Entertainment law is the entire legal services to the
entertainment industry. It involves the application of contract,
corporate, finance, torts, bankruptcy law, immigration, securities
law, right to privacy, tax law, insurance law, employment and labor
law and intellectual property law principles to the interactions
between players in the entertainment industry. Legal issues arise
at all stages of the creation of original works of entertainment.
This spans from the production stage where formal contracts are
drawn to set forth the respective rights of the parties involved in
an entertainment work, to the licensing and distribution stage.
Entertainment law covers legislation regulating media of all types
i.e. television, film, music, publishing, advertising, internet and
Basically, the framework of Entertainment law includes the
Merchandising in the
entertainment business: this considers the creation,
protection and merchandising of entertainment brands and products.
It examines legal issues of brand development in the entertainment
business in particular in relation to the use of trademarks,
passing off (unfair competition) and design law, including the
relationship of copyright law, and associated contract law
Law and media: this
analyses the legal regulation of content and control of the media.
It examines contemporary policy and regulatory frameworks for
public and commercial media set in the light of technological
advancement, and also legal and regulatory issues in operating the
media such as censorship and advertising.
Law of digital entertainment
and social media: this considers how law and technology
has created entertainment business including the creation and
distribution of products, examines how technological advances have
affected relationships and rights within the digital entertainment
business. It analyses ways that law has responded to the digital
environment and technological change and examines legal issues
arising from the development and use of social media for business
and personal purposes.
This includes the various contracts regulating the relationship
between players in the entertainment industry. The principles of
contract, employment and labor law come in handy to spell out the
obligations of each party to the contract and bind them. Though the
parties are free to enter into general contracts, it is important
for them to know the legislation and customs regulating each
entertainment activity in order to prevent them from making a void
or unenforceable contract.
Entertainment law in Nigeria is not developed but other
legislations give force to the entertainment industry. For
instance, Trademark law governed by the Trade Marks
Act, Cap T13 LFN 2004 regulates and protects a brands
identity; a trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods
or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises.
Copyright law governed by the CopyrightsAct Cap C28, Laws of the Federation 2004
provides the rights that creators have over their literary and
artistic works. Patent law is governed by the Patents &
Designs Act,Cap P2, Laws of the Federation,
2004which deals with safeguarding
rights over scientific/technological inventions from outright
copying to knowledgeable or unknowledgeable incorporation of
already patented work and even to the incorporation of such a
product that is sufficiently similar to one.
Many Nigerians are eking their living from the entertainment
industry. Nigerian music, comedy and movies have become a hit in
Nigeria, across Africa and other continents. This has made the
potential in the industry to be encouraging and very rewarding. It
is therefore pertinent for there to be a body of rules or
regulation to regulate the industry. This will ensure certainty,
enhance greater productivity and promote returns on investment in
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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