Category Archives: Internet, New Media & Entertainment Practice Area

SAM Client HouseCanary Featured in Forbes Magazine

HouseCanaryCongratulations to Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ client HouseCanary for being featured in Forbes magazine as the leaders of the real estate data revolution. Jeremy Sicklick, co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based HouseCanary saw a great opportunity to use technology and data science to modernize the real estate industry. He partnered with economist and statistician Chris Stroud – then a 27-year-old doctorate student – and the two formed HouseCanary in 2014. Their goal was to aggregate and analyze vast amounts of real estate data to help investors, lenders and real estate professionals make decisions in real-time. To date HouseCanary has raised $33 million in Series A financing from investors like Hillspire, Eric Schmidt’s family office, Alpha Edison, Raven Ventures and ECA Ventures.

To read the full article on Forbes click here.

About HouseCanary
Founded in 2014, HouseCanary’s mission is to help people make better real estate decisions. Built on a foundation of great data, powerful models and predictive analytics, the HouseCanary platform aggregates millions of data elements, including more than four decades of property data and a rapidly expanding arsenal of proprietary data calculations and analytics, to accurately define and forecast values and market influences. The company is headquartered in San Francisco. www.housecanary.com

For more information about our Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice, contact Greg Akselrud at gakselrud@stubbsalderton.com.

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SAM Partner Greg Akselrud Featured as Speaker at Digital Hollywood Event

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Partner Greg Akselrud featured as a speaker at Digital Hollywood Spring “Financing, Packaging, & Investment: From Entertainment & Indie Project to Technology & Startups.” The event will be May 23-25, 2017 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Other panelists include:

  • Steven Masur, Senior Partner, MG+
  • Diane McGrath, Managing Director Media and Technology, Streicher, J Streicher Capital
  • Jennifer Post, Partner, Raines Feldman LLP
  • Nick Davidov, Co-Founder, Gagarin Capital
  • Jason Scoggins, President & COO of Slated, Inc.
  • Joey Tamer, President, S.O.S. Inc., Moderator

 

Greg Akselrud is a founder and partner of the Firm. He chair’s the Firm’s Internet, Digital Media and Entertainment practice group. Greg advises a wide range of public and private clients across a number of industries, including companies in the entertainment, digital media, Internet, technology, consumer electronics and apparel industries. Greg is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, teaching Business Planning I: Financing the Start-Up Business and Venture Capital Financing.Greg is the author of Hit Man: The Fourth Circuit’s Mistake in Rice v. Paladin Enters., Inc., 19 Loy. L.A. Ent. L.J. 375 (1999).Greg received his B.A. from University of California at Los Angeles and his J.D., cum laude, from Loyola Law School. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

For more information about the Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice at SAM, contact Greg Akselrud at gakselrud@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4503.

 

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SAM Client Alert: It’s Time to (Re-)Register Your DMCA Agent

Regardless of whether your company has previously designated an agent to receive notification of claimed infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the “DMCA”)—a United States copyright law which, among other things, provides certain safe harbors for internet service providers who may host infringing material—it’s time to do it (again).

Effective as of December 1, 2016, the United States Copyright Office (the “Office”) issued its final rule (codified as 201 CFR Part 201) regarding designation of DMCA agents via the Office’s new electronic system. Under the new rule, any service provider that previously designated a DMCA Agent must resubmit through the electronic system by December 31, 2017, or it will lose safe harbor protection notwithstanding any prior registration.

If you need to register, or re-register, here’s what you should do:

  • Create an Account. In order to designate a DMCA agent using the new system, you must create an account. You may also engage a third party, including your legal counsel, to complete the registration on your behalf.
  • Register Your Company. Once an account has been created, you or your designated representative can log in and register your company and its current agent within the system. The fee for online registration is $6 per designation, which is a substantial savings compared to the paper-based system’s fees of $140 or more.
  • Designate Your Agent. You may determine your agent in one of a number of ways, as it can be (1) an individual, (2) a title or position at your company, (3) a specific department within your company, or (4) a third party. You must then provide the name, address, phone number, and email address of the agent. If you do elect to register an individual agent, be sure to promptly amend the registration if that person departs your company or the relevant role within your company.
  • Verify Your Information. Verify that the information on your website matches the information you are submitting to the Office, and that both are correct. Failing to maintain accurate information and failing to ensure that the two match each create a risk of losing safe harbor protection under the final rule.
  • Re-Register Every Three Years. The Office’s electronic system will send automated reminders to review and renew your designation, and for that reason you should be sure to register with regularly monitored contact information to ensure you receive the reminders. You will also need to re-register upon any change in your agent, even if prior to the required renewal time; doing so will reset the clock on your renewal period.

If you haven’t registered a DMCA Agent, you should do it now—and if you have, you should renew. Failing to follow the new online DMCA agent designation procedures by the end of 2017 may result in the loss important legal protections.

For more information on this and other Safe Harbor topics, contact Nick Feldman at nfeldman@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4500. Nick’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, private equity transactions and general corporate matters for both public and private clients, focusing on middle-market and emerging growth companies. In addition, Nick counsels companies in connection with entity formation, corporate governance, federal and state securities laws and compliance, joint ventures, employee incentive plans, executive employment agreements and other executive compensation matters.

 

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and CREATV Media Featured in L.A Biz Article Regarding Preccelerator Expansion

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and CREATV Media were featured in a L.A. Biz Article outlining the two firms’ strategic alignment to grow the Preccelerator Program and seek out potential investments in promising startup companies in the digital media and technology space.

To view the full article, click here.

For more information about the Preccelerator Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or (310) 746-9803.

 

 

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles Featured in Variety Article Announcing Strategic Alignment with CREATV Media

Greg Akselrud of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and Peter Csathy of CREATV Media were featured in an exclusive article in Variety today discussing the strategic alignment between the two firms to foster the growth of the Preccelerator Program and seeking out potential investments in promising young startups.

To read the full article click here.

For more information about the Preccelerator Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or (310) 746-9803.

For more information about the Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice at SAM, contact Greg Akselrud at gakselrud@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4503.

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles LLP Expands Preccelerator® and Brings CREATV Media’s Peter Csathy on Board to Oversee Investments

Peter Csathy to join Board of Directors of Preccelerator®, lead its investment strategy, and oversee anticipated investments

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and CREATV Media Announce Strategic Alliance to Provide Comprehensive Service Offering to Digital Media and Technology Companies

SANTA MONICA, CA – JANUARY 24, 2017 – Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, a leading Southern California business, technology and digital media law firm, today announced that it will expand its successful early stage accelerator, the Preccelerator®, to accept a larger group of digital media and technology companies, significantly expand benefits to incoming startups, and look to make strategic investments in these companies and others.  Peter Csathy, Chairman of CREATV Media, a leading digital media strategic advisory and business development firm, will join the Board of Directors of the Preccelerator to lead its investment strategy and oversee anticipated investments.

“By partnering with Peter, we will grow the firm’s industry leading Preccelerator® into a full-service platform that not only mentors young companies, but also provides smart venture capital and paths to strategic business development and consulting via CREATV Media,” said Scott Alderton, Chairman of the Preccelerator and Managing Partner of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP. “While the Preccelerator has seen a lot of success, we want to continue to foster the growth of our early stage companies.  By adding more companies, formalizing our class structure, expanding benefits and providing initial seed capital, we will give them a greater shot at success.  With Peter’s vast experience and industry leadership, he will lead the investment strategy for these companies.”

To date, the Preccelerator Program has graduated five classes with the majority of the twenty-two companies being accepted into larger accelerator programs and incubators or successfully raising their seed funding round. Stubbs Alderton & Markiles launched the first-of-its kind program to provide select start-ups with co-working space, education, networking, mentorship and sophisticated legal services, with the objective of helping grow a founder’s idea from business concept to a funded company. To apply to the Preccelerator, visit www.preccelerator.com/application.

“Stubbs Alderton’s reputation, entrepreneurial approach and shared vision in growing today’s digital media and technology market, what I call “Media 2.0”, is one of the many reasons we made this happen,” said Peter Csathy, Chairman of CREATV Media.  “We deeply believe the growing convergence of content and technology is a worldwide addressable market that requires leading business and legal advisors who think “outside the box”, are deeply connected, move at entrepreneurial speed, and provide access to respected thought leaders and ultimately to smart capital.  We aim to bring all of this to our collective client base, and to build CREATV Media and the Preccelerator as launchpad platforms for the world’s next digital media and technology stars.”

The partnership will also look to expand the overall service offering to clients – making available CREATV Media’s deep network of relationships and suite of business development and strategic advisory services and Stubbs Alderton’s deeply-rooted and expanding scope of legal services, led by Greg Akselrud, Chairman of the firm’s Internet, Digital Media and Entertainment practice, and Scott Alderton, Chairman of the Firm’s Venture Capital and Emerging Growth practice.

Stubbs Alderton also announced that Greg Akselrud would join the Board of Directors of the Preccelerator, that Louis Wharton, a law firm partner and current Director of the Preccelerator, would be appointed to President of the Preccelerator, and that Heidi Hubbeling, the law firm’s Director of Marketing and current Director of Operations for the Preccelerator, would be appointed to Chief Operating Officer of the Preccelerator.

About Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is a Southern California based business law firm with robust corporate, public securities, mergers and acquisitions, entertainment, intellectual property, brand protection and business litigation practice groups focusing on the representation of, among others, venture backed emerging growth companies, middle market public companies, large technology companies, entertainment and digital media companies, investors, venture capital funds, investment bankers and underwriters. The firm’s clients represent a broad range of industries with a concentration in the technology, entertainment, videogame, apparel and medical device sectors. The firm’s mission is to provide technically excellent legal services in a consistent, highly-responsive and service-oriented manner with an entrepreneurial and practical business perspective. These principles are the hallmarks of the firm. For more information, visit https://stubbsalderton.com.

 

About the Preccelerator® Program

The Preccelerator® is a novel platform offered to select start-up companies out of the Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP Santa Monica office that provides interim office space, sophisticated legal services, education, networking, mentorship and $250,000 in usable perks from Google Cloud for Startups, Amazon Web Services, and HubSpot among others, with the objective of helping grow a founder’s idea from business concept to funded startup. The program also retains more than 50 active strategic mentors providing free office hours and discounted services, and provides over 50+ educational workshops and networking events each year. The expanded program will accept a greater number of companies in more formalized classes, depending upon where the companies are in their evolutionary growth, expand benefits to accepted companies, and will look to make strategic investments backed by strategic angel investors. To apply to the Preccelerator, visit www.preccelerator.com/application.

 

About CREATV Media

CREATV Media is a leading digital media and technology focused advisory, consulting and business development firm with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York City, Austin and Germany.  The firm’s clients span the digital media and tech ecosystems – from the most innovative startups, to the most storied media companies and brands.  The firm uses proven, proprietary methodologies – together with exclusive insights, access and market intelligence – to accelerate Media 2.0-related opportunities and transformational growth.  The firm also frequently works with buyers and sellers to maximize M&A – positioning them to achieve the best possible outcomes, identifying potential targets and connecting them to key decision-makers, helping to structure and diligence potential transactions, and advising them every step of the way both pre and post transaction.  The firm also organizes, programs and leads customized workshops, live events, pilot programs and start-up innovation labs and demo days.  The firm’s ethos of fearless innovation is best summed up by its slogan “Media. Unboxed.”  For more information, visit www.creatv.media.

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Contact:

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
Heidi Hubbeling
(310) 746-9803
hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com

CREATV Media
Andrea Nunn
(323) 363-9932
andrea@creatv.media

 

 

 

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SAM Client Laugh Radio Raises $2.25M in Series Seed Financing

Laugh Radio Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ client Laugh Radio, creators of Laugh.ly a stand up comedy streaming service, announced this month that it has raised $2.25 million in their Series Seed financing round. Laugh.ly had previously raised funds through a SAFE note (the less complicated replacement for a convertible note.) The note included $750,000 from the founders, and $1.5 million from investors. Investors included  New York Angels, Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, the Wharton Alumni Angel Network, Social+Capital, Backstage Capital, Treehouse Capital, Accelerator Ventures and Atlas Holdings. Congratulations Laugh Radio on this success !

To read the full press release click here.

Stubbs Alderton attorneys representing Laugh Radio in this transaction were  Nick Feldman  and Greg Akselrud.

About Laugh Radio
Laugh Radio is changing the way people experience stand up comedy. Their mobile app, Laugh.ly, launched in August 2016 and it will allow big and small name comedians to grow and monetize their fan base. The company has lined up more than 400 comedians whose content will stream on its app, and a total of 20,000 individual tracks. Described as something of a Pandora for comedy, the app can create personalized “radio” stations of comedy, in addition to offering on-demand listening. To check out the app and download Laugh.ly click here.

For more information about our Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice, contact Greg Akselrud at gakselrud@stubbsalderton.com.

 

 

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SAM Client HouseCanary Raises $33M

HouseCanaryStubbs Alderton & Markiles’ client HouseCanary, a real estate analytics company leveraging data science to accurately value and forecast over 18,000 U.S. residential markets and 100 million properties, announced this week that it has raised $33 million in a Series A round of funding. HouseCanary’s investors include Hillspire (Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt’s family office), Alpha Edison, ECA Ventures, Morpheus Ventures and Raven Ventures. Congratulations to HouseCanary on this success!

To read the full press release click here.

Stubbs Alderton attorneys representing HouseCanary in this transaction was Greg Akselrud and Adam Bagley.

About HouseCanary
Founded in 2014, HouseCanary’s mission is to help people make better real estate decisions. Built on a foundation of great data, powerful models and predictive analytics, the HouseCanary platform aggregates millions of data elements, including more than four decades of property data and a rapidly expanding arsenal of proprietary data calculations and analytics, to accurately define and forecast values and market influences. The company is headquartered in San Francisco. www.housecanary.com

For more information about our Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice, contact Greg Akselrud at gakselrud@stubbsalderton.com.

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Partner Greg Akselrud to Speak at Digital Hollywood – Fall 2016

Greg_Akselrud
SAM Partner Greg Akselrud, Chair of the Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice,  will speak at Digital Hollywood – Fall 2016 on a panel entitled “Investment, Financing & Packaging Projects: Unique Content – Unique Technology”  this Thursday, October 20th at 2:15pm in Skirball Center’s Herscher Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 305.

Other panelists include:

Diane McGrath, Managing Director Media and Technology, Streicher, J Streicher Capital

Monica Dodi, Managing Director, Women’s Venture Capital Fund

Josh Stein, Special Counsel, MG+

Michael Terpin, CEO, Transform Group

Joey Tamer, President, S.O.S. Inc., Moderator

To view the full announcement, click here.

To learn more about our Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice, contact Greg Akselrud at gakselrud@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4503.

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Business Law Breakdown – FCC Issues Guidance for Companies Promoting Apps via Text Message

Nick-Feldman-smNick Feldman’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, private equity transactions and general corporate matters for both public and private clients, focusing on middle-market and emerging growth companies. In addition, Nick counsels companies in connection with entity formation, corporate governance, federal and state securities laws and compliance, joint ventures, employee incentive plans, executive employment agreements and other executive compensation matters. Nick also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Marymount University, where he lectures on media law topics.

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Text message promotions have long been touted as a marketing jackpot for mobile applications due to their high open rates and short click-path to download—look no further than companies like Lyft for success stories. However, refer-a-friend invitations have also come under fire for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA”), a law originally implemented to crack down on invasive telemarketing. Class action lawsuits that successfully establish that individuals received unsolicited text messages could result in penalties of up to $1,500 per text message.

On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission released a Declaratory Ruling and Order clarifying portions of the TCPA. In response to petitions from app-based service providers TextMe and Glide, the FCC set out best practices for companies utilizing text message promotions. In doing so, it established that the app user, not the company, may be responsible for initiating the text message in certain scenarios, opening the door for wider use of refer-a-friend text message promotions.

In order to comply with the TCPA, the FCC determined that companies must satisfy a balancing test which requires some direct connection between a person or entity and the sending of the text message. Specifically, the test examines who took the steps necessary to physically send the text message and whether another person or entity was so involved in sending the text message as to be deemed to have initiated it.

Pursuant to the FCC’s 2013 DISH Declaratory Ruling, persons or entities that merely have some minor role in the causal chain that results in the sending of a text message generally do not take the steps necessary to physically send such a text message, and thus are not deemed to “initiate” the text message.

In the case of TextMe, the app’s users invited friends to use the service via text message by engaging in a multi-step process in which the users had to make a number of affirmative choices.  First, they were required to tap a button that read “invite your friends.” They were then able to choose whether to invite all their friends or individually select contacts, and finally they were prompted to send the invitational text message by tapping another button.

The FCC determined that, to the extent that TextMe controlled the content of the advertising message, the company might be liable under the TCPA. Despite that cause for concern, however, the TextMe app users’ choices and actions caused the user to be so involved in sending the text message as to be deemed its initiator. For that reason, TextMe’s invite flow was deemed not to violate the TCPA.

TextMe’s practices contrasted with those of Glide, which sent text message solicitations automatically to all of its app users’ contacts unless a user affirmatively opted out. In that scenario, the FCC determined that Glide initiated the text messages because the app user played no role in deciding whether to send the invitational text messages, to whom to send them, or what to say in them.

Ultimately, not all app providers are exempt from liability under the TCPA. In light of the FCC’s guidance, a company that desires for its users to send text message invitations to their contacts should require the user’s affirmative consent with respect to (1) whether to send a message, (2) who the message is sent to, and (3) when the message is sent. To further limit potential liability, the company should allow the user to determine or modify the language of the invitation message.

It is also worth noting that FCC’s declaratory rulings are not binding on trial courts, but are instead interpreted as persuasive authority. However, due to the limited amount of case law interpreting the TCPA, FCC opinions like this one are the primary source of guidance as to how companies should comply with the law.

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For more information about services for your legal needs, contact Nick Feldman at nfeldman@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4541.

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