A service of Stephen W. Workman P.C

Entertainment Law

Mr. Workman is the only attorney in Chicago, and very probably nation-wide, to have worked “inside” the film industry as an in-house lawyer, “inside” the television industry as in-house lawyer, and “inside” the music industry, as in-house lawyer, while also having represented film, television and music clients as an attorney with entertainment law firms in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, and as attorney for the Chicago Television Production Center.

The entertainment industry is ubiquitous - - it is all around us: from movie theatres to television programming, to radio and video games, to music and video downloads.  Entertainment law is the area of legal practice that services the needs of not only the producers and distributors of entertainment content, but also of course to the creative talents whose performances are embodied in the content.  And let’s not forget the unions and guilds whose members make all of this possible, from the Writer’s Guild to the Director’s Guild, to SAG and AFTRA (this has recently changed, of course) to the crafts unions.

Entertainment law extends to protecting creative authorship and ownership, but is deeply focused on negotiating and documenting contracts involving not just actors and directors, but to the complex world of corporate finance.  Film financing is a sophisticated business, involving security and collateral agreements and “completion bonds” to protect all parties who face financial risk.

Entertainment law was traditionally limited to the film, television and motion picture industries. Today, any discussion of entertainment law must also include certain types of software programming, such as interactive multi-media and video games, as well as online entertainment portals, platforms and venues.

The advent and soaring success of cable networks has opened the doors to a flood of entertainment programming.  “Reality tv” and the resurgence of game-style shows demonstrates that network executives are skilled at producing and delivering entertaining programming on limited production budgets.  In this regards, entertainment law has faced, and responded to, a new challenge – determining the length, extent and breadth of the disclaimers needed to protect producers of “reality television” programs.  That in and of itself is a fascinating study of entertainment law in action!
Mr. Workman has provided legal representation to the varied industries that comprise the world of entertainment – he has been a lawyer for the film, music, television, and entertainment software industries. (Although Mr. Workman has limited experience in the entertainment law governing legitimate theatre, he can direct you to attorneys skilled and experienced in threatre, should that be your entertainment law area of interest.)

In the area of Music Law, Mr. Workman has represented both large and small record labels, publishing companies, recording artists and studio musicians.

In the area of Television Law, Mr. Workman's clients have included television production companies, writers, actors and directors, as well as the CBS, NBC and PBS networks.  Beyond representing CBS and NBC in Los Angeles, Mr. Workman was counsel to the Chicago Television Production Center during the 1990’s.

In the area of Motion Picture Law, Mr. Workman has served as both in-house and outside counsel in Los Angeles to motion picture studios, including Paramount, Warner Bros. and Disney, and has represented film distributors, production companies, screenwriters, directors and actors.  Mr. Workman has also represented numerous documentary filmmakers, and is expert in the area of film documentary law.

Mr. Workman's entertainment experience in the online world includes software developers, website designers, entertainment site webmasters and content providers.

Should you be entertainment talent (actor, director, musician) or in the business of producing or distributing entertainment product or programming, please contact Mr. Workman directly for further information about his entertainment background and a further discussion of the legal issues affecting you.