David Chidekel

Of Counsel

David Chidekel advises and represents his clients in the media and entertainment industries with respect to a broad range of commercial transactions, including corporate, finance, intellectual property and licensing matters. Given his knowledge of, and involvement in, virtually all aspects of the modern entertainment industry, together with his in-depth understanding of the legal and business issues facing participants in the global digital content creation, marketing and distribution ecosystem, David often operates as both a legal and business strategist for his clients.

Throughout his career, Mr. Chidekel has served as counsel for various music, film, television and cutting-edge technology companies. As such, David has overseen legal and business affairs matters, as well as negotiating joint venture, acquisition, funding/distribution, licensing, co-branding and other complex agreements. With respect to the music industry, David has represented major label and independent record companies, music publishers, celebrity recording artists, producers, writers/composers, musicians, DJs and managers, including handling all aspects of recording, publishing, agency, management, production, mixing, master use, synchronization and other licensing, distribution, employment, live touring, branding, endorsement, band member, and rights acquisition agreements. With respect to the film and television industries, David has represented various networks, distributors, producers, directors, actors, screenwriters, agents, sales agents, and composers in connection with negotiating and drafting agreements, as well as acting as production and finance counsel. In addition, he has handled advertising, branding, content and sponsorship deals for recording artists, actors, influencers, action sports and other athletes, as well as representing merchandising, branding, modeling and fashion companies.

Mr. Chidekel has also represented a number of the key entrepreneurs and innovators in the digital content industry, including institutional digital media companies with respect to various licensing, IP, general corporate and M&A transactions, as well as clients working with interactive content on large screen environments, AR, VR, emotional recognition and other behavior intelligence data analytics, and the development and production of video games, live gaming tournaments and virtual world environments. For the greater part of 2016, Mr. Chidekel also served as the Chief Commercial Officer of BitTorrent, Inc., where he oversaw all commercial transactions of the company, as well as legal, business affairs, and corporate and business development.

Mr. Chidekel has been featured and quoted in numerous publications (e.g., New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, ABC.News.com, Hits Magazine, etc.) and on Internet news programs. He has also served as a moderator and a panelist for at the New Music Seminar, the South by Southwest Music Conference, the Philadelphia Music Conference and NEMO, as well as participating on digital music panels for Billboard Magazine, Digital Music Forum East and the New York State Bar Association, and has been an Adjunct Professor of Entertainment Law at Hofstra University School of Law, as well as a Featured Guest Lecturer at Pace University School of Law and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Prior to joining Early Sullivan, Mr. Chidekel was a partner at the national law firms Phillips Nizer, Fish & Richardson, and Michelman & Robinson.  He was also a founding partner at boutique entertainment firms Glinert & Chidekel and Ritholz Levy Sanders Chidekel & Fields.

Mr. Chidekel received his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Philosophy from The University of Connecticut, where he graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa (Junior year) and was a member of the historical honor society Phi Alpha Theta.

  • Represented EMI Records in the renegotiation of various superstar recording artist contracts (e.g., Pet Shop Boys, Robert Palmer, Richard Marx, etc.).
  • Formed and served as outside general counsel for Rising Tide Records, which became Universal Records. Represented Universal Records and Universal Publishing with respect to various corporate, real estate and IP matters.
  • Represented Pendulum Records in the formation and negotiation of a joint venture with Elektra Records and then EMI Records Group.
  • Shopped and negotiated the groundbreaking distribution/services/funding agreement between RED/Sony Music and independent label Trustkill Records on behalf of Trustkill.
  • Negotiated the distribution/services/acquisition agreement between The Warner Music Group and independent label Ferret Records, on behalf of Ferret.
  • Represented CeeLo Green with respect to all music recording, publishing, endorsement and rights agreements, including the negotiation of his agreements with Mark Burnett Productions/NBC for The Voice and with the NFL for Thursday Night Football.
  • Negotiated agreements for award winning documentaries “The President’s Gatekeepers” and “The Spymasters: CIA Caught In The Crosshairs” (on behalf of acclaimed film makers Jules and Gideon Naudet (“9/11”) and veteran ABC news producer Chris Whipple) with Discovery and Showtime/CBS, respectively.
  • Negotiated TD Bank’s acquisition of all rights to the television show “The Lost World” on behalf of Perfect Timing Media.
  • Handled numerous transactions involving the financing of film slates and individual films, as well as television shows. Also, helped a client form and operate a quantitative equity fund targeted toward building a diversified portfolio of film investments.
  • Shopped and negotiated a significant publishing administration agreement between Porchlight Entertainment and BMG Rights Management.
  • Structured and negotiated the first global video licensing agreement for mobile phones between an Australian media entrepreneur and Universal Music.
  • Represented pioneering music streaming company Grooveshark with respect to various license agreements with major record labels and music publishers.
  • Represented IAC with respect to trademark, production, licensing and cross-branding agreements, including representing The Daily Beast with respect to a co-development and content collaboration agreement with Newsweek, Notional (show “Chopped”), Collegehumor.com and Electus Digital with respect to various production and licensing agreements.
  • Represented Mark Ramone with respect to his recording, publishing, endorsement and licensing agreements, including settling a dispute with the Ramones’ estates.
  • Represented the financiers of various studio and independent films, including the equity financier of the upcoming Cross Creek/Sony superhero film Bloodshot based on the Valiant comic book series.

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