An Entertainment Lawyer’s Dictionary

Schuyler Moore offers some hilarious insight into various "terms of art" which crop up in entertainment-related contracts (particularly those for film and television deals) (Do You Know Your Showbiz Deal Terms?) – a sampling:

United States means the United States (including our 51st state, Canada, and, for the hell of it, all of the Caribbean).

First look means, depending on whom you ask, either (a) a right of first negotiation, the weakest form of a right to acquire something; or (b) an option, the strongest form of a right to acquire something. So, if you like litigation, use this term often.

Gross. How could "gross" need a definition? Well, if that’s all you say, then based on custom and practice, it actually means that only 20% of video is included, and it also means that a bunch of "off-the-top" expenses are deducted (see below).

Adjusted gross means, well, actually the same as "gross," unless you are an agent that wants to tell your client that he got a share of "adjusted gross," in which case it might mean "net" (see below).

Net means you go hungry.

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Bob Tarantino

About Bob Tarantino

Bob Tarantino is Counsel at Dentons Canada LLP and focuses his practice on the interface between the entertainment industries and intellectual property law, with an emphasis on film and television production, financing, licensing, distribution, and IP acquisition and protection. His clients range from artists and independent producers to Canadian distributors and foreign studios and financiers at every stage of the creative process, from development to delivery and exploitation.

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