• Entertainment Law
  • December 17, 2013 | Authors: Donald F. Kochersberger; Timothy R. Mortimer
  • Law Firm: Business Law Southwest LLC - Albuquerque Office
  • The growth of the television and movie industries in New Mexico has resulted in an increased need for legal assistance by members of the industries and those dealing with the industries.  Entertainment or media law encompasses many of the same practice areas of traditional business law. The same principles apply to production contracts, independent contractor agreements, vendor contracts, talent releases, rental agreements and other entertainment related agreements that apply to other types of business contracts. Copyright and trademark issues can arise whether you are a writer, performer, or anyone who desires to protect work product and brands.  And, as in any other business, disputes over contracts, claims for injuries resulting from tortious conduct, and any number of other claims for damages often arise.

    Performers are often asked to sign talent releases, the terms of which may not be in the performer’s best interest. Those asked to sign releases need to understand what their likenesses, performances, work product, and appearances are being used for. They need to be sure that their reputations are used only for the purposes intended.

    Disputes often arise between entertainment companies and vendors arising out of damaged equipment, non-payment for services, or some conduct that injures the vendor.  Vendors need to protect themselves as much as possible. The first line of protection is, of course, a good contract.  But, even good contracts are sometimes breached, and vendors may need to prepare for litigation.

    Whatever the entertainment law issue, parties should consider obtaining legal advice and assistance. And, as with any type of business, those involved in the entertainment business want a lawyer experienced in business issues who understands the cost-benefit analysis involved in choosing a lawyer.