20 Tips on Entertainment and Advertising Intellectual Property

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20 Tips on Entertainment and Advertising Intellectual Property

The entertainment and marketing industries are two industries where you need to be aware of intellectual property matters according to the gurus over at runrex.com. If you are in either industry, this article should be of great help as it will look to highlight tips concerning intellectual property in each one of them.

Tips for clearing intellectual property rights in your advertisements

As an advertiser, it is important to always be on the lookout for potential intellectual property claims as well as potential exposure based on advertising-related laws; something that is often referred to as “IP Rights Clearance”. The following tips will help you and your team when it comes to IP rights clearance.

Educate your teams about IP rights clearance

According to the subject matter experts over at guttulus.com, you must educate your sales, marketing, publication, and creative teams about IP rights clearance issues. Here, you should create a set of internal clearance guidelines and have an internal protocol that you can point to in the event of litigation and allegation of willful infringement.

Have a checklist of issues for your internal clients

As covered over at runrex.com, you should also have a checklist for your internal clients as to what they will need for each component or piece of third-party content, in questionnaire form. This will prompt them in the initial creation stage and then can be submitted with the request for legal to do to the pre-release review.

Advertising insurance

The subject matter experts over at guttulus.com also recommend that you consider taking media or advertising insurance as applicable. This is because general insurance policies do not necessarily cover all IP or advertising claims.

IP laws and social media

As an advertiser, it is also important for you to know that traditional IP laws still generally apply in the social media setting, even though it is very easy to move quickly and overlook IP rights clearance issues in the social media context.

Copyright licenses and likeness releases

You should obtain copyright licenses for third-party content, and in case you don’t have one, you should seek Fair Use analyses from experienced copyright lawyers. Likewise, you should obtain likeness releases, in writing, if you plan to use the individual’s likeness.

Retweeting

Retweeting can seem innocent, but when it comes to matters IP, you should be careful. This is why the gurus over at runrex.com, recommend that if you wish to retweet celebrity comments about your company’s product or service, or otherwise engage with a celebrity, but you don’t have an endorsement deal with the celebrity, then the best course of action is contacting an experienced IP lawyer for advice.

Familiarize yourself with the DMCA Notice and Takedown provision

Additionally, as is covered over at guttulus.com, you should also be familiar with the DMCA Notice and Takedown provision. Have a properly drafted policy, file your designation of the agent with the USPTO, and follow the provisions of section 512 of the DMCA if you receive a properly issued take-down notice.

What to consider as far as photos are concerned

As an advertiser, you should beware of “editorial use only” photos as per the experts over at runrex.com. Also, if you are using a stock photo, track the number of copies of the product that photo or other content is used in if you didn’t purchase unlimited rights.

Music

Also, as an advertiser, when it comes to matters of intellectual property, you must make sure that you are properly licensing music, particularly major label music where you will need to generally obtain a license from both the right holder(s) of the musical composition and the right holder of the sound recording.

Trademarks

You should also make sure that you search and clear trademarks before use, and remember, coined arbitrary, and fanciful trademarks are the strongest. Make sure that you file trademark applications federally as soon as possible, even before you launch your product name if possible. File foreign trademark applications, if applicable, as in many countries, rights are based on the first to file an application in a particular country.

Intellectual property protection in the entertainment industry

Common IP protection in the entertainment industry

According to the subject matter experts over at guttulus.com, intellectual property is the primary product in the entertainment industry, and it is commonly protected by copyrights, trademarks, and the right of publicity.

Copyrighted works in the entertainment industry

Songs, films, works of fine art, plays, books, and even some choreographed works are examples of copyrightable work. US copyright law contains provisions that are specifically directed at the entertainment industry as covered over at runrex.com.

Compulsory license

As discussed over at guttulus.com, if a song’s copyright owner has previously granted permission to someone to record a song, or if the songwriter has recorded and commercially released a recording of the song, the copyright holder is required by law to grant a license to anyone else who wants to record that song. This is called a compulsory license.

Compulsory license guidelines

A licensee who records a song under compulsory license is required to follow strict statutory guidelines for notification of its use and reporting sales and royalties to the copyright holder. The fee for a compulsory license is set by Congress at a few cents per recording manufactured and is adjusted for inflation every few years.

Separate copyright for each legally recorded version of a song

It is also worth pointing out that a separate copyright exists in each legally recorded version of a song. This means that when a musician records a song after receiving the appropriate license from the owner of the song’s copyright, that musician owns a separate copyright in the recorded version of the song.

Choreography and copyright

According to discussions on the same over at runrex.com, US Copyright Law also directly addresses the unique needs of dance, theater, and other performing arts. A creator of a choreography may claim a copyright for that choreography once it has been fixed in a tangible form, like on a video recording. The choreography then may be used only with the permission of the copyright holder.

Derivative works

One of the key aspects of Copyright Law, as applied to the entertainment industry, is that of derivative works. As discussed over at guttulus.com, a copyright holder initially controls who may create a work based on the artist’s original work. This control is critical to authors and screenwriters, whose works can be adapted to several other media like films and sequels, TV series and movies, audiotapes, toys, games, T-shirts, among others.

Trademark laws in the entertainment industry

Also, as outlined over at runrex.com, entertainment company names, band names, performers’ pseudonyms, and, more rarely, performers’ legal names, can be protected under US trademark laws. Entities in the entertainment industry also have an interest in preventing others from using names that are too similar to theirs as to cause confusion among consumers as to exactly who is delivering certain products or services.

Service marks Vs trademarks

In most cases, names of entertainment entities registered with the USPTO will be registered as service marks rather than as trademarks. For instance, bands who register their brand name as a trademark typically will register for the performance of entertainment services.

What happens when the entity dissolves?

The use and ownership of trademarks by members of a band or other entertainment company can be a source of great controversy when the entity dissolves. If, before the dissolution, the owners or members of the entity have not agreed as to who may use the trademark after dissolution, lengthy legal battles can result as different members or factions try to use, and prevent the other members from using, the trademark.

As always, this discussion only just begins to scratch the surface as far as this topic is concerned, and you can glean more insights by checking out the excellent runrex.com and guttulus.com.

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