by Deborah Gonzalez
Published by State Bar of Georgia, Institute for Continuing Legal Education (Fall 2017)
This book exists because I want to set the record straight on a few misconceptions that are out there about entertainment law, entertainment lawyers, and entertainment clients. As we see production of creative projects increasing and governments developing infrastructure to support these new economies, we need to ensure that the legal component of this ecosystem is also prepared to lend strength and guidance where required. Legal matters for the entertainment industries range from protection of the work created to distribution or sale of the work and a host of other legal concerns in between.
Although entertainment lawyers work with foundational legal skills such as research, drafting documents, and negotiating contracts, the industry requires nuances in the application of each of these skills, as well as others not employed by general practitioners. From the lingo and language to standard practices and its constant evolution to keep up with technological advancements, entertainment law can be challenging to say the least.
Attorneys are also bringing their own questions: how do I get into the industry?; what do I do once I’m there?; how do I bring value to creative clients?; what resources are available?; what is the reality of this business?; etc., etc., etc. This book strives to provide answers in a clearly written format from a practical standpoint – offering new and experienced attorneys alike a variety of tools and resources that can be put to immediate use and referred to again and again.
Caveat: This book is not meant to be a casebook or case briefing book. Cases will be used for specific examples to highlight certain legal concepts and precedents. But there is no intention of in-depth legal analysis in the case such as in legal textbooks. Also, entertainment is a vast industry and it could take a library of books to cover every detail and nuance. I offer in this book the highlights – something to begin with so you can get your bearings. But don’t think this is all you need. Things in this industry change at a very rapid pace – people, technology, trends – so you need to keep up.
~ Excerpt from Introduction