Entertainment Law

The practice of entertainment law has been steadily evolving since the beginning of the wave of digital media consumption. As technology has opened doors to provide new means to exploit media, independent artists and businesses have acquired a relatively larger chunk of the revenue market share. Major media companies have downsized and merged, and The Do-It-Yourself (“DIY”) model of entertainment business has become more attractive to artists and companies who lack the leverage to demand attractive offers from the major media companies.

More and more these days artists and entertainment companies are starting out independent as they learn the ways to plan their businesses and keep more of the rights that they have had to give away in the past in order to gain major media company support. Now that media can be shared across the globe via the internet at a much cheaper expense, independents are learning how to perform the functions of business that were traditionally outsourced. As a result, there has been a reduction in the use of managers, agents, A&R reps, and promoters. Now, independents are learning how to launch their own careers and brands and run their business on their own, or alternatively, command the type of leverage that attracts better offers from the majors.

Despite the growth of opportunities for independents, the major media companies still control the vast majority of the revenue share. Therefore it is important for artists and businesses to understand all of the moving parts involved in the entertainment industry so as to make the most informed decisions and be able to keep the big picture in mind.

Smothers Law Firm can provide insight into the crazy world of the entertainment industry and advise clients on what to look out for as they prepare to conduct business, as well as help defend their contractual rights and their rights to intellectual property. In selecting a law firm, it is important that clients find attorneys who have specific experience in the kinds of transactions they will encounter. Smothers Law Firm has advised artists and entertainment businesses in the following areas of the entertainment business:

  • Copyright and Trademark registration and litigation;
  • Publishing agreements and media licensing(music, literature, TV, and film);
  • Record label artist agreements;
  • Performance agreements and tour riders;
  • Management agreements;
  • Distribution agreements;
  • Merchandise production and distribution;
  • Music recording and album production;
  • Performance Rights Organizations (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, etc.);
  • Songwriting agreements and royalty splits;
  • Sponsorship decks;
  • Entertainment labor unions;
  • Company formation and structuring;
  • Booking agents;
  • Fashion and modeling agreements;
  • Radio promotion and marketing;
  • Online marketing and digital distribution;
  • Capital investment and crowd funding; 
  • Website Terms of Use, Privacy Policies, and Doman name battles.

If you need consultation on your entertainment career, are seeking help in organizing and planning your business or protecting your rights, or you are facing a legal dispute related to the entertainment business, contact the Smothers Law Firm to gain the unique perspective and help from attorneys with experience in the industry.

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