South Florida has a growing reputation for nurturing artists in film, music, dance, and theater. Venues range from city sidewalks to world-class stadiums. Songwriters and future film stars live here, and sports icons are drawn to the area as well.

If you love practicing your craft amid palm trees and ocean breezes but have questions about the legal aspects of your profession, including contracts and intellectual property rights, our attorneys could answer them. Before you commit to a studio, allow a record company access to your songs, or sign with a local team, consult a Wellington entertainment lawyer for guidance.

Entertainment Industry Contracts

Contracts are binding agreements between two or more parties in which something of value is exchanged for something else of value. A songwriter may exchange rights to an original song for money. An actor may contract with an agent for representation in exchange for a percentage of the jobs the agent secures. Contracts are only valid if both parties give up something. A one-sided agreement is a gift, and courts will not uphold it as a valid contract.

Contracts spell out all parties’ duties, representations, and warranties, along with information specific to the agreement. Although some oral contracts may be valid, most in the entertainment industry must be in writing to be effective. For example, under Florida Statutes § 672.201, if a songwriter sells several songs to a record company for more than $500, the agreement must be in writing.

Although all entertainment industry contracts are customized to the situation, some elements the parties could negotiate include:

  • The commission split between an artist and an agent
  • How a recording artist will allocate intellectual property to a record company
  • Whether an artist’s contract with a music producer or film studio is exclusive
  • Types of bookings and accommodations, and the length of time an artist will spend on the road
  • How merchandising will be handled, including distribution of profits
  • Length of service to a sports team and what conditions would allow either party to terminate the contract

Whether an artist is making a first-time entrance on the stage or a sports star is renegotiating their place on a professional team, a Wellington entertainment attorney furthers artists’ interests.

Copyright Protection for Unique Creative Work

Creative expression is protected under copyright law, a longstanding right under federal statutes when artists register their work under 17 United States Code § 412. Registration allows creators such as songwriters and novelists to sue those who steal their work.

When artists find their content pirated online, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, online service providers (OSPs) may be liable. A Wellington entertainment attorney could help protect an artist’s unique expressions and explain the nuances of laws that govern them.

Other Entertainment Issues

Because creative expression and related laws are extensive and unique, a knowledgeable Wellington attorney is also attuned to other aspects of entertainment law. For example, child actors need specific protections. Harassment and animal protection on movie sets, as well as actors’ retirement benefits, could all be addressed by a legal professional who drafts and reviews individual contracts.

Discover How a Wellington Entertainment Attorney Supports Your Climb to Success

Storytelling has a long history of bringing people together. Entertainment is embedded in our culture through plays, movies, songs, art, and other media. While you offer your talents, we protect them and assist your career.

Lomnitzer Law could consult with you on all the legal matters you must address as a creative artist. We want you to focus on your art and we protect your interests by vetting contracts, copyrighting your creative expressions, and advising you on career decisions. Contact our Wellington entertainment lawyer to discuss the services we provide.