Thursday, May 24, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Law

Fundamentals of Entertainment Law:  Recurring Issues in the Industry-

Entertainment law has been around for years, and grows as an industry with each new way to promote works of art.  To be sure you have a baseline understanding of what should be going on as you promote your likeness and work, be familiar with what essentially will always be prevalent in entertainment: control, credit, and compensation.

Control in the entertainment industry includes ownership of the product, and rights to control its exploitation.  Main elements are distribution--where, when and how--derivative works like sampling or remakes in music, and collection and distribution of income.  All of these components are extremely important for the those producing and promoting the work.  

Credit includes monetary credit, or payment for use of the work, as well as notoriety for contributing or creating.  With so many ways to exploit creative works these days, credit has become increasingly important--especially in the fight against piracy and infringement.  Protections like copyright, trademark, and simply keeping your product in the market under your name are essential to ensuring credit is kept where it belongs.  

Compensation ties in control and credit.  When making a contribution to a work--financial or creative--one is due compensation.  Like in most other circumstances, the largest portion goes to the person making the greatest contribution.  If there is no large entity, like a record company or production group involved, this can become sticky.  This is where contracts are extremely important.  Linking back to credit, it should be ironed out before production begins, who gets what, and how much each contribution is worth.  When this doesn't happen, floodgates open for misuse of work and potentially even lawsuits.  Make sure you predetermine who gets credit and control for each part of your creative project.  Your compensation depends on it.  

These 3 fundamentals are just baseline principles for entertainment law.  So much more needs a watchful eye to make sure the ease of internet publicity doesn't get the best of your hard work.  Create carefully!

For more specifics, check out our: 
Tips from Lawyer to Musician 
Tips for Protecting Your Brand, and 
Tips from Lawyer to Fashionista
They work for creative works of all types.  

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