Why You Need An Entertainment Lawyer

Entertainment Lawyer

One of the best things about the American entertainment industry is that it employs millions of people. Scriptwriters, actors, producers, stuntmen, directors and other professionals contribute to the success of the entertainment industry. It follows that there are laws to regulate this industry and make it work to the benefit of all the relevant players. This is where entertainment law and entertainment lawyers come into the picture. Below are some of the reasons you need a competent entertainment lawyer and what distinguishes one from say Los Angeles injury attorneys.

Protecting Intellectual Property

Every best-selling movie begins with a movie script and these scripts are written by scriptwriters. In some cases, a movie is made from a novel. In this case, a professional writer creates the scripts and makes some changes to the novel to suit the movie. Now, this is where things can get complicated if there is no intellectual lawyer to keep things tidy and legal. An author whose book is needed for a movie should negotiate terms with the motion picture company before his or book is adapted for a movie. If you do not have a great entertainment lawyer on your side, you may not get a favorable deal. You need to lawyer to ensure that you do not lose your intellectual property to a movie company.

Entertainment LawyerProtecting the Script Writer

Some scriptwriters are full time employees of motion picture companies. However, in some cases, these experts are independent writers. They create movie scripts and they sell these scripts to movie companies. Sometimes, negotiating with motion picture companies can be a real battle. The executives of these companies might offer you a complex deal that that may not give you financial rewards at the end of the day. Do not ever negotiate with a motion picture company unless your lawyer is present. This legal expert knows all the intricacies of entertainment law so you can be sure he or she will get you an excellent deal.

Upfront, Royalties and Sequels

The laws that govern the entertainment industry have regulations on upfront payments, royalties and sequels. In case you do not understand how these things work, your attorney will help you make sense of these things and get you the perfect deal.

What Is Copyright Laws And What Do They Do Specifically?

Copyright LawsWhat the copyright laws of the United States does the most is clear. It is to make sure to keep the works of artists and authors fully protected from being used by others without their permission or consent. By doing this, these set of special laws also do something else, and this something else is to encourage the creation of art and culture by these very same artists and authors as a rule. These copywriting laws are what gives these artists and authors exclusive rights over their work. No one get this same kind of exclusivity like they do overall.

Artists and authors are able to make and sell copies of their works worldwide

Copywriting laws aren’t just in place to fully protect the rights of artists and authors and their creative works. They are also in full force to promote the progress of both Science and the Arts too. Artist and authors get to retain their exclusive rights to their unique creations for a period of 70 years after the death of said artist or author.

What are some of the works that are subject to copyright law specifically?

The answer is this. The copyright law of the United States endeavors to protect all intellectual work from any original works of authorship to literary to dramatic to musical to pictorial to beyond. Copyright law is designed with protection of both published and unpublished works. It is also a form of legal doctrine that still does remain open to debate, as far as, its overall effectiveness does go as a body of law. The effectiveness of copyright law may or may not truly achieve its stated purpose. Those who believe in the power of copyright law do believe in its effectiveness at being a high quality protection. However, there are some, which do doubt its effectiveness as well. To all those, who believe in copyright law, they know what it has done for them and will continue to do for them as a highly effective law. Nonetheless, for the opposing party of doubters, they just need to embrace copyright law for what it can mean to them and their creative works.

Types of Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) pertains to legal rights over “creations of the mind.” This includes artwork, writing, inventions, designs, ideas, music, and choreography. Within this category exists four main types of IP.

Copyrights

Intellectual PropertyThis has to do with the original authors of both published and unpublished creations. Rights of authorship for these works rests solely with their originator. Filed through the U.S. Copyright office they last for the author’s life plus another 70 years after the author’s death before anyone can reproduce the writing.

Patents

These are legal property rights applies to inventions. Distributed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patents apply processes, machines, manufacturing designs, biological discoveries, and “compositions of matter.”

Trade Secrets

Any company who has practices, designs, formulas, processes, recipes, or ideas they use to leverage their business dealings can file trade secrets. Typically these are hidden by a business instead of having them protected by government policies. One such example of self-protection that companies typically use includes locking this information away in a bank vault. This is commonly done because trade secrets aren’t legally protected. Once someone leaks them to the public, anyone who wants to use them may do so.

Trademarks

Specific brands file trademarks on words, phrases, symbols, logos, designs, and devices they use. This is so they can distinguish themselves from other products in the same industry. Trademarks are typically used for identification purposes. They’re legally protected once you register them with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Other Types of IP

While there are four main types of IP, other, lesser know types also exist. These include:

  • Service Mark: A mark distinguishing between two services
  • Industrial Design: IP right for an object’s visual design
  • Trade Dress: Protection for a product’s illustration or packaging
  • Fair Use: Copying copyrighted material mainly for educational purposes

When you want to file any type of intellectual property you should consult with a lawyer. You’ll find ones who specialize in copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Remember, trade secrets are just that – secrets. Of course, you can also handle the filing of these items on your own, but it takes a lot more work and time to do so.

Trademark and Intellectual Laws You Need to Know

TrademarkIntellectual property law is a set of laws that deal with safeguarding and enforcing the rights of people’s inventions, talent and artistic works. Just in the same way the law protects real human beings, property law does protect the intangible property. The purpose of property and intellectual law is to provide inventors with incentives to further their creativity with a view to advance the needs of the society. The fact that the innovations help to advance the interests of community development, property rights are intended to profit the innovators.

Under the US constitution, authors are granted exclusive right to their creative works. Section 8 of the constitution has given the Congress the authority to regulate commerce between states, which offers support to come up with legislation in the area of property law. The U.S Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S Copyright Office are the two agencies that administer the property laws.

Patents are designed to provide inventors with the right to make use of their product in their area of business. Depending upon the invention, patent rights are designed to last approximately 20 years. Some of the items that qualify under this law include technological improvements, new machines, and designs and manufactured goods. Patent law will not apply to inventions that are believed to be of obvious design or look or those that are morally offensive.

Trademark Laws

On the other hand trademark laws protect the slogans, symbols, names and images that are used to identify particular goods or services. The purpose of this law is to eliminate confusion, help buyers distinguish different brands and prevent false or misleading advertisements. Since the objective of trademark law is to help distinguish between brands, generic or marks perceived as descriptive may not qualify. Rights under this law can last forever and are obtainable by way of a mark. Although not necessary in law, trademark owners may register their marks for further protection.

Trademark LawCopyrights are also closely related to trademark and intellectual property rights only that they are limited to music, architectural designs, motion pictures and writings. However, this law does not cover theories, ideas or such things that have not been covered in a fixed medium. A copyright is a creation of the works and it includes unpublished works. It is common for copyright owners to use a copyright symbol and the date but this is not a requirement. In many jurisdictions, including the US. Copyrights are valid throughout the life of the copyright owner plus an additional 70 years.

All these legislative processes are aimed at protecting the owners against infringement by other people. Infringement may be defined as gaining access or using someone else’s intellectual property without the express authority of the owner of the right. As a means of advancing this right, owners are encouraged to make the world know that their rights exist. This notice is aimed at deterring infringement by others who may violate them. Crating awareness of the existence of your rights provides additional protection and legal benefits in the sense that the owner can easily prosecute any potential infringement in the court of law where necessary.
Let an Intellectual Property Attorney Help

If you have a copyright or are thinking about obtaining the rights to something that is not obvious, you might need an intellectual property attorney to help protect your hard-earned rights. Conversely, if you have been accused of infringing on other people’s rights, you are need to hire a legal expert in the field of intellectual and property law to help fight back.

Understanding What DMCA Notices Are

DMCA stands for the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. This is a copyright law in the United States that implements two treaties created in 1996 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Enacted by then-president Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998 this copyright law deals with the special challenges brought about by regulating digital media.

How the Law Works

When you publish something on the world-wide web (Internet) you hold the copyright to it whether it’s an image, writing, or song. Finding someone who’s stolen this and placed it on their website is angering. If this happens, you can send them a notice demanding they take the item down. These are known as DMCA takedown notices or DMCA notices for short.

What These Notices Include

There are four important steps included in sending these notices. They include:

Take a screenshot of the infringement. Make sure you do this first because once you send a notice the website must remove the infringing material and it’ll be too late to take a screenshot then.

Locate the website’s host, which is whom you’ll send the notice to. You can’t sue any website based in the United States whose user infringes on your copyright. However, they must follow a specific procedure to remove the content once they’ve receive the notice. Any web host based outside of the United States doesn’t have to comply with the DMCA unless they’re part of the European Union or they’re in Australia.

Make sure you send your notice to the right person. Here you’re looking for the Copyright Agent. Click on “legal” or “terms of use” in the website’s footer as the information is usually found there. Otherwise, you may need to contact the U.S. Copyright Office Directory of Copyright Agents. You’re searching for whom to send your grievance letter.

Draft and send a letter that specifically states what material they’ve infringed on, where it’s located, your contact information, and digital signature. Make sure you’ve stated that you have a “good faith belief” that this is copyrighted material. This is a statement you’ll want to make under penalty of perjury so that you’re taken seriously.

Other Legal Options

Sometimes these notices simply don’t work and you’ll need to consider your other options. These include:

Ask the website owner to add a credit to the image linking it back to your website

Send a cease and desist letter demanding that the website’s owner pay you for using your copyrighted material on their website or hire a lawyer to do this for you

Hire an attorney to file a lawsuit on your behalf about copyright infringement

DMCA notices are really helpful today as long as the copyrighted material doesn’t fall under “fair use.” When this happens the copyrighted material can stay on the website. This typically includes times when someone uses your copyrighted material for a transformative purpose such as commenting on, criticizing, or making a parody of the material. When this is the case the website owner doesn’t need your permission to use your copyrighted material. The fair use law also pertains to anyone who’s using copyrighted material for educational purposes.

It’s important that you have a clear understanding of the issue before you take any type of recourse about what you believe is copyright infringement. As such, you may wish to speak with an attorney first.