Entertainment – Arts – Sports Law

RoundTable Legal helps creative industry clients, including musicians, visual artists, independent filmmakers and authors. We handle both transactional entertainment law and litigation. We work diligently to provide clear and thorough counsel for creative professionals to address the far-reaching and complex legal issues that arise in the entertainment industry. Further, our representation and advocacy  involves numerous sports fields including the groundbreaking new field of E-Sports/professional gaming. 

Right of Publicity

Theatre

The right of publicity is an individual’s right to control the commercial exploitation of his or her name, identity, and general likeness/personality. Some states protect the right through statute; others have recognized it through judicial decisions (the “common law”).

Common Issues

  • Does an advertisement, creative work, event, etc. contain someone’s name, identity, or personality?
  • Does the creator have the individual’s permission?
  • Is the use commercial?
  • Do any statutory exceptions apply?
  • Does the First Amendment apply?
  • Is the right descendible?

Our Right of Publicity services include, but are not limited do:

  • Drafting license agreements for use of a person’s right of publicity
  • Stopping the commercial exploitation of a person’s name, likeness, or general personality through cease and desist letters and/or litigation

Defending against individual and corporate charges of violations of another’s right of publicity.

Your art is your creativity brought to life - protect it

RoundTable Legal helps artist-clients protect their creative works by guiding them through copyright registration, licensing, work-made-for hire contracts and moral rights protections. Additionally, we counsel and negotiate agreements with galleries, museums, and exhibitions on behalf of our clients.

Our art services include, but are not limited to:

  • Copyright registration, licensing, protection and litigation
    • Infringement
    • Fair Use Doctrine
    • First Sale
  • Drafting work-made-for-hire agreements
  • General Contract Discussions
  • Royalty Agreements
  • Licensing agreements
  • Publishing contracts
  • Consignment Agreements
  • Distribution agreements
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
  • Media – Publicity – Online Sales

Film, Photography, & Television

Photo by Ailbhe Flynn on Unsplash

Film, television and photography professionals face a litany of legal considerations from pre- through post-production, from location releases to music licensing. Saper Law attorneys are familiar with the various legal hurdles unique to these industries.

Our film, television and photography services include, but are not limited to:

  • Copyrightsregistration, licensing, protection & infringement litigation
  • Trademarksregistration, licensing, protection & infringement litigation
  • Counseling on the use of copyrighted material and trademarks in films
  • Business entity creation and incorporation
  • Production & distribution contracts
  • Host & talent agreements and location releases
  • Screenplay protection
  • Stock footage licenses
  • Music licenses
  • Talent agency & management contracts
  • Streaming Consultation
  • Film and DVD distribution agreements
  • Recording & performance contracts
  • Agency & production agreements
  • Sponsorship contracts

Print & Publishing

Photo by @RetroSupply on Unsplash

At RoundTable Legal we understand the complexities unique to the modern publishing industry, including physical versus digital publishing, new methods of distribution, and protecting intellectual property online. We help authors and other creatives with the complex legal and business aspects of their trade, from registering a work with the U.S. Copyright Office to securing a publishing agreement to litigation involving copyright or contract breach.

Theatre

We represent producers, playwrights, directors, theater owners, music publishers, licensing organizations, theatrical agents, not-for-profit theaters and investors. We understand the complexities of the industry and can help with any issues that may arise during theatrical production, from crafting contracts necessary for production to negotiation and litigation if such contracts are breached.

Our theatrical services include, but are not limited to:

  • Negotiating live stage rights agreements on behalf of producers, playwrights, book writers, composers, lyricists and other rights holders, including studios and licensing organizations.
  • Analyzing copyright, trademark and publicity rights issues.
  • Drafting and negotiating employment and service agreements for artists and creative personnel.
  • Handling Lease and other contractual issues. 
  • Media and Publicity issues.

Music Law

Sound recording

At RoundTable Legal we understand the legal complexities of the music industry. We provide services to musicians and other industry personnel in the legal fields of intellectual property, contract, and internet law. Additionally, we facilitate the process of music clearance and licensing for use by commercial businesses or in television, film, theater, and other media. We also represent individuals who are being sued by the Recording Industry Association of America and other industry organizations.

Our music services include:

  • Copyrights: registration, licensing & protection
  • Trademarks: registration, licensing & protection
  • Representation of individuals sued by industry organizations such as the Recording Industry Association of America
  • Production & distribution contracts
  • Host & talent agreements
  • Music clearance/licenses
  • Talent agency & management contracts
  • Recording & performance contracts

Music Licenses & Clearances

Music Licenses & Clearance

When a business, individual or other entity wants to use lyrics, musical arrangements, or recordings that are not their own property, permission is generally necessary. Failure to “clear” the rights to the desired work can lead to a litany of issues, potentially including litigation. Clearance can come in many forms, including simple permission, a non-exclusive license, a synchronization license, or an assignment of rights.

Through the practice of music clearance, entities can give rights for the use of their sound recordings and/or their underlying compositions for television shows, films, commercials, stage productions, and other media use. Businesses can also license music to entertain customers or to integrate with their products (e.g. a mobile app). The necessary contract depends what is being asked for (the composition and/or the sound recording) and how it is going to be used.

Common Issues

  • Does the licensee need permission to use the sound recording, the underlying composition or both?
  • In what territories can the music be used?
  • What is the scope of the license (i.e., on which media platforms can the music be used)?
  • How long does the licensee have the right to use the music?
  • Can the licensee assign his or her right to the music to another party?

What We Can Do

  • Help you clear the rights to the music you want to use
  • Help you stop others from commercially exploiting your music
  • Negotiate the terms of permission
  • Defend against copyright infringement claims for lacking permission

Agent & Management Contracts

Agent and Management Contracts

In order to focus on their craft, creative individuals often hire agents and managers to handle their business affairs. Agents help artists find employment and managers handle their finances, administrative tasks, career decisions, and professional relationships.

For such services, contracts detail the nature and scope of the relationship between the artist and agent/manager are critical. A favorable agreement can help an artist achieve success; a poor agreement can leave the artist worse off than before.

Common talent and management issues:

  • How much does the agent or manager get paid? For where does the compensation come?
  • How does one get out of a talent agency or management contract?
  • When does the contract end?
  • Is there performance criteria for the agent or manager?
  • Does the artist have any oversight of agent or managers?

How We can help:

  • Draft or negotiate a fair and mutually beneficial contract between agency/manager and talent
  • Help enforce a contract
  • Defend you against claims that you breached a contract

E-sports

Esports

E-sports generally refers to the competitive playing of video games. RoundTable Legal assists e-sport gamers in understanding the legal and business effects and consequences of agreements.  We also assist gamers in enforcing their rights and protecting their intellectual property. We additionally consult on various legal matters such as contract negotiations, real estate transactions and leasing agreements, merchandising agreements, gambling law related issues, sponsorship agreements and advertising, and intellectual property concerns. If you’re involved in the professional gaming world and need legal assistance or representation, get in touch.

Podcast Law

Podcast Law

The main legal issues that you will likely face that are unique to podcasters are clearance issues related to copyright, publicity rights, and trademark law. Podcasters share similar concerns to bloggers in relation to defamation, privacy, reporter’s privilege, media access, election and labor laws and adult materials. 

Fashion Law

Fashion Law

RoundTable Legal works with a variety of fashion industry personnel and businesses to address legal issues specific to fashion, from establishing businesses and ensuring compliance with federal laws to protecting intellectual property and resolving copyright and trademark disputes.

Our fashion industry services include, but are not limited to:

  • Licensing agreements
  • Copyright registration and protection
  • Trademark registration and protection
  • Trade dress registration and protection
  • Trade secret protection
  • Drafting and negotiating talent and modeling contracts
  • Anti-counterfeiting
  • Manufacturing contracts
  • Unfair competition and antitrust matters
  • Federal Trade Commission labeling regulation
Talent agreements

Host and talent agreements create limited commercial relationships between parties. When a band records an original song for a film or a motivational speaker performs at a company retreat, there should be an agreement spelling out the specific expectations of both parties. Depending on the needed services and on the contracting parties, the agreement may need to comply with certain talent union regulations or with other agreements.

Common Issues

  • How are the creative services rendered to be used?
  • Will the creative services be rendered once or multiple times?
  • How will compensation be provided?
  • Can the host prevent the talent from working for a competitor?
  • What type of credit will the creative party receive for the final product?
  • What level of control does the creative party have over the final product?

What We Can Do

  • Help your business or creative group craft/negotiate an agreement
  • Help you comply with any union and guild policies
  • Bring a lawsuit for breaches of your agreement
  • Defend against claims that you or your business violated your talent agreement
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