Sports & Entertainment
Sports organizations (nationa federations, clubs, teams, etc.) are required to uphold good governance in accordance with the Governance Code for sports organizations formulated by the Japan Sports Agency. The purpose of good governance is to formulate voluntary rules for sports organizations, to operate sports organizations and their internal organizations in accordance with those rules, to disclose the results and processes as appropriate, to make the operation of sports organizations transparent, and last but not leasy to contribute to securing sports rights for people who play, watch, and support sports. Our firm has extensive experience in establishing and maintaining good governance in central and local sports organizations and club teams in various sports.
Anti-doping is an essential part of sports. If a doping violation occurs, the athlete may be banned from competition for several months or years. In recent years, there has been an sharp increase in the number of unexpected doping cases caused by dietary supplements. It is imperative that serious athletes do not fall victim to doping violations due to lack of knowledge. We have a wealth of experience in representing athletes and their teams who have been involved in doping violations, and in assisting sports organizations in establishing and operating anti-doping systems.
Disciplinary Measures by sports organizations
There have been many cases in which disciplinary measures by sports organizations have not been taken care of appropriately in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary procedures, although disciplinary measures are imposed when rules established by sports organizations are violated. Our firm has a long history in representing athletes and coaches who have been improperly disciplined, as well as in assisting sports organizations in establishing and operating systems for conducting appropriate investigations and disciplinary actions.
Sports are widely used not merely for holding competitions or matches, but also for business purposes as well such as broadcasting and distribution via internet, sponsorship, and merchandising. For athletes, it is imperative to manage and utlize their names and likeness, in addition to contracts with teams, and with sponsors who support their athletic activities. We can also assist in obtaining visas for overseas transfers. Our firm has a wealth of the management of athletes, and we can provide support for both athletes and management companies. For sports organizations, a variety of contracts are required for holding competitions or matches, broadcasting, distribution, sponsorship, and merchandising. Also, in order to establish a brand in the sports business, it is necessary to protect it with trademarks. Our firm has a great deal of experience in the this field.
In sports, there is always a risk of injury. However, this does NOT mean that we should accept the risk of serious injury or even death. In order to enjoy sports, it is essential to ensure safety. In recent years, concussions in sports have become a major problem in Europe and the United States, and the risk of concussions in sports has been attracting attention in Japan as well. Our firm provides support to sports organizations to ensure sports safety by utilizing our extensive knowledge from the perspective of sports medicine. We also provide support for athletes injured in sports injury.
Disputes in sports are mainly settled by sports arbitration instead of by ordinary court. Specifically, the selection problems, anti-doping violation and sanctions for misconduct, and other decisions by sports organizations are resolved through sports arbitration. Our firm has a wealth of experience in both the athlete and sports organization sides.
Lawyers in this practical area
The rights related to films, such as live-action films, animations, TV programs, and videos distributed over the Internet, are complex and involve a large number of people. On condition that the rights are not properly handled at the production stage, there is a high possibility of problems arising afterward. Notably, at the production stage, it is necessary to consider secondary use and to comply with the Subcontract Act. Our firm is capable of drafting various contracts and handling problems related to such production. In particular, financing is essential for film production, and we are able to draft and advise on contracts related to the formation and operation of film production committees and other financing matters. In the filming stage, problems arise in obtaining permission for location shooting and inclusion of copyrighted material or people, etc. in the film. Our firm can aid you in obtaining the necessary permits for filming and handle any problems that may arise during filming. We can also provide legal checks for scripts and film/video editing. Based on our comprehensive knowledge in legal matters related to film and video, we provide support to all those involved in the film industry, including film production companies, distribution companies, movie theaters, producers, directors, scriptwriters, costume designers, actors and voice actors. We are especially supportive of young creators.
The music business is also complicated in terms of rights. Copyright and master recording rights need to be properly dealt. In particular, the master recordings rights, where many people are involved in the production process, are complicated, and legal support is needed from the early stage of production. There are many situations in which you need to pay close attention to the utilization of music in terms of copyright and mastering rights. Based on our well established experience in music legal affairs, we offer assistance in the selection of copyright collecting societies for the protection and management of music rights, management methods, various contracts with music publishers and record companies, and handling of infringement of rights. We also provide support to musicians, songwriters, arrangers and other artists, record companies, producers, recording studios, musical instrument companies, and all other parties involved in music. We especially support young musicians and indies bands.
Live entertainment, such as live music performances and theatrical performances, requires legal support at the production stage, as the rights involved are as complex as those involved in film and music. In addition, due to the nature of live performances, the appearance of artists, actors and other performers, merchandising and use of venues are important factors, and we can support you in dealing with contracts and related problems. The live entertainment industry has been greatly affected by the Covid-19, and we are capable of handling and supporting problems associated with the cancellation or postponement of performances. We are also able to assist in the DX of live entertainment, which is being promoted as a result of the pandemic of Covid-19. Based on our vast knowledge in the live entertainment industry, we can assist artists, actors, event companies, promoters, merchandising companies, and others involved in this field.
Characters are widely used in business, but the rights involved in business development are complicated due to the involvement of various laws such as copyright law, trademark law, unfair competition prevention law, and design law, etc. Moreover, business development through media mix requires legal knowledge of other contents, as characters are adapted to other content formats such as animation, manga(comic), and novels, etc. In addition, as business is widely developed, it becomes essential to crack down on unauthorized use of characters. At our firm, we utilize our well established experience in characters law to support all those involved in the character business at every stage, including legal protection based on the business development of characters, drafting of various contracts, and countermeasures against infringement.
Video games, like movies and video games, require the handling of rights in the production stage, including scenario creation, music production, character creation, programming, and voice acting, as well as compliance with labor laws and subcontracting act, etc. In addition, online games such as social games are subject to laws and regulations such as the Act on the Protection of Personal Information, the Act on Regulation of Prepaid Vouchers, the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, and the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions, and it is essential to comply with these laws and regulations. We can also provide support for the use of video games, including live video game distribution and media mix development. At our firm, we are focusing on the development of e-sports. We provide support to eSports organizations, teams, players, and all other parties involved in eSports. Seeing that we are dealing with this for quite a long time, we can support publishers, developers, scenario writers, sound creators, programmers, and anyone else involved in the video game business.
Management companies play an important role in the activities of entertainers such as artists, actors, and voice actors, etc. A management contract between a management company and an artist is an important agreement that forms the basis of the artist’s activities, including the scope of management, the rights to the artist’s intellectual property (copyrights, publicity rights, trademarks, etc.), compensation, and the term of the contract. We are able to handle legal checks of such contracts, as well as problems derived from the aforementioned. We support both management companies that manage artists and artists that are managed by management companies. We also have a wealth of experience in band legal matters (internal band legal matters). We are also able to provide advice on NFT (Non Fungible Token), a hot topic in recent years.
We handle contracts and problems related to the publication of books such as manga, novels, and specialized books, etc. The content of rights differs depending on whether the publishing contract is a license contract or a publishing rights establishment contract. In addition, it is essential to select the contract is limited to paper publishing or includes electronic publishing. In addition, secondary use, such as the making of movies based on books such as manga, is also a frequent practice. With our vast knowledge in publishing, we are able to support authors, writers, publishers, and anyone else involved in the publishing business.