If you’re looking for a way to stay up to date in easy, convenient fashion with key developments in entertainment and media law, why not try a novel, different technology: Podcasts, which hit big in the early 2000s then seemed to fade a decade or so later, have reemerged to become all the rage again. We’re talking Serial, This American Life, Fresh Air, and the many offerings available through National Public Radio and Apple.
There also are at least a trio of Entertainment Law podcasts worth considering for some reasons described below: It’s a subjective call, and there may be options to add.
But in the upcoming downtime connected to the holidays, it may be worth devoting some moments to: the Entertainment Law Update Podcast, Laws of Entertainment with Lisa Bonner, and the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media, and Entertainment Law Journal Podcast. Here’s why, for those with long commutes or the need for informative diversion, to listen up!
This podcast features the analysis of Gordon Firemark, a noted Los Angeles entertainment lawyer, and his co-host, Tamera Bennett, a Texas practitioner. The duo give updates on pertinent cases in the industry on a monthly basis.
With more than 30 years in the industry, Firemark—a Southerwestern Law School alum and adjunct—has deep expertise in entertainment and media law issues. As a solo practitioner, he acts as counsel for talent, and businesses working in theater, live entertainment, film, television, music, photography, and media. He also serves as corporate counsel to established and new entertainment companies. He has written the book on podcasting, The Podcast, Blog & New Media Producers’ Legal Survival Guide, a guide on legal principles, issues and claims for Internet-based media producers to watch out for.
Bennett, with 16 years in the law, has experience with trademarks, copyright, mediation, and other media and entertainment law specific areas. She has co-hosted most of the 80 podcast episodes and has written for Billboard magazine and the Texas Lawyer Newspaper. Her experiences are not limited to the courtroom, blogging or commenting. She has served as secretary for the Texas chapter of the Grammy Association and on on the association;s Board of Governors for two terms. She has been a past chair of the State Bar of Texas entertainment and sports law section. She has taught at Dallas Baptist University, where she was an adjunct professor in the music business program.
Firemark and Bennett not only are knowledgeable their podcast projects their great rapport. They banter easily on timely matters but also take care not to dive so deep that novices might get lost or so seasoned practitioners’ eyes glaze over. They keep the podcast fresh by incorporating frequent guests who provide their own excellent insights. Not only has this dynamic duo knocked out 10 or episodes annually, they also podcast a year-end episode with the highlights and a wrap up of the year’s biggest cases.
Laws of Entertainment, with Lisa Bonner
Lisa Bonner provides her easygoing yet enlightening podcast from Atlanta, tackling special topics in the media and entertainment law industry. She provides deep expertise, as illustrated in her bio on bonnerlawpc.net, her practice’s website. During her 19-year legal career, Bonner writes that she has served as “counsel for large media companies, film distribution and music, television and film producers, artists and writers.”
As her experience makes clear, she has dealt with a range of legal situations—including transactional matters, film production, negotiating agreements, and representing a range of talent across all categories of the entertainment industry. She has been a lecturer and instructor for the University of California, Los Angeles, extension program, where, from 2003 to 2008, she taught “Understanding Recording Agreements.” More recently, she has been a frequent, live, legal correspondent for Fox News and CNBC.
She is definitely comfortable behind a microphone. Her podcasts are engaging and have a natural flow to them. Her podcasts tend to run 30 minutes or so, each featuring a new guest, many of whom are her friends. Bonner doesn’t necessarily dissect cases, and, instead, develops practice insights by chatting with her colleagues about their jobs and experiences in entertainment. She stresses “teachable moments,” tapping her podcast as an avenue to pass on the knowledge she and her guests have amassed to entertainment attorneys, executives, and professionals. Laws of Entertainment is a great podcast for newcomers to the legal aspect of the entertainment business. It would be helpful to those seeking to discover more about the industry and career paths in it. Seasoned professionals may not find that Bonner dives deep enough into case specifics, but if she and her guest happen to hit on an issue of topic of their focus, they will find the podcast highly useful.
The podcast is a part of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media, and Entertainment Law Journal, and new podcasts have been posting weekly since September. Anthony Zangrillo is the podcast’s current host and each episode tackles timely topics, focusing on just one each week, often with a special guest or two who help break down the issues at hand. Zangrillo is a Fordham University School of Law 3L, and the online editor of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal. He is joined regularly by members of the journal’s staff.
The go deep into IP legal issues, taking a direct yet often lighthearted approach. They cover topics including copyright, trademark, advertising law, privacy concerns, and IP and Entertainment Law matters. Because the podcast is relaxed and chatty, it’s accessible to audiences with a range of experience in the law.