Tag Archives: entertainment lawyer

20 ways to use your entertainment lawyer in the new year.

20 ways to use your entertainment lawyer in the new year.

Are you missing opportunities because you're not using your entertainment lawyer?

If you're like most people, you don't think much about having a lawyer on your side until you need advice, or to make or defend against some kind of threat. But having an experienced entertainment lawyer on your team can do much more for your career or business in the entertainment industry if you take advantage of all the ways you can use your lawyer. Here, in no particular order, is a list of ways you might not have thought about to use your lawyer to full effect:

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Asked & Answered: should I register multiple copyrights together!.

Asked & Answered: should I register multiple copyrights together!.

3d figure question mark

Q:


Angel asks about registering his multiple copyrights under a single folio of works.

This video provides my answer:

AUDIO:

Play

TRANSCRIPT:

A:

 

The short answer is yes, it's often possible to register multiple works together as a folio. But, it's not always a very good idea.

Some recent court rulings seem to suggest that when multiple works within a folio are infringed, the plaintiff may only recover one award of damages. Also, if it work isn't registered within three months of its original publication, The plaintiff will not be entitled to recover attorneys fees, nor collect statutory damages. So, registering your works as a group could really be shooting oneself in the foot.

Asked & Answered: Do I have to share?

3d figure question mark

Q:

Patricia Asks:An acquaintance of mine knows I write screenplays and said he had an idea for me. It turned out to be a good one.I wrote a screenplay. The characters, story, and scenes were all mine.I wouldn't have written it if not for his idea but it was a very broad, general scenario…How much credit do I give him for his idea?

 

This video provides my answer:


AUDIO:

Play

TRANSCRIPT:

A:

Well Patricia, there are several layers we have to peel back here.

First, from a strictly legal point of view, there's no copyright protection for ideas. In fact a judge once said “Ideas are as free as the air”. So, unless you made some kind of a promise of shared credit (or money) (a contract, in other words) to your friend, you don't legally have to do so.

That said, if you want to keep this friend, it's a good idea to thank him properly with a “special thanks” credit or something. But, you need to be aware that doing so COULD be used as evidence against you, if there's ever a lawsuit. “If you don't owe me anything, why'd you thank me?”

Now, I'm kind of divided about whether it's a good idea to talk about the issue, and propose a solution. You might mention (as casually as possible), “Hey, by the way, I ran with that idea you GAVE me, and it's been some work, but it's turning out really good. I hope you don't mind if I mention you in the ‘special thanks' section of the credits”.

At the very least, this will open up a conversation, and if he says “Hey, sure”, you can follow it up with a quick e-mail that says “Thanks again. We've AGREED that you'll get mentioned in the “Special Thanks” part of the credits.

If he objects, and demands a better credit, or a share of the money you get from the script, well, you're free to make that agreement, but understand that it could make selling the thing a little bit more complicated. If you decide not to share, as I said that's your prerogative, but you should expect that he'll sue you later on if the thing gets made. But more importantly, you have an obligation to disclose these kinds of disputes to the prospective buyer of your script, so think carefully about how you handle the situation.

If you don't have a conversation and come to some understanding, and you decide not to put your friend in the ‘special thanks', , you still risk that lawsuit, but since you don't KNOW that your friend objects, you don't have to disclose anything to the buyer when selling the piece.

 

Entertainment Law Update Podcast Episode 34 – Publiciity, Politicians, Godfathers and more…

Call us with your feedback:(310) 243-6231 In this Episode: Burberry/Bogart case settled Marilyn Monroe Estate loses Right of Publicity Political Campaigns use of music at rallies Desparate Housewife Sheridan still desperate SEC Rulemaking to relax ban on general solicitations North Face Butt Face/South Butt contempt claim Paramount/Puzo Case over Godfather prequel novel Resale Royalties Act… Continue Reading

Help me help you

Will you please help me provide the most useful content possible? As you know, I’ve previously released several courses, e-books, and webinars, including: The Podcast, Blog & New Media Producer’s Legal Survival Guide   6-ways to Finance A Feature Film – mini e-mail course Theatre Producer Academy  (online e-learning program)   Now I’m getting ready to start… Continue Reading

Entertainment Law Update Podcast, Episode 33 – Cease and Desist, but nicely

      Call us with your feedback:(310) 243-6231 In this Episode: J. Geils Band Trademark Dispute Two Three’s Companys is a crowd Copyright Royalty Board unconsitutional Jack Daniels sends the sweetest cease and desist ever and more… Entertainment Law Update is brought to you by Clio, the best way to manage your practice online.… Continue Reading

What you absolutely must know before you approach investors for your film / play / musical.

I am often consulted by film and stage producers who tell me they’re ready to start work on raising the financing for their films/ plays/ musicals, or what-have-you, but often as not,  as we get to work, it becomes clear that they’re not as ready as they think. Before going out to investors, it’s important to… Continue Reading

Why every artist, band or writer should know about Google Alerts

Last week, I received an email from a bandleader client who’d discovered that another band had adopted the same exact name as his. Needless to say, he was upset and concerned that this other user would undermine the market for his band’s goods and services. Fortunately, my client holds a registered trademark for this particular… Continue Reading

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