Entertainment law or media law is a term for a mix of more traditional categories of law with a focus on providing legal services to the entertainment industry. The principal areas of Entertainment Law overlap substantially with the well-known and conventional field of intellectual property law. But generally speaking the practice of entertainment law often involves questions of employment law, labor law, bankruptcy law, immigration, securities law, security interests, agency, intellectual property (especially trademarks, copyright, and the so-called "Right of Publicity"), International law (especially Private international law), and insurance law. Much of the work of an entertainment law practice is transaction based, i.e. drafting contracts, negotiation and mediation. Some situations may lead to litigation or arbitration.
Entertainment law is generally sub-divided into the following areas related to the types of activities that have their own specific trade unions, production techniques, rules, customs, case law, and negotiation strategies:
- FILM: covering option agreements, finance, chain of title issues, talent agreements (screenwriters, film directors, actors, composers, production designers), production and post production and trade union issues, distribution issues, motion picture industry negotiations distribution, and general intellectual property issues especially relating to copyright and, to a lesser extent, trademarks;
- MUSIC: including talent agreements (musicians, composers), producer agreements, and synchronization rights, music industry negotiation and general intellectual property issues, especially relating to copyright (see music law);
- TELEVISION and RADIO including broadcast licensing and regulatory issues, mechanical licenses, and general intellectual property issues, especially relating to copyright;
- THEATRE: including rental agreements and co-production agreements, and other performance oriented legal issues;
- MULTIMEDIA, including software licensing issues, video game development and production, Information technology law, and general intellectual property issues;
- PUBLISHING and print media issues, including advertising, models, author agreements and general intellectual property issues, especially relating to copyright;
- VISUAL ARTS AND DESIGN including fine arts, issues of consignment of artworks to art dealers, moral rights of sculptors regarding works in public places; and industrial design, issues related to the protection of graphic design elements in products.