Feature: Convergence In Entertainment

USC Entertainment Law & Business Conference Addresses Legal Issues for the 21st Century

Author: Jerry Flattum
Published: November 04, 2012 at 5:41 am
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On Saturday, hosted by the USC Gould School of Law and the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the Entertainment Law & Business Conference was a sold out event, and understandably so. 

The all-day session included sessions focusing on:

  • The Industry:  Trends, Fads and Transformations
  • Freedom of Speech and Intellectual Property
  • Hitting a Home Run: From YouTube to Riches
  • Independent Films: Renaissance or Retrenchment?
  • Luncheon and Keynote Presentation Interview with Jim Gianopulos
  • Client Relationships with Agents and Managers
  • Hot Topics in Production Legal
  • How to Succeed in Union Relations
  • Hurdling the State Bar:  Current Ethical Issues
  • Making the Talent Deal in Reality TV

The morning panels were linearly scheduled so attendees had the opportunity to catch every session.  In the afternoon panels were run concurrently and it was a tough choice as to which panel to pick.

The Industry:  Trends, Fads and Transformation, Professor Jeffrey Cole presented information from his multi-year, global study on how the Internet and mobile technology are changing the entertainment industry and daily life as well.  Another issue addressed was user-generated content vs. traditional media. Speaker Jeffrey Cole, is the Director of the Center for the Digital Future.

In the Freedom of Speech and Intellectual Property session, the never ending issues of copyright, trademark and the right of publicity were discussed in terms of constitutionality. Speakers were Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz and Mayer Brown.

Is it possible to be a superstar via YouTube?  Sam Tsui, a recent successful YouTube singer/songwriter is a strong indication such success is possible.  But how do you monetize millions of YouTube views?  The Hitting a Home Run:  From YouTube to Riches panel included Chris Jacquemin, Digital Packaging Agent for WME, Jonathan Stern, Producer at Abominable Pictures, and Moderator Juliette C. Youngblood, of Youngblood Group PC. 

In making the choice, all 4 panelists of the Independent Films:  Renaissance or Retrenchment chose renaissance. Financing an independent film can prove to be a highly complex process involving talent negotiations, banks, foreign entities, bonds, collection agents, and a new set of rules by the guilds. Whatever the obstacles, clearly the independent film movement is exploding and how such films will be successful in the future juxtaposed against major studio releases will remain a critical issue.  Speakers included David Shaheen III, Managing Director Group Head, Entertainment Industries at JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., Lisa Wilson, Co-Founder of the Solution Entertainment Group, Jeremy Zimmer, CEO of the United Talent Agency (UTA), and Moderator Joshua B. Grode of Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor LLP.

Continued on the next page
 
 

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