Certificate in entertainment law


A new entertainment law course has been established at the University of Johannesburg to assist both creative and legal practitioners in gaining knowledge about legal matters pertaining to the professional entertainment industry.

The course, which commences in September, is designed to reveal the interaction and dynamics between industry practice and the law. Lectures will further demonstrate how to apply that knowledge in a practical manner.

The course will be led by Advocate Anton Alberts who specialises in entertainment law as well as ICT and space law. He regularly acts as legal counsel to foreign ICT firms investing in South Africa, ICT firms active in Canada, and several film and television production houses operating in SA, Canada and the US. He was also previously Head of Legal Affairs at M-Net and Legal manager at Shaw Communications in Canada.

According to Alberts, formal focused legal schooling for the SAindustry is surprisingly non-existent in spite of the growth of the entertainment industry over the last few years, the increase in the number of international productions and the growing success of SA films and television programmes locally and internationally.

“Creative practitioners, in most cases, do not know enough about the law to protect themselves and legal practitioners have very little fundamental understanding of the practices and uniqueness of the entertainment industry.”

It is against this background that Alberts, under the auspices of the University of Johannesburg, has established the course which will carry a recognised certificate.
Three fields of entertainment content will be dealt with. They are live performance (plays, music, etc); “mechanical” and electronic exhibition of performances (films, TV programmes, TV advertisements, Internet and cell phone content, multimedia, etc.); as well as art and fashion (paintings, sculptures, etc.).

Course participants will be able to track the legalities of production and exploitation of a fictional feature film through all five stages of production a€” Project Development; Pre-Production, Production, Post Production and Marketing and Exploitation.

“This method of instruction will expose all the legal problems that may arise during the creation of any type of entertainment content. The legal issues as it relates to art and fashion exhibition will be discussed as a subsidiary subject matter,” says Alberts.
Content creation will be covered in relation to the following major legal fields: Law of Contract; Intellectual Property Law (Copyright, Trademarks and Patents); Labour Law; Tax Law; Law of Delict (Law of Damages inclusing the Law relating to Unfair Competition); and Constitutional Law (Bill of Rights).

Participants will be able to choose from two class timetables and all lectures will take place after working hours. They will also receive a CD with sample contracts for personal use.

Entry requirements are reasonable. A person must have either two years of relevant entertainment industry experience; or have completed at least two years of formal graduate studies in an entertainment-related field; or have a degree/diploma or any relevant qualification or relevant experience.
To register for the course contact: Faculty of Law, University of Johannesburg, Tel: 011 489 3739; 489 2399 or email: iak@regte.rau.ac.za
For academic enquires contact: Advocate Anton Alberts Tel: 011 446 7000 or email anton.alberts@shaw.ca


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