Media Lawyers vs. Entertainment Lawyers: Here’s the Difference!

Many people inquire about the difference between a media lawyer and an entertainment lawyer 🤔 – especially when they’re unsure which one better suits their needs!

Generally speaking, an entertainment lawyer is a type of a media lawyer, so they’re not necessarily two different things. However, entertainment law is a specialization of media law, and does concern specific types of clients and legal issues.


Entertainment lawyers usually work for content creators in the following industries:

✳️ Film, Television, and Theater

✳️ Music

✳️ Publishing

✳️ Comedy

✳️ Digital and Social Media

✳️ Video Games

✳️ Visual Arts

Most of the legal issues entertainment lawyers counsel on include negotiations and contracts, intellectual property, safety and privacy 🔐, and even the right of free speech!

One of the most famous cases involving entertainment law may be the 2007 Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube, Inc. in which Viacom sued YouTube for extensive copyright infringement on the platform. 

The case was appealed multiple times, and ultimately resulted in a settlement 💸. However, it stands as a great example of entertainment law, especially regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and how it protects social media platforms.


On the other hand, media lawyers, who may or may not choose to specialize in entertainment law, focus on more general media-related legal issues. 

Some of these issues may include, but are not limited to:

✳️ Advertising and Marketing

✳️ Broadcasting

✳️ Information Technology

✳️ Privacy and Confidentiality

✳️ Negotiations and Contracts

✳️ Telecommunications

Remember, entertainment lawyers may also deal with any of these issues as well; they simply have specialized training and experience in certain industries. 

On the other hand, media attorneys deal with a plethora of legal specialties, as long as they relate to the media industry in general. 

In fact, a media lawyer may find themselves navigating finance 💰 law, corporate law, and even immigration law all with one client, say, a newspaper for example!


So if media and entertainment lawyers are “sometimes but not always” the same thing, how are you supposed to choose which one is right for you 🤷‍♀️?!

Generally, I advise my clients not to get too caught up in comparing “media” vs. “entertainment” lawyers, but instead focus on each legal professional as specializing in a couple topics. 

For example, oftentimes attorneys specialize their practice even further than entertainment law! As a social media attorney, I advise my clients on topics ranging from business 💼 law to family law – but I mostly deal with social media issues. 

Therefore, while my practice could be considered media and entertainment law, it’s even further specialized as a social media firm!

Finally, be sure to check out testimonials  💬 from past clients, Google or Yelp reviews, and anything else you can find before hiring ANY kind of lawyer. You always want to be sure you’re dealing with a well-respected attorney.