Archives For film

The record industry’s poor financial state has received frequent but shallow coverage by the media.  Most often the headline is followed by a sound byte about pirates and the music-stealing teenagers that support them.  While the proliferation of piracy is certainly a factor in the industry’s financial health, it may simply be a symptom of a much greater war; a struggle between two industries that has been largely ignored by the media, Content vs. Technology.  Some savvy pundits have described the battle between California’s content and technology industries as an economic civil war.[1] Here, the virtual Mason-Dixon line divides southern California, the historic capitol of content creators and rights holders, from northern California’s Silicon Valley, a potent cluster of technology juggernauts like Apple, Facebook, and Google.  Although content currently appears to be losing ground to technology’s blitzkrieg in this most public of battles, both content and technology will need to find an amenable compromise -a treaty of sorts – to thrive together in the marketplace.

The value of content is much broader than its oft-celebrated sociological, psychological, and cultural benefits.  Content is a source of not only geopolitical capital and influence abroad but also tremendous wealth for our Country.  Some might be surprised to learn that intellectual property, including compositions and recordings of music, is the United States’ number one export. [2] In a time where much of America’s manufacturing has relocated to more cost-effective locales, such as China, intellectual property has maintained its position as a dominant source of revenue.  Maury Yeston, Ph.D, a multiple Tony Award-winning Broadway composer and former director of undergraduate music studies at Yale University, encourages us to “consider the massive and disproportionally [sic] positive influx of income the export of our intellectual property has on our nation’s balance of trade, not only in song, but also in film and theatrical products.”[3] Intellectual property is one of a shrinking number of “products” America exports with a positive trade balance but for some reason it is losing the consumer adoration and respect it once had. Continue Reading…

Too often creative-minded people focus 100% of their attention on their craft and forget to safeguard themselves from crippling legal and business issues that prevent financial success. This site is designed to provide artists of all mediums (authors, musicians, filmmakers, photographers, etc.) with critical legal knowledge and business concepts to further their creative careers by protecting both their work and themselves from potential legal pitfalls and business failures.

In order to provide you – the creative – with relevant content, I am going to need your help. Ideally, each post will serve as a prompt for conversation. If I discuss an issue in a way that’s helpful to you, please let me know. If you would like more information or clarification, leave a comment. In addition, please contact me at any time with questions, suggestions, or ideas as to what topics would be most helpful and interesting.

I am sincerely looking forward to building a community around this site and making an significant impact in the lives of artists. Thank you in advance for your participation, attention, and interest in serving the creative class with me.

Dedicated to your creative success,

Ian Gibson, Esq.