Friday, May 26

The Practice of Entertainment Law

Entertainment law, also known as media law, is the practice of providing legal services for the entertainment industry. This practice area overlaps with intellectual property law, which encompasses matters such as copyright, trademarks and the “Right of Publicity.”


Katten’s team handles the entire content-lifecycle and advises major film, television, and interactive media companies. Head of the team is Michael Hobel, who represents HBO, MRC Entertainment, and Warner Media, among others. The team also includes Los Angeles-based Scott Cutrow. Both regularly collaborate on content-related matters. In addition to Katten, attorneys at Sheppard, Richter & Hampton LLP, Sullivan & Worcester, and Jones Day also offer extensive experience in entertainment law.

Experience with media clients is crucial in an entertainment lawyer’s career. Media clients are always in the news, so it’s helpful to read about legal issues in the industry on a regular basis. Knowledge of the media and its clients will enhance your representation of those clients. If you’re not sure which career path is best for you, get to know people who work in the industry. They’ll be able to tell you what’s best for you.

In the entertainment industry, the primary product is intellectual property, which is protected by copyrights, trademarks, and the right of publicity. Most entertainment contracts deal with ownership and use of this intellectual property. This includes films, plays, books, and choreographed works. This is why entertainment companies often need to negotiate complex contracts. These contracts are usually drafted to protect the entertainment companies from economic risk. A typical contract is worth millions of dollars, but it can also lead to massive losses.

Entertainment attorneys are the general counsel of established artists. They advise clients on licensing content and avoiding copyright infringement. They also help companies secure the rights to third-party content. They also help with issues surrounding child labor laws, union issues, and payroll. They also help with the creative work in the entertainment industry. The work of these lawyers extends beyond the entertainment industry, but these lawyers are invaluable. In this sector, a variety of legal problems can arise.


If you’re interested in the latest financial and legal developments in the entertainment industry, you’ll want to take a course in Finance of Entertainment Law. This class explores the new challenges faced by the industry in the face of technology and distribution platforms. Many established studios are creating fewer films and focusing on blockbusters instead. These changes have led to the development of new financing structures, as well as new distribution models. These changes are turning traditional marketing on its head.

One monthly publication devoted to the business side of entertainment is called “Entertainment Law & Finance.” The publication offers real-world news and strategy from major players in the industry, while also addressing contract and intellectual property law. While its content is heavily geared toward advertising, it is also serious in its analysis of the issues facing the industry. The magazine’s mission is to help businesses succeed by ensuring that they’re doing everything they can to stay ahead of the curve.

In addition to providing strategic legal protections for their clients, the firm represents the industry in litigation. It regularly represents clients in complex accounting disputes, multiple-creditor disputes, breach of contract, labor law issues, and intellectual property matters. The firm also has a core group of e-commerce attorneys who handle e-discovery issues for its clients. They help businesses stay on top of their legal obligations, while also helping them navigate the complicated world of entertainment.

Another good resource is the Film Finance Forum. John Cones has a wealth of information on film finance. He’s written numerous articles on topics like registering a screenplay with the U.S. Copyright Office, creating a clean chain of title for feature films, and the five common film financing scenarios. Each article also addresses subtopics of Investor Financing. This comprehensive overview of Film Finance can be found on the Film Finance Forum.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property in entertainment law protects the rights of creators of intangible works. These include trademarks, copyrights, and patents. These laws grant owners exclusive rights to their works. However, intellectual property attorneys typically charge higher hourly rates than entertainment lawyers. There are many advantages to intellectual property law, including its ability to protect creators’ work from unauthorized use. This article will discuss some of the most important features of intellectual property in entertainment law.

The entertainment industry relies heavily on intellectual property. Copyrights, TRADEMARKS, and right of publicity protect the content and ideas of performers, creators, and media companies. Consequently, most entertainment contracts concern ownership and use of intellectual property, including songs, plays, books, and choreographed works. The complexity of entertainment law requires that creatives protect their work early in their career. Therefore, it’s essential to hire a lawyer experienced in entertainment IP.

Many entertainment lawyers have experience in intellectual property. Intellectual property law attorneys can work on all aspects of entertainment, including film production, television, and Internet content. They are also well-versed in First Amendment rights and mass media law. Their work is nationally recognized and cited. However, it can also be challenging to find an entertainment lawyer with experience in entertainment law. Luckily, there are some resources to help lawyers understand entertainment law. In addition to books, lawyers in this area often practice in the fields of media, sports, and entertainment.

In addition to copyright protection, entertainment law protects personal privacy and personality rights. Examples of cases involving copyright include the famous MTV and Comedy Central TV show, which sued YouTube for $1 billion after it posted a song without the artist’s permission. Luckily, YouTube began to use advanced fingerprinting technology to secure content on its website. In addition, entertainment law is also concerned with defamation and personality rights. It’s important to understand the law before entering into a contract.


Attorneys who practice in the field of entertainment law specialize in a variety of areas, including the drafting and negotiation of record and management agreements, licensing agreements, and merchandising deals. They also advise companies and individuals on their entertainment strategies and defend against unauthorized use of their likenesses and images. Publicity law also protects the rights of media artists and musicians. In addition to negotiating rights agreements, attorneys in this field also litigate copyright, contract, and employment disputes. Additionally, they have extensive experience handling cases related to sexual harassment.

The right of publicity protects individuals who want to control the commercial use of their name and likeness. For example, it prohibits the use of someone’s photo on a pickle without the person’s permission. Most celebrities exploit this right, earning millions of dollars from the endorsement of products. In most states, ordinary citizens also enjoy this right, though there is no federal statute on the subject. The extent of the right, however, varies depending on the jurisdiction. While publicity rights are similar to appropriation, the right of publicity is broader.

While a niche field in the entertainment industry, media and entertainment law practice often overlap. Common issues litigated in these fields include underpayment of royalties, breaches of exclusivity, carriage disputes, and aspects of the supplier-distributor relationship. Attorneys in this field also handle questions related to employment, securities law, international law, and bankruptcy. Further, they routinely handle disputes in negotiation and mediation. In addition, they offer guidance on the various legal processes governing media and entertainment.

Celebrities have valuable property rights in their name and likeness, and the right of publicity seeks compensation for commercial use. However, there are nuances in this area of entertainment law. In general, celebrities may have difficult time proving that they have been infringed upon by others. Since they appear in so many commercials, they are not seeking solitary existence. By thrusting themselves into the public eye, they waive much of their privacy rights.


A lawyer can specialize in sports and entertainment law. The Sports and Entertainment Law Section of the American Bar Association provides a forum for members to discuss legal issues related to the sports and entertainment industries. Members can join at any time, and must log in to access section documents. Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding the practice of sports and entertainment law. The information contained here is not exhaustive, but it is a good start for those who are interested in pursuing this field.

The ESLS Student Chapter of the American Bar Association is a student-run organization dedicated to the legal and business aspects of sports and entertainment. The Society hosts speaker presentations, industry facility tours, and networking events. Members of the Society can attend a number of events to learn about the latest developments in the sports and entertainment industry. In addition to events focused on the legal and business aspects of the entertainment industry, the society also hosts social events. During the year, students can participate in events and participate in panel discussions on topics related to sports and entertainment law.

Among the many organizations dedicated to sports and entertainment law is the Moorad Sports Law Society. The Journal explores the essential questions of sports law and hosts symposiums on important topics like concussions in sports, the roles of agents and the impact of the media on the sports industry. Members of Moorad Sports Law also participate in the Game Day Case Competition, which takes a multidisciplinary approach. This competition offers an opportunity for students to practice sports and entertainment law and develop professional connections.