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Representation Of Individual Talent In The Entertainment Industry

Patricia M. Davis, Attorney at Law, provides skilled representation for entertainment or sports professionals who need legal counsel. My firm provides a variety of services related to protecting the interests of entertainment professionals. I will happily be of assistance if you need legal representation for the betterment of your career or protection from infringement.

Administration Of Contracts

I can work with you to negotiate, draft, review and enforce all contracts and agreements. It is highly beneficial to have an attorney review your contracts before you sign. Some agencies and corporations may not have your best interests in mind. I can provide you with a comprehensive evaluation of the contract and inform you of any responsibilities or restrictions it contains. I can help you negotiate an agreement that benefits your interests.

Please speak with a legal professional prior to signing a film or television employment contract, license, endorsement, collaboration or joint venture. If you do not understand the terminology, you should not sign the contract. In addition, if you are a victim of a broken contract or a contract that is not being adhered to, I can pursue litigation on your behalf.

Who Can Benefit From The Administration Of Talent Contracts?

Contract drafting, review, negotiation and enforcement does not only apply to actors and sports stars, it can encompass all talent including but not limited to:

  • Screenwriters
  • Film directors
  • Composers
  • Production designers
  • Musicians
  • Models
  • Broadcasters

Creation And Enforcement Of Intellectual Property And Licensing

Entertainers and athletes are seen as their own brands – they have a public image to maintain. There are ways to protect your image through intellectual property and licensing. Through the use of trademarks, you can manage and enforce the use of your appearance or name.

This requires individuals to pay royalties for the use of their appearance or name for commercial purposes. If you already hold a trademark and you are aware that someone is violating your rights through unlawful use of your identity, I can also take action to stop them. I will help you prevent, stop, or bring lawsuits against those who attempt to violate your rights.

What Is The Right Of Publicity?

The right of publicity protects an individual’s interest in the commercial exploitation of his or her name or likeness. In Texas, this is considered a common law right instead of a statutory right. Texas codifies its statutory right of publicity in Title 4, Chapter 26 of the Property Code. The statutory right protects a person’s name and likeness after death while the common law right protects the rights of the living. The common law right of publicity protects individuals’ images and names from commercial infringement or capitalization. If an organization or business is using your identity for monetary gain you can put a stop to the unlawful practice.

In order to determine whether an individual has a valid claim of a right of publicity violation the court will review several factors, these include:

  1. Whether the defendant used the individual’s identity for monetary value rather than accidentally or for a newsworthy purpose. Because entertainers and artists frequently generate news, the court must take into consideration the newsworthiness of the material. The material used for news purposes is not considered an infringement.
  2. Whether or not the individual can be clearly identified from the material. This test is confusing to most outside the law and is based upon whether a “normal” individual can recognize the individual by just looking at the material.
  3. Whether or not the defendant received an advantage or benefit from the use of the individual’s identity.

Enforce Privacy Rights

As an individual in the public sphere, you may need the protection of your privacy rights. While it may be difficult to keep your private life separate from your public life, I am here to help you get the protection you deserve. Violation of privacy can include a number of issues such as defamation of your identity. Any written (libel) or spoken (slander) defamation can be extremely damaging to your image. If you have been portrayed in a false light, I can aggressively defend your rights and pursue your defamers with litigation. The most traditional type of invasion of privacy is an intrusion on seclusion. An example of this is when the privacy of your home or residence is not respected by photographers, news personnel or fans.

Another common problem for public figures is the prevalence of stalkers. If you need assistance with acquiring a temporary restraining order or a permanent injunction to stop a stalker, I can make myself available to answer any questions or help you get started on some of the required forms.

One-On-One Attention For Individuals In The Entertainment Industry

I bring over 35 years of business law knowledge, including focused experience in entertainment law. To discuss your needs, call my Houston office at 713-936-9553 or contact me online.