Course Description



Entertainment Law: Executing Deals in the Entertainment Industry

This course is not a substitute for intellectual property, copyright, antitrust, labor law, media law, or tax since none of these areas is examined in depth in the class. IP or Entertainment Law is recommended but not required.

Experience: 6 years of experience establishing publishing companies and drafting performance, writer and composer agreements with A-Mark Entertainment, Disney, Wachovia Center, Six Flags, Penn’s Landing, etc.

Students will learn key strategies for working with clients on entertainment matters and how to successfully structure and execute deals in the entertainment industry. Core fundamental legal elements of representing clients in film/television and the music industry will include an overview of regulations, legislation (including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act), key caselaw, such as the Kids on the Block case, strategies for counseling clients, protecting a client during negotiations, drafting and negotiating contracts, dealing with risk, avoiding common mistakes, adding value, and developing a positive client-attorney relationship. Topics covered will also include analyzing the roles of key players, such as lawyers, managers, and agents; evaluating key documents; and developing strategies for counseling clients, settling disputes, and avoiding future legal issues.  Students will engage in lively debate regarding industry and legal responses to digital audio, video, and interactive media; the George Michael and TLC efforts to extricate themselves from contracts, and review the ongoing debate over television violence (the “Devil Movie Made Me Do It" claims of film and television industry responsibility for tortious and violent behavior) and V-chip.

A large portion of the class will focus on drafting business agreements in connection with film/television and the music industry.  As a class, we will choose a popular music artist, and we will then act as legal counsel to that artist in creating, drafting, negotiating, etc. all documents and registrations necessary to protect the artist and his/her property.  Weekly assignments will follow the career of the Artist from initial song-writing/creation protection (including composer and producer agreements, creation and filings for Publishing Companies, copyrights and protecting compositions, to  personal management agreements, performance and synchronization agreements, recording contracts, releases (including depiction and copyright releases) through potential offers to appear on television (actor employment agreements), etc. concert performances to recording deals to movie/film/television offers.