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Sean Joell Johnson

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Sean Joell Johnson, Of Counsel at Taylor Louis LLP, is an accomplished attorney with significant transactional experience including 10+ years as in-house counsel in extremely fast-paced entertainment organizations (MTV Networks, BET Networks) managing business and legal matters for the creation, distribution and marketing of intellectual property across all media including television, feature film, home entertainment and digital. He places a high premium on providing business and legal support to multi-media talent, creative, marketing and sales executives focusing on:

  • Intellectual Property (copyright & trademark law).
  • Negotiating and Structuring Strategic Alliances.
  • Contract Drafting, Review and Analysis.
  • Talent Acquisition Agreements.
  • Development and Video Production Agreements.
  • First Amendment (rights of privacy, rights of publicity, defamation).
  • Licensing (television, film, digital & photography).
  • Rights management.

As Vice President of Business and legal Affair for MTV Networks Sean drafted and negotiated cost effective agreements relating to MTV Programming (i.e. dayparts, a ward shows, specials, news and sports) including talent, production, sponsorship, program acquisition and development agreements. He also conducted pre-broadcast review on series and specials. His accomplishments included:

  • Negotiating contracts for MTV hits such as The Osbournes, Punk'd and Pimp My Ride and overseeing all legal and business affairs for the MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Movie Awards for five (5) years.
  • Serving as lead attorney for MTV 'event' programming including the NFL Halftime Show, Tibetan Freedom Concert, Woodstock '99, EMP Museum Concert, and the Republican/Democratic National Conventions as well as negotiating overall programming agreements with professional sports leagues including NFL Properties, NBA Entertainment and Major League Baseball.
  • Supervising and overseeing all day-to-day legal production work for the MTV and MTV2 television programming services for five (5) years including venue and location agreements, talent releases, and labor and union issues.

Prior to MTV Networks, Sean was employed as Associate General Counsel for Black Entertainment Television, Inc. At BET, Sean handled all legal production work for several BET programs including programs developed by BET's music programming department. His role also included making fair use determinations.

Sean also has a considerable amount of experience in television and film production and development. He is an Award winning producer who has a long list of credits to his name for various networks (BET, VH1, Centric, BET J, MTV, VH1 Tempo). His credits include the NAACP nominated series Leading Women for BET, the first original series for VH1 and BET's Centric network (Model City), and the network premiere special for Earvin 'Magic' Johnson's ASPiRE Network. He also served as a member of founding team for MTV Network's 'VH1 Tempo,' and lead the rebranding and oversaw Primetime Programming for BET's 'BET J' network. His production clients include The Huffington Post, The Ford Foundation and Red Bull Media House.

Sean is a graduate of the George Washington Law School where he serves as Student Bar Association President and Student Director of the Small Business Clinic. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (The Entrepreneur Program) from the University of Southern California where he received the Senior Recognition Award and was a recipient of 7 academic scholarships.