Course 1:

International Entertainment Law

This course will survey the international legal issues that lawyers deal with when representing clients in the entertainment industry – especially the movie, music, sports and publishing businesses. These issues include: cross-border acquisition of rights to literature, drama, music, art, celebrity names and likenesses, titles and trademarks; international finance, especially of motion picture productions; barriers created by copyright and international trade laws to cross-border distribution of music recordings, film, books, magazines and other entertainment products; and issues that arise during the distribution, exhibition and performance entertainment productions, such as domestic content requirements, censorship, international piracy and the cross-border collection of music and movie royalties. Cases and other legal materials to be studied include those from the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, as well as the European Union and the World Trade Organization. The course, however, is not a comparative laws course; it is about cross-border transactions and disputes between people and companies from two or more separate countries.

Course 2:

International Art Law

Artworks reflect the cultures of their creators, but artworks themselves know no boundaries. Perhaps for this reason, the most interesting and newsworthy issues in art law today are international law issues. This course will address international legal issues related to art as a creative endeavor, art as an article of commerce, and art as a significant cultural artifact. Issues to be examined include: the moral rights of artists; international copyright (and other) protections for artists and their work; legal aspects of international art loans and consignments; export and import control laws designed to prevent the cross-border shipment of culturally significant artworks; and the recovery of stolen artworks, especially those plundered during wartime, including statutes that prevent the seizure of artworks from non-profit museums, in order to encourage international art loans, even if the artworks were stolen or illegally exported.

Course 3:

Comparative Media Law

This course explores the intersection of media and the law, focusing on the impact that the law has upon the media as it gathers information and publishes the news. Students will become familiar with U.S. cases addressing the issues of libel, appropriation, public information, reporter’s privilege, and access to criminal proceedings. Using British law as a point of comparison, students will investigate different legal approaches that can be employed in a free and democratic society for balancing the interests of government openness and press freedom with countervailing interests in ensuring privacy, protecting individual reputation, and guaranteeing fair trials.

Course 4:

Negotiating and Drafting International Entertainment Contracts

The initial part of this course will provide students with the opportunity to learn negotiation principles, techniques and tactics prior to negotiating a television actor agreement with other students in the class. Immigration and talent guild jurisdictional requirements will also be covered as they relate to the negotiation of the actor deal. Students will be asked to draft a deal memo outlining the terms of the deal. The deal memos will be reviewed and compared to those of the other negotiation teams in the class.

The subsequent part of the course will entail an examination of the characteristics of optimal contract language and, ultimately, the construction of written agreements that best reflect the intent of their signatories and beneficiaries, with particular focus paid to entertainment contracts, which are governed by a rich, colorful and highly-evolved palette of laws, collective bargaining agreements and business practices. The course will further provide a general overview of the flow of contract administration between motion picture and television studios on the one hand and their adversaries/ collaborators at the various talent agencies, law firms and management companies on the other hand. Students will participate in increasingly complex drafting exercises, and corresponding instructor feedback will be provided in turn.