We say “our specialty is you,” and that’s the way we work. Everything we do is guided by an understanding and sensitivity to what’s best for our clients

Entertainment Law

Boylan Code’s Entertainment Law practice group is headed by our two-time Daytime Emmy® – nominated partner (2014 and 2017), Mark Costello, and has more practical experience in entertainment matters than any firm in western New York. Over the past 30 years we have represented individuals and companies in the entertainment and creative arts industries from all walks of life, some of the highest international renown and others in the early stages of their careers. Our comprehensive entertainment practice ranges from films to music to book publishing and encompasses filmmakers (commercial, narrative and documentarians), producers, screenwriters, crew, actors investors, composers, artists, arrangers, performers, dancers, musicians, authors, studios agents, managers, promotors, models, municipalities finding themselves in the midst of music concert productions (e.g., Woodstock ’99), and many more folks in between. Services encompass drafting, reviewing and counseling on all contracts and issues, including financing, related to a client’s entertainment business.

A small sample of the types of services we offer include the following:

Filmmakers:

  • All aspects of financing and fundraising and state and federal securities issues relating thereto
  • Corporate formation related to business entities created to own and produce motion pictures
  • Acquisition of rights in original works and in previously published works
  • Crew
  • Actors, including deal memos and long form and short form performance agreements
  • Minor contracts and employment issues relating to employment of minors
  • Screen Actors Guild contracts
  • Copyright review audit services for documentarians concerned with fair use (we review your film and issue a thorough analysis of all potential copyright and trademark issues). (Similar services are available to narrative filmmakers.)
  • Location Agreements
  • Equipment leases
  • Music licensing
  • E&O insurance and counseling about issues to be addressed early in the filmmaking process to ensure a filmmaker may qualify for E&O insurance
  • Sale agent agreements
  • Life rights contracts
  • Distribution agreements

Musicians

  • Management agreements
  • Agent contracts
  • Performance contracts (from short term with small venues to long term with large venues (such as Las Vegas Casinos)
  • Composer agreements (including joint composer agreements and commissioning contracts)
  • Works made for hire agreements
  • Scoring contracts
  • Acquisition of works for use in new work (e.g., acquisition of rights in an internationally published play as the source material for a commissioned opera)
  • Recording contracts
  • Distribution contracts

Authors

  • Publishing contracts
  • Life rights acquisition
  • Agent agreements
  • Commissioned works agreements
  • Illustrator agreements