Seminar in Entertainment Law

Course No. 603-81

Fall, 2015

Professor Perritt

Room 305


4 PM - 5:50 PM

Strunk & White on the use of "However"

Students and topics

Carter, Alissa A.: Viral fame (story)
Covey, Rachel L.: Changes in music distribution
Grimaldi, Patrick R.: Debunking myths about file sharing
Jenkins, Haley R.: Reforming the NCAA
Jensen: Michael S.: Actors' rights in their characters (story)
Johnson, Chris: Raising capital for a theatrical production through crowdsourcing
Korenchan, James L.: Narrative in video games (story)
Massie, Aaron J.: Copyright and royalty issues arisng from online music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music
McKay, James P.: Newsgathering drones and the law
Osmanski, Charlene F.: College athletes as employees (story)
Skowronski, Ashley N.: How short can a story be?
Stewart, Blake: Intellectual property protection for fashion
Thakkar, Sagar P.: Antitrust and the NBA and NFL
Trejo, Manuel C.: Fair use (screenplay)

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, 25 August.

1 September:

Read and discuss Scribean formula for storytelling: Scribean formula (excerpt from "Technologies of Storytelling")

Initial presentations: Trejo

Time permitting: discuss application of Scribean formula to the following short stories:



Only a Backpack

What happened to the light?


8 September:

Initial presentations: Korenchan, Osmanski, Jensen

15 September:

Initial presentations: Jenkins, Thakkar

22 September: NO CLASS

29 September:

Initial presentations: Carter, Massie, Stewart

6 October: Johnson, Covey; Status report on all papers; brief sequels for all stories

13 October: Grimaldi, Skowronski, McKay; brief sequels for all stories

20 October: Thakkar, Jenkins; brief sequels for all stories

27 October: Johnson, Stewart; brief sequels for all stories

3 November: Covey, Massie; brief sequels for all stories

10 November: Grimaldi, McKay, Skowronski

17 November: Carter, Trejo

24 November: ; Osmanski, Korenchan

4 December: Last class; student evaluations will be distributed



Presentation guidelines


Possible topics (topics are not limited to these)

  1. Analysis of why "The Devil Inside," a really bad movie, was such a financial success.
  2. Bionics and high-level sports
  3. Write a script,screenplay, or short novel on an entertainment or sports law subject and evaluate legal issues
  4. Tom Brady's suspension and the NFL disciplinary process
  5. Analysis of state statutes and local ordinance that impose criminal penalties and authorize civil actions for unconsented-to video, taken by drone or otherwise
  6. Use of drones to make movies and television programs
  7. Use of drones to gather news
  8. Impact of Northwestern NLRB decision on college football and other sports
  9. Impact of O'Bannon decision on college football and other sports
  10. Legal implications of a broadening of distribution channels for video entertainment
  11. College athletes as employees
  12. Application of NCAA disciplinary procedures as due process violations
  13. Specific NCAA, NFL, or NBA rules as antitrust violations
  14. Raising capital for a music, literary, dramatic, or video project without violating the securities laws, especially considering new crowd-sourcing statute and SEC rules
  15. Draft a model agreement for collaboration on a video project through crowdsourcing, explaining options
  16. Avoiding barriers to redistribution of images of athletic events and players and facts relating to them
  17. 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]
  18. 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
  19. Open source software for videogame production
  20. Narrative in videogames
  21. How short can a narrative be: limits on the migration of video entertainment to YouTube?
  22. Serialization, soap operas, and YouTube
  23. Evaluate hypothetical legal disputes involving particular contract language for a stage production or a movie
  24. Legal relations among members of a rock band, artistic ensemble, or production company: who owns the IP in songs and recordings?
  25. Legal relations among filmmakers: who owns what?
  26. When is file sharing among friends and relatives fair use?
  27. Legal duties and powers of agents and managers
  28. Will video entertainment (movies, TV and video games) follow in the footsteps of recorded music?
  29. Evaluate business models for indie moviemaking
  30. Efficacy of trademark protection for indie bands and filmmakers
  31. Protecting actor "ownership" of characters and roles
  32. Impact of bankruptcy of labels and flim producers on entertainers, authors, and others
  33. Law and economics of AFM, Actors Equity and other entertainment-union policies towards independents
  34. Constitutionality of "anti-bootleg act"
  35. Nominative use of trademarks for cover bands
  36. Privacy claims against imitators, cover bands, authors/producers of fan-fiction, fantasy football, or videogames
  37. Economic and legal evaluation of new forms of intermediation for music and video
  38. Legal and business frameworks for micro advertising
  39. Evaluation of alternative business-entity forms for theatrical productions, indie movies, and indie bands
  40. 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

Articles on drones are available at

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)