Our mediators have handled high-profile matters involving television and film studios, professional sports organizations and other entities in the music industry. With a complete understanding of the Industry customs and practice as well as legal, business, and interpersonal issues, the Just & Fair is often the premier provider of Alternative Dispute Services in this area.
Entertainment and/or Sports mediation generally involve disputes ranging from contract disputes to trademarks, copyright, right of publicity, right of privacy, defamation, clearance of rights, product placement, idea theft, accounting, advertising, etc. These cases also tend to overlap substantially with intellectual property law, but also often involve questions of employment law, labor law, bankruptcy law, security interests and agency law. Entertainment mediation in general can be sub-divided into the following areas:
- Film: covering option agreements, finance, chain of title issues, talent agreements (screenwriters, film directors, actors, composers, production designers), production and post production and trade union issues, distribution issues, motion picture industry negotiations distribution, and general intellectual property issues especially relating to copyright and, to a lesser extent, trademarks
- Associations: Cases including but not limited to the Screen Actors Association, Directors Guild of Turkey, Writers Guild of Turkey and Producers Guild of Turkey
- Multimedia: including software licensing issues, video game development and production, Information technology law, and general intellectual property issues
- Music: including talent agreements (musicians, composers), producer agreements, and synchronization rights, music industry negotiation and general intellectual property issues, especially relating to copyright
- New Media: New media phenomenon, combining Internet accessible digital text, images and video with web-links, creative participation of contributors, interactive feedback of users and etc.
- Publishing & Print Media: including advertising, models, author agreements and general intellectual property issues, especially relating to copyright
- Sports: including sports contracts, broadcast rights, sports safety issues, and some issues relating to intellectual property and copyright law. Sports law is an umbrella term that can be used to describe the legal issues at work in the world of both amateur and professional sports. Sports Law encompasses many areas of law, such as labor, antitrust, contracts, drug testing, and torts. Issues like defamation and privacy rights are also part of sports law.
- Theater: including rental agreements and co-production agreements, and other performance oriented legal issues
- TV & Radio: including broadcast licensing and regulatory issues, mechanical licenses, and general intellectual property issues, especially relating to copyright
- Visual Arts & Design: including fine arts, issues of consignment of artworks to art dealers; and industrial design, issues related to the protection of graphic design elements in products
Mediation offers several advantages over litigation in the music, entertainment and sports sectors. Probably the most important of these is confidentiality and privacy. The evidence and figures that make up the dispute will never be aired in public. The terms of the settlements reached remain strictly private between the parties. This avoids the bad-will, alienation and reputational damage that could arise in public hearings. Confidentiality is also important to avoid the possibility of setting precedents that others could take advantage of.
Another key point is the speed of resolution. Getting a case to court can take a long time. A long-running dispute can wreck a whole project, and hangs around draining energy and creating uncertainty. On the other hand, mediation is much faster to organise than court cases. It can be arranged at a time and venue to suit the parties. Where timescales are tight, and deadlines need to be met, this can be crucial.
The informality and down-to-earth nature of mediation is also an important factor. This is an industry that is inherently informal, unregulated and open to creative and imaginative thinking. With this in mind, the structure and format of mediation is also inherently informal and creative – infinitely preferable to the stuffy formality of the courts.