Agent for web video
June 8, 2009 1:33 PM   Subscribe

My company (a small LLC) is in talks with a large entertainment company (very large, you have heard of them) to develop an original property of ours (internet video series). After a few rounds of offers back and forth, we have come to realize that we should really have an agent -- this is above our head, especially the intellectual property ownership aspects of the negotiation. How do we find an agent that knows and understands new media/internet video, ideally in Manhattan? Will the fact that we're already in talks with a company (with actual money on the table) help us get someone? Thanks! (Email me at if you have advice but want to stay private.)
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
especially the intellectual property ownership aspects of the negotiation.

You don't just need an agent, you need an IP lawyer. And you can bet that there will be a good team of them sitting across the negotiating table, so this is worth paying for.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:35 PM on June 8, 2009

I have a friend who is an IP lawyer in Manhattan. He handles patents, but I'm sure he could recommend someone if asked.
posted by elfgirl at 1:51 PM on June 8, 2009

Some general advice from someone who knows about startups dealing with big companies.
posted by shothotbot at 1:52 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]

Not sure you need an "IP lawyer" per se, but perhaps a more specialized lawyer that deals with "Business and Legal Affairs." These types of attorneys perform the service of contract negotiations with big entertainment companies. For instance, they'll understand all the nitty gritty details and legal minutiae with regard to options, book rights, theme park rights, droit d'auteur, etc. Their job is to ensure that you aren't getting screwed by the big guys. They tend to work on an hourly basis. There are lots of these guys in Southern California; I assume large entertainment company is located here as well.

I don't think you need an agent; in fact I'm not sure I would rely on an agent at all in this situation.
posted by jabberjaw at 4:36 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Nthing an *Entertainment lawyer*. One with as much experience in the niche that you'll be working. A lawyer that has done a bunch of film deals would be better than a general practice, but will still not fully 'get' the nuances of an internet property.

If the project goes well and you're in the category of creatives, then looking for the right agent to help line up the next project at the best rate would be a plan. But again, it's likely a very specialized niche.
posted by sammyo at 5:04 PM on June 8, 2009

If you don't get a good recommendation here, why not ask your contact at the corporation for a couple names that they work with on these kinds of projects.
posted by sammyo at 5:10 PM on June 8, 2009

N+1thing entertainment lawyer. They will sort you out with an agent. PM me for a suggestion for a good lawyer if you want.
posted by unSane at 7:08 PM on June 8, 2009

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