LECTURE NOTE ON ENTERTAINMENT LAW
- TYPES OF LAWS IN ENTERTAINMENT LAW
- CATEGORIES OF ENTERTAINMENT AND CHALLENGING AREAS
- LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
- CHALLENGES IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
At the end of this lecture, it will be expected that you know the following:
- The meaning of Entertainment and the categories.
- The types of laws incorporated in Entertainment law.
- The regulatory framework that governs Entertainment law.
Entertainment Law is the field of law that deals with legal and business issues in the entertainment industry. For instance, film, music, theatre, etc. It involves the representation of artists and producers, the negotiation of contract and the protection of intellectual property rights. In other words, entertainment law is legal services to the entertainment industry.
Entertainment law relates to intellectual property, trademark, copyright, contract, etc. This means that it is mostly transaction-based, as it involves dealing with individuals, either by exchanging ideas, or by payment for work produced.
Entertainment law also involves media of all types. Such as film, music, advertising, the internet, publishing, news media and the list goes on.
In this segment of the Virtual Internship, we will be dwelling on the meaning of entertainment alongside entertainment law, its relationship with intellectual property, contract, employment and other areas of law, as well as securities, the legal and regulatory frameworks on the subject in Nigeria and other selected jurisdictions, breaches and a review of case study.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
ENTERTAINMENT – This means any activity that is designed to create amusement, relaxation, fun and pleasure.
ENTERTAINMENT LAW – This means the gathering of several areas of law that influence the entertainment industry. Entertainment law is the total of different types of law that are relevant to the entertainment industry, including transactional law and litigation.
- TYPES OF LAW IN ENTERTAINMENT LAW
There are several areas of law being practiced within the law of entertainment. Some of them will be explained hereunder:
CONTRACT LAW AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW: The issue of contract in entertainment law is a very important part of entertainment law. One bad contract, can lead to the end of an individual’s career in the entertainment industry. Many of the contracts involve a lot of money, as such, one must be mindful of the issues of enforceability and damages if for any reason there is a breach.
LABOUR/EMPLOYMENT LAW AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW: Labour/employment law also exists in entertainment law. Some individuals or companies sponsor artists, actors and content creators, and these people so sponsored are sometimes recruited as employees or staff. The idea is that they provide the money (which is sometimes on a salary basis) and publicity, whilst the individuals in turn provide the content and creativity.
TORT LAW AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW: The law of Tort applies to entertainment law with regard to intellectual property. Since intellectual property deals with originality and what comes from the mind or simply put, creativity. It is clear why it can be found in entertainment law.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW
Intellectual Property is anything that comes from the mind. It is a major part of entertainment law. Things that fall under intellectual property, include; music, lyrics, sounds, etc.
Intellectual Property law deals with the rules for securing and enforcing legal rights to inventions, designs and artistic works. Just as the law protects ownership of personal property and real estate, so does it protect the exclusive control of intangible assets. The purpose of these laws is to encourage people to develop creative works without fear of misappropriation by others. Intellectual Property law has many moving parts that include trademarks, copyright infringement and the right to publicity. The right of publicity is the right of every artist to control the commercial use of his or her identity. When the right is infringed, the artist’s publicity rights have been violated. The right of privacy is the right to not have an artist’s name or likeness appropriated by another without his permission.
- CATEGORIES OF ENTERTAINMENT AND CHALLENGING AREAS
Entertainment Industry is any business that generates value by providing people with something interesting to do or watch. Entertainment deals with vibrant and thrilling experiences that are packaged for mass consumption. Entertainment law covers different areas of the entertainment industry, which have their specific policies, rules and regulations, agreements and others. Entertainment law covers an area which encompasses all of the legal problems most commonly faced by entertainers. Some of these problems as they relate to specific industries are;
- Film – This includes contracts with artists, labour negotiations with various union crews and employees, financial backing arrangements, distribution agreements, equipment and space rental, production liability issues, merchandising and product placement and copyright and trademark issues.
- Theatre – This includes contracts with artists and crew, rental and coproduction agreements, producer agreements, production liability issues, ticket sale agreements, copyright and trademark issues.
- Music – This includes contracts with record labels, managers, agents, concert promoters and concert producers; tour crew agreements and equipment rentals; recording studio rentals, music licensing and royalty agreements and copyright issues.
- Digital – This includes space and equipment costs, employee contracts, talent agreements, music and image use agreements, licensing agreements and copyright issues.
- Television and Radio – This includes contract with artists and crew, production studio and network agreements, distribution agreements, broadcasting licensing and regulatory issues.
- Publishing – This includes production contracts, author agreements, advertising and marketing agreements and copyright and trademark issues.
- Multimedia – This includes software licensing issues, video game development and production, information technology law and general intellectual property issues.
- Internet – This includes censorship, copyright, freedom of information, information technology, privacy and telecommunications issues.
- Visual Arts and Design – This includes 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.
- LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
Copy Rights Act 2004: The Copy Rights Act provides for the protection, transfer, infringement of, remedy and penalty thereof for copyright in literary works, cinematograph films, sound recordings, broadcasts and other ancillary matters. The Act also established the Nigerian Copy Right Commission to be responsible for all matters affecting Copy Right provided for under the Act in Section 34(3) (a)- (f) of the Copy Right Act Cap C28 LFN 2004. The Act expressly states works that are eligible for Copy Right in Section 1 of the Copyrights Act Cap C28 LFN 2004. Whilst Sections 10, 11, 16, 17 and 39 of the Act state the categories of people who can institute or commence an action for infringement of Copyright either personally or in a representative capacity.
Trade Mark Act 2004: The Trade Marks Act provides for the regulation and protection of brand identity of registered trademarks. A trademark in Nigeria is initially valid for a period of seven (7) years, and indefinitely renewable for another fourteen (14) years
Patent and Design Act 2004: The patent and Design Act makes comprehensive provisions for the registration and regulation of Patents and Designs. The Act further provides that an invention must be new. It must result from an inventive activity or constitute an improvement on potential invention. A patent in Nigeria is valid for twenty (20) years from the date the patent application was filed. Where the prescribed annual fee with regards to the patent is not paid within the stipulated time, and the fee remains unpaid after the six months grace period given by commission, the patent shall lapse.
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: The Constitution is the grand norm in Nigeria, and it is of general application in the country. Any other law that is inconsistent with its provisions shall be null and void. The provisions of the constitution must be taken into cognizance in going about the activities of the entertainment industry, as the constitution is supreme.
- CHALLENGES IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA
The entertainment industry has undoubtedly contributed to the development of the country’s economy in recent times. However, it is also necessary to state the challenges that abound in the sector.
- The most prevalent issue in the entertainment industry in Nigeria is piracy, which has become a topic of concern that requires urgent attention. Piracy is the unauthorized use or reproduction of a person’s work usually associated with intellectual property. Despite the fact that laws and regulatory agencies have been put in place to protect intellectual property, piracy is on the increase. This continued practice has occasioned great financial set back to the industry and the nation at large. Section 3 of the Trade Marks Act provides for the effect of non-registration of a trade mark. It presupposes that an unregistered trademark owner cannot institute a proceeding, to prevent or recover damages on infringement save for passing off.
- There also appears to be issues arising from contract signed by parties in the industry. Most often than not, this happens because the actors sign this contract at a point where they are hungry for fame and have little or no cash, which makes them vulnerable to the managers who seem to hold their future. The agreements are usually drafted to exploit these upcoming players in the entertainment industry.
- There is this notion that hiring a lawyer at the early stage of their pursuit is too expensive and unnecessary, they however, fail to realize that the consequence of entering into contracts they do not completely understand outweighs the cost of hiring a lawyer to scrutinize, and even seek to expunge parts of the agreement that is not favourable on their part, because once the contract is signed, parties are bound which could transcend to indirect slavery for the number of years the contract subsists.
- The Inadequacies and lack of enforcement of these laws governing intellectual property and entertainment law in Nigeria also affect the activities of the industry. This is one of the reasons piracy is still at its peak in the country.
In your opinion, what is the way forward in advancing entertainment law in Nigeria’s Jurisprudence? [not more than 500 words].
An Exposition Of Entertainment And Media Law In Nigeria: The Role Of Legal Practitioners In The Entertainment Industry <can be accessed online-at-https://threshold-attorneys.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/DEMAND-NOTICE.pdf>
- ________________ is the field of law dealing with legal and business issues in the entertainment industry.
- Entertainment Law
- Sports Law
- Medical Law
- Technology Law
- One of the options below does not make up the legal framework for entertainment law in Nigeria.
- Patent and Design Act, 2004.
- Trademark Act, 2004.
- Copyrights Act, 2004.
- Patent Act, 2004.
- _____________ means any activity that is designed to create amusement, relaxation, fun and pleasure.
- A trademark in Nigeria is initially valid for a period of ________ years
- A patent in Nigeria is valid for ___________ years from the date the patent application was filed.
- ____________ is a challenge being faced in the entertainment industry except one
- Lack of law enforcement
- _____________ deals with the rules for securing and enforcing legal rights to inventions, designs and artistic works
- Intellectual property law
- Environmental law
- Criminal law
- Contract law
- Trade mark in Nigeria is indefinitely renewable for another _________ years.
- Does the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria form part of the legal framework for entertainment law?
- I don’t know
- Section _______ of the Trade Mark Act provides for the non-registration of a Trade Mark.