Friday, April 1st, 2011...12:55 pm

Entertainment Law Symposium

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Today’s Entertainment Panel is as follows:

Bennett J. Fidlow, a lawyer who has been involved at all levels of the entertainment industry and has over 30 years of experience. He has been listed in Virginia Super Lawyers in the field of Entertainment & Sports and teaches Entertainment Law at the University of Richmond School of Law. His work was recently cited in CCNV v. Reid, an important copyright decision in the Supreme Court.

Paul Marcus, the Haynes Professor of Law at the College of William & Mary. He is a graduate of UCLA and served as law clerk to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He is the author or co-author of 11 books, and he has written more than 60 scholarly articles. He has spoken to lawyers, judges, professors and students throughout the United States and in a number of counties as well.

Bink, born Roosevelt Harrell III, is a critically acclaimed hip hop producer born and raised in Norfolk, VA who is noted for his work with Roc-A-Fella Records. His most high-profile work has been producingthree tracks on Jay-Z’s Grammy award winning and critically acclaimed album The Blueprint.

Covering the entertainment event is Matthew Deatley. He can be reached at mrdeatley@email.wm.edu

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Professor Marcus is speaking about docudramas. What is a docudrama? Examples are The Social Network, JFK, and House of Saddam. It is using the image, likeness, and story of something that actually happened and adding to it to create something “TV or movie worthy.”

So can production companies legally do such a thing? Can they add to and “fictionalize” a story that already happened? Do they need the principle character’s agreement?

[Sorry I can’t answer that question. Our next guest, producer Bink, was late and I had to go pick him up so missed it! Ouch. Okay, back to discussion.]

Eds. Note: Since stories like the SOCIAL NETWORK are reasonably common, executives in the entertainment industry have some rights to “stretch the truth” in the telling of these stories. Exactly how far they can go is the question, and there is no clear answer.

Bink is up next. If you Google him, you have no doubt as to his credibility. He is speaking on the changes within the music industry, beginning from when he entered the business to today, and how those changes have affected him as a producer.

He is talking about how producers have been hit the most with the digital era. People are not getting paid. Artists are treating people like they do not matter because there are so many up-and-coming producers that are putting out quality music who will do it for free.

Deals in the past used to be at a MINIMUM $300,000 and average was a $1M. Today…artists are lucky to get $75,000 for a seven album deal! They are using the artist and it backhands the producer. It is all about “The Machine” and they are not understanding they are crippling the industry.

If you guys are not here you are missing out! Bink is giving the most “real” talk on the industry right now.

Ed’s note: The opinions expressed here are a product of the author.
While technology has made it more difficult for artists and producers in the music industry to gross the same revenues, its advances have also created new opportunities as well. The point made most obvious by today’s discussion is that the state of the music industry is in flux, and there is no way to predict with any accuracy how it will exist 5, 10 or 15 years down the line.

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