George A. Cooke

Mr. Cooke is a partner in the firm’s New York office and a member of the Entertainment and Media Practice Group. With over 30 years of entertainment law experience, he is recognized as a leader in motion picture and television distribution, with an emphasis on new media. Mr. Cooke’s practice includes all aspects of the financing, production and distribution of entertainment content. He has extensive experience with the structuring, negotiation and drafting of complex content financing and licensing transactions on behalf of major and independent studios, as well as for cable, satellite, Internet and mobile programmers and distribution platforms.

An experienced negotiator and draftsman, Mr. Cooke acts on behalf of both domestic and international clients in the distribution of motion pictures and television across all media and economic models, including broadcast, subscription, video-on-demand and electronic sell-through. Through his representation of leading cable, satellite, IPTV, mobile and Internet platforms, he has acquired a thorough understanding of current market conditions and economic structures, technical aspects of content protection and digital rights management, and developing issues in copyright law. His areas of focus include over-the-top (OTT) Internet rights, international co-productions, channel and program service licensing, the purchase and sale of film libraries, audit issues, documentary and independent film production, contract litigation and strategic counseling. Mr. Cooke has successfully negotiated high dollar value output and library license agreements with each of the major studios, leading television and Internet networks, as well as a wide range of independent producers and production companies.

Mr. Cooke previously spent 20 years in the legal department of Home Box Office (HBO), for which he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel for Film Programming with primary responsibility for the legal aspects of HBO’s theatrical film production, acquisition and distribution, including its involvement in public and private film financings, co-production transactions and domestic and foreign licensing arrangements. During this period, he was instrumental in developing HBO’s home video and video-on-demand businesses, the launching of Comedy Central and Latin American, Asian and Eastern European Channel joint ventures and HBO’s entry into original film production. While at HBO, Mr. Cooke also played a leadership role in establishing content review and copyright filing procedures, implementing corporate restructurings, supervising litigation, and shaping state and federal legislation, including Uniform Commercial Code and Copyright Act reform.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Advertising, 2) Marketing & Media, 3) Corporate & Finance, 4) Digital Media, 5) Entertainment & Media and 6) Intellectual Property
Law School Harvard Law School (J.D., 1978)
Education Dartmouth College (A.B.,1969)
Bar Member / Association Massachusetts State Bar Association, New York State Bar Association
Most recent firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP
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