Entertainment law

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Entertainment law, also referred to as media law is legal services provided to the entertainment industry. These services in entertainment law overlap with intellectual property law. Intellectual property has many moving parts that include trademarks, copyright, and the "Right of Publicity". However, the practice of entertainment law often involves questions of employment law, contract law, torts, labor law, bankruptcy law, immigration, securities law, security interests, agency, right of privacy, defamation, advertising, criminal law, tax law, International law (especially Private international law), 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 covers an area of law which involves media of all different types (TV, film, music, publishing, advertising, Internet & news media, etc.), and stretches over various legal fields, which include corporate, finance, intellectual property, publicity and privacy, and, in the United States, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

For film, entertainment attorneys work with the actor's agent to finalize the actor's contracts for upcoming projects. After an agent lines up work for a star, the entertainment attorney negotiates with the agent and buyer of the actor's talent for compensation and profit participation. Entertainment attorneys are under strict confidentiality agreements, so the specifics of their job are kept top secret. But, some entertainment attorney's job descriptions have become comparable to those of a star's agent, manager or publicist. Most entertainment attorneys have many other roles as well such as assisting in building a client's career. [1]


As the popularity of media became widespread, the field of media law became more popular and needed leaving certain corporate professionals wanting to participate more in media. As a result, many young lawyers fledged into media law which allowed them the opportunity to increase connections in media, and the opportunity to become a media presenter or an acting role if such an opportunity arose. As technology continues to make huge advancements, many lawsuits have begun to arise which makes the demand for lawyers extremely necessary.


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:

Defamation (libel and slander), personality rights and privacy rights issues also arise in entertainment law.

Media law is a legal field that refers to the following:


  • Katie Armiger – In 2016, singer/songwriter Katie Armiger claimed that a handful of DJs’ at radio stations across the United States harassed her during her radio tour while her record label, Cold River Records, justified it by telling her that radio programmers are her ticket to fame. Cold River Records caused defamation and false light against Armigers’ character when they challenged her in a court case that played out in the public eye. Cold River Records held Armiger hostage in a lengthy prosecution that forbade her to release new music or perform live by strictly enforcing the terms and legality of her record contract. Because of this, Armiger lost countless fans with her lack of presence on social media and most likely lost credibility as well by not giving her fans an explanation. There is no law created for instances like this where an artist is unable to breach their contract immediately when harassment is involved. Libel per quod can be applied to this case by showing that Armiger’s statements show plenty of proof and negligence on not only Cold Rivers’ behalf but the DJs’ behalf as well. In the end, Armigers’ character was defamed and a false light was shone upon her when Cold River Records’ head Pete O’Heeron claimed that Armigers’ suit was baseless. Defamation, false light and contract laws have played a significant role in Katie Armigers’ reality through her pursuit to breach her contract with Cold River Records. [5]

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  1. Wasko, Janet (2008). Hollywood Film Industry. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. pp. 176–178.
  2. "Top 5 Media & Entertainment Cases Of 2012 - Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  3. "Top 5 Media & Entertainment Cases Of 2012 - Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  4. Swenson, Kyle (2017-12-13). "A singer spoke up about sexual harassment in country music. Now she's being sued". Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  5. Swenson, Kyle (2017-12-13). "A singer spoke up about sexual harassment in country music. Now she's being sued". Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved 2018-04-23.