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What is Entertainment Law?

Entertainment Law is a specialized segment of law dealing with copyrighting, censorship, defamation, free speech, privacy, and other entertainment-related issues. The uniqueness of this law is that entertainment law encompasses other legal fields like Corporate Law, Intellectual Property Law, Broadcasting and Telecommunications, and Information Technology.

Entertainment Law is a diverse subject; students can learn about it in detail by hiring experts from

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What Do Entertainment Lawyers Handle?

Entertainment lawyers need to be qualified enough to handle diverse subjects since they need to tackle various issues like –

  • Drafting contracts

Drafting contracts and agreements are one of the most common things that lawyers do. Entertainment lawyers are no different. They also help their clients to draft contracts for their

  • Productions
  • Artist agreements
  • Satellite rights agreement
  • Director agreement
  • Films
  • Theatres
  • Music albums
  • Digital Media
  • Publishing

Thus, they need to know the various laws and how to use them in their client's best interests. They also help them to understand these contracts and make them aware of the terms and conditions they must comply with.

  • Facilitating negotiations

A good entertainment lawyer also needs to be an expert negotiator. They handle negotiations with the other parties to get the best deals for their clients. Usually, every artist has a talent agent and an entertainment lawyer who work in tandem to get the best bargains by playing hardball while negotiating fee arrangements.

  • Connecting with other service providers

Apart from negotiating and drafting contracts, they also help the artists to collaborate with various agents and maximize their income. So, apart from being an attorney, they also play the role similar to their publicist, manager, or an agent.

  • Adviser

Another vital function of an entertainment lawyer is offering legal advice and guidance to their clients. Contractual laws are extremely detailed, and only an expert in the same can understand their nitty-gritty. So they interpret the contract forms in detail and advise them to make the right decisions.

  • Protecting the intellectual rights

Another crucial function of entertainment lawyers is to ensure the safety of the intellectual properties of their clients. Usually, they are proficient in legal issues concerning copyrights, patents, trademarks and many more. They can handle any situation like filing injunctions, suits, defamation cases, etc.

  • Representing and communications

Entertainment lawyers can also appear and speak on behalf of their clients. Most of the time, if the artists are slapped with any lawsuits, they appoint their entertainment lawyers to do the battle for them in court. They negotiate and communicate aggressively to move the cases in favor of their clients.

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Is It Hard to Get into Entertainment Law?

Many students ask us if getting into entertainment law is tough or not. Look at the following challenges an entertainment lawyer may face and get the answers.

  • Entertainment law is competitive

The entertainment industry brings in a lot of money and glamour. Although that may seem like a great thing, the competition is also intense. You need to compete with hundreds of top lawyers to get your first break.

  • Extremely diverse clientele

A common notion is that entertainment lawyers work with celebrities and lead easy life. However, although they work closely with celebs, their work is never easy. Entertainment lawyers probably have the most diverse form of clientele. They can be sportsmen, actors, directors, singers, music composers, dancers and any other form of art.

Moreover, all of them do not work independently. Many are hired by studios, radio stations, online streaming platforms, etc., to serve as their in-house attorneys. So, they need to be flexible and comfortable with working with different kinds of people every day.

  • Years of study

You can only become a top lawyer if you are highly educated in all the legal aspects and have multiple specializations. Doing graduation, master's, and internships is a painstakingly long process. So, you need to be ready to slog for years before becoming an entertainment lawyer.

What are the Four Sources of Entertainment Law?

The four sources of entertainment law are –

  • The Constitution
  • Statutes
  • Regulations
  • Case Law
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What Are the Entertainment Law Examples?

You can find a lot of entertainment law examples from various sectors at Some of the notable examples are:

  • Gawker Vs. Hulk Hogan Legal Battle

Gawker filed a $100 million lawsuit against the eminent wrestling star Hulk Hogan over the rumor of a sex tape. A stringent FBI investigation and Gawker’s strong defense also unearthed separate leaks of Hogan's involvement in escort rings and racist comments. This tarnished the wrestler's reputation, and it became one of the most well-known celebrity legal battles in the entertainment sector.

  • HBO Vs. Mitre Football Company

HBO was accused of exploiting Indian children in one of their documentaries, “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel”. They showed that young Indian children are hand-stitching Mitre footballs for very less money to sustain their families. HBO was dragged to court for this documentary which lasted for a month. Mitre slapped a defamation case on HBO and claimed the footage to be false.

However, after a long legal battle, HBO prevailed, and the juries found the footage true and penalized Mitre for exploiting child labor and harassing the court.

  • Sony Pictures settles claims by ex-employees over hacked data

Sony Pictures went through a series of nightmares when a hacker hacked into their system and stole many sensitive details before the release of "The Interview". As a result, its ex-employees accused Sony of negligence in saving private data, and litigation was filed. However, Sony preferred not to drag the case, and they agreed to pay the plaintiffs' settlement fees of $5.5 million.

  • Court stops Aretha Franklin documentary from playing in Telluride

The famous Telluride Film Festival decided to show the movie “Amazing Grace”, which was made on the life of the iconic vocalist Aretha Franklin. She filed an emergency injunction against Telluride to stop premiering the movie. She claimed that the director of the movie had a contractual obligation with her to get her permission to show old concert footage. However, the director breached that contract, and she claimed that it violated her publicity rights.

  • Relativity Media declares bankruptcy

When one of Hollywood’s major production houses declared bankruptcy, it raised a lot of eyebrows. However, the Ryan Cavanaugh-led company claimed they wouldn't be able to pay off their more than million dollar debt. This case continued for a long time because the juries raised questions about whether their financial solvency was real or just a tactic to evade their million-dollar debts using bankruptcy as a shrewd strategy.

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