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Los Angeles Entertainment Law Blog

Why you should always have a lawyer review your acting contract

Los Angeles is filled with aspiring actors. Everyone’s looking for their big break to launch their career. Unfortunately, this creates an unequal situation between actors and production companies, in which an actor may be so eager to land a role, they’ll sign whatever agreements are handed to them—without giving it much thought.

However, proceeding in this way opens actors up to vulnerability and the possibility of being exploited. To make it as an actor in LA, you don’t have to become an expert in contractual legalese. You should, however, consult with an entertainment attorney before you sign any new deal.

Study focuses on what effectively drives celebrity endorsements

We stressed in a recent blog entry the high stakes involved for any business that seeks to put a celebrity under contract to promote sales of a company product or service. We noted in our April 16 post that decision makers obviously need to “get it right” when they turn to high-profile endorsers to make a pitch for their business.

That begs this question, of course: What makes it right? More specifically, what should company executives be looking for in an individual they hope can help ratchet up sales through affiliation with their brand?

Celebrity A and B are available: Who do you want, company owner?

Business principals obviously pay attention when large amounts of money are being discussed or exchanged. Seemingly, there is nothing quite like cash to sharpen focus and scrutiny for parties on both sides of a negotiating table when a big-asset deal is in play.

Suffice to say that focus is on ample display when company executives are contemplating a celebrity endorsement for a product or service they market to the general public. Well-known figures don’t come cheap, even when their face and perceived attributes are merely being borrowed temporarily and for a narrow purpose.

Copyright fair use or something else? Case perhaps not done yet.

Executives from the Oracle Corporation love a recent federal court decision in their company's favor, and are now eager to garner a maximum recovery that is estimated to be in the many billions of dollars.

Conversely, high-end principals and shareholders of Google lament the ruling, which puts the company on the giving end of all that money. Google is reportedly considering its next-step strategy in the matter, with supporters thinking that an appeal to the U.S. Supreme might ultimately be in the cards.

Will recent court decision end up as landmark copyright ruling?

A California federal judge's frustration with a recent copyright case ruling was manifestly apparent in the dissent she wrote in a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals 2-1 split decision.

Judge Jacqueline Nguyen didn't just think her fellow justices erred in their view that one song illegally copied another. She didn't even regard the two examined works as being remotely similar, penning a scathing rebuttal that portrayed the ruling as a clear threat to musical artists.

Federal court to ex-band member: Your name use goes too far

If you're at all into popular music heavyweights from the 1970s and 1980s, you know the Commodores. That funk, rock and soul band dominated the charts for several years, and its name still resonates for millions of music lovers.

Thomas McClary well appreciates that. It is his awareness of the Commodores enduring name recognition that has led to his continuing efforts to cite it in connection with his solo musical career.

Black Panther video a hit, but not with this artist

Many of our California readers scanning today's post likely know full well of the record-breaking early run of the movie Black Panther, which is rapidly becoming one of the top all-time industry revenue producers.

The movie and attendant features, including its soundtrack and the Black Panther song/video All the Stars, have obviously attracted top-notch talent. The latter features input from mega music stars Kendrick Lamar and SZA.

Gold is just as likely for American Olympian off the snow

Even if you're a lay person completely removed from the world of advertising and product endorsement, you would welcome the chance to be Chloe Kim's marketing manager for a few weeks, wouldn't you?

We're guessing you've heard of Kim, a young snowboarding athlete with superior talent who seems just as gifted on the ground. A recent Forbes piece notes that the Olympian is "well ahead of her years" and possessed of an exuberant personality that has enabled her to "steal a nation's heart."

James Brown estate battle spotlights song copyrights

A recent national news profile terms the life of James Brown -- the famed Godfather of Soul -- "a bit messy" for a number of highly chronicled reasons.

That reality renders it not overly surprising that Brown's estate plan directing the administration of his financial affairs following death would also stray a bit from exacting orderliness.