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What is entertainment law?

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While the private lives of celebrities are fawned over, analyzed and broken down to an absurd degree by the general public, the legal wrangling that makes Hollywood what it is is often ignored. The world of entertainment law is one of the most complex and varied forms of law practiced today because it encompasses so many existing forms of law under one umbrella. Not only are entertainment contracts some of the most sweeping and confusing documents ever created by mankind, court cases involving entertainment law can also be extremely complicated. The demands placed on an all-purpose entertainment lawyer are high, but often times, so is the reward. Let’s take a quick look at what falls under the banner of entertainment law.

To put it simply, entertainment law encompasses no less than eight different disciplines, including, but not limited to, labor law, employment law, immigration law, intellectual property law, securities (law & interests), insurance law and agency. Major stars who can afford a team of lawyers or those that have contracts for representation from an entire law firm instead of singular representation from one lawyer often have a team of lawyers who manage the various fields that entertainment law encompasses. If you aren’t that wealthy yet, you are going to have to find an entertainment lawyer who is literally a jack of all trades. Depending on what part of the entertainment industry you’ll be calling home, you may need an entertainment lawyer to help you with any or all of the issues listed below.

If you are going to be calling the film industry home, you had better hire an entertainment lawyer who dislikes sleep. You’ll likely face problems regarding everything from contract negotiations to complex intellectual property issues, and that’s on a slow day. You may also face such other challenging issues like production and post production legal issues, as well as negotiating distribution rights and option agreements that resemble small encyclopedias.

Entertainment lawyers who choose a career in film oriented law aren’t the only ones that get to feel overworked. The music industry has its own separate demands that are placed on entertainment lawyers, including talent agreements that can take months to create, negotiate and sign, negotiating and writing contracts for people who will work with the band you choose to represent such as session musicians and producers and even music-industry specific fields like synchronization rights for music videos and intellectual property law due to the widespread theft of digital music.

While film and music tend to be the most complex of the various entertainment fields to represent as an entertainment lawyer, each field has its own unique requirements and demands. A good entertainment lawyer is, above all, passionate about their chosen field and has a desire to constantly learn more so that they can represent their current clients and their future clients more effectively. It is no wonder that the entertainment law field is one of the best earning in the world. The demands and responsibilities are truly extraordinary.

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