As an entertainment law firm in Lagos, Nigeria, we deal with a myriad of legal issues that face the entertainment sector. While some legal issues are not very common, there are others that are very common, which makes us wonder if they could have been avoided in the first place. In this post, we discuss some of the common legal challenges that are faced by the entertainment industry and how people who operate within the entertainment industry can mitigate some of the legal risks.
Disclaimer: Please note, this is an article written solely for informative purposes and it does not constitute legal advice. If you are operating within the entertainment sector and are facing any legal issues, you are required to consult a lawyer.
1.Copyright and Piracy
The main legal issues that the entertainment industry faces are copyright and piracy-related. . Thus, as an entertainment law firm in Lagos, Nigeria, you will find us doing a lot of work around such issues.
The legal issues may include unauthorized use of copyrighted materials by a third party, copyright disputes between artists or between artists and music labels, copying, and distribution of copyrighted materials with an intent to make a profit. Many individuals have begun to steal and spoof materials accessible on internet platforms in order to make it seem as their own fresh work, which they then exploit to earn money. This is yet another significant problem that the entertainment sector, in particular, is dealing with.
2. Employment Law Issues
Hiring employees, labour law issues, work timing etc. are legal issues that an entertainment lawyer has to advise on quite frequently. This is a broad area covering ownership of intellectual property produced underemployment, workplace health and safety, and sexual harassment or bullying. The whole media and entertainment sector has been mindful of the discrimination and bullying which takes place in various forms, including intimidation and/or insulting behavior, power abuse or misuse, and deliberate or inadvertent targeting of a particular individual. Having strict policies in place is necessary to avoid these issues.
3. Contractual Issues
This is another area entertainment lawyers in Nigeria spend a lot of time on. A huge portion of an entertainment lawyer’s work revolves around contractual issues. These could include contractual disputes as well as contract drafting and negotiations. Entertainment lawyers are expected to be good negotiators. It is important as they need to get the best outcome for their clients. Many disputes also arise as a result of contractual breaches.
As a leading entertainment law firm in Lagos, we have dealt with a significant number of cases that involve defamation. Wherever mass media is there is that risk of someone filing a case for defamation. It can happen in various forms. Mostly, defamation takes place when untrue and reputation damaging statements are published in media either in print or in video formats. Celebrities are particularly prone to be defamed because they are in the limelight and their lives are constantly under scrutiny. Any damage to their reputation could impact their careers. Therefore, they will need to ensure that even remotely untrue statements about them are not put out in public.
Compliance is a broad legal area. No matter what segment of the entertainment industry one works in, adhering to certain legal regulations is a necessity. It can be as simple as getting environmental clearance for a production company to shoot in a particular location to registration and annual reporting requirement to be complied with in cases of entertainment businesses.