Entertainment, Media and Sports Litigation

Over the past 25 years, Dickinson Wright has developed a strong reputation and significant client base in the music, sports and entertainment industries across the United States and Canada. Our music, sports and entertainment lawyers are experienced and skilled in the broad range of laws applicable to disputes in these industries. We also understand the business issues that impact each industry, enabling us to identify and achieve the appropriate goals of our clients who are involved in civil, regulatory or criminal litigation.

Supporting a Diverse Client Base

Clients from across the music, sports and entertainment worlds turn to Dickinson Wright for expert legal advice and representation. We work with a broad range of music and entertainment-related organizations, including major music labels and publishers, television networks, film and video companies, special effects companies, concert promoters, ticket distribution agents, entertainment facilities, theatre production companies, merchandising and licensing companies and internet-based broadcasters. We regularly represent creative talent, including singers, songwriters, recording artists, actors and professional dancers. In the sports world, our team has represented professional coaches, managers and athletes, sports management firms, player agents, on-air media personalities, sports teams and leagues, sporting facilities, training academies, sports insurers, equipment manufacturers and sports publications.  We are experienced with virtually every professional sport worldwide and are certified as player/agents by the MLB Players' Association, the National Hockey League Players' Association and the Professional Hockey Player's Association.

Broad Range of Experience

Our clients benefit from Dickinson Wright’s knowledge of legal principles in the areas of contract, copyright and trademark, publicity and privacy, defamation, negligence and a variety of other general statutory and common law property rights. When handling litigation and disputes for our music, sports and entertainment industry clients, we combine our expertise in these areas to meet the unique needs of each client.

For example, we have handled the prosecution and defense of record piracy cases based on copyright infringement related to album artwork; state and provincial protection of sound and video recordings; and the unauthorized use of an athlete or artist’s name and likeness. Our experience includes handling copyright infringement claims involving musical compositions in numerous genres; unfair competition claims; defamation cases against on-air personalities and broadcasters; and the sale of bootleg merchandise and publications. We have litigated the rights to pre-1972 sound recordings (which are not covered by copyright law) and record album cover artwork that was afforded copyright protection long before 1972.

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