Working in the entertainment industry — whether as a singer, actor, author, producer, dancer or band member — means having to deal with many people and being in a lot of tricky situations involving royalties, ownership, distribution, and other concepts related to the field. That’s where an entertainment lawyer steps in – not just for “curative” purposes (i.e., lawsuits) but also for “preventive” measures (i.e., prior to signing contracts).
Scope of Duties
Top entertainment lawyers typically fall into one of two categories: those who focus on legal issues and those who provide legal guidance on transactions and deals.
The former aims to identify and deal with conflicts of a legal nature, solving them either via court sessions or by mediating between the involved parties and allowing them to resolve their issues privately.
The latter concentrates on deals (contracts, publishing agreements, etc.) and helps the artist understand all the terms and conditions of any deal before signing and fully committing.
You may require the assistance and advice of an entertainment lawyer if you ever find yourself in one of these situations:
- You’re just starting out, and you’re about to sign (or negotiate) a contract.
- One of the involved parties in the contract committed a violation against the terms agreed upon.
- You find yourself in an issue involving intellectual property rights, distribution rights, etc.
Upon getting the services of an entertainment lawyer, he will draft a legally binding agreement that details what you’ve agreed upon, in simple terms.
If you’re the prosecuting party and you win your case, depending on what you sought, you may either gain control and sole ownership of your work or a set amount of money as compensation. On the other hand, if you’re on the defending party, your lawyer will help clear your name, prove your innocence, and win your case.