Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Motion Picture Marketing and Distribution

696 | 2.0 credits


This course will introduce students to the legal concepts involved in the marketing and distribution of theatrical motion pictures. The instruction will set forth the intellectual property issues and MPAA requirements for the title selection of a motion picture, the MPAA rating system for motion pictures, copyright and trademark issues involved in clearing the use of marketing materials in the advertising campaign for a motion picture, understanding the individual rights of talent when incorporating their name, voice or likeness in marketing materials, and the laws that govern special promotions, sweepstakes and contests conducted in connection with the marketing campaign of a motion picture project. In addition, students will obtain a firm understanding of the domestic distribution operations of a self-distributing motion picture studio. We will discuss in detail the relationship between the theatrical distributor and the exhibitor, the state and federal laws that govern that special relationship, and recent trends in the distribution industry, including: the digital cinema initiatives, the anti-piracy statutes for the new media and digital age, and the release windows for motion picture content (and discussions to “shrink” those windows).