What Does an Entertainment Lawyer Do?

Entertainment law, or media law, covers various aspects of the entertainment industry including copyright and publication laws, labor laws and tax litigation. Lawyers practicing this type of law can negotiate contracts for their clients, litigate infringement cases and much more.

For Individuals

Lawyers represent the interests of their clients in a variety of ways, both in and out of court. Attorneys in entertainment law who represent individuals, such as John Branca, can help musicians and other media professionals secure intellectual property rights, litigate on their behalf in cases involving labor laws or a violation of copyrights and draft or review contracts before they are signed. These services ensure that the rights of entertainers are respected, that liabilities are kept to a minimum, and that performance contracts further the interests of the artists.

For Intellectual Property

Intellectual property law covers protections such as copyrights, trademarks and patents and an entertainment lawyer will work with his or her clients to secure these protections and enforce them with litigation if necessary. In the media you consume daily, there are dozens of trademarked logos, copyrighted stories and even patented technology that must be used within the legal framework so those companies or individuals who own the intellectual property are compensated for their efforts. Many media lawyers are involved in finding artwork, music and movies listed for sale illegally on online marketplaces and work to have those things removed. These attorneys can file lawsuits for copyright infringement and can work with prosecutors to build criminal cases for theft of intellectual property.

For Companies

Companies can also have intellectual property and other media law-related cases, such as labor, tax and international law concerns. Media lawyers working for corporations in broadcast television, in the movie industry and in fine arts will draft employment contracts, venue rental agreements and negotiate deals involving multiple companies in different countries. While any media lawyer can see court cases, corporations tend to do better in arbitration and mediation, so attorneys will try these avenues before filing a court case for their clients.

Being a media lawyer means practicing a type of law that intersects many other areas of practice such as intellectual property, labor and employment, and tax law. These attorneys represent individuals and companies involved in the film, music and publication industries as well as fine arts, internet and multimedia issues both in and out of court by drafting contracts, securing intellectual property and litigating cases.