What does an entertainment lawyer do? (Part I)

Gordon P. Firemark

Entertainment Lawyers, at the root of things, provide legal advice, counsel and representation to businesses and individuals in the entertainment industries, including the fields of theatre, television, film, music, publishing, and digital media.

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Nielsen Sued for Billions Over Allegedly Manipulated TV Ratings

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

In a huge new lawsuit, the business of TV ratings is fingered for rampant corruption by India's largest TV news network. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Television Business Nielsen Company International

Fastcase Releases Android Version of its Free Research App

Media Law

Back in January 2010, this blog had an exclusive first look as Fastcase was about to launch its app to let iPhone users research cases and statutes for free, directly on their devices. Later, Fastcase came out with a version for the iPad.

Judge rules, again, that blogger Crystal Cox is not a journalist. You know why? Because she ISN’T a journalist.

The Legal Satyricon

Scott Greenfield, over at Simple Justice, brings us a good perspective on the Crystal Cox “bloggers are not journalists” case. For those of you not familiar with the case, it was a bit of a blogosphere kerfuffle when U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez ruled that Cox is not a journalist under the definition of Oregon’s [.].

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SAG/AFTRA Members: Will your dues go up or down? Now you can tell.

Digital Media Law

There's been a lot of discussion about how dues will change if SAG and AFTRA merge, but no one's made it easy for you to know exactly what will happen to your own. For a detailed breakdown -- and a graph that encompasses earnings from $0 to $250K, see The Hollywood Reporter. Whether you're SAG-only or a dual cardholder (or if you're AFTRA-only or even a broadcaster), the graph will show you exactly what will happen to your dues if merger passes. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,”

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Entertainment Law Resources Blog

President Obama signed last week the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, a collection of laws that dramatically relaxes regulations on raising capital for startup companies. The Act has provisions that for the first time will allow internet crowdfunding of small businesses, such as producing indie films. Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital by obtaining small amounts of money from a large number of investors.

How Much Do Artists Earn Online?

Music Technology Policy

Excellent graph from Information is Beautiful: [link]. This graph may not be exactly correct on the number of streams at the Spotify end of the equation, but I think it is spot on–so to speak–on the relative numbers.

What you absolutely must know before you approach investors for your film / play / musical.

Gordon P. Firemark

photo via flickr (bschmove) under Creative Commons License.

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Universal Music May Have Inadvertently Exposed a Flaw in the YouTube Takedown Process

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner One rap artist speaks out against UMG, YouTube, and SOPA. read more. THR, Esq. Music Music Tech Business Universal Music Group YouTube SOPA

Disney, Warner Bros. Fighting Over 'Wizard of Oz' Trademarks (Exclusive)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner The underlying work is in the public domain, but Warners is reminding everyone about its 1939 film. read more. THR, Esq. Movies Movies Business Warner Bros. The Wizard of Oz

Lawline Opens its Full CLE Catalog to Free Access

Media Law

I blogged earlier today about how Fastcase is disrupting the legal publishing field, providing free access to core legal research materials. In much the same way, Lawline.com has been disrupting the CLE industry.

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Flashing your headlights to warn other motorists of a speed trap = free speech

The Legal Satyricon

A judge in Seminole County, Florida (of all places) ruled that when a motorist flashes his lights at other motorists to warn them of an upcoming speed trap, he is engaging in First Amendment protected speech. source). Filed under: misc.

Unions Investigating 'Liz & Dick' after Lindsay Lohan, Crew Allegedly Overworked

Digital Media Law

Two prominent Hollywood unions are investigating the Lifetime movie Liz & Dick, The HollywoodReporter (exclusive) has learned, with the moves coming in the wake of reports over the weekend that star Lindsay Lohan suffered from “exhaustion and dehydration” from overwork and that two crew members went to the hospital for the same reason. The producer of the biopic about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton denies any violations or knowledge of union inquiries.



Entertainment Litigation Blog

STAR OF SUPER BOWL XLVI HALFTIME SHOW FOUGHT FOR “MATERIAL GIRL” TRADEMARK RIGHTS IN CLOTHING. Before her appearance at the Super Bowl festivities this weekend, singer/songwriter Madonna was locked in a battle over the trademark “Material Girl” with a clothing manufacturer who has been manufacturing clothing under that name for almost 15 years.

Village People Songwriter Victor Willis Wins Case Over Termination of 'YMCA'

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner In a huge decision on one of the first challenges to songwriter termination notices, a judge rejects the song publishers' arguments. read more. THR, Esq. Music Music Business

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Google Again Opposes Movie Industry in a Copyright Fight

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner The MPAA says that Hotfile is like Megaupload, but Google says Hotfile deserves the same legal protections as YouTube. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Tech Business Google MPAA YouTube

Fox, CBS, NBC Sue Dish Network Over AutoHop Ad-Skipper

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Matthew Belloni UPDATED: Dish also files suit in New York against all four broadcast networks. At issue is PrimeTime Anytime, a service that allows consumers to skip television ads. read more. THR, Esq. THR, Esq. Television Television

Google Jumps Into Escalating Debate Over Legality of Selling 'Used' Digital Music

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner Does this lawsuit threaten cloud storage, space shifting, fair use, and the future of the Internet? Google says, it might. The recording industry says, butt out. read more. THR, Esq. Tech Music Tech Business Google Piracy

Independent Contractor vs. Employee – misclassification can cost entertainment industry employers dearly.

Gordon P. Firemark

Lately, I’ve had several conversations with clients about whether the folks they hire to work on their films and theatre projects are properly classified as employees or independent contractors. It’s an important distinction, and one that can have costly consequences if not handled properly.

Leaked Audit in Eminem Royalty Suit Highlights Huge Stakes for Record Industry

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner Here's what an examiner turned up when opening Aftermath's financial books to see how much was owed to Eminem's production team. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Music Business Eminem

MPAA Fights Back Against Anonymous Attacks

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner Hollywood trade group says it is working with the feds to identify the people responsible for the attack on its website. read more. THR, Esq. Tech Tech Business Chris Dodd MPAA Piracy


Self-Help Legal Sites No Match for Real Lawyer, Consumer Reports Says

Media Law

Self-help legal websites such as LegalZoom , Nolo and Rocket Lawyer are no match for a real lawyer, Consumer Reports concludes in an evaluation of the three sites published in its September issue.

Talking to your kids about gay marriage

The Legal Satyricon

I used to have neighbors in Flori-duh, whose argument (to me anyhow) against gay marriage was “what am I supposed to tell my kids?“ “ Louis CK had a funny reply to that. “It doesn’t have ANY effect on your life. What do you care? People try to talk about it like it’s a social issue. [.]. church and state Civil Liberties culture discrimination politics religion

Snowe Rains on Republicans' Parade

Digital Media Law

Olympia Snowe, a moderate Republican who's represented Maine in the Senate since 1994, announced today that she won't seek reelection in November, citing polarization in Washington as the reason. Her retirement, coming from a state where Democrats hold a registration edge, is a blow to the GOP and puts the seat in play. What does this have to do with the subject of this blog? Nothing, but when you think up a headline too good to be true, you have to go with it.

Hollywood Wins As Appeals Court Allows Broad Use of Trademarks in Artistic Works

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The 11th Circuit holds that an artist's use of trademarked uniforms and logos enjoys First Amendment protection. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Movies Business

Legal Fight Brewing Over CBS' New Sherlock Holmes Adaptation (Analysis)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner The network's planned series depicting a modern-day Sherlock could be taken to court by BBC, which also has a modern Sherlock, or the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate. read more. THR, Esq. Television Television Business BBC CBS Sherlock Holmes

Apple Doesn't Want Musicians to See Secret Steve Jobs Deposition

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner In bringing a class action lawsuit against Universal Music over digital music revenues, musicians trigger a big objection from Apple. read more. THR, Esq. Music Music Tech Business Steve Jobs

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America's Top 10 Entertainment Law Schools

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

THR evaluated course offerings, practical training and the esteemed alumni of the nation's more than 200 law schools to create this first-ever list. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Business Power Lawyers Power Lawyers 2012

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Warner Bros. Wins Big Court Ruling in Fight Over Superman

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

A judge rules on summary judgment against an attempt by the estate of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster to terminate his rights grant to the studio. read more. Movies Warner Bros. THR, Esq. Man of Steel Business

Asked & Answered: I have a person’s life rights. Do I need to option the news article about him, too?

Gordon P. Firemark

Pablo asks: I have a friend who is a war vet that has an amazing personal story. I interviewed him via email two years ago as I saw the potential in it for making a feature film. Recently, an international news network showcased the highlights of his story on TV.

Moviegoer Files Class Action Lawsuit Over High Cost Of Food and Drinks At Theaters

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner Movie theaters make $3000 on every bag of raw popcorn that costs them $30. One consumer has had it. read more. THR, Esq. Movies Movies Business

Tolkien Estate Sues Warner Bros. Over 'Lord of the Rings' Slot Machines (Exclusive)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The suit claims at least $80 million in damages from unauthorized merchandising of the Tolkien books. read more. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movies Warner Bros. THR, Esq

ABA Survey Shows Growth in Lawyers’ Social Media Use

Media Law

News flash: More lawyers are using social media! OK, we all knew that. But it’s always nice to see some numbers that give us a sense of where we are. The recently published 2012 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report on web and communication technology does that.

Rachel Maddow Demands Dismissal of $50 Million Defamation Lawsuit

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner In court papers, rocker/preacher/radio-host Bradlee Dean is said to want to punish the MSNBC host for espousing “leftist, socialist, activist ‘gay rights’, pro-choice, pro-government and anti-religious” ideals. read more. THR, Esq.