Entertainment law may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the entertainment industry, but it’s an integral part of the industry, nonetheless. Here are four facts about entertainment law.
Entertainment law encompasses several common practices and several unique to the industry. Entertainment lawyers may focus on non-compete agreements or contract law, which relate to what companies’ talent may work for or what may be in talent contracts. They might specialize in intellectual property law or labor and employment law, which have to do with copyright and complying with labor and employment regulations respectively. Additionally, the common practices of security, litigation, privacy, taxes, and business are also often necessary aspects of entertainment law.
2. Copyright Law
Copyright law is the primary specialization for entertainment attorneys because copyright is the bedrock of everything the entertainment industry produces. A trained entertainment attorney must be able to negotiate control of intellectual property on behalf of his or her client. The attorney must be able to navigate the ins and outs of copyright law as it pertains to various entertainment industries, such as music or film, as well as the basics of the law. For example, a lawyer who specializes in legal representation in the music industry, like John Branca, would be the person you would want to ask about your copyright options for a song that you wrote but someone else recorded or published.
Contracts are also an important aspect of the entertainment industry and as a result, can be quite complex. An entertainment lawyer may represent talent or an agency in the drafting and negotiation of a contract. The most common of these is the personal service agreement, where an artist agrees to work for a company for a certain amount of time.
4. Areas Covered
There are a wide variety of areas of entertainment law, just as there are a number of them in the industry. Publishing, theater, music, film, radio, and television are all huge industries of operation for attorneys. Additionally, design, visual arts, multimedia corporations, and the internet are all considered to be in the realm of entertainment law. Attorneys don’t necessarily need to stick to one aspect of entertainment law, either. Entertainment lawyer John Branca, for example, has represented rock musicians and record labels, as well as magazines and independent investors.
Entertainment law is a varied field, but every aspect of its practice is related to the entertainment industry in some way.