Entertainment law is a branch of law concerned specifically with the property issues that surround pieces of entertainment like books, movies and visual arts. In the entertainment industry, protecting your work from being exploited or plagiarized by others is an imminent concern. In North Carolina, the intellectual property rights of artists are protected by several laws that includes copyright and trademark provisions.

What is A Copyright?

A copyright includes the privilege to exclusively produce a certain form of entertainment, and the copyright holder must give consent for others to be able to use it. Under North Carolina law, the holder of a copyright has the right to negotiate licenses for the production of the copyrighted material that others might want to use. A copyright does not last forever, and all procedures surrounding copyrights are governed by state entertainment laws. You will want to familiarize yourself with the specifics, whether you want to simply protect your property rights or you are interested in selling licenses for your work.

What is a Trademark?

A symbol or other notable visual characteristic that people associate with a brand is a trademark. Visual cues are key in the entertainment industry to establish product recognition. Trademarks, unlike copyrights, do not expire. However, they must be registered with the U.S. patent and trademark office. Once you have your trademark, establishing brand identity becomes much easier.

How Can a North Carolina Attorney Help?

An attorney in Durham County has knowledge of entertainment law in your area, and can give you the information you need to decide whether you need a trademark or copyright. Also, attorneys may give direction on how to best proceed when seeking a copyright or trademark recognition in North Carolina.