Every small business owner knows that time and money are important assets. But how many consider the value of their intellectual property? How many small businesses even consider that they own any intellectual property?
Sadly, too few small business owners have ever consulted an attorney about their IP assets. Often as not, those that DO consider their IP as assets don't believe they can afford to work with expensive lawyers or to get involved in costly lawsuits. Yet, small businesses are most at risk from theft of these valuable elements. Where larger companies may be able to sustain the lost value of an asset, small businesses cannot.
The good news is that, most of the time, protecting intellectual property can be very cost-effective. Even lawyers' fees may seem surprisingly modest, especially when you consider what's at stake.
I've been practicing as a theatrical entertainment attorney for over 20 years now. Recently, I've seen an uptick in the number of inquiries I get from playwrights, composers and lyricists who are concerned about the integrity of their material when produced by third parties.
They're talking about unauthorized “cuts” to the show.
We've all seen it. Your local theatre company has decided to produce a production of [Insert Title Here], but for whatever reason, the director has decided to cut a particular number, or worse, move it to a different place in the show.(yes really).
“What”, the authors ask me, “can we do about this?”
Why you need an entertainment attorney to help negotiate your television acting deals
Not long ago, I was contacted by the manager for an actor who appears on a major network television program that's just been picked up for its second season. This actor feels he's undervalued on the show, and wants to renegotiate his deal. but, after taking a look at the “Test Option” contract the client signed when first auditioning for the role, there's not much to be done right now. He (and the rest of the cast), will probably need to wait a few years before it's possible to improve things.
If he'd had an experienced Los Angeles entertainment lawyer work on the deal before signing, this could have been avoided, or at least the risk of a bad deal could have been reduced. (of course it doesn't HAVE to be Los Angeles, but it IS the TV business)