Franklin Pierce Law Center
IPSI 1998
Entertainment Law
Final Exam

This is an open-book exam to be completed in two hours. It is presented in two parts. There are separate instructions for each part.


In part one, you must limit the length of your answers to the spaces provided. The required length will indicate the level of detail expected of your answer. As you will see, significant detail is not expected, These are short-answer questions. *Your objective should be to summarize succinctly the key point or points involved so that we understand the basis for your answers.

In all questions, assume that the described events took place in the U.S. in 1998 unless otherwise specified. You are being asked to apply U.S law.

Questions begin on the next page

*** Page Break ***


1. Each of the following statements contains legal advice. In the space provided, comment on the accuracy (and inaccuracy) of the legal advice.

(a) X Productions is considering buying the film rights to a published non-fiction book about organized crime. It has consulted two attorneys. Attorney I advises that buying the rights is necessary if X wants to use the material in the book. Attorney 2 says that buying the film rights is a waste of money.

(b) XBC has broadcast a television news show in which a famous baseball star and his non-famous brother are accused of conspiring with gamblers to "fix" a World Series game. The brothers have sued XBC for defamation. To defend the case, XBC must prove that the accusation is true.

*** Page Break ***

(c) A teenage character in a fictional film is an aspiring rock musician, and his bedroom is an important set in the film. The director wants the bedroom walls "dressed" with photos of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, who are mentioned in dialogue as being the character's idols. Since the First Amendment protects expressive works such as film productions, no permissions are required.

(d) Z Software is developing a CD-ROM product called "Film Stars of the 90's--The Interactive History". It will feature a brief text biography of each star, with related still photos and film clips. including photos of Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts on the cover of the package. It will also feature movie trivia quizzes, and an on-screen "board game" (i.e., like Monopoly), all of which use the names and photos of the stars. As long as the information about the stars is accurate and the stars are not presented in a negative or embarrassing manner, the stars will have no valid claims against Z.

II. Answer the following questions in the spaces provided.

(a) Why does a film producer normally prefer to option film rights to a book rather than purchase them outright?

(b) The option purchase agreement we studied provides that the purchaser gets all rights not specifically reserved by the author. T he author's lawyer wants the agreement to say the opposite--that all rights not specifically granted are deemed reserved, What is at stake in negotiating this point? What's the difference?

(c) Ideas are not protected by copyright law. But they can be protected, to some extent, under contract law, and often by implied contracts. A contract, of course, must have agreed terms In the typical cases in which an idea is the subject of an implied contract, what are the terms?


*** Page Break ***

Part 2

Professor: Susan Bodine Summer Session
July 14,1998


This is an open book and note exam. Each question is worth the number of points in the left-hand margin adjacent to that question. Please write the question number next to your answer in the blue books. Please use a separate blue book to do this section of the exam. Your answers may be brief - it's the content that counts.

Good Luck!

*** Page Break ***



3     1. Briefly describe two (2) methods of financing used by independent producers for motion pictures.

3     2. How cans the financier of a motion picture guarantee that the picture will be finished and delivered?

3     3. What kind of protection can a producer obtain for the title of a motion picture, if any?

2     4. Describe the function of an Errors & Omissions insurance policy for a motion picture.

4     5. Describe the revenue streams generally included in the calculation of "Gross Receipts" by a major motion picture studio.

2     6. Why would an actor's agent try to negotiate a "Pay-or-Play" Agreement for the client's services?

1     7. What does the term "show runner" refer to?

3     8. Explain why some television producers may agree to deficit finance the initial episodes of their TV series.

3     9. What is a L.O.R.T. theatre, and if it operates as a not for profit corporation, how will it allocate the proceeds of its' productions?

2     10. What is the difference between the "costs to open" and the "running expenses" of a theatrical production?

4.     11. Identif~, and briefly describe the rights that are included in the bundle of rights comprising "music publishing" rights.

4     12. As a successful songwriter, would you prefer to enter into a co-publishing agreement or an administration agreement, and why?

2     13. What is the importance of a "leaving member" clause in a group's recording contract?

1     14. Do Artist Royalties paid to a recording artist by a major record company reflect a percentage of the record's retail price or a percentage of the record company's profits?

3     15. Identify and briefly describe the various members of a successful entertainer's team of representation?