Entertainment law is the package of services, including contracts and copyrights, that is intended for 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. Copyright and trademark laws protect artists in Virginia, and are among a body of laws that defines the intellectual property rights of those working in the entertainment field.

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 Virginia 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, 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 Virginia Attorney Help?

Entertainment law is sometimes an area of specialization for attorneys in Woodstock, so you may want to speak with them to find out whether you need a trademark or copyright. Also once you do apply, attorneys serve as good guides through the process of obtaining intellectual property right in Virginia.