How to make sure your production doesn’t get shut down.

Gordon P. Firemark

How to make sure your production doesn't get shut down. In the past few months, the news has carried several stories about plays and musicals being “shut down” by authors. In this post, I'll explain why, and also how savvy producers can avoid a similar fate for their productions.

How Do We Know Driverless Cars Are Safe? Google Says ‘Trust Us’

Digital Media Law

Trending Sources

Phoning It In


Phoning it in but expecting exceptional results is one of the most nefarious forms of self-deception. — Peter Kaufman (@Dealfatigue) October 21, 2014. Mind you, sometimes good is good enough but if you're not already conscientious, then you're likely getting in your own way. Often.

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Michael Keaton Beats Producers' Lawsuit Over His Directorial Debut (Exclusive)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

A judge gives Keaton a big victory, noting how hard the actor/director worked to publicize his directorial debut, "The Merry Gentleman" read more. The Business Movies THR Online THR, Esq. Michael Keaton Business

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Mr. Lowery’s Speaking Tour: Interview with @davidclowery after Columbia Law School, George Mason University and CMJ Keynote

Music Technology Policy

David Lowery just concluded a whistlestop tour of academic panels at George Mason University and the Columbia Law School, finishing with a keynote at the Continuing Legal Education program at CMJ. We caught up to him for a recap of his brush with academia: MTP: What were these conferences about?

More Trending

French Law and the Limits of Free Expression On Twitter

Media Law Prof Blog

Francois Delerue, European University Institute, has published The French Twitter Case: A Difficult Equilibrium between Freedom of Expression and its Limits at 10 Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review 193. Here is the abstract. The French Twitter case (Tribunal

Why is a US Radio Station Getting a Notice about Webcasting Royalties in Canada? – Why Webcasters Geo-Block Their Streams to Avoid International Music Royalties

Broadcast Law Blog

An Alabama radio station recently received a notice about the new royalty rates that are payable to ReSound, the Canadian equivalent of SoundExchange , a collective set up to receive from webcasters royalties for the public performance of sound recordings and to distribute those royalties to the copyright holders (usually the labels) and the artists who recorded the songs, according to a story in today’s issue of Tom Taylor Now (a radio industry newsletter).

How to protect a concept for a film when making an oral pitch?

Gordon P. Firemark

In this video, Entertainment Lawyer Gordon Firemark answers a question about how to protect a concept for a film when making an oral pitch. link].

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Just. Don’t. Do it.

Gordon P. Firemark

No shooting until EVERY member of your cast and crew has signed a contract. Seriously. Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a startling ruling in a case involving an independent film.

2030 May Be The Year They’ll Take Your Driver's License Away

Digital Media Law

I was stuck in traffic yesterday, which I didn’t really mind because I have a fun little yellow convertible, and I was thinking about Uber ($17 billion! that’s the company’s valuation, not the price of a ride) and Google’s driverless cars (development cost unknown), and I decided it was time to connect the dots: once a car learns to drive, there’s no need to own it and there’s no need for a driver.

More With Less


More With Less. Closing binder for $3 million film financing (left). Closing binder for $25 million VC startup financing (right). Independent Film Internet Negotiations Start-ups Startups The Culture Venture Capital

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Pharrell Williams' Lawyer to YouTube: Remove Our Songs or Face $1 Billion Lawsuit

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

YouTube has been told to stop performing the compositions of about 20,000 songs, but Irving Azoff''s clients are finding the takedown process to be frustrating read more. The Business THR Online THR, Esq. Tech Business

Bari Leigh Hosts #irespectmusic in Nashville at Her Record Release Show

Music Technology Policy

Nashville artist Bari Leigh decided to add the #irespectmusic theme to the release party in Nashville recently for her new record, “Tonight, I’m Unchained” on Bari’s Starfish Media imprint through ECR Music Group (available at iTunes and other retailers).

Catcalling is for Genetic Refuse

The Legal Satyricon

We are here for one reason — to f**k. The old DNA says “spawn or go extinct.” ” We may have frolics and detours along the way, to either make the rest of our existence more tolerable, or to make the entire group experience more likely to lead to success — and thus more fuckin’ This […]. discrimination feminism


LegalZoom Suffers Setback in North Carolina

Media Law

When LegalZoom issued a press release last month announcing that the South Carolina Supreme Court had issued a determination that the company is not engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in that state, the news was widely reported by news media and blogs.

How to get the best deal possible: Negotiation strategies I learned from my 5 five-year-old.

Gordon P. Firemark

Kindergartens must have upped their game. It seems they're teaching negotiating skills. At least, that's what you'd conclude from talking to my five-year-old. He has an uncanny knack for getting what he wants. Here are a few tips I've picked up from observing my kids in the wild.

A few things you probably didn’t know about me.

Gordon P. Firemark

A few things you probably didn't know about me. I don't often reveal too much of my “personal” stuff online. I prefer to keep things “professional” But today, I got an email from a fellow attorney that inspired me to post this. So here goes: 1. I'm a major geek.

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FCC Decides that it will No Longer Enforce the Zapple Doctrine – Killing the Last Remnant of the Fairness Doctrine

Broadcast Law Blog

The Zapple Doctrine was an outgrowth of the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine. The Zapple Doctrine required that broadcast stations that give air time to the supporters of one candidate in an election give time to the supporters of competing candidates as well.

How to effectively outsource Business and Legal Affairs work in the Film, Television, Theatre and Media Industries

Gordon P. Firemark

Introduction. This past year, I’ve been very fortunate to be asked by a few small- and mid-sized entertainment businesses to handle some or all of their Business Affairs and Legal Affairs work; Work that traditionally would be handled by in-house counsel, but is noow being outsourced to me.

How to find investors for your film or theatre production.

Gordon P. Firemark

How to find investors for your film or theatre production. If you’re producing an independent film or any kind of theatre project, it’s a safe bet that, at some point, you’re going to be asking the question: “Where do I find investors?”

It’s a Play! It’s Live Internet TV! It’s Both, and it Opens in Los Angeles on Friday

Digital Media Law

‘The Noir Series’ harkens back to the days of live TV but presents a thoroughly modern challenge to entertainment unions Bad Medicine,'' a segment from ''The Noir Series,'' features a chain-smoking doctor and two disconcerting nurses. Courtesy Heretick Theatre Lab.

Pride of Ownership


Today's (possible) lunch topic at @filmindependent #FINDForum : you OWN the results of your career/work; both good and bad. — Peter Kaufman (@Dealfatigue) October 25, 2014. Sure, fate and luck play a hand, but come on, you know better. FINDForum. — Peter Kaufman (@Dealfatigue) October 25, 2014. I write this not to add another layer of blame for work gone wrong. Though by all means take all the credit if your work is going well.

Adult Film Industry Loses Appeal Over Los Angeles' Condom Law

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The 9th Circuit decides that making porn actors wear condoms doesn''t run afoul of the First Amendment read more. The Business Movies THR Online THR, Esq. Business

We Got Trouble My Friends, Right Here in Music City: The Spotify Meltdown Tour Continues

Music Technology Policy

The Spotify “artist relations” team continued their swing West last night with a stop in Nashville at City Winery where a songwriter can grab a burger and a glass of red for a mere 350,000 plays–including tip!

I am Sarkeesian

The Legal Satyricon

I don’t imagine that I would agree with much Anita Sarkeesian has to say. I admit that don’t know much of what she has to say, because I don’t give a s**t. The Guardian describes her as “best known for her YouTube series ‘Tropes v Women in Video Games’, assessing various anti-feminist trends in gaming.” ” […].

Viruses are More Common at Law Firms than Encryption, ABA Survey Shows

Media Law

Nearly half of law firms were infected with viruses, spyware or malware last year, according to the latest ABA Legal Technology Survey Report. At the same time, only a quarter of law firms had any kind of email encryption available for their lawyers to use, the survey found.

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Learn copyright law basics from a comic book!?

Gordon P. Firemark

A copyright law comic book? One of my clients just kindly pointed me to a link for a cool little project coming out of Duke University. It's a comic book style presentation of copyright law basics, and it's worth a look.

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Using Quotes in a film, video or media production

Gordon P. Firemark

In this video, Entertainment Lawyer Gordon Firemark answers a question about using quotes in your production. This is intended as general information only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Learning Copyright Law from TV’s The Good Wife – Compulsory Licenses, Derivitive Works and Parody and Fair Use

Broadcast Law Blog

The Good Wife is not usually where one turns for serious discussions of music copyright issues (nor is Stephen Colbert’s Christmas special where we found copyright issues discussed several years ago ). But I was surprised to find this Sunday that the principal plot line of The Good Wife was focused on a music rights dispute. After watching, I wondered how many people in the show’s audience had any idea of what the legal issues being discussed were really all about.

Asked and Answered: Do I need permission to base a fan film on a video game?

Gordon P. Firemark

In this Asked and Answered video, I respond to Guy’s inquiry about whether permission is required for a fan film based on a video game. This is intended as general information only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Entertainment Law Update Podcast – Episode 47

Gordon P. Firemark

Entertainment Law Update is brought to you by Clio, the best way to manage your practice online. Clio allows you to manage your matters, clients, time, bills, trust accounts and more all through a a secure, easy-to-use, web-based interface.

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An Actor's Cautionary Tale: Cancer Diagnosis and a Drawn-Out Battle Over Residuals

Digital Media Law

Actors often complain about late residuals checks, although SAG-AFTRA has cut processing delays lately. But few stories compare to the battle waged by Alex Doe (a pseudonym), a voice actor who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and endured a 3-1/2-year residuals runaround from Warner Bros.

Saturdays With Harvey


Last week’s Entertainment Business symposium at UCLA lacked the usual spark one feels when 500 lawyers gather together in one room. Even so, I live-tweeted a number of the highlights from the two-day event. uclaentertainmentsymposiym financing film slates are back. — Peter Kaufman (@Dealfatigue) March 8, 2014. uclaentertainmentsymposiym interesting nugget: so much money in the film investment space that studios are raising their distribution fees.

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Can Sony Get Around the First Amendment to Sue the Media Over the Hack? (Analysis)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Free speech might not be fool-proof, but the David Boies letter could also backfire read more. The Business Sony Hack Movies THR Online THR, Esq. Television Tech Business