Seminar in Entertainment Law

Course No. 603-81

Fall, 2013

Professor Perritt

Room 545


4 PM - 5:50 PM

Students and topics

Crystal M. Eggleston: Smokey’s Girl


Joaquin Hernandez: Current NFL Eligibility Rules and Their Anti-Competitive Nature: A Proposal to Change That

Michelle Ingram: It Was Worth it in the End

Phillip G. Litchfield: Putting the “Student” Back in “Student Athlete”

Jessica Rzotkiewicz: MUSIC. FAME. NAME?

Emmett M. Shaughnessy: “Student-Athlete”: A Story of Oppression

Form of papers

Students may write their seminar papers either in traditional law-review analytical format or, with the instructor's permission, in the form of a narrative, such as a short novel, a screenplay, or a script for a stage play. Papers in narrative format must contain significant legal analyis. The instructor will consult with student-authors on how to accomplish this without disrupting the flow of the narrative.


First day, 27 August.

3 September: Goal to Go table reading

Cast list (assigned roles for reading) .docx .pdf

10 September: Copyright play (HHP)

17 September: Shaughnessy, Litchfield

24 September: Harris, Hernandez

1 October: Ingram, Eggleston

8 October: Rzotkiewicz; status report on all papers

15 October: Eggleston (critical discussion of novel excerpts to be distributed on Monday)


22 October: Rzotkiewicz (reading of selected scenes)


29 October: Shaughnessy (reading of selected scenes)


5 November: Litchfield; Hernandez


12 November: Ingram; Harris (discuss draft agreement language)


19 November: Rzotkiewicz


26 November: no class

6 December: TBA



Presentation guidelines


Possible topics (topics are not limited to these)

  1. Write a script,screenplay, or short novel on an entertainment or sports law subject and evaluate legal issues
  2. Legal implications of a broadening of distribution channels for video entertainment
  3. College athletes as employees
  4. Application of NCAA disciplinary procedures as due process violations
  5. Specific NCAA, NFL, or NBA rules as antitrust violations
  6. Raising capital for a music or video project without violating the securities laws, especially considering new crowd-sourcing statute and SEC rules
  7. Draft a model agreement for collaboration on a video project through crowdsourcing, explaining options
  8. Avoiding barriers to redistribution of images of athletic events and players and facts relating to them
  9. Evaluating Hollywood contractual practices, starting with Celador Limited v. Walt Disney Co, 2009 WL 3335357 (C.D. Cal. 2010) [links to most recent documents are on this Westlaw page]
  10. Legal theories on behalf of persons leafletting on the public sidewalk outside the venue of a competing production (First Amendment, antitrust, international interference with contractual relations); availability of preliminary injunctive relief
  11. Open source software for videogame production
  12. Crowd sourcing for videogame, movie, dramatic, or novel creation and production
  13. Narrative in videogames
  14. How short can a narrative be: limits on the migration of video entertainment to YouTube?
  15. Serialization, soap operas, and YouTube
  16. Design IP agreements for a crowd-sourced movie
  17. Evaluate hypothetical legal disputes involving particular contract language for a stage production or a movie
  18. Legal relations among members of a rock band, artistic ensemble, or production company: who owns the IP in songs and recordings?
  19. Legal relations among filmmakers: who owns what?
  20. When is file sharing among friends and relatives fair use?
  21. Legal duties and powers of agents and managers
  22. Will video entertainment (movies, TV and video games) follow in the footsteps of recorded music?
  23. Evaluate business models for indie moviemaking
  24. Efficacy of trademark protection for indie bands and filmmakers
  25. Protecting actor "ownership" of characters and roles
  26. Impact of bankruptcy of labels and flim producers on entertainers, authors, and others
  27. Law and economics of AFM, Actors Equity and other entertainment-union policies towards independents
  28. Constitutionality of "anti-bootleg act"
  29. Nominative use of trademarks for cover bands
  30. Privacy claims against imitators, cover bands, authors/producers of fan-fiction, fantasy football, or videogames
  31. Economic and legal evaluation of new forms of intermediation for music and video
  32. Legal and business frameworks for micro advertising
  33. Evaluation of alternative business-entity forms for theatrical productions, indie movies, and indie bands
  34. Legality (under the labor- and antitrust laws) and economic efficacy of collective bargaining by indie musicians with record labels, promoters, and venues

Professor Perritt's recent articles

Crowdsourcing Indie Movies

Competitive Entertainment: Implications of the NFL Lockout Litigation for Sports, Theatre, Music, and Video Entertainment, 35 Hastings Comm. & Ent. L. J. 96 (2012) (last page proofs) (.pdf)

The Internet at 20: Evolution of a Constitution for Cyberspace, 20 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 1115 (2012) (.pdf)

Cut in Tiny Pieces: Ensuring That Fragmented Ownership Does Not Chill Creativity, 14 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 1 (2011) (.pdf)

New Business Models for Music, 18 Vill. Sports & Ent. L. J. 63 (2011) (.pdf)

Technologies of Storytelling: New Models for Movies, 10 Va. Sports & Ent. L. J. 106 (2010) (.pdf)

New Architectures for Music: Law Should Get Out of the Way, 29 Hastings Comm. & Ent. L. J. 259 (2007) (.pdf)