Sullivan’s Content Clearance Group advises media and production companies, independent filmmakers, advertising agencies and major brands on clearance of news, documentary, feature film and advertising video content for television and digital broadcast. Our team reviews content for distribution on all types of platforms including premium cable, streaming services, film festivals, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, websites and native video platforms.

Our multi-disciplinary team has a deep knowledge and experience advising on copyright fair use, trademark, First Amendment, publicity and privacy issues, and litigation. We work collaboratively with our clients to provide tailored recommendations to reduce risk and overcome obstacles to publication. We draft and review releases, licenses and permissions, and we issue copyright fair use opinions. We also advise our clients on acquiring errors and omissions insurance.

We regularly advise our clients’ in-house legal and creative teams about the use of trademarks and titles in creative works, including the complex interplay between trademark rights and First Amendment protection. We evaluate global trademark, title and entertainment searches and prepare title clearance search opinions to help our clients satisfy their errors and omissions insurance requirements and comply with their production and distribution obligations. We also evaluate trademarks and slogans for use in advertising campaigns in the U.S. and around the world.

Representative Client Work

  • Clearance of news and documentary video content for editorial publication
  • Pre-publication review of advertising and white label content for major brands, such as Google, IBM, Nike, Adidas, Geico, L’Oréal Urban Decay, Harley Davidson, Callaway, Olympic Channel, National Association of Realtors, Cazadores, Alienware, MailChimp, Visit Seattle, DraftKings and MedMen
  • Represented filmmaker Ian McFarland in copyright fair use, license and release review for the Showtime feature-length music documentary, The Godfathers of Hardcore
  • Title clearance for the Viceland cable television network
  • Clearance of marks and slogans for use by brands in advertising campaigns, including Delta (Launchpad), Lululemon (This is Yoga) and MGM (Missed Connections)

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