Monthly Archives: September 2009

Asked & Answered: Does a submission release affect my copyright? Should I sign?

q“Asked and Answered” is an occasional feature of this blog.  From time to time, I'll answer some of the most frequently asked questions I receive in my practice.

This is intended as general information only and  does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  It is not a substitute for a private, independent consultation with an attorney selected to advise you after a full investigation of the facts and law relevant to your matter.  We will not be responsible for readers' detrimental reliance upon the information appearing in this feature.

Q:  When submitting spec screenplays to production companies writers are usually asked to sign a standard release form. The form often include a line stating that if a production company uses material ‘containing features and elements similar to or identical with' the submitted material then the writer cannot seek any compensation. Does signing such a form affect a writer's copyright?

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Asked and Answered: What good is having a copyright if I don't have money to sue an infringer?

“Asked and Answered” will be a new occasional feature of this blog.  From time to time, I'll answer some of the most frequently asked questions I receive in my practice.

This is intended as general information only and  does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  It is not a substitute for a private, independent consultation with an attorney selected to advise you after a full investigation of the facts and law relevant to your matter.  We will not be responsible for readers' detrimental reliance upon the information appearing in this feature.

Q: Greetings.   I am unclear as to what exactly a copyright protects regarding a screenplay. My basic understanding is that it protects only the expression of an idea and the characters. Could you please elaborate on this? Also, how could a poor man contest an alleged copyright infringement when, presumably, the other side would have money?

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My guest appearance on Podcasters Emporium

emporium.artPODCASTERS EMPORIUM #18[audio: http://podnetworkhosting.com/podcastersemporium/podcastersemporium-episode18.mp3]

I'm very flattered to have been asked to travel (sadly, only virtually) to Australia to  join James Williams and Dave Gray, the hosts of Australia's “Podcasters Emporium” to talk about the legal ins and outs of podcasting.  Here's a direct link to the episode:  http://shows.lifestylepodnetwork.info/podcastersemporium/2009/09/27/episode-18-legally-unblonde/ It was a blast talking to the guys, and I'm looking forward to joining them again!.  Thanks James and Dave!

Visit the links above, or just  listen here!

Entertainment Law Update Podcast, Epsiode 5 – of Hobbits, Lamps, Photographers & Google Books

Episode 5 of my Entertainment Law Update podcast is now available.   Please visit the site to subscribe using iTunes or your favorite RSS Reader.  Attorneys can get California MCLE (Continuing Legal Eduction) credit, too! [audio:http://media.libsyn.com/media/entertainmentlawupdate/EntertainmentLawUpdateEpisode005.mp3] Download Episode (right click) Approximate Running Time: 1:03 In this Episode: Annie Liebovitz mortgages her copyrights, gets sued. Ellen Degeneres… Continue Reading

Asked and Answered: Should I have a Loan Out Company?

“Asked and Answered” will be a new occasional feature of this blog.  From time to time, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions I receive in my practice. This is intended as general information only and  does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  It is not a substitute for a private, independent consultation with… Continue Reading

The Google Books Settlement and music publishers: EMI opts out.

Chris Castle over at the Music Technology Policy blog has posted an insightful piece about EMI’s decision to opt-out of the Google Books Settlement. Here’s the link: http://www.musictechpolicy.com/2009/09/google-to-emi-stop-me-before-i-infringe.html Did you know that music publishers would be affected by the Google Books Settlement? Did you know that publishers with large catalogs are supposed to opt out… Continue Reading

Asked and Answered: Do I need a release to tell a true story about a person?

“Asked and Answered” will be a new occasional feature of this blog.  From time to time, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions I receive in my practice. This is intended as general information only and  does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  It is not a substitute for a private, independent consultation with… Continue Reading

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