[Books] 6 Books to Read Before You Sign Any Artist Contract

- The Books That Have Helped Me as an Entertainment Law Attorney

· Music Law,Entertainment Law,Copyright,Film and Television,Contract
broken image

This article is written in English and Mandarin Chinese, scroll down for the Chinese version 中文请往下滑

Today I’d like to show you guys a few books that have really helped me in practicing entertainment law. If you are an artist, musician or writer yourself and you don't quite understand what intellectual property rights you have, or what kind of deal you're getting, I recommend you start with reading one of those books. By the way, the last book is my favorite.

The first book is All You Need to Know About the Music Business. This book is truly the Bible that everyone follows in understanding the music industry. I have the older version (the 9th edition) of this book, but you can purchase the newest 10th edition. I first heard about this book in an interview with Sony Music when I was in law school. I immediately purchased it and studied it like it’s a school course textbook. If you are a musician, this book really tells you how to start to build up a team, how to hire your first agent or entertainment lawyer, and how to negotiate and retain your rights. It also gives you the insider numbers such as how to split royalty and IP among you, the composer and the label. If you are a professional working in the music industry, this is must-read. There is also a group of musicians actively studying this book together on Clubhouse. (DM me for the Clubhouse room info)

The second book it's an introductory book to the basics of Copyright. If you are looking for something that's short and sweet to read, the book Creativity and Copyright is a great place to start with. It's essentially a basic Copyright course for artists and writers. It tells you what kind of content you can use in creating your own work, and to what extent you would not infringe other people’s rights. It also offers a lot of valuable information about how to pitch and how to contract with different platforms. This book is less than 200 pages, and you can go through it in a day.

The third book is Visual Arts and the Law. This book can be a little bit dry because it's more like a textbook with case laws and legal analysis. However, other than for lawyers, this book is crafted specifically for art collectors and art gallery professionals. Because the art business is usually international, this book gives you a lot of practical knowledge about the differences between European law an US law on this subject. It took me a while to finish this book. But I learned a lot from it. One of the most complicated topics in art law is the right to create derivative works across different countries, and I gained a much better understanding of it by reading this book.

The 4th book is a Handbook for filmmakers. Filmmakers often time would find themselves worrying about accidentally infringing other people’s rights. Because in making a film, you usually would use props and reference other copyrighted work. One of the worst things could happen is to get sued after you release a film. If that's something you worry about, the safest way is to purchase an Error and Omission insurance. This insurance will essentially cover all the expenses in those potential lawsuits. To be able to purchase this insurance, you would need a lawyer to review the entire film and issue a clearance report. This book, Clearance and Copyright, will hold your hand and walk you through the process step by step.

The 5th book is more fun to read. It's called Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency. Creative Artists Agency, a.k.a., CAA, is the biggest artist agency in Hollywood. This agency represents top actors and mainstream movies. It's also incredible that the founder, Michael Ovitz, started his career in a mailroom. The entrepreneurship of this agency is so inspiring. This book gives you a really close look to the inside of the industry and the untold stories of what behind the screens. For me, this book is a leisure book. But it also gives me tremendous information inside of Hollywood.

The last book is my favorite. I’ve had this book for many years, and I read it religiously during law school. It's called Hollywood Dealmaking.

I think what's exciting in practicing entertainment law is to negotiate the best deals for creative clients. Negotiation is such an art, and you cannot negotiate a best deal if you don't know what a best deal would be. Like when Steve Jobs made Apple, he didn't give customers what they wanted because customers wouldn't know what they would want. Instead, Steve Jobs showed the customers what could be better than they ever imagined. It's almost the same in negotiating and constructing a deal in the entertainment industry.

For example, if someone approaches a painter and wants to purchase one painting for $2000, the painter probably wouldn't know that she could sell to this buyer the physical copy only and retain other IP rights for future use. To me, this book is the Bible in constructing a talent agreement. It gives you practical examples of contracts and all useful tips in protecting the rights of a talent. I still refer to this book from time to time and I would say it's a must-read for producers.

I love lawyering and I look forward to creating more interesting and helpful content in the future.


[书籍] 签订任何文艺娱乐合同前的6本书必读书

- 那些帮助我做娱乐法律师的书籍


第一本书是All You Need to Know About the Music Business。这本书的确是每个音乐人的圣经。我这本书是旧版本(第9版),但是您可以购买最新的第10版。当我在法学院读书时,我在一次索尼音乐面试时第一次听说了这本书。我当时立即购买了它,并像一本学校教科书一样对其进行了研究。如果您是音乐家,这本书会告诉您如何开始组建团队,如何聘请您的第一位经纪人或娱乐律师,以及如何谈判和保留您的权利。它还为您提供内部信息,例如如何在您自己,作曲家和唱片公司之间分配音乐使用费和知识产权。如果您是音乐界的专业人士,这是一本必须阅读的书。现在还有一群音乐家在Clubhouse上积极地一起学习这本书。 (需要Clubhouse房间信息请单独联系我。)

第二本书是版权法基础入门书籍。如果您正在寻找简短易读的东西,那么Creativity and Copyright一书是一个很好的起点。基本上,这是艺术家和作家的基础版权课程。它告诉您在创作自己的作品时可以使用哪些内容,以及在多大程度上使用不会侵犯他人的权利。它还提供了许多有关如何向发行公司推销和与不同平台签约的有价值的信息。这本书少于200页,您可以在一天内翻阅。

第三本书是Visual Arts and the Law。这本书可能有点枯燥,因为它更像是一本包含判例法和法律分析的教科书。但是,除了律师以外,这本书是专为艺术品收藏家和美术馆专业人士设计的。由于艺术品交易通常是国际性的,因此这本书为您提供了许多有关欧洲法与美国法在该主题上的区别的实践知识。我花了一些时间才完成这本书。但是我从中学到了很多。艺术法中最复杂的问题之一是在不同国家/地区创作衍生作品的权利,而通过阅读这本书,我对这个问题有了更好的理解。

第四本书是一本电影人的实用手册。电影制片人经常会担心自己不小心侵犯他人的权利。因为在制作电影时,通常会使用道具并用到其他受版权保护的作品。最糟糕的事情之一就是发行电影后可能会被起诉。如果这是您担心的事情,最安全的方法是购买Error and Omission 保险。该保险将基本赔付潜在诉讼中的所有费用。要购买此保险,您需要一名律师来审查整部电影并出具清查报告。这本书Clearance and Copyright将握着您的手,并一步一步引导您完成整个过程。

第五本书读起来更有趣。它的名字叫 Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency。 Creative Artists Agency,又称CAA,是好莱坞最大的娱乐经纪公司。该公司旗下有各种顶级演员和主流电影。令人震惊的是,创始人迈克尔·奥维兹(Michael Ovitz)是在邮件收发室开始的他的职业生涯。该机构的企业家精神非常令人鼓舞。这本书为您提供了非常接近行业内部的真相,以及有关幕后的不为人知的故事。对我来说,这是一本休闲书。但这也为我提供了好莱坞内部的大量信息。

最后一本书是我的最爱。我有这本书很多年了,在法学院读书的时候我很虔诚地读过。这本书就是Hollywood Dealmaking

我认为,实践娱乐法最令人兴奋的是,为富有创造力的客户谈判出最好的商业条件。谈判是一门艺术,如果您不知道什么是最好的交易,就无法谈判最好的交易。就像史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Jobs)创造苹果公司一样,他没有给客户他们想要的东西,因为客户不知道他们想要什么。相反,史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Jobs)向客户展示了比他们想象的更好的产品。在娱乐业中的谈判和交易几乎是一样的。



Sincerely yours,

Silvia Sun, Esq.

Copyright © 2021, Sun & IP Law Office, PLLC for firm website

All rights reserved. Any reproduction of any content of this site is prohibited.

Disclaimers: This content is provided for informational purposes only; it is not legal advice and may not be relied upon as such. We make no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on our website and will not be liable for any errors or omissions in them for delays in publication of information, or for any losses, injuries, or damages arising from the display or use for any other reason whatsoever. No endorsement of any product or service mentioned on our website is expressed or implied. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Linked resources are beyond the control of us, and we shall have no responsibility whatsoever for the acts or omissions of such third parties. Comments are solely the work of their authors and as such do not necessarily reflect the views of us or our employees. Neither the use of content provided on our website nor the submission of any information through our website creates an attorney-client relationship between you and us. Please be aware that any information that you provide through this website is not secure and it is not privileged or confidential. In fact, by posting you intend that your comment be displayed so that others can read it and comment on it. We reserves the right to edit submissions for any reason in its sole discretion.