Entertainment law or media law is a term for a mix of more traditional categories of law with a focus on providing legal services to the entertainment industry. The principal areas of Entertainment Law overlap substantially with the well-known and conventional field of intellectual property law, but generally speaking the practice of entertainment law often involves questions of employment law, contract law, torts, labor law, bankruptcy law, immigration, securities law, security interests, agency, intellectual property (especially trademarks, copyright, and the so-called “Right of Publicity“), right of privacy, defamation, clearance of rights, product placement, advertising, criminal law, tax law, International law (especially Private international law), and insurance law. Much of the work of an entertainment law practice is transaction based, i.e. drafting contracts, negotiation and mediation. Some situations may lead to litigation or arbitration.[
Entertainment law covers an area of law which involves media of all types (TV, film, music, publishing, advertising, Internet & news media, etc.), and stretches over various legal fields, including but not limited to corporate, finance, intellectual property, publicity and privacy, and first amendment.
For film, entertainment attorneys work with the actors agent to finalize the actor’s contracts for projects. After an agent lines up work for a star the entertainment attorney negotiates with the agent and buyer of the actor’s talent for compensation and profit participation. Entertainment attorneys are under strict confidentiality so the specifics of their job are kept secret. But some entertainment attorney’s job descriptions have become comparable to those of a star’s agent, manager or publicist. They are not limited to legal paperwork, rather assisting in building a client’s career.
Entertainment law is generally sub-divided into the following areas related to the types of activities that have their own specific trade unions, production techniques, rules, customs, case-law, and negotiation strategies:
- FILM: covering option agreements, finance, chain of title issues, talent agreements (screenwriters, film directors, actors, composers, production designers), production and post production and trade union issues, distribution issues, motion picture industry negotiations distribution, and general intellectual property issues especially relating to copyright and, to a lesser extent, trademarks;
- MULTIMEDIA, including software licensing issues, video game development and production, Information technology law, and general intellectual property issues;
- MUSIC: including talent agreements (musicians, composers), producer agreements, and synchronization rights, music industry negotiation and general intellectual property issues, especially relating to copyright (see music law);
- PUBLISHING and print media issues, including advertising, models, author agreements and general intellectual property issues, especially relating to copyright;
- TELEVISION and RADIO including broadcast licensing and regulatory issues, mechanical licenses, and general intellectual property issues, especially relating to copyright;
- THEATRE: including rental agreements and co-production agreements, and other performance oriented legal issues;
- VISUAL ARTS AND DESIGN including fine arts, issues of consignment of artworks to art dealers, moral rights of sculptors regarding works in public places; and industrial design, issues related to the protection of graphic design elements in products.
Lawyers are paid for their work in a variety of ways. In private practice, they may work for an hourly fee according to a billable hour structure, a contingency fee (usually in cases involving personal injury), or a lump sum payment if the matter is straightforward. Normally, most lawyers negotiate a written fee agreement up front and may require a non-refundable retainer in advance. In many countries there are fee-shifting arrangements by which the loser must pay the winner’s fees and costs; the United States is the major exception, although in turn, its legislators have carved out many exceptions to the so-called “American Rule” of no fee shifting.
This being said if you need an attorney for your business, or would like to establish a business and need to have the fundamentals of structuring your business in the various categories above than we are the firm for you. Anything related to Public Defender, Accident, or anything not related to the Categories above than we wouldn’t be the firm to help you.