Entertainment law is a branch of law concerned specifically with the property issues that surround pieces of entertainment like books, movies and visual arts. Protecting work from being plagiarized or otherwise exploited is a great concern for those working in the entertainment industries. Copyright and trademark laws in North Carolina are intended to protect the intellectual property rights of those who work in the entertainment field.

What is A Copyright?

A copyright for a specific piece of entertainment means that a party has the exclusive right to produce it. If others want to use it, they must first get consent from the copyright holder. 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. Entertainment law governs whether you can get a copyright, how to apply for one, and how long it lasts once issued. A copyright will allow you to profit from licensing your material to others, or it may simply protect your rights in the piece of entertainment for the future.

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 do not expire. They are obtained through registration with the U.S. patent and trademark office. Consumers recognize brands better when they have associated trademarks.

How Can a North Carolina Attorney Help?

An attorney in Smithfield 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.