Getting The Credit You Deserve: Entertainment Law

Getting The Credit You Deserve: Entertainment Law

If you are in the entertainment industry, then you know that keeping a high level of professionalism is absolutely essential. Furthermore, it is your responsibility as an entertainer to maintain your professional image. This means keeping it classy while also being unique. On that note, it pays to know how you can keep the artistic credit that is rightfully yours—no matter your area or level in the entertainment industry.

What is Entertainment Law?

When you think of entertainment law, you might think of blockbuster films and sold-out concerts. But these laws extend to almost every form of popular culture—from TV shows, to video games, to every component of online media. In this post, we’ll explore the different aspects of entertainment law and how they operate to protect your rights as an artist or consumer.

Know Your Contracts

When you’re planning your entertainment career, it’s important to know your rights and what you should expect when negotiating contracts. For example, in a music contract, you’ll want all your bases covered from music publishing to synchronization rights. Before you sign anything, be sure to ask yourself a few key questions:

  • Is the music I’m using specifically licensed for this project?
  • Are my synchronization rights protected in the document?
  • What happens if I don’t meet my contract deadlines?

By understanding your rights and expectations, you can ensure a smooth negotiation and successful project.

Copyrights and Patents

The entertainment industry can be a highly lucrative one, and with that comes a slew of legal issues that can arise. From copyrights and trademarks to patents and licensing agreements, working in the entertainment world can be fraught with danger, uncertainty, and litigation. Here are some tips on how to avoid getting into trouble while still having your work pay off.

  • Know your rights: If you create something original, such as a song, movie, or television show, you’re protected by copyright law. Thus, in this case you’ll want to ensure you know the basics of copyright law, including how long your copyright protection lasts and what type of infringement is considered a violation. Of course, if you borrow something from another author or artist, you need to get their permission first. Otherwise, you could find yourself in violation of their copyright and facing unpleasant consequences.
  • Keep track of your licenses: If you’re using copyrighted material without permission, you may be breaking statutory damages laws or committing other offenses. Make sure you have copies of all licenses that apply to your work—this includes permissions granted by owners of copyrighted material as well as any third-party liabilities that may come up from the use of that material.

Options for Your Business

Entertainment law can be a lucrative field, but it takes time and dedication to learn the ropes. There are a variety of options available to those who want to get into the entertainment industry, including self-employment, creating an LLC, or partnering with others.

  • Self-employment: One option for self-employment is starting your own business. This can be a great way to make decisions more independently and better control your destiny. However, it will require some up-front investment along with a good deal of hard work.
  • LLCs: LLC is an abbreviation for limited liability company. LLCs are a popular choice for individuals in the entertainment industry because they offer limited liability protection—this means that if you are sued for negligence or another wrongful act connected with your business, you won’t be held liable for all of the money the business has raised.
  • Partnership: Another option is to partner with others in the entertainment industry. This can be a great way to gain access to unique resources and network with other professionals. However, it requires some groundwork and planning before launching the business.

Protecting Your Brand

As an entertainer, your brand translates to financial stability and success. Protecting and maintaining your brand is key to safeguarding your future in the entertainment industry. Here are a few more tips to help you maintain control of your image and protect your rights:

  • Register with the United States Copyright Office and file Copyrights, Registration and Deposit Forms (Form TX). Make sure to include all copyrights including original music, lyrics, recordings, photographs, artwork, etc.
  • Keep accurate records of what you create and where it came from. Copies of contracts and other legal documents are also useful.
  • Stick to approved sampling practices in order to avoid lawsuits. Samples used for radio must be cleared through the ASCAP or BMI rights organizations.
  • Use safe content management practices such as password protection for online accounts and protecting copyrighted materials from unauthorized access.
  • Make sure you give proper credit when using other performers’ work in your show or recording. Ask for written consent if necessary and make sure credits are accurate, legible, and prominently displayed on stage or in the soundtrack album packaging.

If you are concerned about an incident that has occurred involving your entertainment career, then it is important to contact an entertainment lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help protect your entertainment law rights and provide guidance through the legal system.

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