California Entertainment / Sports Questions & Answers

Q: If Someone Owes A Bookie, Is This Person Legally Obligated To Pay? And Would If The Bookie Decided To Track This Person?

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports for California on
Answered on Feb 4, 2019
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.'s answer
Was this a legal bet or part of illegal gambling activities? If you're facing assault or worse, you can report this to the police. If you're guilty of illegal gambling as well, you might face related criminal charges yourself. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my...

Q: Want to get the rights to use music from an old TV show in a short film I am making. I believe it's owned by CBS.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.'s answer
To use copyrighted material, one would need to find out who owns the copyright and contact them for a license. But you'd also need to determine whether your use qualifies as "fair use". More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AliEsq.com. I...

Q: What should I be aware of re: ownership if I submit an unsolicited screenplay to a studio?

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports for California on
Answered on Dec 6, 2018
Jason Brooks' answer
I would register your screenplay with the US Copyright office BEFORE submitting it anywhere. The age old "poor man's copyright" (i.e. mailing the creative work to yourself and keeping in a sealed envelope) doesn't really protect you like a valid copyright registration does, nor does it give you the right to collect statutory damages for infringement.

After you've registered your work, I'd still be weary of submitting any unsolicited material. If you do send something, know that most,...

Q: What is the difference between a litigation and transactional entertainment lawyer?

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports for California on
Answered on Sep 25, 2018
Jason Brooks' answer
"Litigation" refers to the filing of lawsuits (i.e. courtroom lawyers), whereas "Transactional" refers to general business and legal affairs of a person or entity (i.e. negotiation,drafting and review of contracts; and other deal making).

Often times an entertainment attorney will place an emphasis on one area but still practices in the other from time to time when necessary, or has partners or other affiliates in his or her network to refer such ancillary work to when the need arises.

Q: If a nonprofit owns a film, but gives a portion of the revenue to the filmmakers, who truly owns it?

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports for California on
Answered on Aug 9, 2018
Donovan A Rodriques' answer
How does the agreement between the filmmakers and nonprofit treat the issue of ownership of the film? How do you know the nonprofit owns it? Are there any documentation evidencing copyright ownership of the film?

Q: Do screenwriters need any sort of professional liability insurance?

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports for California on
Answered on May 12, 2018
John Espinosa's answer
Yes, a professional liability insurance policy also known as errors and omissions. Can you do business without it? Sure, but then you take the risk.

Q: I want to know if I can sue a mobile game app.

1 Answer | Asked in Gaming and Entertainment / Sports for California on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Jason Brooks' answer
The beauty (and more often, the detriment) of our American legal system is that anyone can sue somebody for anything -- the more pertinent question to ask here is: Do I have a *legitimate* lawsuit against this mobile developer for their allegedly unfair/deceptive business practices? To that, the answer is... maybe. If you were to file a lawsuit, AND find actual evidence through the Discovery process that supports your theory, then yes you could stand to win big. But the harsh reality is...

Q: I own a gaming website that blogs and reviews to promote gaming companies.

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports and Gaming for California on
Answered on Mar 27, 2018
Carrie A. Ward's answer
You will need permission from the gaming companies to use images of their game that you are using in a promotional context. Taking screenshots from your own game and then using them for commercial purposes is not advisable.

Q: Paid for something I didn't get! What sure I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Entertainment / Sports and Small Claims for California on
Answered on Mar 12, 2018
Louis George Fazzi's answer
Incomplete information, i.e. you ended before you asked the question or indicated what went wrong.

Q: If I shoot a music video at a college and spraying people with water guns What charges can I face

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Entertainment / Sports and Federal Crimes for California on
Answered on Feb 23, 2018
Dale S. Gribow's answer
Do you have permits?

if you commit any unauthorized touching of another that is a battery...........so shooting someone could be a battery, without any injuries.......hopefully.

Q: Am I able to trademark a stage name?

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports for California on
Answered on Dec 20, 2017

Q: I'm considering developing an app that will use pictures and voice clips of celebrities. Am I in danger of being sued?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports, Internet Law and Trademark for California on
Answered on Nov 16, 2017
Robert Philip Cogan's answer
If you choose the correct celebrity you can expect to be sued. California gives celebrities a "right of privacy." The law generally does not allow violation of rights just because the violator not want the "hassle" of obeying the rules.

Q: I let a person borrow a camera I bought from her. Now she hasn’t replied me, I only have her number and license plate.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Entertainment / Sports and Small Claims for California on
Answered on Nov 6, 2017
Louis George Fazzi's answer
It appears you have learned a hard lesson. Take the jewelry that she gave you as collateral to a jewelry store and see what kind of price you can get for each piece. Then go to your local target store and buy yourself a good inexpensive camera. Either that or get yourself a decent iPhone, which has an excellent camera built right in.

Q: For a copyright lawyer: Which liscenses do I have to get when posting music covers on Youtube?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Entertainment / Sports for California on
Answered on Aug 7, 2017
Robert Philip Cogan's answer
"Looking for some advice from a copyright lawyer that I can potentially stake my life on." Did you want this for free? Did you want an answer that was short enough to fit in this box? Did you want the attorney to answer this without getting further information? It is possible that your expectations are unrealistic. It appears that you really need to consult an attorney. What you "know" about copyrights may not be helpful in reaching your goal.

See the disclaimer at the bottom of this...

Q: Can I start an organization in the name of a deceased public figure?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Business Formation for California on
Answered on Jul 27, 2017
Robert Philip Cogan's answer
Questions to be considered include whether your organization would be confused with the Foundation and how to avoid confusion. It also has to be determined if use of the name would violate rights of others, even for the name of a deceased person with no immediate offspring. This can get tricky.

Q: I am looking for the California labor law pertaining to rendering payment for personal working on a TV production.

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports for California on
Answered on Jul 24, 2017
Robert Philip Cogan's answer
The company's position seems to be unsupported. It is impossible to know without listing all the facts. What was the work? Should you have been an employee? Other factors besides labor include contract law and civil procedure. Based on your question it seems unlikely that quoting a statute to the company would encourage them to pay you. How much money is at stake? If you do not consult an attorney, it is possible that you will collect nothing.

Q: Do agents have any legal obligations to you once you've signed with one?

2 Answers | Asked in Entertainment / Sports for California on
Answered on Jul 24, 2017
Robert Philip Cogan's answer
If you have signed with an agent it means that there is a contract. Contracts includes terms and conditions. Usually the terms specify the legal obligations of both you and the agent. There also may be obligations that apply under the law even if they are not spelled out in the contract. It appears that you need to get the contract reviewed. Often, people have an attorney review a contract before they sign it so that they know what they are getting into.

Q: What're the Parody/Fair Use laws concerning impersonating fictional characters humorously narrating public domain works?

2 Answers | Asked in Entertainment / Sports, Intellectual Property, Internet Law and Trademark for California on
Answered on Jun 1, 2017
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.'s answer
This might qualify as a parody. Have a lawyer review the facts and business carefully to help you try to avoid IP violations. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business &...

Q: 1. I'm a musician. Do I need a (police) 'permit' to sell tickets and play live gigs in my California apartment?

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports, Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for California on
Answered on May 16, 2017
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.'s answer
You may be violating your lease, zoning, and/or licensing laws relating to music venues. You may need contracts with the additional musicians. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas...

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