2012

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.

Deal 98

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

Trending Sources

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 [.].

Judge 31

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!,”

More Trending

Blawg Review #322

Cyberlaw Central

CRACK… By striking my bone gavel, I call this special Blawg Review meeting of the Skull and Bones Society to order. Ever since the passing of Demosthenes in the year 322, and since the founding of our Society here at Yale in 1832, we honor eloquence.

Ron Paul Files Trademark and Defamation Lawsuit

Current Trends

This week the “Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Committee, Inc. filed a lawsuit claiming defamation of Rep. Ron Paul’s character and unauthorized use of the trademark rights in his name in a political video. The video, released by Paul advocates and not approved or authorized by Paul, makes personal attacks against fellow Republican presidential nominee Jon Huntsman.

Broken Windows

DealFatigue

Fred Wilson wrote a piece on his blog today complaining about the film business ’ distribution model. Fred wrote in part that: denying customers the films they want, on the devices they want to watch them, when they want to watch them is not a great business model.

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.

Film 91

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

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.

Video 51

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.

IATSE 22

Brand Supported Piracy Wall of Shame: Why is Spotify advertising on illegal sites that exploit Tom Waits?

Music Technology Policy

Lyrics007 is one of the top illegal lyrics sites, but gets the blue chip advertisers like McDonalds as we have noted before (see their Google Adsense publisher code above–this is the code issued by Google so that they know what inventory is available to serve ads to and who to pay).

ENTERTAINMENT LITIGATION: MADONNA’S BATTLE OVER “MATERIAL GIRL” TRADEMARK

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.

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.

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.

Ron Paul Files Trademark and Defamation Lawsuit

Current Trends

This week the “Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Committee, Inc. filed a lawsuit claiming defamation of Rep. Ron Paul’s character and unauthorized use of the trademark rights in his name in a political video. The video, released by Paul advocates and not approved or authorized by Paul, makes personal attacks against fellow Republican presidential nominee Jon Huntsman.

DON’T SIGN THAT! – Webinar April 17th.

Gordon P. Firemark

On April 17th, at 10am PST , I’ll be joining my friend Adam Leipzig for a teleseminar entitled : “ DON’T SIGN THAT!

FAQ 73

Entertainment Law Update Podcast Episode 031

Gordon P. Firemark

Call us with your feedback: (310) 243-6231. GET CLE CREDIT for this episode. Entertainment Law Update is brought to you by Clio, the best way to manage your practice online.

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

Film 61

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.

Google Says “It’s Our Web”–and they bought it fair and square

Music Technology Policy

Who can forget then-candidate Ronald Reagan’s classic line at the 1980 New Hampshire candidate’s debate: “I’m paying for this microphone!”

ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA LITIGATION: FORMER UCLA BASKETBALL PLAYER REEVES NELSON SUES SPORTS ILLUSTRATED FOR DEFAMATION

Entertainment Litigation Blog

LAWSUIT TARGETS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY PULITZER PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR. Former UCLA men’s basketball player, Reeves Nelson, has filed a lawsuit for defamation against Sports Illustrated resulting from SI’s March 2012 article entitled, Special Report: Not The UCLA Way.

Music Rights and Licensing in Theatre (Free Webinar)

Gordon P. Firemark

This Friday, I’ll be presenting a webinar on music rights and licensing in theatre, Admission is free, and space is limited to 50 attendees.

Asked & Answered: The Wizard of Oz and the public domain.

Gordon P. Firemark

Asked & Answered: Dialogue from an existing Play used in new screenplay

Gordon P. Firemark

Jeff asks about whether it’s necessary to get permission to have a character in his film quote lines from a famous play. In this video answer, I recommend in favor of getting permission, though in the U.S., the usage might constitute fair use protected under the First Amendment.

Update on status of Jobs Act revisions to Regulation D, Rule 506 securities offerings

Gordon P. Firemark

Last April, Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law, the JOBS Act. One important component of that act loosened restrictions on the way film and theatre producers companies can obtain financing through private offerings under Rule 506.

Entertainment Law Update Podcast Episode 030 – The JOBS Act, Crowdfunding, and more

Gordon P. Firemark

Call us with your feedback: (310) 243-6231. In this Episode: Crowdfunding after the JOBS Act becomes law. Viacom wins appellate round against YouTube. Magic Tricks – how to keep ‘em secret. Art Collector v. Artist?

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

Judge 59

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.

Arizona Supreme Court determines tattoos are protected by the First Amendment

The Legal Satyricon

The Supreme Court of Arizona recently held that obtaining a tattoo is pure speech and is therefore subject to the highest protection by the First Amendment. The plaintiffs in Coleman v. City of Mesa (Case No. CV-11-0351), requested a Council Use Permit (CUP) from Mesa, Arizona, to open a tattoo parlor. The city zoning commission recommended to [.]. First Amendment