Alan L. Friel

Partner

Los Angeles
T +1.310.442.8860
F +1.310.820.8859

Overview

Focusing his practice on intellectual property transactions, regulatory schemes, and privacy and consumer protection law, Alan Friel is a thought leader regarding convergence legal issues – the property, liability, and regulatory implications at the evolving intersections between media, marketing, technology, distribution, commerce, big data and communication brought about by the ongoing digital revolution. Alan represents clients in acquisitions, financing, distribution, development, publishing and financing transactions, especially in cases where complex intellectual property and regulatory concerns exist. Having served as a general counsel for several years before returning to private practice in 2001, Alan understands how to give practical advice to business people and how to help them make informed business decisions. He brings the experience and foresight necessary to help companies and entrepreneurs navigate the compelling yet complex opportunities that disruptive technology creates. Alan also coordinates the firm's Advertising, Retailing and e-Commerce industry initiative.

Alan has been contributing to the development of the legal and business paradigms of cyberspace since the days of CD-ROM and bulletin board services, and negotiated the first experimental Internet production agreements with traditional Hollywood talent unions—SAG, DGA and WGA—in the 1990s. Alan remains on the cutting edge of emerging media, crafting alliances between TV producers and distributors and online services, as well as between big brands, social game publishers and "app" developers. A sought-after speaker and counselor regarding the practical application of substantive legal issues, Alan is affiliated with UCLA as an assistant professor in a multidisciplinary project at the Graduate School of TV, Film and Digital Media, and is an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount School of Law. Alan is ranked among the Top Rated Lawyers in Technology by American Lawyer Media, was recognized by Legal 500 in its Technology, Media and Telecom (Technology/Data Protection and Privacy) ranking, and was named one of the Most Influential Lawyers in Digital Media and E-Commerce Law in the Los Angeles Business Journal

Select Experience

  • Regularly advises a growing streaming media provider regarding the acquisitions of competitor services, including how to acquire users and their data in compliance with complex federal and state video privacy laws. 
  • Develops standard services agreements for IT service providers (e.g., cloud, SaaS, platform usage, data analytics, advertising technologies and payment processing, and website, mobile app and video game development) and negotiates such agreements on both vendor and customer sides. 
  • Advises on HIPAA and state medical privacy laws regarding IT transactions and service providers, including de-identified data usage and sharing. Counsels covered entities on HIPAA and other compliance issues relating to marketing campaigns.
  • Developed end-user license agreements, terms of sale/subscription, and privacy policies for hundreds of companies including a movie studio, a major video game publisher, the largest educational software publisher, multiple mobile app/game publishers, a leading social network, e-commerce merchants and a leading toy company.
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Experience

  • Regularly advises a growing streaming media provider regarding the acquisitions of competitor services, including how to acquire users and their data in compliance with complex federal and state video privacy laws. 
  • Develops standard services agreements for IT service providers (e.g., cloud, SaaS, platform usage, data analytics, advertising technologies and payment processing, and website, mobile app and video game development) and negotiates such agreements on both vendor and customer sides. 
  • Advises on HIPAA and state medical privacy laws regarding IT transactions and service providers, including de-identified data usage and sharing. Counsels covered entities on HIPAA and other compliance issues relating to marketing campaigns.
  • Developed end-user license agreements, terms of sale/subscription, and privacy policies for hundreds of companies including a movie studio, a major video game publisher, the largest educational software publisher, multiple mobile app/game publishers, a leading social network, e-commerce merchants and a leading toy company.
  • Advises on IP, data privacy and protection, and industry-specific issues on M&A, financing and other corporate transactions (e.g., due diligence, issue identification, the drafting of APA/merger agreement provisions, and counseling on warranty and indemnity issues).
  • Designed and conducted data practice assessments and audits for scores of companies; revised their privacy policies, terms of use, vendor agreements and information security policies; and helped design and implement comprehensive privacy, data protection and information governance programs. Such projects frequently have involved multiple jurisdictions and/or affiliates. Coordinated local counsel in connection with international aspects of such work.
  • Negotiated over-the-top television channel deals for content and commerce companies on MSN, YouTube and smart TV platforms, and represents two over-the-top streaming media distributors.
  • Negotiated and documented the multimillion-dollar spokesperson and commercial engagement of an A-list movie star (and obtained a first-of-its-kind SAG PH&W cap term extension equal to the period of airing hiatus) for a major international bank and advised on various related activation campaigns. Structured and negotiated spokesperson and commercial deals with major talent for a national fitness club, a mobile phone carrier and others. 
  • Advised a reverse mortgage lender on privacy and other regulatory issues regarding lead generation and use and data base exploitation.
  • Counsels mobile and online publishers as well as advertising networks and exchanges regarding U.S. and EU privacy and data protection issues (in cooperation with local EU counsel), including consumer tracking and ad targeting.
  • Counseled dozens of online and mobile services regarding compliance with the recently revised Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and children's advertising rules. Co-authored the BAA/PMA's comments to the FTC on the proposed rule revisions. 
  • Advised an educational software provider regarding COPPA and FERPA compliance regarding product design and vendor engagements. 
  • Worked with companies to implement privacy-by-design during product development and to conduct privacy impact assessments. 
  • Counsels brands and advertising agencies regarding advertising, marketing, promotions and social media issues including cutting-edge issues like native advertising. Represents both brands and agencies. 
  • Advised social media and user-generated content services publishers regarding intellectual property issues related to user-generated content, content scrapping, music licensing and digital distribution issues. 
  • Developed user consent programs for online services seeking to track, publically disclose (including in "social ads" associated with the user) and otherwise make use of users' online activity data, including video and other content consumption. 
  • Negotiated television and film development, production, and distribution agreements including the representation of a sports league in a multiyear license arrangement with a major U.S. network, the producer who brought the new Regis Philbin show to Fox Sports, various studio theatrical motion picture producers and multiple reality TV projects on multiple networks. 
  • Represented a semi-open-source hardware developer regarding developing terms and conditions for the crowdsourcing community. 
  • Advised an auto manufacturer regarding privacy and data protection issues related to in-car and smartphone computer applications.
  • Advised merchants regarding stored value, gift card, escheat, anti-money laundering and other laws relating to payment (including EFT and credit cards), prepaid discount, loyalty and virtual currency programs. 
  • Counseled clients regarding privacy implications of location-aware services and structured and negotiated agreements between e-commerce companies and geo-location services. 
  • Negotiated digital music distribution arrangements for the U.S. and South America with major music publishers and labels for online and mobile music service. 
  • Structured and negotiated arrangements for a major media company to invest in, engage for production services, and obtain first-look content acquisition rights from a leading digital studio. 
  • Introduced a major apparel company to a PE fund-backed brand licensing holding company, negotiated the founder's exit and navigated post-closing issues with positive results. 
  • Created form agreements and standard gives and trained in-house lawyers for major media and consumer products companies in the preparation of documents such as production services agreements, master services agreements, interactive services agreements, talent services agreements, co-development and co-production agreements, promotional license agreements, consumer products licenses, representative and manufacturing agreements, and ad/media purchase/sale agreements. 
  • Defended a children's toy manufacturer and game publisher before CARU and state AGs. 
  • Represented the inventor in a license of technology to DirecTV and an ongoing consulting arrangement. 
  • Represented a leading toy manufacturer regarding agreements with inventors, including revision to its form of inventor submission agreement and use of crowdsourcing. 
  • Represented the largest U.S. professional beauty supply company in all matters including acquisitions and joint product development arrangements.
  • Managed consumer protection/privacy class action defense litigation matters, managed strategy, and provided industry and law-specific (TCPA and CAN SPAM) advice. 
  • Represented major brands in multiple sponsorships of national pop music tours (including, on some, branded entertainment cable TV and/or webcast specials) and related activation (e.g., Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, One Direction). 
  • Negotiated lead NASCAR sponsorship for a major brand and advised on related activation. 
  • Negotiated A- and B-level, above and below the line, talent deals for TV and film productions and financing and distribution arrangements for the productions. 
  • Advised brands, publishers and agencies on single-sponsor "editorial" websites and publishers on sponsored "editorial" content/"native advertising" issues, particularly regarding rights of publicity and FTC deception standards. 
  • Counseled numerous publisher clients, including a leading social network, on the legal aspects of social networking and user-generated content web sites (including the best way to take advantage of the protections afforded by the Communications Decency Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act; legal issues regarding bots, scraping and robots.txt; compliance with the Video Privacy Protection Act; and regarding behavioral and social advertising issues).

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Legal 500: Technology: Data Protection and Privacy 
  • Los Angeles Business Journal "Most Influential Lawyers: Digital Media and E-Commerce Law" 
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • American Lawyer Media: Top Rated Lawyers in Technology

Memberships

  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
    • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)
    • Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM)
  • Law360: Privacy and Consumer Protection Editorial Advisory Board (2015 to 2016)
  • Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU): Supporter's Council
  • American Lawyer Media publications: Internet Law and Strategy and Cybersecurity Law & Strategy, Board of Editors
  • Brand Activation Association (formerly known as Promotional Marketing Association [PMA]): Government Affairs Committee
  • American Bar Association
      • Entertainment Section
      • Intellectual Property Section
      • Advertising and Promotions Section
      • Privacy Subcommittee
      • Internet Subcommittee
      • Computer Industry Subcommittee
  • New York Bar Association
  • State Bar of California

News

News

Press Releases

Publications

Alerts

Articles

Blog Posts

Community

  • Loyola Marymount University School of Law: Adjunct Professor
  • UCLA School of Film, Television and Digital Media: Assistant Professor and Legal Advisory Board Member
  • Zocalo Public Square: Ex officio Board Member

Featured Video

Alan Friel Discusses Big Data and Data Collection
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Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • New York
  • California

Education

  • J.D., Northeastern University School of Law
  • EPM, University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management
  • B.S., Georgia State University

Blog

In The Blogs

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Data Privacy Monitor
From the Mouths of Babes: FTC Issues COPPA Enforcement Policy Regarding Voice Recordings
By Alan L. Friel, Melinda L. McLellan
November 7, 2017
On October 23, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released new guidance on how the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule may apply to audio recordings of children’s voices collected by websites and online services...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Deception and Unfair Practices Come Preinstalled
By Alan L. Friel
October 23, 2017
Lenovo, a manufacturer of personal computers, recently agreed, among other things, to implement a software security program in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over issues with third-party software preinstalled on some...
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Employment Class Action Blog
Seventh Circuit Affirms Judgment Against Class in Off-Duty BlackBerry Use Case
By Alan L. Friel
September 7, 2017
There certainly has been no shortage of publicity about the potential for wage and hour claims for time spent by hourly employees using smartphones or other electronic devices for work while off duty. Many employers have tried to address...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Industry Watchdog Reminds Digital Advertisers of the Importance of Providing Consumers With Transparency and Choice in Latest Enforcement Actions
By Alan L. Friel
August 28, 2017
Two digital advertising companies, Adbrain and Exponential Interactive, were cited in recent decisions by the Better Business Bureau’s Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program (OIBAAP) for not complying with the online...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Nevada Enacts Online Privacy Policy Law; Illinois ‘Right to Know' Bill Carried Over
By Alan L. Friel, Melinda L. McLellan
July 24, 2017
Nevada recently became the latest state to pass a law requiring operators of websites and online services to post a public notice regarding their privacy practices...
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