Media law can be very briefly defined as the law governing the publication and entertainment industries. This will include:
- Publishing, broadcasting and reporting
- Television and film
- Digital media
This area is firmly based in the legal concept of copyright, that is the right of the author of an original creative work to be recognised as such, and his right not to have his work exploited by others without his consent. Businesses and individuals can encounter significant difficulties if they fail to properly recognise the copyright of others; similarly, the copyright owner can be severely prejudiced if the copyright is breached by others, or if the copyright owner has given others rights over the copyright material without realising that he has done so. Many of these issues can be prevented or the risks reduced if the proper documentation is put in place. Such documents include:
- Copyright licensing for written media
- Contracts for the management of artistes and performers
- Contracts for the production, licensing, distribution and promotion of audio and music recordings
- Contracts for the development and acquisition of television and film projects
- Contracts for the production, distribution and licensing of film and television programmes
- Software computer game development, licensing and distribution contracts
A further area of media law which should be mentioned is that of defamation. This is the generic term for libel and slander, which can be summarised as the publication of untrue allegations which damage a person's reputation. A successful defamation claim can give rise to substantial compensation.
Healys has extensive experience and expertise in dealing with media law, including in relation to performer and rights management and licensing and software development, distribution and licensing. We take a realistic and commercial approach to a client's needs, in order to tailor media contracts to the client's requirements.