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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
Legislative and corporate activity dominated industry developments and trends in Canada over the past year, with the former sparking national concern.
Google Canada has raised ‘serious‘ concerns about the country’s Liberal bill as it would create a framework within which online platforms must enter into fair negotiations with news outlets.
Google raised its objections to the government in written form in October. Google stated that ‘Unlike the Australian code, C-18 defines Eligible News Businesses extremely broadly, and does not require a publisher to adhere to basic journalistic standards.’
Bill C-18, the Online News Act, was introduced in parliament in April, and outlines legislative and regulatory frameworks that require digital platforms to make fair commercial deals with news outlets.
The bill essentially aims to reduce bargaining imbalances between platforms and news outlets. Colin McKay, Google Canada’s Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, told a House of Commons committee that the bill ‘lacks transparency and benefits large, legacy publishers over small’.
In corporate activity, Canada’s Amcomri Entertainment acquired the library assets of Flame Media in a CAD3 million deal. Flame Media, based in Australia and the UK, has more than 500 TV titles and 2,200 hours of programming in its content library.
Cassels is one of the most established entertainment and copyright law practices in Canada. The firm is appointed by publishers, producers, broadcasters, animators and concert promoters. Among industry work, the team assisted Canadian Football League with Grey Cup performance agreements for the Black Eyed Peas and Shania Twain. Other focus areas include gaming and sports law.
Gowling WLG is an established leader in the area of media law. The firm works across several service areas that include entertainment, defamation, gaming, advertising and social media. Each division is managed by a dedicated partner, which means in-depth industry knowledge and broad expertise. The firm’s size and scale amplified after Gowlings merged with UK firm Wragge Lawrence Grahman & Co in January 2016, creating double the capacity nationally and abroad.
The Stikeman Elliott media team specialises in entertainment and sports law and has extensive experience in the financing of films and television programs. Other focus areas include licensing of intellectual property including publicity rights and rights of personality. The firm’s media lawyers also advised on competition issues arising from the purchase of a newspaper chain and advise on the sale of sports franchises.
Dentons advises several Hollywood studios, US-based independent production companies and television networks on communications and entertainment law. The practice that is visible across a range of cases that include mergers and acquisition. The team also assists US-based animation and visual effects companies on establishing Canadian studios. Well positioned nationally, the firm has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
Goodmans has a high profile portfolio of clients from the entertainment sector. The practice specialises in film, television, digital media and book publishing. The firm represents American and Canadian studios, broadcasters, independent producers, game companies and talent agencies.
Lawyers at McCarthy Tétrault have in-depth knowledge of cyber security, privacy, data protection and copyright. The firm is widely recognised for its sector expertise, and notably for its experience advising clients from the video game and music industries.
With a cross-border focus, Torys regularly advises international clients in a range of service areas, from traditional media and corporate transactions to commercial exploitation. In representative work, the team acted for Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in its USD142.4 million acquisition of a 17.9 per cent stake in Entertainment One from Marwyn Value Investors.
DLA Piper has seven offices across Canada with diverse market coverage. The firm’s capacity was expanded in March 2015 after the firm merged with Vancouver-based law firm Davis. The team works with regional partners representing the sports and entertainment industries. The firm represents local and international clients on finance, corporate issues, production and rights acquisition and competition law.
McMillan’s media work ranges from financing, syndication and sponsorship through to securing international production and distribution rights. The media, communications and entertainment team, advises recording artists, gaming companies, film and television producers and multimedia companies.
Toronto-based Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Heim Finlay specialises in entertainment, marketing and copyright. The team is highlighted by peers who say both partners “are active in media and entertainment law and have been opposite us on numerous transactions in recent years.” The firm acts for clients in the film, music, broadcasting, publishing and sports industries.
Norton Rose Fulbright
Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Heim Finlay
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt
Smart & Biggar
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