According to SelectUSA, the U.S. boasts the largest media and entertainment industry in the world, valued at $717 billion. It accounts for a whole third of the global one. Entertainment lawyers like John Branca deal with the branch of law focusing on the conflicts surrounding it. Their clients include individuals from sports, music, television, publishing, modeling, media and arts. Legal matters concerning this sector are often complex and not understood well. As a result, there are many fallacies about them.
1. Contracts Are Unnecessary
If you are a minor player in the entertainment world, you may not think you need a contract. After all, that’s just for big Hollywood movie stars and models bringing in millions of dollars of revenue, right? In reality, any kind of work in this arena requires a contract of some form, whether it falls under scriptwriting, sports or another umbrella. As your project grows and more people are brought on board, so too does the need for a legally binding agreement.
2. Everything You Create Is Automatically Protected
Intellectual theft chronically plagues the industry as a whole. Your creations are not automatically protected by virtue of existence. Attaching a copyright symbol to them does little in terms of legally safeguarding them from being stolen. Obtaining a copyright grants you a level of security and rights not otherwise attainable. In some cases, a trademark may also be a requisite.
3. It’s Okay To Use a Tiny Piece of Someone Else’s Work
Many beginners or smaller operations believe it is okay to cut out a snippet of music or video for their use. However, not all samples are licensed for commercial use. Some even require the payment of royalties. It is important to check the legal conditions for each one before appropriating it for your own purposes.
Entertainment law is a complicated, multi-faceted entity. It can be difficult for those not specializing in it to understand all of its nuances, which is why many consult attorneys.