The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers (2nd Edition), a book published by Focal Press, is an indispensible, quick-reference guide to legal issues related to filmmaking, written by Thomas A. Crowell, Esq., a TV producer–turned–entertainment lawyer. He writes in plain English (for filmmakers!), not in legalese. The book is the next best thing to having an entertainment attorney on retainer – and slightly more affordable.
The book is really three volumes in one: a handy manual on film contracts, a step-by-step guide to critical legal issues on and off the set, and a quick reference on copyright and intellectual property issues. The second edition has been expanded to address contemporary issues such as DIY Internet distribution via electronic download, Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, and more.
Author Thomas A. Crowell is the Director of the Indie Film Clinic at Cardozo Law School. He has taught film and media law courses at Seton Hall Law School and School of Visual Arts, and beginning in 2007 has presented seminars at New York Comic Con on protecting your work.