Entertainment law is a diverse field of law that integrates contracts and intellectual property law. Every book, movie script, or television show must grapple with these legal issues.
In the entertainment industry, protecting your ideas from the exploitation of others is a major concern. Entertainment and media lawyers rely on both copyright and trademark law to protect the intellectual property rights of their clients.
A copyright is the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, and sell an artistic expression. Copyright protects artistic works such as novels, video games, movies, paintings, photographs, sheet music, and any other form of tangible expression. Obtaining a copyright prevents the unauthorized reproduction, distribution, adaptation, and public performance of your work. In order to comply with copyright law, an entity that uses a copyrighted work is required to secure permission from the original artist, and in most cases, pay a licensing fee.
The life of a copyright depends on when the work was produced and submitted for copyright protection.
A trademark is a distinguishing characteristic or feature firmly associated with a person or thing. Trademarks are legally reserved to the exclusive use of the owner as maker or seller. In the entertainment industry, trademarks are key to establishing product identity and recognition.
Unlike copyrights, trademarks do not expire. As long as the trademark is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, trademark rights will last for an infinite time, even after the death of the original creator.
The entertainment industry poses many potential legal complications. Consulting with an attorney prior to negotiating any formal contracts or copyright privileges is always a wise thing to do. Speaking with the proper entertainment lawyer will inform you of your rights in the entertainment industry and protect your interests.
Last Modified: 12-10-2013 03:18 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.