As a Los Angeles-based attorney for small businesses, I’ve found that most clients understand the core legal issues relevant to their business. For creative enterprises, as one example, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets laws loom large. There are, however, a host of other legal issues many clients are unaware of. These matters have the potential to enormously impact a business’s...Read More
Previously I discussed the merits of a binding arbitration clause and the strategic and tactical implications such clauses.
As I wrote in that prior post, the decision to agree to mandatory binding arbitration is weighty. Arbitration can be very costly as the parties to a dispute must pay fees to the arbitration service providing the dispute resolution services. Parties must also pay the...Read More
What is a song? In the music industry, it is more than simply putting pen to paper and fingers to an instrument. A song is both the musical composition (music and any accompanying words) and the sound recording. The musical composition may include the phonorecord of your song (disc or cassette), but it does not include the recorded performance.
Legally, that definition matters. There are...Read More
When clients call me to ask me to draft contracts, they often say, “it needs to be as short as possible, like one page, maybe two.” I tell them that if we squeeze everything on one page, the text will be so small no one will be able (or want) to read it. It is very important that everyone read the contract and understand it. It is equally important that you cover all of the information you...Read More
It has happened. The work you spent months, possibly even years developing has shown up in someone else’s song/photo/screenplay, on another company’s website or in “exciting new product.” You’re concerned about losing your audience, your profits and your rights. Can you bring an intellectual property lawsuit to enforce your trademark or copyright? Is it even worth it?
The first step:...Read More
Whether you are considering releasing your sound recording on a streaming service like Spotify or you’ve already ended up on a few of Spotify’s high-profile playlists, there are steps you should take now to ensure you are properly compensated for your work.
In an ideal world, every artist would have their music available and be paid handsomely by those who listen to it. But the reality is far...Read More
It’s nearing the end of the year, a time when people scramble to schedule their annual physicals, eye care check-ups and dentist appointments. While you are marking your calendar for these check-ups, don’t forget about another important appointment: Your end-of-year business health check-up.
This is a time for you to sit down with your lawyer and ensure that you have all of your financial,...Read More
General partnerships are one of the easiest business entities to form; so easy, in fact, that they can form on their own. If you can show a court that you and at least one other person are performing business tasks with the intent of earning a profit together, you can likely establish that you are in a general partnership. Such arrangements are simple, flexible, and cheap (at least to set...Read More
You aren’t the first artist, game designer, songwriter or other creative entrepreneur to wonder whether you can use someone’s name or ideas in your work, and you certainly won’t be the last. The concept of “public domain” can be tricky, but it’s an important one to grasp if you want to stay out of legal trouble down the road.
Public domain work and copyright law
What does it mean for...Read More