Those in the entertainment industry often need legal assistance. This includes not only the stars we see in television and movies but also those behind the scenes and with the creators of the entertaining material that we watch on a regular basis. Here, we want to discuss the basics of entertainment law, what this field encompasses, and why an individual may need an entertainment lawyer for help.
Understanding Entertainment Law
Entertainment law is a collection of various areas of law that revolve around the entertainment industry. There is no singular “entertainment law” field. Federal and state laws impact the entertainment industry, as do rules created by government entities and common legal precedents. It is crucial to point out that entertainment law revolves not only around the “stars” but also producers, technical assistants, engineers, extras, and just about every other part of the production process.
Types of Entertainment Law
There are various types of law that would be considered entertainment law, including the following:
Contract law and entertainment
Contracts are the name of the game when it comes to the entertainment industry. Some contracts in the entertainment business will last a few years, while others may only last for a single event or a single day. Contracts can specify the duties required of those involved as well as payment and other requests made by either party.
Drafting and negotiating entertainment contracts is crucially important, and attorneys will need to work carefully to negotiate agreements that are favorable to their clients. Attorneys need to be mindful of the enforceability of any terms inside the contract.
Noncompete agreements in entertainment
Noncompete agreements exist in various industries, including the entertainment world. For example, a specific production company may want to develop certain talent and promote individuals exclusively, and this typically requires assurances from individuals that they will not go work for any competitors for a specific amount of time after the employment ends.
Litigation in entertainment
There are always going to be disagreements when it comes to the entertainment industry, and when there are disputes, individuals and organizations turn to litigation. Litigation can be used to solve contract disputes, tort incidents, employment disputes, or any other type of disagreement that may arise.
Labor and employment law in entertainment
Labor and employment laws still apply in the entertainment industry, and it is crucial for attorneys to be involved to ensure any employer is abiding by state and federal regulations. This could also include negotiated union contracts. Some labor and employment laws that apply to the entertainment industry can relate to the maximum number of hours worked, worker safety regulations, fair hiring practices, etc.
Compliance law in entertainment
There are various types of rules and regulations that entertainment officials must abide by, including FCC restrictions. For example, if some radio or television stations give airtime to one political candidate, they will have to give an equal opportunity for political candidates of other parties to have the same amount of air time.
The entertainment industry relies on lawyers to help them comply with various regulations that oversee communications and entertainment issues.