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Film Industry

What Legal Issues are There?

Of all of the creative industries, the film industry is probably the most legally complex.

Copyrights tend to dominate the legal considerations taken into account by those in the industry, and the film industry enjoys the auspicious honour of being the only creative industry which encompasses each of the many different copyrights.  Almost all films involve literary, musical and artistic copyrights as well as sound recording and performers' copyrights, moral rights, and of course that special copyright specific to the film industry, cinematographic copyright.

On one hand, that makes some of the legal issues pretty complex, but on the other hand, it creates multiple income producing opportunities from licensing.

Trade mark issues are also relevant to the film industry, not least being trade marks of the names of films and any new characters. 

Not surprisingly, agreements (ie. contracts - they are the same thing) are the most common legal creature in the film industry, because they govern the intellectual property rights, licensing matters, payments/royalties, administrative issues and "rules of engagement" between the parties to the agreement.

There are many many different types of agreements in the film industry - every person involved directly or indirectly in the film industry will be under some sort of contract.  There are contracts governing writing (in its various forms and stages), piloting, production, performance, publication, distribution, merchandising, non-disclosure, management, appearances, licensing, assignment, sponsorship ... to name just a few.

Depending upon your state of organisation and role, you may also have agreements regarding partnership / joint venture, shareholders agreements, and other agreements providing structure and governance to whatever project you are involved with.

How Can We Help?

We are specialists in the areas of law that are relevant to the above issues, particularly the intellectual property related issues, and have particular experience in drafting and advising upon contracts specific to the film industry.

We have represented and continue to represent a number of high profile companies and individuals integrally involved in various different parts of the film industry and our experience in these areas specifically enables us to provide you with professional and confidential advice and guidance upon which you can rely with confidence.