A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

film and television
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

ENTERTAINERS LEGAL SUPPORT (article first published : 2003-04-9)

Anyone in the entertainment business should know the importance of having professionally drawn-up contracts which are legally binding, covering a wide variety of activities relating to their profession. Unfortunately this is often not the case according to Athol Gordon, director of law firm Bowman Gilfillan Findlay & Tait which is based in Cape Town.

“There are an increasing number of cases involving people in the entertainment industry, where individuals, groups or companies have left themselves open to exploitation and even fraud by not being adequately protected,” says Athol Gordon.

“The industry has expanded into so many new areas that it now includes actors, singers, musical groups, individual musicians, TV and radio presenters, impresarios, concert organisers and venues. More recently the whole subject of the internet and all the service providers who are involved has come under the spotlight in terms of who should be responsible for material that appears.

“By joining forces under the umbrella of Bowman Gilfillan, three of Africa’s top legal firms came together in a bold and innovative move towards providing top legal service. The offices of Bowman Gilfillan (Sandton), Bowman Gilfillan Findlay & Tait (Cape Town) and Bowman Gilfillan John & Kernick (Midrand) and Bowman Gilfillan (London) are each as well as collectively, ideally positioned within an increasingly global market to draw upon their extensive resources to emerge as one of the leading legal service providers, both locally and internationally. We are the South African representative of Lex Mundi, an international association (with 375 offices world-wide).”

Athol Gordon poses the situation that people getting a divorce or with a civil or criminal claim normally go to an attorney or an advocate for professional advice. This action is usually in response to a problem that has already arisen and requires addressing. In the case of the entertainment industry it is vital to take preventative measures beforehand to cover any eventuality.

“This is where properly drawn up contracts come in,” says Athol. “But who do you go to if there is a case of defamation or the unlawful publication of material, etc?”

The growing demand for legal protection of the rights of entertainers motivated Bowman Gilfillan Findlay & Tait to form a dedicated new Entertainment Law Department. This has the services of a team of specialist attorneys who can offer advice on any legal matter relating to the entertainment industry.

“We are also able to assemble a team of lawyers within hours to deal with matters pertaining to the industry anywhere in the country,” adds Athol. “Our international network can also prove most useful when dealing with foreign visitors or South African entertainers abroad. Naturally we understand the complexities of the jurisdiction of various countries around the world and are in a position to provide sound advice regarding this.”

Bowman Gilfillan Findlay & Tait is part of the Johannesburg-based Bowman Gilfillan Inc., which has major professional resources and legal expertise. Matters relating to intellectual property such as branding and character merchandising can be handled by patent and trademark attorneys, Bowman Gilfillan John and Kernick who are part of the group.

Athol Gordon concludes: “The old saying that prevention is the best cure certainly applies to entertainers in what has become an incredibly competitive business. It really is dog eat dog out there and anyone not sensible enough to be properly protected or at least have legal recourse, is going to be left wondering what happened.

“We have already saved a number of clients significant amounts of money by taking appropriate steps to defend their property, individual rights or integrity. Our services include, amongst others, advice on contract negotiation and vetting, protection of personal and property rights and mediation between parties.”

More information from Donald Fraser Bett on 021 531 3789 or Athol Gordon on 021 480 7800.




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart