4 Reasons to Hire a Media Lawyer

Did you know that over 100 million cases get filed and handled by U.S. state courts each year? Many are civil cases involving conflicts between individuals or businesses.

One example of such disputes is when an artist sues another artist, a producer, a director, or vice versa. These legal cases typically fall under media and entertainment laws. In these situations, a media lawyer can prove invaluable in resolving such conflicts.

Thus, if you plan to or have recently joined the media industry, don’t wait until it’s too late to hire a media attorney. Below, we’ll explain why hiring an experienced lawyer in media law is vital to your career, so read on.

1. Get Expert Guidance With Business Contracts

A business contract is one of the first things you’ll face as an artist, entertainer, or content maker. It can come from a production company, a media house, or a sponsor. It creates obligations that you and the other party must fulfill.

Suppose you’re a musician entering a business agreement with a record company. The contract must contain details about how much you’ll earn. However, it’ll also stipulate that you must finish recording at a specified date.

The problem is that business contracts often contain confusing legal terminologies. Thus, if you don’t hire a lawyer specializing in media and business law, you may get the short end of the stick. For instance, you might agree to a payment that’s way beneath your talents and skills.

Another situation you might deal with is a breach of contract. You might not get paid if you breach your agreement by doing something against its terms. Such can happen if you fail to provide the finished product on or before the date specified in the contract.

A media lawyer can help prevent those issues by reviewing all your contracts. As per, you can rely on them for flexible legal support.

Your media attorney can ensure your contract terms are as beneficial to you as the party who drafted it. If not, they will negotiate on your behalf.

Your legal counsel will also make it easy to understand what you can and can’t do while contract-bound. By doing so, you can avoid breaching your contract.

2. Help Copyright Your Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are those given to people for their minds’ creation. They give creators exclusive rights to use their properties for a certain period.

However, creators must first copyright their intellectual property by registering it. If you don’t do this, you won’t get complete protection for your IP.

You must register your IP with the U.S. Copyright Office. This government body then reviews your property to ensure its originality.

Copyright often protects creators’ rights for the rest of their lives, plus an extra 70 years.

As for works made for hire or under a pseudonym, the protection can last 95 years from its first publication. In some cases, it may last up to 120 years from the date of its creation.

A media lawyer can assist you throughout the entire IP registration process. Your legal counsel can help ensure you have all the requirements, including:

  • A properly filled-out copyright application form
  • All the required copies of the properties for registration
  • The correct amount for filing the application

The last two depend on the work that you want to copyright. For example, you must deposit a copy of a film you made saved in a storage medium. You must also provide a separate written description of what it’s about.

3. Safeguard Your Creations

A media lawyer can help you pursue a third party who infringes your copyright. Such can happen when that party uses your IP without your permission. The legal world refers to such cases as copyright infringement.

Copyright infringement can occur if someone publishes your work without your knowledge. Piracy websites are perfect examples, showing copyrighted properties without the creators’ consent. From January to August 2022 alone, these sites received over 141 billion visits.

Recording films in movie theaters is another example of copyright infringement. The same applies to reproducing and distributing copies of these pirated films.

Creators can only sue pirates for officially registered works. So, that’s another reason you must copyright your IP with the help of a media lawyer.

4. Help Protect Your Integrity and Reputation

Once you become a public figure, you’re at risk of defamation.

Defamation is when someone makes a false accusation or statement against another. The party who commits such can spread their fallacies by word of mouth or written word. They may also employ a third party to help circulate their defamatory claims.

There are two primary types of defamation: libel and slander. Libel is a written form of defamation, such as in a magazine, newspaper, or the web. Slander is defamation orally published, such as over the airwaves or in a public speech.

If you become a victim of defamation, your integrity or reputation can become damaged. As a result, you may lose existing and potential clients or sponsors. That can ultimately result in you losing your source of income.

A media lawyer can help you stop those fallacies by proving the defamer is lying. They will gather evidence countering the defamer’s accusations or statements. They will then speak with or write to the defamer to insist they cease/desist their libel or slander.

Your attorney will demand the defamer issue a publicized apology and statement retraction. They will also order the defaming party to pay you for all the damages they caused.

If the defamer refuses, your media attorney will take matters to court.

Hire a Media Lawyer ASAP

While the media industry is crucial to the economy, it can also destroy careers and lives. That’s why as someone who plans to make a living in this sector, you should never go without a media lawyer. Otherwise, you might find yourself unpaid, stolen from, or even defamed.

So, please don’t put off hiring a media attorney; do it now, even before you sign your first contract.

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