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Entertainment law or media law is a general term for a mix of more traditional categories of law with a focus on providing legal services to the entertainment industry. Generally speaking the practice of entertainment law often involves questions of employment law (employment contracts for talent and production personnel), labor law (negotiating and arbitrating with trade unions), immigration issues regarding foreign talent, securities law regarding promoting properties, security interests, payment and collection of royalties, agency, intellectual property and insurance law. Much of the work of an entertainment law practice is transaction based, i.e. drafting contracts, negotiation and mediation. Some situations may lead to litigation or arbitration.
Entertainment law is generally sub-divided into the following areas related to the types of activities that have their own specific trade unions, production techniques, rules, customs, case law, and negotiation strategies:
FILM: covering option agreements, finance, chain of title issues, talent agreements (scriptwriters, film directors, actors, composers, set designers), production and post production and trade union issues, distribution issues, motion picture industry negotiations distribution, and general intellectual property issues relating to copyright and, to a lesser extent, trademarks.
MUSIC: including talent agreements (musicians, composers) producer agreements, and synchronisation rights, music industry negotiation and general intellectual property issues relating to copyright.
TELEVISION and RADIO including broadcast licensing and regulatory issues, mechanical licenses.
THEATRE: including rental agreements and co-production agreements, and other performance oriented legal issues;
MULTIMEDIA, including software licensing issues, video game development and production.
PUBLISHING and print media issues, including advertising, models, author agreements and other copyright related issues.
VISUAL ARTS AND DESIGN including fine arts, issues of consignment of artworks to art dealers, moral rights of sculptors regarding works in public places; and industrial design, issues related to the protection of graphic design elements in products.
Defamation (libel and slander), personality rights and privacy rights issues also arise in entertainment law.