What is the difference between a composition copyright and a sound recording copyright?
A composition copyright covers the written form of a song, such as the musical notes and lyrics, while a sound recording copyright covers the song as people hear it. The composition copyright initially belongs to the songwriter, while the sound recording copyright initially belongs to the musician or band who first records the song. Royalties based on composition copyrights are known as publishing royalties, while royalties based on sound recording copyrights are known as recording royalties.
Which types of royalties are available in the music industry?
Royalties available in the music industry include mechanical, reproduction, performance, and synchronization royalties. Mechanical royalties cover reproduction and distribution of music, reproduction royalties cover selling or streaming sound recordings, and performance royalties cover live performances of music, streaming it online, or broadcasting it on radio. Synchronization royalties cover combinations of music with images in films, TV shows, commercials, video games, and similar visual works.
Do I have a right to control the use of my image?
Yes, even if you are not famous, you generally have a right to control the use of your image. A business cannot use your name, likeness, or other aspects of your identity for commercial purposes without your consent. If a business violates this right, you may be able to seek monetary damages and an injunction through a misappropriation claim.
How do talent agents get paid?
Talent agents get paid under the terms of a talent representation agreement, which usually provides a certain commission percentage. Sometimes they may receive a package fee instead if they are representing multiple entertainers in the same project. Talent agents should not request or receive upfront payments in addition to commissions.
How much control does a producer hold over a film?
The film production services agreement will determine the extent of control that a producer holds over a film. The producer may arrange to choose the director, lead actors, and other important people in the production, and substantial changes to the script may require their approval. A producer also will set the budget for the film and provide deadlines for certain stages of the project. They will hold the copyright in any work that is eventually created.
Does it make sense to join a union in the film industry?
Yes, it generally makes sense to join a union in the film industry to take advantage of the benefits that these organizations offer. In addition to negotiating a minimum rate of compensation for its members, a union may offer greater access to jobs, agents, career-building opportunities, health insurance, retirement benefits, unemployment benefits, and workers’ compensation insurance, among other things. On the other hand, members typically must pay initiation fees for jobs obtained through the union and cannot work on productions that are not covered by a union contract.
Which challenges do entertainers often face in a divorce?
Entertainers may own complex types of property, including intangible intellectual property rights that can be hard to divide during a divorce. They also may have diverse and variable income streams, which can pose challenges when calculating income for the purposes of spousal and child support. Many entertainers travel frequently and spend long periods of time away from home. This can require a distinctive child custody arrangement.
How can foreign entertainers come to the US?
Visas designed for foreign entertainers coming to the US include O visas and P visas. An O visa is available for individual foreign nationals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or other fields. P-1B visas are available for foreign national entertainers coming to the US as a group, while P-2 and P-3 visas are available for foreign nationals coming to the US through reciprocal exchange programs or culturally unique programs, respectively. Sometimes a foreign national might come to the US on a more general B-1 or B-2 visa, which is a more efficient process but confers more limited benefits.
Is piracy a victimless crime?
No, piracy is not a victimless crime. Musicians may suffer significant financial losses and reputational harm due to the loss of royalties and creation of inferior pirated copies. Legitimate businesses selling music or films may struggle to survive because they cannot compete with the prices of pirated copies. Piracy costs the entertainment industry billions of dollars, and these losses are transferred to consumers as record companies and other entities in the industry raise prices for legitimate versions of copyrighted works to offset losses caused by piracy.
Can a video game company collect my personal information?
Yes, a video game company generally can collect your personal information, but it must adhere to any applicable privacy laws. Protections will depend on the type of information that is collected, and they are typically stronger for children. Players usually have a right to know which information is collected and the purposes for which it is used. A video game company must protect personal information from data breaches and respond promptly to any breach.