Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law

UCLA Entertainment Symposium Update
as of March 11, 2020

The symposium has been postponed.

44th Annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium, March 20-21, 2020, Freud Playhouse | Macgowan Hall | UCLAKeynote Address: Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer

It is hardly insightful to observe that the entertainment industry of 2020 bears surprisingly little resemblance even to that of 2010, let alone the industry of decades past. The convergence of the entertainment, media, and technology industries has prompted some naysayers to declare, "This, this is the end of Hollywood!" (and that, perhaps, is one way that the current era strongly resembles those of the past). But to paraphrase Mark Twain: reports of Hollywood's demise have been greatly exaggerated. The 2020 Symposium will examine a variety of tectonic market shifts – from the so-called "Streaming Wars" to potential labor wars, from the evolution of profit participation to the progression of free speech, ethics, and celebrity – that promise to end the entertainment industry as we know it. But more importantly, it will explore how these new challenges are also yielding creative solutions and bold innovations, in law and business, that will come to define an altogether new entertainment industry for the years to come.

Friday, March 20, 2020

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. - CLE/CPE Registration     

1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. - Welcome

Susan Akens, Executive Director, Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law, UCLA School of Law

1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. - War, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing!

A half century ago, Edwin Starr was certainly correct from the soldiers' point of view but not from the view of the arms manufacturers. The same is true with the coming Streaming Wars, where the fight and possible carnage will be with the front line distributors, including some (possibly naive) first time players in direct-to-consumer conflict who were sucked in because Wall Street drafted them to fight. Behind the front lines, though, the producers, creators, and talent will find themselves not in a war, but in a golden age of capital-driven production...as long as the capital holds out and vertical integration doesn't remove all profit potential.

But at base, the Streaming Wars are all about the consumers who will decide the winners and losers. How many separate streaming service subscriptions will consumers buy? What will consumers demand in each content package? Will consumers prefer to acquire their streaming video bundled with other products such as free shipping, park admissions, or even wireless or wired distribution plans that begin to sound a lot like the cable TV subscriptions of old?

In his opening Status Report, Wolzien will set the stage for the Symposium's focus this year on streaming and its impact on every corner of our industry.

Tom WolzienChairman, Wolzien LLC and The Video Call Center, LLC

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. - Why Can't We Be Friends

In the ever changing media and content landscape, labor unions are dynamically evolving and responding to protect their members. Conversely, studios, networks and tech companies are working to adhere and comply with unions while balancing the economics of exploiting and producing content. With strikes and union rifts in the background, studios, companies and union members must find a way to focus on the 'relation' aspect of 'labor relations' to ensure that despite both parties protecting their competing interests, the show must go on. This panel of 'labor relations' experts will cover the day to day challenges along with the current status of larger union issues that impede all interested parties from simply getting along with each other.

Harry Isaacs, Executive Vice President, Labor Relations, CBS Corporation

Richard W. Kopenhefer, Partner, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Olga Rodriguez-Aguirre, Executive Director, Entertainment Contracts, SAG-AFTRA
Karen Stuart, Executive Director, Association of Talent Agents

2:45  p.m. – 3:00 p.m. - Break

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. - Welcome to the Jungle

The $180 million arbitrator's decision in the Bones litigation sent shock waves through the entertainment industry. The finding that one studio failed to deal on an arm's length basis when licensing a television series to its affiliates, and the proliferation of vertical integration in the television industry in particular, has caused the studios to rethink the traditional profit sharing model. The digital platforms and at least one major studio have fundamentally changed the industry by introducing a replacement for the age-old profit participation typically granted to content creators. This new "bonus" definition is based on longevity and, in some cases, the medium of exploitation, thereby eliminating the possibility of lawsuits for non-arm's length transactions while limiting any upside for participants on very successful shows. Our panel of experts will discuss the Bones case, the pros and cons of the new bonus model and the future of profit participations in the television industry.

Steven Sills, Partner, Green Hasson Janks

John V. Berlinski, Partner, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
Patti C. Felker, Partner, Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson LLP
Karen Tatevosian, Executive Vice President and Head of U.S. Business Affairs, Sony Pictures Television Studios

4:00 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. - Dean's Remarks

Jennifer L. MnookinDean, David G. Price and Dallas P. Price Professor of Law, and Faculty Co-Director, PULSE @ UCLA Law (Program on Understanding Law, Science & Evidence), UCLA School of Law

4:10 p.m. – 5:10 p.m. - The John H. Mitchell Panel on Ethics and Entertainment sponsored by the Patricia W. Mitchell Trust

We Didn't Start the Fire

The news business oft times seems like it is aflame: massive lawsuits filed by public figures and government officials; damaging hacks and revealing leaks about celebrities, politicians and public companies; social media fueling controversies about disagreements big and small. And programs and pundits spinning every event, often sprinkling in "alternative facts" and perspectives condemned as fake news. Our expert panel will discuss the lawyer's ethical responsibilities when advising journalists and media companies telling stories that raise difficult legal and fairness issues including, reporting based on hacks and leaks, NDA breaches and surreptitious recordings. To facilitate open dialogue, the panelists will analyze a hypothetical fact pattern that raises many familiar issues.

Dale Cohen, Director, Documentary Film Legal Clinic, UCLA School of Law, and Special Counsel, FRONTLINE

Jonathan Anschell, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, ViacomCBS Media Networks
Kelli L. Sager, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Jeffrey Toobin, Chief Legal Analyst, CNN, and Staff Writer, The New Yorker

Saturday, March 21, 2020

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. - CLE/CPE Registration

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. - Naughty Bits

In 2016, the technology startup company, VidAngel, offered a movie streaming service that allowed users to mute potentially offensive audio and cut potentially offensive video from Hollywood films. Copyright litigation forced VidAngel's service offline in December of that same year. But, in the preceding eleven-and-a-half months, VidAngel transmitted roughly four million filtered streams, and for each of them, recorded which filters were applied and how many minutes of the resulting film each user then watched. In this talk, Professor Lichtman will use the VidAngel data to examine the market for filtered motion picture content. Are filters used primarily to filter intimacy or violence? Are users more likely to filter the word "f*ck" or the word "Christ"? And what does this teach us about the movies Hollywood is, and should be, making?

Doug Lichtman, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. - I Can See Clearly Now

One of the most Herculean tasks faced by production attorneys in today's content hungry climate is the matter of rights clearance. With more and more documentaries, reality shows, competition series, and scripted projects that are based on actual people, living and dead, counsel must protect their clients by minimizing any risk of litigation. The issues are myriad: Is there a fair use defense? What types of releases are required for shooting on the street or in a crowd? Are featured materials actually in the public domain? What clearances are needed to film with a drone while flying over real people and places? And, perhaps most importantly, are sufficient clearances in place to ensure content is subject to coverage by the all-important errors and omissions insurance policy?

E. Barry Haldeman, Of Counsel, Jeffer, Mangels, Butler and Mitchell LLP

Ann Brigid Clark, Of Counsel, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Seth Cohen, Vice President, HUB International Insurance Services Inc. 
Chris Perez, Partner, Donaldson + Callif, LLP

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. - Break

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. - Hey Now, You're an All-Star

The marketing power of influencers continues to grow, and there are no signs of influencer marketing diminishing any time soon. From major A-list celebrities to newly minted YouTube/Instagram/Tik Tok celebrities, some of whom are merely children, influencers have become necessary marketing partners to many brands. Today, influencers serve the role of product endorsers by marketing content on social media and other distribution channels for marketing communications. This panel will address strategic and IP issues as well as legal/regulatory and PR risks facing influencers and brands that work with influencers. In particular, the panel will explore (1) what makes an individual an influencer and why they are valuable marketing tools for brands; (2) the deal terms of an agreement between an influencer and a brand; and (3) disclosure and other regulatory requirements for influencer activity, including how brands and influencers are addressing such issues.

Po Yi, Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Oren Aks, Creative Director & Founder, Atomic Milk Media
Ellie Altshuler, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP
D'Angela Proctor, CEO, Wayfarer Entertainment

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. - Keynote Address

Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. - Lunch

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. - Feeling Good

Arguing for a living isn’t easy. We work long, conflict-filled hours, and we’ve got the stress headaches to prove it. Mindfulness can help. This simple practice has received much hype but with good reason: research shows that it can boost focus, reduce stress and anxiety, increase emotional intelligence, and even improve physical health. In this interactive workshop, we explore simple, powerful mindfulness methods tailored to the needs of busy executives and lawyers. You'll learn techniques to sharpen focus, calm the mind, identify stress and anxiety through their characteristic manifestations in the body and mind, and respond skillfully to the mental and emotional challenges of your work. Your guide is a mindfulness expert and lawyer who has taught mindfulness at Harvard, Yale, the Pentagon, NBCUniversal, and the world’s top law firms.

Jon Krop, Founder, Mindfulness for Lawyers

Symposium Information


$445.00 for a single ticket purchased on or before March 10, 2020
$495.00 for a single ticket purchased after March 10, 2020
$425.00 each for 3 or more tickets with promo code GROUP3
$250.00 for full-time students with valid student I.D. (no other discount)

Ticket price includes the Entertainment Symposium Syllabus, continental breakfast and lunch on Saturday, March 21, 2020 and coffee breaks on both days.

After purchasing a ticket(s), please register at events@law.ucla.edu.

There will be NO TICKET REFUNDS after March 9, 2020.

Continuing Legal Education

UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. By attending this symposium, you may earn Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit in the amount of up to 6 hours of general MCLE credit,1 hour of legal ethics credit and 1 hour of competence issues credit. This event may meet the requirements for continuing legal education credits in other states. Please check with the bar association in the state in which you are seeking credits to see if this event is eligible.

Continuing Education for Accountants

The provider of this program follows the CE guidelines specified in the California Board of Accountancy Regulations. The program may qualify for 9.5 specialized industry CE hours.

Parking - CASH ONLY

Parking is available for $13.00 per day in Lot 3 located at Wyton Drive and Hilgard Avenue.
Parking with a handicapped placard is $11.00 per day also in Lot 3.

Video/audio recording of the Symposium is prohibited.

For more information, please contact UCLA School of Law Office of Special Events at 310-825-0971 or events@law.ucla.edu.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Entertainmentsymposium@law.ucla.edu.