The Law Offices of Mark Litwak and Associates has offered its clients high quality legal and business solutions for more than twenty-five years. We serve a global clientele in transactions involving financing, producing, and distributing motion picture, television, and new media projects. We represent numerous writers, directors, producers and production companies. Mark is an AV rated lawyer, author, arbitrator and Adjunct Professor at USC Law School where he teaches courses on entertainment law. Mark has received the highest possible rating on AVVO.
The firm has served as production counsel for numerous television and new media programs and series including the Netflix series "Wet Hot American Summer," Yahoo Screen's "Other Space," and Warner Brothers/Cartoon Network's Emmy Award winning “Childrens Hospital” now in production on its seventh season.
Mark is the author of six books, numerous articles and has served as an expert witness in entertainment industry disputes.
The firm has recovered millions of dollars in damages for filmmakers who have been defrauded by distributors.
Mark's IMDB credits page.
Mark's Independent Filmmaker Project Blog
Audio and Video clips
Mark Litwak named a Southern California Super Lawyer
Mark Litwak has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in Southern California for 2016. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. This is 7th time Mark has been honored with this award.
Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-‐phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.
The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country. Super Lawyers magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to superlawyers.com or click Here.
Mark also has for many years received an AV peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell. This is the highest rating given a lawyer and is indicator of a lawyer's high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada.
NEW ADDRESS: We will have moved to new offices in Brentwood at 11766 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 270, Los Angeles, CA 90025. Our telephone number remains the same.
Areas of Practice
□ Entertainment Law
□ Contract Law
□ Copyright and Clearances
□ Trademark and Unfair Competition
□ Business Transactions and Formation
□ Motion Picture Finance and Distribution
□ Television and Film Production Legal
□ Expert Witness Services
□ Book and New Media publishing
□ Defamation, Rights of Privacy and Publicity
Crowdfunding Portals Approved
Buckle your seat belts because there may soon be a wave of new indie films produced under relaxed government regulations. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) after a long delay has finally adopted rules to permit companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding. Several years overdue, the new Regulations for Crowdfunding are to implement the requirements of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”). Read more.
2016 Dealmaking course: This spring Mark will once again be teaching his Dealmaking in the Entertainment Industry class for lawyers studying for their advanced L L.M (Master of Laws) degrees at U.S.C. Gould School of Law. Many law firms prefer job candidates with an LL.M. degree because it indicates that the lawyer has advanced, specialized legal training. This class explores legal and business issues that arise in connection with the development, production, and exploitation of theatrical motion pictures and television programs. The LL.M program is designed for international attorneys, judges, government officials, prosecutors, corporate legal counsel, bankers, who are interested in receiving a American law advanced degree.
Dancing Toddler Changes Copyright Law
A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision is good news for filmmakers who want to rely on the fair use doctrine to include materials in their own work without obtaining permission. Stephanie Lenz is a mom who posted a 29-second amateur video onto YouTube of her children dancing in her kitchen while the Prince song Let’s Go Crazy played in the background. The song was audible for about twenty seconds. Lenz did not attempt to obtain a license for use of the music.
After Prince’s publisher, Universal Music Group, became aware of the video, it sent YouTube a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claiming that the video infringed Prince’s copyright. YouTube removed the video and notified Lenz of its removal and the alleged infringement of Prince’s song. Lenz then sent YouTube a counter-notification, which included a statement made under penalty of perjury that she had a good faith belief that the material was mistakenly taken down. She claimed that the inclusion of the song in her video was a fair use and requested that it be reloaded onto You Tube. Under the fair use doctrine, one can draw upon copyrighted works to produce new works such as comment and criticism, parody, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. For example, a movie or literary critic does not need to seek permission to include a small quote from a film being reviewed.
YouTube reposted Lenz’s dancing baby video six weeks later. Several months later, Prince issued a statement threatening to sue several Internet service providers for copyright infringement as part of an effort to “to reclaim his art on the internet.” Universal then released a statement to ABC News regarding the removal of Lenz’s video that “Prince believes it is wrong for YouTube, or any other user-generated site, to appropriate his music without his consent…legally, he has the right to have his music removed. We support him and this important principle. That’s why, over the last few months, we have asked YouTube to remove thousands of different videos that use Prince’s music without his permission.”
All episodes of Wet Hot American Summer are now streaming on Netflix.
The story behind the series.