South African actors, scriptwriters, musicians and producers are much in demand, what with all the full length feature films, television series and million dollar advertising campaigns being shot locally. Thus there is a critical need to understand entertainment law in order to protect creative property, and entertainment law consultant Deborah Lazarus is running a three-day course at the end of August 2007 in Cape Town.
Scriptwriter agreements, the rights of musicians who compose music for films and legal issues surrounding content development for television and film are just some of the areas in which disputes can arise.
Another key area that creatives need to keep in mind relates to rights acquisition and legal issues that arise in connection with content development for film and television.
On the production side, they need to educate themselves about “above-the-line” agreements entered into during pre-production and production stages including: scriptwriter agreements, director agreements, actor agreements, depiction releases and producer agreements.
Musicians hired to compose an original music score also need to be aware of their rights in terms of synchronisation licences and master use licences.
Expert in the field
Lazarus is a Capetonian who provides consulting services and strategic advice to corporations and individuals in the film and television industry. Her clients include actors, agents, composers, directors, models, musicians, producers, production companies, record labels and writers. She gained her knowledge of entertainment law and the business of film and television while working at a top entertainment law firm in Los Angeles
Lazarus, who was admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1996 and is also admitted to practice law in the State of California, is able to provide a broad overview of the film and television industry from a legal perspective, including copyright law, contract law, and contracts used in the development, pre-production and production stages of producing a film or television series.
Regarding copyright and intellectual property, Lazarus is an expert on such concepts as authorship, ownership, assignment of rights and licensing, moral rights and “chain-of-title.”