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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Hollywood and the Law

ISBN 9781844574773
Publication Date December 2015
Formats Paperback Ebook Hardcover 
Publisher British Film Institute

Since the earliest days of cinema the law has influenced the conditions in which Hollywood films are made, sold, circulated or presented – from the talent contracts that enable a film to go into production, to the copyright laws that govern its distribution and the censorship laws that may block exhibition. Equally, Hollywood has left its own impression on the American legal system by lobbying to expand the duration of copyright, providing a highly visible stage for contract disputes and representing the legal system on screen.

In this comprehensive collection, international experts offer chapters on key topics, including copyright, trademark, piracy, antitrust, censorship, international exhibition, contracts, labour and tax. Drawing on historical and contemporary case studies, Hollywood and the Law provides readers with a wide range of perspectives on how legal frameworks shape the culture and commerce of popular film.

Paul McDonald is Professor of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King's College London, UK.
Emily Carman is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Chapman University, USA. 
Eric Hoyt is Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
Philip Drake is Head of the Department of Media and Professor in Film, Media and Communications at Edge Hill University, UK.

Notes on Contributors
Introduction: On the Legal Lives of Hollywood; Eric Hoyt, Paul McDonald, Emily Carman, Philip Drake
1. One Law to Rule Them All: Copyright Goes Hollywood; Peter Decherney
2. The Changing Landscape of Trademark Law in Tinseltown: From Debbie Does Dallas to The Hangover; John Tehranian and Mark Bartholomew
3. Piracy and the Shadow History of Hollywood; Paul McDonald
4. The Preservation of Competition: Hollywood and Antitrust Law; Jennifer Porst
5. Controlling Content: Governmental Censorship, the Production Code and the Ratings System; Laura Wittern-Keller
6. Hollywood Embassies, Labour and Investment Laws, and Global Cinema Exhibition: Ross Melnick
7. Asset or Liability?: Hollywood and Tax Law; Eric Hoyt
8. Doing the Deal: Talent Contracts in Hollywood; Emily Carman and Philip Drake
9. Will Work for Screen Credit: Labour and the Law in Hollywood; Catherine Fisk



Hollywood and the Law skillfully re-enacts the drama of American cinema on the legal stage. The anthology's considerable accomplishment is its artful blending of history, analysis and explanation without sacrificing the more practical aspects of entertainment law. It is sure to become a standard reference text in the field.' - Nitin Govil, University Of Southern California, USA
'Hollywood and the Law makes an important contribution to our understanding of the ways in which legal frameworks – from copyright, tax and labour law to antitrust and censorship regulation – have shaped the business, culture and aesthetics of Hollywood and its products.' - Richard Maltby, Flinders University, Australia
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