Month: October 2018

Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer hits ‘sweet home’ in NYC, where appellate judges reject bar to filming and release of ‘Street Survivor’ biopic dramatizing not just band tragedy but also rise of southern rock

A trio of federal appellate judges in New York have taken a rare role typically reserved for Hollywood moguls: They have green-lighted a biopic that touches on the tragedy involving a band that pioneered the Southern rock sound decades ago, with hits like Sweet Home Alabama, Freebird, and What’s Your Name. The movie, Street Survivor: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash, had gotten hung up in legal controversies that roiled not only film makers but also First Amendment advocates. But, ultimately, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit set Street Survivor “free as a...

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MMA and USMCA? They’re not piles of letters. They’re the future of copyright, protections key to Hollywood, music and entertainment industries.

*Editors note: This post was updated (see below) on Nov. 12, 2018: In recent years, courts, lawyers, and judges have held huge sway over copyright law, which plays a central role in the creative life of the movie, television, publishing, and recording industries. But Congress and the executive branch have bestirred themselves with new legislation and agreements that seek to hurl intellectual property protections, especially for music, into a more modern era, with new technologies and realities. After years of maneuvering by various interested and competing parties, sufficient political and practical compromises were struck so lawmakers recently could pass...

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Yes, It Takes 400 Bureaucrats, 20 Or So Judges, and Now 9 Supreme Court Justices to Decide a Copyright Basic: When Can Creatives Sue to Protect IP?

This guest post was written by Crystal R. Nobregas, a Southwestern Law School fourth-year evening program student who is taking the Entertainment Law and the Emerging Web class. The 400 or so staffers of the U.S. Copyright Office in 2017 processed 468,000 claims and issued registrations for intellectual property protection to more than 414,000 applicants. The office, which handles submissions with and without correspondence and via online and snail mail, reports its work can take anywhere from 1 to 37 months to complete, averaging about 6 months for the bulk of the filings made on its web site. But...

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Filmmakers working with tight budgets face daunting legal expenses. Southwestern’s Entertainment & The Arts Legal Clinic offers no-cost help, in exchange for students getting invaluable hands-on experience.

Legal fees for entertainment projects in Los Angeles are costly and daunting. But they’re necessary to protect valuable intellectual property, deal with big risks of creative enterprises, and help filmmakers and their associated talent excel. Still, what would it mean to artists in the movie industry, especially innovative auteurs working with smaller budgets, if they could get needed legal counsel at no cost?  Just such assistance is available from Entertainment Law students at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. Under the close supervision of five seasoned and expert attorneys in the field, the aspiring counsel, in a highly competitive...

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Entertainment Law Blogs

The Biederman Blog is now ranked NUMBER ONE on Feedspot's Top 20 Entertainment Law blogs (May 2018). It is very exciting to top this list. We are extra proud of number six - Entertainment Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark. Mr. Firemark graduated from Southwestern in 1992, and is a top entertainment blogger and webinar presenter in addition to being a world class entertainment attorney!

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