Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

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Hikikomorist
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby Hikikomorist » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:15 pm

PwnLaw wrote:1) It's hard to say. It's not a particularly common job. I did a blend of BizDev and GC for the first few startups I went to, so I was able to market myself as a dual hire. I could do this because I had a very strong network in games. I don't see a lot of other lawyers in the game startup space until the company gets pretty large. Generally, you need to come from a decent firm to get hired. So...I guess it's a fair bit harder than biglaw.

2) I was in a biglaw firm at first. I specialized in the entertainment industry broadly and in video games specifically.

3) I have a straight liberal arts background. My IP work was transactional in nature (licenses, EULAs, Privacy Policies, etc.).

4) 3 years in the firm and then into startups.

5) Transition required a lot of scrambling to acquire knowledge rapidly enough to stay on top of things. Most of the jobs I've been in have drawn upon my core skillset (logic reasoning, pressure management, interpersonal skills), so there is at least some common thread.

6) If you're in a startup, you should get equity. How much depends on how much leverage you have. I've gotten to the point where I'm senior enough to expect a fair bit and I have no issues pushing for it.


Would you mind going into more detail about what levels of equity would be appropriate for varying levels of expertise?

PwnLaw
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby PwnLaw » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:06 am

Equity is super situational. It depends on the current valuation, the round, your position, how badly they need you, whether you want cash more, etc. etc.

All of that said, for a post Series A pre B company, you're doing well with a percent or so. As you get more senior, you should expect more.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:52 am

"Entertainment" appears to be one of those super sexy unicorn jobs. Is it more competitive than other biglaw (M&A, litigation, etc)? Is it just a sub-category of IP? How do you get onto the "entertainment law" floor of a biglaw firm?

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sublime
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby sublime » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:02 am

..

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fats provolone
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby fats provolone » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:42 am

basically just do transactional in CA

PwnLaw
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby PwnLaw » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:16 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:"Entertainment" appears to be one of those super sexy unicorn jobs. Is it more competitive than other biglaw (M&A, litigation, etc)? Is it just a sub-category of IP? How do you get onto the "entertainment law" floor of a biglaw firm?


Yeah, it's ludicrously hard to land. I have no idea how I ended up in it. I certainly wasn't gunning for it.

Doing "entertainment" work just means you do work for the movie industry. There are a bunch of specific terms of art, standard industry practices and so forth that you need to be aware of that are particular to that industry. These idiosyncrasies are endemic to all of the law practiced in the area, which covers everything from corporate to IP (trade secrets, right of publicity, trademarks, etc.) to the litigation that stems therefrom. There are also a lot of unique contractual terms relating to production work and things like riders to contracts w/ actors. We once EXTENSIVELY negotiated how much butt crack an actress would show. I was also involved in a litigation where the plaintiff thought we had besmirched her good reputation by showing pubic hair.

I thought it was interesting to learn about these oddities, but I generally didn't have much love for the personalities that came with the industry. It's not very fun to interact with actors (and their agents) if you don't really care about meeting actors. I was always much more excited to talk to folks in the game industry.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:45 pm

Do you think movie industry law was a pre-req to the gaming industry? Could one break into the gaming industry without doing an entertainment law stint?

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FSK
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby FSK » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:49 pm

Hey PwnLaw, whats your thoughts on the recent Microsoft/Nintendo Lets Play policies? I'm super interested in that kind of thing, curious to hear an "insider" perspective.

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kalvano
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:20 pm

I think the real question here is how much butt crack did said actress end up showing?

PwnLaw
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby PwnLaw » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:59 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Do you think movie industry law was a pre-req to the gaming industry? Could one break into the gaming industry without doing an entertainment law stint?


Definitely not a pre-req. I used it as a platform to build out a video game group at my firm, but I think there are a lot of other ways to end up working in games. Frankly, mine was a very roundabout way of getting there.

PwnLaw
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby PwnLaw » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:18 pm

kalvano wrote:I think the real question here is how much butt crack did said actress end up showing?


2 inches. No curvature of cheek.

shay2171
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby shay2171 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:58 pm

Pwnlaw,

Where did you go to school? I am afraid that not getting in to a T14 would limit my chances in the field and that I should look at schools in big IP markets like CA?

Thanks

of course I just realized not getting into a T14 will greatly limit my chances in any law field

PwnLaw
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby PwnLaw » Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:29 am

shay2171 wrote:Pwnlaw,

Where did you go to school? I am afraid that not getting in to a T14 would limit my chances in the field and that I should look at schools in big IP markets like CA?

Thanks

of course I just realized not getting into a T14 will greatly limit my chances in any law field


UVA

Not going to a T14 will make things a lot harder. The higher end of the field is populated by folks from the traditional big firm network.

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kalvano
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby kalvano » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:38 am

PwnLaw wrote:
kalvano wrote:I think the real question here is how much butt crack did said actress end up showing?


2 inches. No curvature of cheek.


Legitimately curious if they had to have someone there to measure on demand.

PwnLaw
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby PwnLaw » Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:18 pm

kalvano wrote:
PwnLaw wrote:
kalvano wrote:I think the real question here is how much butt crack did said actress end up showing?


2 inches. No curvature of cheek.


Legitimately curious if they had to have someone there to measure on demand.


Nah, that gets taken care of in post-production. Just can't have unauthorized crack in the release.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Does anyone work as in-house counsel for gaming companies?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:52 pm

PwnLaw wrote:


Bringing this thread back because I find myself in a position to possibly gun for unicorn jobs, which puts all this back on my radar.

How much does UG pedigree matter? I have top grades at a T20; should I transfer to T6 for this stuff?

How much does the ~prestige~ of your initial biglaw firm matter? Or is it almost all networking and connections?

Will I have to be in Cali to do this type of work?

What practice areas should I focus on in my first few years in biglaw? Or does it not matter at all? I'm assuming I have to be transactional to do what you do? What if I do practice groups that straddle transactional and lit, like labor and employment? Or is transactional IP basically a prereq?




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