• Author and Licensee Content Rights in Agreements for TV Productions

    December 01, 2018 |

    These times are heady for creators of books and stories that may be suitable for television production. In addition to the traditional broadcast networks, a legion of pay and basic cable exhibitors and, more recently, direct-to-consumer streaming outlets are voraciously licensing product from those creators. Much press is given to the compensation aspects of the creators' agreements with exhibitors, but attention also should be paid to the extent and duration of the exhibitor's exclusivity in the property in which rights are being acquired,

  • Compensation Issues from Cancelled Roseanne TV Show

    August 01, 2018 |

    It is rare that a hit network television series is cancelled, as recently occurred with the ABC series Roseanne. But when that happens, the immediate and long-term implications for the network, producers, talent and other entities related to the series can be significant.

  • A Legal Primer for Making Indie Movies

    July 01, 2018 |

    While thousands of films are made each year in the United States and Canada, less than 800 were theatrically released in 2017, with many exceptional films failing to obtain commercial distribution because of legal issues.

  • An IP Protection Primer for Entertainment Tech Startups

    February 01, 2018 |

    The tech-heavy entertainment industry is an active field for tech startup companies developing potential patents and trade secrets. But many cash conscious startups are forced to initially neglect protection planning for these intellectual property assets, instead allocating scarce resources to set up and initial operation costs. This article suggests some practical and economical steps for startups, especially those with tight finances, to protect what may become valuable patents and trade secrets.

  • Primer on Industry Contingent Compensation Provisions

    June 02, 2017 |

    Much can be learned about the entertainment industry by comparing how those who perform services or license rights in their works are compensated under agreements to which they are a party. Some compensation in those agreements is fixed and essentially guaranteed, such as advances and flat fees. Other types, which are the subjects of this article, are contingent.

  • Streaming Pre-'72 Recordings Not Piracy Under Georgia Law

    April 02, 2017 |

    The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that media companies streaming music recordings made prior to Feb. 15, 1972, over the Internet without paying royalties or licensing fees aren't violating the state's criminal record piracy law.

  • New York Court Sees No Fair Use in Star-Trek Inspired Fan Film

    March 01, 2017 |

    The creative story-telling that fueled the passion of fans inspired a number of them to expand the Star Trek universe on their own through "fan films," which can challenge the property owners' efforts to maintain the integrity and appeal of their franchise. If unchecked, unauthorized derivatives could lead to an eventual loss of the copyright and trademark rights that underlie the value of the property.