When most people picture the job of a lawyer, they probably picture someone standing in front of a jury trying to convince twelve men and women, using facts and strong emotions, to see their way through a particular case. Thanks to television and movies, this characterization of a lawyer is certainly reasonable. And, there are amazing trial attorneys who spend their careers in a courtroom arguing on behalf of their clients. The reality, however, is that the overwhelming amount of work that falls to most attorneys is done far from the spotlight created by a public trial. Instead, the men and women of the legal profession typically work behind the scenes to protect the professions, reputations, and finances of those for whom they work. Such is the case with attorneys who practice entertainment law, and in Texas the need for such attorneys is found for a diverse set of circumstances within the many creative fields that find a home in our state.
Entertainment law covers a wide spectrum of issues that affect people who are in some way involved with the arts. Clients requiring the services of an entertainment attorney may include athletes, actors, singers, songwriters, producers, and anyone else who uses their talents for public enjoyment. Just think of all the ways someone in the entertainment field would require legal protection. There is a constant threat to one’s reputation courtesy of disgruntled workers and paparazzi. Imagine if someone like Angelina Jolie and now Jon or Kate Gosselin had to tackle all the tabloid rumors themselves. In addition, there is a need to make sure an actor gets his fair share not only when a television show first airs, but also when he lives on through syndication and DVD sales. With new technologies capturing movies and TV shows in ways not anticipated just a few years ago, actors are eager to renegotiate contracts for future compensation. Or suppose he is a serious artist whose paintings hang in the most respected galleries in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, or Dallas. Do you want his artwork to be copied and then mass-produced on t-shirts for every teen in Texas to wear? Through copyright laws, entertainment attorneys can protect your images to be used only in the context you want.
While there is no shortage of entertainment of any kind in Texas, there are two areas that are of particular importance to our state. We have an amazing music industry in Texas, and Austin is especially known for its cultivation of talent. Singers, songwriters, music producers, record label owners all have a significant investment in the talent being packaged. Artist recording contracts should be drafted to determine a singer’s ties to a record label, as well as the freedom he or she will have in the creative process. What if another artist loves your work and wants to integrate it into her own new recording? Lawyers will be needed to prepare the necessary licenses for music sampling. And, even though the singers who hit the stage in sold-out arenas and find themselves in heavy rotation on the weekly video countdown are the ones who usually get the glory for a great song, songwriters need to know that their work is being validated both financially and with due recognition where appropriate.
In addition to the wonderful music that Texans offer to the rest of the world, everyone knows that the residents of our great state love their sports. Whether we’re cheering on our favorite high school team under the lights on a Friday night or welcoming home the most famous cyclist on the planet after another unlikely win, we appreciate athletes and the value they bring to our team. recreational time. . With this ingrained emphasis on children throughout the Lone Star State, it’s no wonder we have more athletes than our share raised in our state. Additionally, great athletes come to Texas from all over the country to play in one of our many professional organizations. All of these men and women need contracts to ensure they are fairly compensated for their contributions to the sport of their choice. Throughout his career, it is not unlikely that an athlete will need a lawyer to help him with disputes involving agents, managers or players’ associations. We’ve all seen the news detailing what happens when salary negotiations break down or a player feels he’s not getting the field time he deserves. What about income opportunities that may present themselves outside of the sports arena? When you see Dale Earnhardt, Jr. endorsing Wrangler Jeans or Tiger Woods talking about the great virtues of Gatorade, you can be sure that the lawyers were involved in the negotiations of these partnerships.
Men and women who choose to pursue a career within the entertainment industry will surely find themselves in need of legal representation at some point. Even with the most fluid professional experience, artists must deal with such necessary acts as signing contracts, preparing a touring schedule, and lending their image to others seeking endorsement. When issues arise, the issues are often magnified through the lens of the celebrity and an aggressive and dedicated entertainment law attorney is required. When an entertainer or athlete is not adequately compensated, when efforts are made to extort tantalizing information that may or may not be true, or when injuries occur due to improper working conditions, the role of the entertainment attorney becomes even more important. imperative.
Due to its thriving music scene and renowned athletic traditions, as well as our state’s ongoing efforts to attract more film production (apart from Michigan and Louisiana), Texas can easily slot in between states like California and New York, which may be the most obvious. places where the entertainment law is prolific. If you live or work in Texas and have a connection to any aspect of an entertainment-related industry, you should make hiring an attorney a top priority. When a problem develops that may affect your livelihood or even your own well-being, you can take action immediately.