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Entertainment Law
University of Dayton School of Law
Greene, Dennis

Entertainment Law – Prof. Greene – Winter 2005
I.        1900-1920à Motion Picture Patent Company (controlled by Thomas Edison) they controlled patents for film, cameras, and the projectors for all films in U.S.
·        Used to enforce patent property by using thugs to beat up those who did not use their patented equipment (which was patented).
II.     Anti-Trust- when one company or group controls an entire industry.
A.     Motion pictures –
1.      Simultaneous entertainment- reached more people b/c seen in many theatres.
2.      Immigration- silent films appealed to any group of people regardless of language background.
B.     Exhibitors (theatre owners) fought for control over the director’s monopoly over rights to show the movies.
1.      Big Studios- exhibitors were able to set up own studios and have control of their own movies:
a.                  Producing
b.                 Exhibiting
c.                  Distributing
III.   Contracts- issues will be relegated to power and money
A.     Want rights to the following:
1.      Chose own producers:
a.                  To keep the artists “on track” while making recordings in expensive studios.
b.                 To maintain “control” over the artists for maximizing efficiency
2.      Right to protect all aspects of the “product”
IV. Litigation –
V.     Professional Responsibility- Want the “best” representation available
A.     Reputation is based on Atty’s list of present clients (better clients = better representation)
1.      Must be able to be “fair” to all clients if represent some whose “art” may conflict w/each other.
Article: Ethical Aspects of Entertainment Law Practice
A.     Initial Meeting: Independent Representation
1.      Lawyers have duty to recommend to all artists that they should have independent representation to protect them if the group breaks up and to protect each member’s individual interests.
a.                  Need to plan for any dissolution of group in future.
2.      Need to specifically explain K to all members and explain the ramifications of all agreements within K.
3.      Areas of potential Conflicts which must be covered in K.
a.                  Creative Differences b/t group

client to full refund of retainer.
C.     Business Relationships w/clients- lawyer takes a “%” of their clients’ action
1.      Croce v. Kurnit- Att’y had business relationship w/publishers and managers on the K signing and although Croce knew of this relationship, he failed to adviser them to seek independent counsel (b/c lawyer represented the producers, not the Croces’).
a.                  Att’y needs to be forthright in such contract issues
I.        Technology Advances and Conflict in Entertainment
A.     Silent Film
B.     Radio
C.     Talking Film
D.     TV
E.      Cable TV
F.      Internet
II.     Conflict between Radio and TV
A.     Radio began to hire away TV stars and use on radio
III.   Conflict between TV and Film
A.     TV began to hire stars from Film
Film producers began to use own studios to produce TV (already had capitol and means to shoot TV shows)