women’s Day!:
Fun fact – this year marks 100 years since the Women’s Legal Status Act 1918 (NSW) was passed, allowing women in NSW to enter the legal profession for the first time in Australia!
Congratulations2 months ago
Big shout out to our CFO Maria Amato who was listed as one of the top 50 most influential figures in the Australian music industry right now! It is well-deserved recognition of Maria’s significant contributions to the Australian entertainment and music sector over the past 25 years. Congratulations – we are lucky to have you on our team!
See the full list at:
Client News2 months ago
the very impressive Stella Donnelly signs to Secretly Canadian as her new label home outside Australia.
Client news3 months ago
Shoutout to our client, Ryan Downey, for signing to Barely Dressed Records! Downey is a Melbourne-based singer songwriter with a growing reputation as one of the most unique voices emerging in the Australian Indie music scene. We are proud to continue supporting local Australian talent and can’t wait to listen to his debut album due to be released in April. Congrats Ryan!
Read more at:
Industry Awards3 months ago
Congratulations to our partners, David Vodicka, Stephen King and Julian Hewitt who have all made the shortlist for the Industry Observer Awards 2018 Music Lawyer of the Year. It is well-deserved recognition of their continued dedication to supporting artists in the Australian Music Industry – well done guys!
Read full list of nominees at:
Interesting Article3 months ago
Emoji are just harmless, funny images at the end of a text, right? Well in the legal industry they are becoming an increasingly serious problem. A court in New Zealand recently had to grapple with Emoji that were placed at the end of death threats, whilst a judge in the Supreme Court of QLD had to decide how to interpret a smiley face Emoji in a will.
Could this developing technological language be upheld as a “a legitimate form of literacy” by the law? Let us know what you think!
Infringement Alert3 months ago
The owner of the famous feline internet sensation ‘Grumpy Cat’ has successfully sued a coffee shop in California for AUD$883,000 for breach of a copyright licensing agreement. The café had originally paid Grumpy Cat Ltd a fee to use the famous cat-meme on their ‘Grumpaccino’ iced coffees, but they overstepped the bounds of their agreement when they started to use Grumpy Cat’s image to promote their other products as well.
Are you thinking about using another person (or cat’s!) image to promote your business? To avoid a law suit down the line, make sure you are aware of what you can and can’t do when using an image that isn’t your own.
Full article at:
We advise some of the industry’s biggest & brightest.
Our clients include (in no particular order):
Courtney Barnett, Flume, Gotye, Tame Impala, Kylie Minogue, AB Original, Amy Shark, Matt Preston, Isa Guha, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Em Rusciano, The Design Files, VICE, Seventh Street Media, Cricket Australia, Future Classic, Jacky Winter Group, Josephmark, Christopher Doyle & Co, Peking Duk, Vance Joy, Dune Rats, Ruel, Downtown Music Publishing, Native Tongue, Darkroom, Craig & Karl, Benja Harney, Cord & Berg, Entropico, Daniel Johns, Aldous Harding, Ian Strange, Nadia Hernandez, Anya Brock, Kim Kim Kim, Steaphan Paton, Gang of Youths, Hilltop Hoods, Scott Pickett, Projects of Imagination, Ellery, Matt Corby, McClymonts, Foster Type, Tristan Kerr, Bounce Patrol, Mighty Car Mods, Onelove, RUFUS DU SOL, Stella Donnelly, Chloe Ting, Simone Giertz, The Scranline, Wicked Witch, Beyond the Valley, Groovin’ The Moo, South Island Wine & Food Festival, Rhythm & Alps, Bolster, Planet Broadcasting, NB Content, Oh Yeah Wow, Projucer, Client Liaison, The Smith Street Band, The Teskey Brothers, The Black Seeds, Buxtock, Select Music, 123 Agency, Styalz Fuego, Pieater, AIR, IMNZ, MMF New Zealand, and many others!
we’ve got the industry covered.
BUSINESS & CORPORATE advisory
CELEBRITY, BRANDS & IMAGE RIGHTS
Defamation & Reputation
Design & Creative Industries
Digital Media & Gaming
Fashion & Industrial Design
Festivals, Events & Theatre
Intellectual Property & Trade Marks
LITIGATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
PROPERTY & PERSONAL MATTERS
RADIO & BROADCAST
TELEVISION & FILM
WRITING & PUBLISHING
We advise clients on all commercial matters from establishing the most appropriate legal structure to sales and acquisitions of businesses and assets. During the last five years, our firm has been instrumental in structuring and negotiating over $150 million in commercial transactions. Additionally, we guide clients through stakeholder and governance issues, investments and fundraising, corporations and partnership legislation, and act for clients in business affairs and board advisory roles.
From exclusive publication rights for celebrity announcements, to brand endorsement deals, to takedown notices, we understand how to protect and extract the most value from image and brand rights. We advise on endorsements and sponsorships, advertising standards and marketing practices, celebrity appearances and publicity agreements, events and touring agreements, image use and infringement, management agreements, and trademarks.
A highly technical area of law, we can help you protect your brand and personal reputation. We provide advice, issue concerns notices, letters of demand, and cease and desist notices, as well as litigation. We represent clients in respect of various reputational matters including defamation (both pre- and post-publication), passing off, misleading and deceptive conduct, injurious falsehood, misuse of personal image, and falsely implying an endorsement or sponsorship.
We understand what goes into running and working with design and creative industries. We act for leading graphic and motion design firms, agencies, creative directors, photographers, artisan craftspeople and makers, painters, muralists, typographers, sculptors, and industry organisations. We assist clients with all commercial matters including services agreements, commissioning agreements, licensing and assignment of copyright, gallery-artist relationships, exhibitions and touring, employment and freelancing, releases, restraints and restrictions, non-disclosure agreements, copyright infringement, moral rights, value and charge-out rate advice, disputes, and everything else in between.
From standalone websites and apps to gaming engines, we assist clients throughout all stages from idea inception to MVP to product launch to sales/acquisitions. We advise local and international companies in relation to website terms and conditions, software as a service agreements, online game of chance competition rules, Spam and Privacy Act compliance, and negotiating with collecting societies. In addition, we assist clients with funding applications, music and third party copyright clearances, cybersquatting, employment, contractor, and developer agreements, R&D advice, non-disclosure agreements, engine licences, and commercialisation of creative projects.
We don’t just advise on the legal position in relation to HR matters but also the commercial realities of what it is to employ/contract or be employed in Australia or New Zealand. We draft and negotiate employment agreements and exits for companies, high-level executives at multinational entertainment, talent, fashion, and design companies and regularly attend Fair Work Commission conciliations. We also provide industry-specific advice in relation to workplace entitlements, intellectual property, confidentiality, employment restraints, as well as contractor vs employee hiring.
We represent fashion houses that show at MBAFW, NYFW, and Paris Fashion Week and understand how and when the Copyright/Designs Act overlap occurs and what steps you need to take to exploit your designs and copyrights and protect them from infringement. We also represent clients in respect of manufacturing and fabrication agreements, distribution and supply agreements (exclusive and non-exclusive) with Australian and global retail and online outlets, licensing agreements, agency agreements, employment matters, outworkers agreements and advice, labelling, customs seizure, copycat or counterfeit merchandise, and all other related matters.
There is a huge amount of risk involved when putting on a live event of any sort. We have an extensive client base of promoters, talent, booking agents, and venues. Having regularly acted for clients from all sides of the business, we have deep experience in the nuances of live performances and promoting.
We have an extensive hospitality client list, including licensed venues, restaurants and cafes, celebrity chefs, and some of the most influential hospitality interior designers and architects. Our work includes advising on purchase and sale of businesses, employment, leasing, property purchase, venue fit-outs, television and event appearances, book and other publishing deals, sponsorships and endorsements, and other related matters.
Intellectual property is the backbone of our practice. Whether it be creation, ownership, registration, transfer, licensing or protection of intellectual property (or ideas), we give our clients the assistance they need to protect or assert their intellectual property rights in Australia, New Zealand and throughout the world. Alongside representing our clients in respect of copyright matters, we handle some of the biggest trade mark portfolios in Australia and can assist with trade mark and designs searches, applications, adverse reports, oppositions, registrations and certifications.
We have extensive experience litigating matters in all major Australian courts and tribunals relevant to our areas of practice. We bring a practical and commercial approach to dispute resolution.
Our core business developed within the music industry, so we can assist with everything from deal negotiation to dispute resolution. Our clients include musicians, bands, songwriters, composers, producers, festivals, agents, managers, labels, publishers, distributors, streaming services, and content providers.
Our clients often need legal assistance with matters outside of the entertainment industry. For many people, buying real estate will be their most significant investment. Our property lawyers are not only highly experienced in conveyancing, but are also across all areas of property law, contract law and other areas of the law which can be relevant to the sale, purchase or lease of commercial and/or residential property. In addition, we regularly advise and prepare paperwork in relation to estate matters (wills, probate, estate planning) and powers of attorney.
We represent radio talent and producers as well as radio stations and streaming services. We advise in relation to employment and contractor agreements, codes of practice and conduct, and other matters relating to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 and Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, including representing clients in respect of ACMA investigations and submissions.
Thanks in part to streaming, content in shortform, longform, and limited format is being created and consumed more than ever before. We advise clients both in front of and behind the camera as well as all the other people that support the creation or distribution of content for both digital and terrestrial broadcast and communications. Our clients include streaming services, TV hosts, actors, media personalities, talent management entities, production companies, directors, writers, animators, composers, and distributors. Our services include advising on talent performers and key-creatives’ rights, agreements and releases, television format protection, script option rights agreements, classifications, and pre-broadcast defamation and explicit content review and advice.
We represent journalists, publishers, and authors of books (fiction and non-fiction), magazines, columns, blogs, articles (longform and shortform) and other online and in-print publications in respect of rights, advances, royalties and how works get used and exploited in other mediums. We regularly advise clients in respect of publishing deals, co-author agreements, ghostwriters, literary agents, copyright infringement, exploitation of subsidiary rights, pre- and post-publication defamation review, and option agreements.
we are more than just lawyers.
As well as having over 25 years experience dealing in all facets of creative industry law, David is director of independent label Rubber Records and music publisher Rubber Music Publishing. A passionate advocate for local music and creative industries, David chairs the board of Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR), and is a board member of Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA).
Stephen practises in all facets of commercial and entertainment law; with a particular focus on music, particularly within the independent sector through his representation of the Australian and New Zealand label associations and numerous independent record labels within Australia, New Zealand and internationally. Stephen combines his legal knowledge with his vast experience in the music industry, including in private practice in the UK representing major artists, labels and industry bodies and in Australia as the Business Affairs Manager for Festival Mushroom Records. Stephen is a supporter of local music and provides pro-bono services to Music NT and Arts Law members. Stephen is a Director of Ink Music Publishing and the manager for international artist, Georgi Kay.
Julian represents high profile musical talent, managers, labels, publishers, events and start-ups, and with a large overseas network has been instrumental in setting up international deals for his clients. He has been a musician signed to major and indie labels, and has a post-grad degree in corporate finance. In addition to his extensive music law practice, Julian represents film and television projects, studios, creative agencies, celebrity talent, media and tech companies, events, designers, and NGO’s.
Yasmin practises in creative industries law, representing world-class graphic and motion design studios, agencies, illustrators, streaming services, visual artists, authors, managers, fashion designers, brands and digital influencers, photographers, format and content creators, tv/radio talent, and app developers. Holding both a Juris Doctor (hons) and an MBA, Yasmin combines experience with deeply entrenched expertise, industry insight, and a passion for the creative sector. Working in close partnership with her clients, she brings clarity to their legal rights and obligations, and advises with the intention of achieving the very best strategic and commercial outcome. Committed to giving back to the industry, she’s also a serving board member of the Creative Women’s Circle.
Having been legal counsel for the likes of Southern Cross Austereo, Marsh Insurance and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, Tania has provided valuable input on a vast array of commercial matters, negotiating high level agreements and working closely with executives in the delivery of practical solutions from both a commercial and regulatory perspective. Tania joined MAL in 2015 and practices in the areas of general commercial, intellectual property, media and entertainment; with a particular focus on talent representation, hospitality, trade marks and brand protection, property, and creative industries. Tania holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Commerce (Management) and a Graduate Diploma in Communications Law.
Rob Glass joined the firm in 2014, having previously worked at a Chambers and Legal 500 listed intellectual property firm in Australia and a commercial firm in New Zealand. Rob draws on more than 10 years experience working in the music industry to provide pragmatic legal advice to some of Australia’s leading DJs, producers, managers, labels and events, drafting and negotiating the deals that form the backbone of the business. Rob’s digital media experience has included working with technology clients, design studios, software and app developers, and online content distributors drafting documentation and structuring deals for new and established businesses.
Marcus has experience in all facets of entertainment and commercial law and as a litigator having practiced both in Australia and the UK. With his practice focused primarily on the music industry, Marcus has represented high profile artists, managers, producers, labels, publishers, festivals, events and start-ups throughout the world, and with a particular interest in working with new and emerging talent he has assisted in procuring, negotiating and advising on local and international deals for his clients. Marcus also runs independent label and management company ‘We Are Golden’.
Amanda has experience in music and entertainment law, intellectual property, defamation and commercial law and has represented a wide variety of clients including bands, artists, managers, record labels, promoters, producers, publishers, media outlets and a diverse range of commercial entities. She also spent three years as the assistant editor of Heavy Music Magazine and currently manages artists, runs events and plays an active role in the local music scene. Her involvement in these activities provides her with a unique perspective that allows her to best understand and anticipate the needs of her clients. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Laws as well as a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Music Business Management.
Sarah has experience in both entertainment law and real property law, and has been working in the music industry for 10 years. She was previously the Licensing / Synchronisations Manager at major record label, Warner Music Australia. She has negotiated deals with television networks, film producers and directors, advertising agencies, local and international artists and artist managers, music supervisors, music publishers and other record labels. Sarah also has experience in conveyancing matters, and holds a Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Arts (with Honours), a C.Mus.A Diploma in Piano and a Juris Doctor.
Having a background in media communications and marketing, Luisa joined Media Arts Lawyers whilst undertaking the Juris Doctor at the University of Melbourne. Luisa combines her a passion for the creative industries, new business and innovative technologies, with a keen interest in intellectual property law and media law. Luisa is also concerned with regulation and policy reform having completed her thesis in the area. Luisa holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Business (marketing) and a Bachelor of Arts (communications) from Monash University.
Maria Amato is the firm’s CFO. With over twenty-five years’ experience in the entertainment industry, Maria is the principal of Results Management – a company she setup in 1994 to provide CFO and bookkeeping services to a broad range of clients. Maria also provides forensic accounting services and has successfully delivered innovative solutions to streamline business processes, cut costs and increase profitability.