Entertainment law is an area of law that specifically deals with legal matters and issues in the entertainment industry. People who are in areas like sports, media, music, arts, television, and more are all going to need the services of an entertainment lawyer at some point.
It’s one of the most complex legal areas and because it’s one that isn’t well-known to many people, there are often misunderstandings and misconceptions that can arise.
After reading this post, you’ll have more of an idea about some of the most common misconceptions and misunderstandings about employment law.
- Thinking You Don’t Need An Entertainment Lawyer
One of the biggest mistakes is thinking you don’t need an entertainment lawyer in the first place. The world of entertainment is a complex one that involves many complex affairs that only a knowledgeable employment lawyer will be able to navigate.
Here are some of the areas that require the services of an entertainment lawyer:
- Fiction writing
- Music production and distribution
Each of the areas mentioned above will often require complex deals and negotiations to take place. If you want to strike up a deal that is in your best interests, often you’ll need a lawyer because a lot of it will be way over your head.
- Thinking You Don’t Need Contracts
You may not be in Hollywood or even a celebrity but you need contracts nonetheless. Operating any kind of works without a contract is asking for trouble. All works in the entertainment industry require contracts to be written up whether it’s movies, fiction, art, sports, and anything else in the industry.
The kind of contracts needed will be things like employment contracts, contracts regarding payments, royalties, licensing contracts, and more. Contracts in this industry can also be incredibly complex and require a lot of work because of all the different parties and interests involved.
For example, you may have studios, producers, actors, directors, agents, and many more parties involved and each requires separate contracts. We’re sure that you can see it can be a very complex affair and not pleasant to go through on your own. Hence, contracts are non-negotiable.
- Thinking It’s All Glamour And Fun
Thinking of the word entertainment, you no doubt have images of celebrities and Hollywood instantly flood your mind. However, the reality of employment law is far from being glamorous.
Deals in this industry involve large sums of money and often people with personalities that can be hard to deal with. It’s an industry fraught with people who are all trying to make it, ego’s are inflated, and it can make deals even more difficult to sort out.
Far from being glamorous, it’s a serious field of law just like any other.
- Thinking Your Work Is Automatically Protected
Unfortunately, there are no automatic copyright protection laws. No matter whether you’re in the business of fiction writing, art, movies, music or anything else, there is no such thing as automatic copyright protection. Many people in this industry have the belief that they can slap up a copyright symbol and avoid anyone stealing their work. Just not true.
Copyright issues are abundant in this industry so never make the mistake of thinking that your work is automatically copyright protected.
- Thinking A Sample Of Music For Your Podcast Or Movie Is Okay
No, you can’t take a 6-second sample of music from an independent or signed artist and think you can automatically use it. Many entrepreneurs are now using podcast shows to help get their name out there and generate new business.
Most people download a sample of music and start using it in their promotional materials without ever getting permission to do so. Some samples are licensed for use commercially but some aren’t, and you need to check before using it.
In some cases, you may even need to sign a contract that involves royalty payments in exchange for using it or even paying an upfront flat fee. Either way, you’ll need an entertainment lawyer for dealing with matters in this area.
- Thinking Copyrights Are Expensive And Not Worth It
Getting a copyright over your work isn’t as expensive as you may think. Besides, the investment is well worth it considering it gives you intellectual protection and the sole rights to use your work.
It’s not only copyrights that may be necessary either. Depending on your specific field of entertainment you may even need to register a trademark. Intellectual property protection can be a lengthy process but it’s often not as expensive as you think. Considering the amount of complicated lawsuits in this area, it’s absolutely essential you get your work protected.
- Thinking You Can Use Another Person’s Publicity Without Permission
What we mean here is that you can’t get someone’s photo’s online and start using them in your promotional materials without permission first. Make sure you’ve got their permission first or you could find yourself on the wrong end of a privacy and publicity lawsuit
Each person has a right to protect their own privacy and publicity. Think that you can use that image of a random person you found online in a book cover?
Think again. Most people think this only really applies to celebrities but it’s not true. Using anyone’s image without their permission is a breach of their rights and can land you in hot water.
Closing Thoughts: Misunderstandings About Entertainment Law
The field of entertainment law is an incredibly complex one that many people don’t understand. Therefore, it’s a field often filled with misunderstandings that perhaps may not be present in other industries. Hopefully, after reading this post you now have a clearer idea about what entertainment law is but more importantly, how it can help you.
Lastly, don’t become a victim of any unnecessary lawsuits because you haven’t protected yourself. Get in touch with us and speak to an expert employment lawyer and clear up any misunderstandings or misconceptions you may have.