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Copyright
Rutgers University, Newark School of Law
Kettle, John

I.      Introduction to Entertainment Law and Overview
A.      Intellectual Property
1.      IP Balancing – Three Interests In mind
1)       The Creator
o        Author
o        Inventor
2)       The Investors
o        Where the money’s at
o        Studio
o        Book Publisher
o        Record Co.
3)       The Public
o        Consumer

PRACTICE ISSUES –
–          ALWAYS DO A CONFLICTS CHECK
–          EGAGEMENT LETTER – RETAINER
o        Always get the money up front for successful law practice

2.      Where does it all start
a)       IDEAS – someone comes up with an Idea
·         Generally not protected – free flowing
·         Copyright doesn’t protect concepts
·         Copyright Infringment v. Idea Misapproriation
A.      Copyright Infring more successful claim
·         Need to get idea to point where you have Characters, dialog, scenes, specifics, etc

b)      Elements necessary for Protection (Sellers Case)

·         EXCEPTION – IDEA Protectable Only if these elements established
A.      Needs to be Unique and Novel
–          How do you define Novelty?
o        Some degree – at least novel to recipient (and in some states (NY) gave recipient value)
B.      Concrete – Needs to be understood within short period of time
C.      Defendant must have Used P’s Idea
–          D says they got it someplace out
–          D will use ‘Ink is Still Wet Concept’
D.      Plaintiff had expectation of Money

c)       Theories of Protection – Best way to establish above elements
A.      Need to establish that there is a Confidential Relationship
–          Non-Disclosure Agreement
–          Problem – if you submit NDA, goes up to legal department, and Entertainment company won’t even bother considering it
B.      Contract Theories
1.       Express Agreement –  Best to have and
o        Probably will turn off prospective Buyer/Recipient/investor of Idea
2.       Implied Contract
o        Need higher level of novelty for implied contracts
o        Can Use SOFT APPROACH 1
§         Include sealed envelope inside other envelop with letter.
§         If not interested, recipient will send back self-addressed sealed envelope
§         Still likely to get returned
o        Can use SOFT APPROACH 2
§         send letter from Attorney ahead of meeting saying novel idea will be presented
§         at meeting tell them Novel Idea and
§         follow up with another letter after meeting
§         Still nothing signed
§         Usually works like this
3.       Quasi-Contract (Unjust Enrichment)
o        Need the highest level of Novelty
o        Not the best way\
d)      IDEAS – How Protected
o        Copyright
o        Trademark/Service Market
o        Patent
o        Right of Publicity/Privacy
o        Trade Secrets


B.      Intellectual Property in the Entertainment Industry


Protection:
C/L – common law
S – state statutory

to register to get bundle of rights provided by feds
o        §407 – Deposit Mandatory
o        Need to register within first 90 days of publication OR prior to the infringement
§         Need to do it in order to elect statutory damages
§         Need to do to get attorney fees
·         Renewal (Pre 1964 works)
o        Duration:  see copyright outline

d.      Willfull Infringment –
o        Why is it a bad strategy to claim this
·         Insurance – Do no cover intentional acts, so you may lose the only place where you’d get some money.


e.      FORMS (included in Handout #3, see p17 for complete list):
1. TX – Literary Works (nondramatic)
2. VA – Visual Arts
3. PA – Performing Arts (prepared for the purposed of being performed)
4. SE – Serials (periodicals, newspapers, magazines, journals, etc.)
5. SR – Sound Recordings (added on 02/15/1972)
Use one form: if more than one type of work within one title, file under the pre-dominant type.

RE – Renewal form (auto-renewal after 1964)
(renewal period is one year before expiration)