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Arbitration Meets the Entertainment Industry
The entertainment industry has moved away from litigation and has made efforts to utilize ADR for resolving disputes. Arbitration should be considered at the top of the ADR list. The entertainment world revolves around contractual agreements. Providing arbitration clauses inside these contracts will ensure quicker resolutions to disputes in the midst of tight schedules. Arbitration safeguards the continuing business relationship the parties must maintain with each other. Arbitration is the best ADR technique for parties to choose in entertainment disputes when settlements are un-attainable, confidentiality is valued, and the desire for a quick and binding resolution is warranted.
Graham v. Scissor-Tail Inc., 28 Cal.3d 807 (1981)
The California Supreme Court held that: (1) form contract between music promoter and musical group was adhesive and provision requiring arbitration of disputes before musicians' union, because it designated an arbitrator who, by reason of its status and identity, was presumptively biased in favor of one party, was unconscionable and unenforceable; (2) federal labor law, even if applicable, did not require a different result; and (3) upon remand, parties were entitled to reasonable opportunity to agree on suitable arbitrator.
Kroma Makeup EU, LLC v. Boldface Licensing + Branding, Inc., 845 F.3d 1351 (11 Cir. 2017)
In certain circumstances, non-signatories may compel arbitration. The Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit held this dispute did not fall within the scope of arbitration clause in “Kroma” licensing agreement. Because of this, the Kardashians, who were non-signatories to “Kroma” licensee, were unable to compel arbitration.
Pritzker v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce Fenner & Smith, Inc., 7 F.3d 1110 (3d Cir. 1993)
Non-signatory agents may invoke a valid arbitration clause that their principal solely agreed to. The Third Circuit has held because a principal is bound under the terms of a valid arbitration clause, its agents, employees, and representatives are also covered under the terms of such agreements. This is known as the Pritzker rule.
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Alternative Dispute Resolution Organizations
American Arbitration Association
AAA is a not-for-profit organization that deals with ADR and provides services to individuals and organizations who wish to resolve conflicts out of court. They facilitate the arbitration proceedings.
World Intellectual Property Organization
WIPO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that encourages innovators to be creative and provides protection of their intellectual property on a global scale. They provide ADR such as arbitration when conflicts arise.
IFTA Arbitration may be used for a wide variety of domestic and international entertainment disputes, such as those arising out of production agreements, motion picture, television and multimedia licensing agreements, financing agreements, film exhibition agreements and sales agency agreements, to name a few.