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Entertainment Law

Entertainment Law

Edited by Des Butler and Geoff Holland


Entertainment industries are among the largest in the world. The legal environment in which entertainment operates involves a confluence of eclectic laws such as those concerning free expression and its limits, those concerning intellectual property and their relationship with promoting, limiting and capitalising creativity, and the laws governing the contractual relationships between parties involved in entertainment productions.

In this book, the authors analyse the major legal issues confronting those involved in entertainment in Australia, and provide clear, accessible statements of the current legal principles involved. They enable readers to understand what the law is and how it is likely to apply in particular situations.

The book uses an accessible, reader-friendly style making it suitable for those involved in entertainment industries, legal practitioners and students of entertainment law.


About the Contributors
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes

1. Legal Foundations: The Intersection of Entertainment Production and the Australian Legal System
            Michelle Backstrom

2. Free Expression: The Wellspring of Art and Entertainment
            Des Butler

3. The Hidden Serpent: Entertainment and the Risk to Reputation
            Des Butler

4. Don’t Say That, Don’t Show That: Bigotry, Hate Speech, Obscenity and Entertainment
            Des Butler

5. Not Just Sex, Lies and Video Tapes: Confidentiality and Privacy in Entertainment Contexts
            Des Butler

6. Copyright: A Double-edged Sword for Creativity?
            Peter Black

7. Show Me the Money? The ‘Other' IP Laws, Commercialisation of Entertainment and the Entrenchment of Power
            Peter Black

8. The Risk of Liability: A Tightrope for Entertainment Productions
            Amanda Stickley

9. The Ties That Bind: Contract Laws Underpinning Entertainment
            Des Butler

10. Agents and Managers: Keys to Success in Entertainment
            Geoff Holland



In the ever-changing world of entertainment, an easy to read book is a worthy exercise. No upcoming artist, manager or performer can afford to be ignorant of the major issues that will arise in their careers. This is a series of helpful essays on selected issues that may affect those involved in entertainment in Australia. Topics include freedom of expression, defamation, obscenity and hate speech, confidentiality and privacy, the commercialisation of IP entertainment, contract law and the role of agents and managers.
         Written in a reader friendly style by various authors, it will be of interest to performers and industry players alike. The chapter on bigotry and hate speech and its relevance to the entertainment business is helpful as the author guides the reader through laws that are varied and "uneven" between states and the Commonwealth. Also, the chapter on copyright emphasises a theme that has emerged in recent times whereby copyright law is seen as a protector and stimulator of creative endeavour and also a potential disincentive force on creators.
         The last line of the book is probably
the best advice to anyone entering the entertainment business - "obtaining independent legal advice remains the first line of defence against many of the abuses and conflicts that can and do arise".

Steven Castan, InPrint, Law Institute Journal Victoria, March 2018

This book covers a range of topics about entertainment law, beginning at the basics the Australian legal system. It is aimed at those working in the entertainment industry who may not have a legal background.
         The book looks at the history of
 free expression, and the right 
to free expression as protected internationally by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and domestically by common law, noting that Australia does not have the same level of protection as the United States, who have a constitutional guarantee of free expression.
         This book then addresses some of the main intersects between the legal system and the entertainment industry - defamation, laws against vilification (including hate speech), obscenity and the role of censorship laws, confidentiality and privacy, copyright and commercialisation of IP, negligence, contracts and the agency relationship of agents and managers. From a legal sense, the book looks at the basic elements of each of these areas of the law, but provides interesting commentary about the application of the law in the entertainment industry.
         While the book does not discuss case law in detail in the text, substantial case law is referenced through the footnotes and there is a detailed
 table of cases and of statutes at the beginning of the book. The book addresses current issues such as the leak of sex tapes, the balance between freedom of speech and protecting individuals from vilification, and the relationship between managers and their clients. The book covers
 a large range of issues, and so does not go into each issue in great depth, but provides a good starting point by identifying the basics and the relevant cases.

Emily Shoemark, Ethos, ACT Law Society, December 2017


Published 23 February 2017
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781760021290
Australian RRP $89.95
International Price $81.78
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Law - Entertainment
Law - Intellectual Property

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