When entrepreneurs, technology startups in media and entertainment embark on legal due diligence in connection with company formation, trademark protection, protection of confidential information, and related matters, the question of what is media law may arise.
Media Law Is Not On The Bar Exam
When attorneys and media law lawyers study for the California Bar Exam back, there is no subject called “Media Law” as there was for, for example Evidence Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Contract Law, and Family Law, to name a few.
Media Law is a term used to refer to the various areas of legal practice a media company may come across in the course of the production, promotion, licensing and other dissemination content.
Media Law is related to Entertainment Law in that they both concern the commercial activity of publishing. One of the biggest areas of law facing a media company, or Media Law, is Intellectual Property Law.
Intellectual Property Law involves the protection, exploitation and enforcement of exclusive rights to creations of the mind, and involve copyright law under Title 17 of the United States Code, also called The Copyright Act, and trademark law Title 15 of the United States Code, also called Trademark Act or Lanham Act. Intellectual property law also involves patent protection under Title 35 of the United States Code, and trade secret protection under the Uniform Trade Secret Act.
Intellectual Property Law and Media Law
Media Law may also related to First Amendment and Censorship issues, Fair Use Defense to Copyright Infringement, protection of celebrity rights or the right of publicity, and defamation and libel. In addition, some mass media companies have regulatory compliance requirements with thee Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Entertainment Law and New Media Law
Production Law and Contracts are also a dominant legal field of practice for media companies, as most deals are done in writing, and are governed by the statute of frauds because of the copyright provisions. Consultation with an Experienced Entertainment Attorney with expertise in new media law is essential for technology startups and new media producers who come across so called media law issues. The answer to the question of what is Media Law is largely dependent on the type of media the startup venture, its key operational plans, and the media landscape in its industry.