What is Entertainment Law?
Entertainment law involves several legal disciplines, including intellectual property, contracts, labor and employment law, and business associations. The typical issues that entertainment lawyers deal with include financing and development, agreements between talent and agencies, production and distribution agreements, and intellectual property ownership, assignment, and license negotiations.
Our team is experienced in drafting and negotiating contracts in the entertainment industry. Agreements in the entertainment industry differ from traditional business transactions in that the subject of the agreement is often a person, as opposed to a product or service. This distinction implicates several legal concerns, including employment and labor laws as well as rights of publicity and gainful employment. All too often we see unexperienced, and unrepresented talent, enter into agreements that are highly restrictive and which put the talent in exclusive relationships with one agency who may or may not have their best interests in mind.
It is especially important in the entertainment industry to make sure that agreements are in writing and that the method of accounting and compensation are clearly articulated and well thought out. A common problem that arises in entertainment law is that talent, eager and hungry for work, will sign the first offer that comes to them. The agreement is often drafted heavily in favor of the drafter, and may leave the talent unfairly compensated. Our entertainment law professionals can help ensure that this does not happen.
Transactional services in the field of entertainment law include:
Drafting and negotiating employment agreements
Structuring financing and partnership arrangements
Negotiating intellectual property licenses
Drafting nondisclosure agreements
Securing intellectual property protection through registrations
Advising clients on their intellectual property rights, scope of protection, and available means to strengthen their protection
While a properly drafted agreement will hopefully avoid ambiguity and litigation, sometimes it becomes necessary to enforce our clients' rights. We are experienced in quickly and efficiently resolving intellectual property and contract disputes in the entertainment industry, and we find that most conflicts can be resolved quickly and amicably. When this cannot be done, we are prepared to take further actions to make sure that our clients' rights and interests are well-represented and protected.
Enforcement actions in the field of entertainment law include:
Intellectual property litigation
Enforcing rights of publicity and privacy
Representing clients through mediation and arbitration
Actively policing our clients' intellectual property and licensing agreements