Entertainment Law in California
Entertainment law encompasses any and all legal needs relating to the entertainment, media and sports industries. From movie studios, to record labels, to Hollywood attractions and professional sports teams, California – and particularly Los Angeles – serves as a major hub for the entertainment industry. If you are seeking an entertainment lawyer with extensive experience in California, the team at Romano Law can help.
Because entertainment law covers so many industries, entertainment attorneys must have a wide array of legal expertise. Our attorneys are well-versed in the many different legal practice areas that intersect with the entertainment industry. We assist in contract review, agreement negotiations, intellectual property matters, licensing, financing, general counsel, distribution, litigation, entity formation and more.
Who We Represent
Whether you are an established professional or a beginner launching your business or career in the entertainment industry, we can provide tools to help you succeed. We represent individuals and businesses in the film, television, theater, live entertainment, music, sports, social media and publishing industries. We also have years of experience representing on-camera talent such as actors, models, musicians, dancers, social media influencers and reality television stars. Additionally, we have represented producers, directors, agents, managers, choreographers, composers, writers, podcasters, photographers, journalists and many other creative individuals and artists.
What We Do
Your needs will largely depend on which sector of entertainment you or your business operate in. The categories below describe the types of legal services that may be relevant to each particular aspect of the entertainment industry. Your entertainment ventures may fall under multiple sectors.
We offer consultations to review and provide advice on a particular agreement. If you are looking for a more substantial relationship with an entertainment attorney, we aid with every step of the way as you negotiate, draft and revise agreements; expand your business or career into multiple facets of the entertainment field; or see a production through from its inception to distribution.
Film & Television Law
We represent both individuals and media companies in the film and television industry, and have served as production counsel for Academy Award-winning films and award-winning TV shows. Our motion picture and television services encompass a wide variety of assistance including, but not limited to, producer agreements, news producer agreements, literary option and purchase agreements, life rights agreements, SAG-AFTRA agreements, crowd releases, reality television talent agreements and more.
Further, it is important to protect your film or television production’s intellectual property by utilizing trademark and copyright registration and licensing. This process often involves multiple steps and can be complicated, so it is important to engage an experienced attorney to ensure that your creative work is protected. The United States Copyright Office’s registration requirements and processes differ depending on the type of work being registered. For instance, registration for a motion picture or audiovisual work is separate from registration of other digital content, music, plays and visual arts. It is important to register correctly to obtain all the benefits of registration, such as a presumption of validity, notice of publication and ability to collect significant statutory damages from anyone who infringes on your copyright.
Whether you are an individual songwriter, musician, singer, composer, manager, music publisher, record company, distribution company or other music industry business, we are ready to help with your legal needs. For instance, if you are looking to start a band, we can assist with your intellectual property work, like trademarking your band’s name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and registering your songs with the Copyright Office. If you believe your copyright or trademark has been infringed or your intellectual property license violated, we can also assist with cease-and-desist letters, demand letters and litigation.
Another example of how our entertainment attorneys can help you is through advising, drafting and negotiating contracts. Examples of agreements we can help with include publishing agreements, management agreements, producer agreements, 360 deals, collaboration contracts, distribution agreements, touring agreements, composer and music supervisor agreements, side artist or featured artist agreements, administration agreements, synchronization licenses and any other copyright licenses. For instance, if you are an established artist looking to feature another artist on your new song, we can help you draft and negotiate a side artist agreement. Or if you are a movie producer looking to use a song in your film’s trailer, we can help you navigate and obtain sync and copyright licenses.
Live Performance & Theater
You have worked hard to make it to the stage. Now it’s important to protect yourself legally. Whether you are a performer, director, chorographer, manager, talent agency or production company, we can provide you with legal assistance and guidance. For instance, if you are interested in pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian, we take care of everything from talent agreements to protecting your original jokes. Our live performance and theater services also include theatrical performer and crew contracts; stage play adaptation agreements; intellectual property licensing agreements; collaboration agreements; agent contracts; employment agency license applications; producer agreements; director services agreements; option contracts; literary option and purchase agreements; writing agreements and life rights agreements.
Artists are also included under the entertainment law umbrella. Whether you are an artist yourself, a buyer or seller of artistic work or an art merchant, our experienced attorneys understand the well-developed governing body of law. We assist with intellectual property protection, implied warranty of title, due diligence and regulations for warranty of authenticity. We also advise on the relationship between an artist and a merchant, and the damages and liability involved with breach of contract. We can also help you tackle emerging mediums, such as NFTs.
Social Media Influencers
From TikTok to YouTube and Instagram, social media influencers and content creators are often offered deals that involve sponsorships or service agreements. Our entertainment attorneys can protect your interests; help you create, maintain and protect your brand; and ensure that your content, blogs and social media channels remain in the confines of the law. With media laws ever-changing and growing, our attorneys adapt our practices with the field. Staying informed with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines and regulations – especially as an influencer – is crucial in this industry because the laws are constantly updated as technology expands.
We provide legal counsel to various professionals in the sports industry. For instance, we have experience working with current and retired athletes, e-sports players, sports reporters, sports industry manufacturers, managers, coaches and companies involved with sports events or teams. Our attorneys will ensure your professional soccer career, or your newly acquired team, is achieving your goals by assisting with related legal matters. We can help with athletic representation agreements, stadium and venue licenses, intellectual property assignments, team agreements, endorsements, sponsorship deals and employment agreements.
Whether you are an author looking to publish your first book, a seasoned writer, an illustrator or a publishing company, we can provide the essential tools for success. Our services in the publishing industry include publishing agreements, writing agreements, ghostwriter agreements, illustrator contracts, photographer contracts, literary agent contracts, collaboration agreements and adaptation agreements, such as translations or film, television and stage adaptations.
Intellectual property matters, including copyright and trademark law, touch all sectors of the entertainment industry. If you are an artist, fashion designer, entrepreneur, athlete, influencer, business owner or creative individual, it is important to protect your creative works or brand. We can help you license your intellectual property, utilize intellectual property owned by another or demand that a third-party stop infringing on your intellectual property rights.
We help with copyright and trademark registration, including every step of the application process, maintenance of registration, licensing agreements, fair use legal analysis of creative works, copyright and trademark infringement and other disputes. If infringement issues cannot be resolved through demand letters or negotiation, our attorneys are also well-versed in trademark and copyright litigation.
While the entertainment industry is exciting to be a part of, it can often be overwhelming to navigate without legal guidance. If you are looking to protect your interests, negotiate the best deal or grow your business or brand, contact a member of our team for next steps.
Romano Law can provide guidance on entertainment law in New York, California and Florida.
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