COMM ST 164 - Entertainment Law

Session A

Topics will include sports law; the permissible use of images of celebrities and athletes in media; comedy and the law (e.g., comedians accusing other comedians of stealing a joke); film ratings; trademark law; tabloid law (e.g., when does publication of private information such as a sex tape constitute an invasion of privacy); defamation; the music industry; and business models of television production, distribution, and content acquisition. The class will have a number of guest speakers. They are intended not only to educate but also to provide insights as to how they got started in the industry (and, presumably, how you can, too). Guest speakers will include a sports super-agent from Wasserman’s Team Sports Group; the Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of CBS Corporation; a long-time producer and co-executive producer for the David Letterman show; a new media law expert from UCLA School of Law; a top entertainment law attorney; a Senior Vice President for Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution; and a Grammy-nominated songwriter and Emmy-award winning composer, among others.

Instructor(s): 

Mark Huppin

I am a constitutional law scholar and social scientist interested in First Amendment issues and effects of sexual and violent media.

I have taught in UCLA's Department of Communication Studies since 2007. I received my B.A. and my Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA, and in between my J.D. from Stanford Law School. 

Also, while working for a big Silicon Valley law firm with one of those nice office views after law school (now the third largest law firm in the U.S. as measured by revenue), in my spare time I co-wrote, co-directed, and co-produced a feature film that debuted at the Seattle International Film Festival (and did music licensing for the film as well). See here for the Variety review: http://variety.com/1997/film/reviews/nothing-sacred-2-1117341207/. This led to a two-year contract with Writers & Artists Agency in Westwood. But a lunch with a UCLA professor soon led to a change of plans, namely a co-authored book on sexual rights. Months later I found myself a PhD student in Psychology at UCLA.

Reflecting my interdisciplinary background, my work spans issues of constitutional law, mass communication, psychology, and historical theory. Often, topics of sex and violence provide unifying themes across areas. Overall, I regularly combine legal and empirical analysis in a single work to suggest a foundation for sound public policy.