Entertainment Law and Sports Law
Production studios, teams, and famous individuals in the entertainment or sports industries require consultation and protection of their practices just as much as other businesses, if not more. In both industries, there are massive followings and fans of celebrities who then must maintain a brand to cater to these audiences. Whether it’s for a major football team or A-list movie star, lawyers are required to best protect the client’s interests. A sports lawyer and an entertainment lawyer do many similar things, within different contexts. Essentially, lawyers in both of these legal industries must be able to practice in a variety of fields as entertainment and sports clients require a broad range of services. There are many similarities between the laws that govern these two industries.
Some believe that a sports lawyer is constantly courtside and spending time with their famous athletic clients, or that an entertainment lawyer attends red carpet events. While that is true for some, there is much more to sports and entertainment law. A major component of both laws requires attorneys to practice in intellectual property law. Sports teams, equipment manufacturers, and other sports industry clients all have their names, logos, mottos, and merchandise protected from copyright and trademarking infringement. Similarly, in the entertainment industry, artistic works must be protected using copyright, patent, and trademark law. An artist’s work is protected so that others, without permission, cannot reproduce the work and derive profits. The two industries heavily rely on these brands, images, and artistic works as revenue sources; therefore, they must be properly safeguarded.
Furthermore, both industries require their lawyers to be skilled negotiators. An actor will require an entertainment lawyer to represent his or her interests when negotiating their TV, movie, or media campaign contracts. Likewise, studios will employ lawyers to draft these contracts, hire other companies related to the production of a project, and manage their tax and labor requirements. Given that the industry hires employees, there must be compliance with labor regulations. The same can also be said of the sports industry. Equipment manufacturers will have experienced attorneys negotiating for merchandising deals with teams and players, a player’s agents and lawyers will negotiate contracts with teams, and those who draft the contracts must ensure that they follow labor laws.
The aforementioned information constitutes only a part of entertainment and sports law. The two legal industries have many more aspects that are not touched upon in this article.