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Setting the legal parametres for intellectual property rights

19 November 2019 12:05 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Book reviews

The book is a revelation of the challenges facing lawyers, judges and lawmakers in this increasingly complex area of law

Chanakya Jayadeva
Pic by Kushan Pathiraja

 

  • Some of the subject touched in the  first eleven chapters of the book are entertainment rights, entertainment assets and elements
  • His love for the subject and competence in the field makes him all the more qualified to author a book of this calibre
  • The area of entertainment law is of significance to him as the founder of his own law firm on the subject
  • It lays out the rights and the remedies available to any person involved and interested in the entertainment industry along with the liabilities which may accrue to such a person in the event he/she oversteps the boundaries erected by the law

 

In 2013, when Chanakya Jayadeva published his first book ‘Entertainment Law and Broadcasting Law for Sri Lanka, little was known of the subject in our country. It was Sri Lanka’s first. Six years down the line, he claims ownership to yet another comprehensive book on the subject, expanding on his first and venturing into the terrain of new media. As a practitioner of Intellectual property Law which covers the full spectrum of human creativity, Jayadeva’s book is very relatable. Just as in any other field, creative people too need legal assistance to safeguard their intellectual property rights as they attempt to convert their creative thoughts and ideas into money making businesses. 

 

In this light, the book International Entertainment Law and New Media Law sets out the legal parametres within which the stakeholders of the entertainment industry are to operate. It lays out the rights and the remedies available to any person involved and interested in the entertainment industry along with the liabilities which may accrue to such a person in the event he/she oversteps the boundaries erected by the law. It is also, as stated by Smith in the foreword to the book, a revelation of the challenges facing lawyers, judges and lawmakers in this increasingly complex area of law. In the meantime, each page brings to light the relationship between entertainment law and other branches of the law such as intellectual property law, contract law, tort law and the law of agency, as the author sifts through the numerous areas which together form the entertainment industry. Additionally, each chapter is supplemented with the latest authorities from around the world making this book a worthwhile and informative read. 


The first eleven chapters of the book are on the subjects of entertainment rights, entertainment assets and elements, entertainment intermediaries, entertainment contracts, entertainment financing, compensation and credit, entertainment censorship, literary publications, music law, the film industry, television and broadcasting and the fashion industry. 


Chapters twelve and thirteen which are on new media are arguably the most opportune chapters of the book owing to the fact that new media law has become a sine qua non of entertainment law. As acknowledged by the author, it is apparent that entertainment law has rapidly evolved to accommodate the ever changing world of the digital era. The complexities accompanying such change has warranted attention to be diverted to this area of the law and these two chapters of Jayadeva’s book are dedicated to warn against, and unravel these complexities which are brought about by changes in time. 


Whether the existing law is able to keep pace with the rapid speed at which new media is growing is a question that is raised in both chapters Video Gaming and the Law and Social Network, the Internet and Censorship thereby calling for answers. We are made to see the difficulty in striking a balance between freedom of expression in a context where the internet and social media platforms provide ample opportunities to express freely. The questions raised by the author - who actually governs the internet? does it need to be governed? and in which ways should it be governed? are undoubtedly thought-provoking, but more importantly, they are crucial to regulate new media. They are questions which ought to be asked and answered when dealing with new media law and entertainment law and for this the author should be commended. 


This interesting and enlightening read comes to a close with an important chapter which includes the statutory provisions – The Intellectual property Act No. 36 of 2003 and the conventions- Rome Convention of 1961, Berne Convention, Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances of 2012, Marrakesh Treaty pertaining to entertainment law and new media law. 
Speaking of the man behind this book, he is no stranger to us, but a familiar face seen frequently on national television. Jayadeva’s love for writing goes back to his College days where he won the prestigious H.N.G. Fernando prize for legal research. He continued to write in the years he served as a State Counsel in the Attorney General’s Department and continues to do so as a member of the private bar, with over twenty years of experience. The area of entertainment law is of significance to him as the founder of his own law firm on the subject, his involvement in broadcasting and his personal love for entertainment. His love for the subject and competence in the field makes him all the more qualified to author a book of this calibre. 
Thanks to Chanakya Jayadeva, the subject of entertainment law is no longer inaccessible and incomprehensible. Despite having approached the subject with professionalism and expertise in his book, it is simple enough to be for the student, the practitioner, the lawmaker or simply for anyone else who has taken a liking for the subject, and thus is a worthy acquisition. His book is proof of the fact that the future does indeed look bright for entertainment law.

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