Business Magazine

Avoid Legal Mistakes; Get an Entertainment Lawyer!

Posted on the 16 September 2011 by Caliburns @CaliBurns12
Avoid legal mistakes; Get an entertainment lawyer!The entertainment industry can be a crazy one. There are so many regulations, rules, terminology, clauses, and much more that you would need to be aware of to make sure you are not crossing any legal matters. When you are an artist or in a band, you don’t want to have to worry about these things. The best recommendation is to have an attorney to contact; more specifically, an entertainment lawyer. 
I had a chance to interview Orlando-based entertainment lawyer, Edward Elkins. He currently works at Myers & Eicherberger, P.L. and concentrates on entertainment law and estate planning. Focusing on entertainment law, below is what he had to say!
1. What is your area of expertise? (i.e. copyright law, trademarks, etc.)   I would hate to claim an area of expertise per se but I focus most of my practice on the contractual side of the entertainment business. There are times when I have to help with copyrights and trademarks but my goal is to have the necessary contracts in place that will allow my clients the best opportunities for advancement in their goals.
2. What made you want to become an entertainer lawyer?   I used to be an entertainer. I did a lot of theater when I was younger and started out college as a vocal performance major. After the music department closed down at my undergrad I pursued a B.A. in Criminal Justice, did well in the law classes, and was encourage by a local judge to go to law school where I was able to help individuals find success in the entertainment business where I couldn't.
3. Do you feel that artists should have every contract placed in front of them read by an attorney? Why or why not?   There are some contracts that are really very simple and straightforward. Case in point, work for hire agreements. Many of these do not necessarily need to be reviewed by an entertainment attorney per se, but you should fully understand the effect work for hire agreements have. An entertainment attorney should review most other contracts.
4. What would you say is the most common legal mistake new entertainment businesses make?   They do not have the proper licensing or contracts in place when they start. I have had to explain to talent agents that they have to be licensed under Florida Law in most circumstances or they could face a Felony. Additionally, I have had to clean up messes that have occurred because independent record labels failed to have contracts signed or drafted properly.
Avoid legal mistakes; Get an entertainment lawyer!5. What's the craziest case you've ever had?   I had a successful young artist come to me with a 6-page record label contract. Her heart was set on signing with them but I had to explain to her how horrible the contract was. There were typos everywhere and she was signing on for a 12 year deal and they wanted life insurance on her...she's young, and hasn't even had a hit song yet but they wanted life insurance on her??? She was better off going somewhere else.
6. Do you remember the first case you ever had? If so, please share.   I had to review and revise a record label contract for a band in Tampa. I knew the contracts really well even before I started practicing law but I was afraid I was going to mess up. The royalties requested on the contract were ridiculous, the term of the contract was insane for a brand new band, and my client would be in trouble and owing the label money if he failed. They refused to negotiate so my client went elsewhere.
7. What is the most common type of case you have?   I get about 3-4 contract reviews, negotiations, or draftings a week now. I love explaining the contracts to clients and hearing about them signing the contracts with the revised terms.
8. What is the best part about being a lawyer?   The best part about being a lawyer is knowing that I made some type of difference in a major part of someone's life on a daily basis.
If you want to find out more about Edward, his practice, or contact information, please click here.
(Photo source:

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog