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Donovan A Rodriques

Donovan A Rodriques

Business and Entertainment Attorney
  • Entertainment & Sports, Business Law, Intellectual Property
  • New York
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

I am a business and entertainment attorney. I concentrate my practice in the area of film and television development, financing, production and distribution. I represent producers, talent, entertainment companies and entrepreneurs, including a number of startups and emerging companies in media, sports and entertainment technologies.

Practice Areas
  • Entertainment & Sports
  • Business Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Free Consultation
    First consultation up to 60 minutes
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Contingent Fees
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
New York
2nd Circuit
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Business & Entertainment Attorney
Rodriques Law, PLLC
- Current
He concentrates in the area of film and television development, finance, production and distribution. His principal clients include individuals and businesses in the film, television and music industries, including a number of start-ups in media, sports and entertainment technologies.
Norman Manley Law School
Edinburgh University School of Law
LL.M. / International Trade Law
University of the West Indies
LL.B. / Law (1999)
Professional Associations
New York State Bar
- Current
Activities: Member of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section
Articles & Publications
How to Obtain Indie Film Financing
NYSBA Fall/Winter 2013 Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal
Websites & Blogs
Rodriques Law, PLLC blogs
Legal Answers
30 Questions Answered

Q. What should I be aware of if I submit an unsolicited screenplay to a studio in terms of ownership, etc.?
A: You should be aware that most studios will not read unsolicited scripts, for fear of copyright infringement litigation. You should contact an entertainment attorney or talent agent who can pitch your script on your behalf. Of course, you should ensure that your script is registered with the US Copyright Office, or at the very least, the WGA, before you submit it to third parties with whom you do not already have a contractual or fiduciary relationship.
Q. If companies that are based in different states merge, how do you decide which state's law should apply to the merger?
A: The parties may agree on which state's law is to govern the transaction. Typically, it is the law of the state of the surviving entity.
Q. I am interested in operating a group family daycare. I need help getting started.
A: You will need to obtain a Group Family Day Care License. You should also consider: (1) what business entity to use for your business, in terms of liability, tax consequences, management and operations, etc.; and (2) General liability and workers compensation insurance.
Q. When publishing a true crime novel, how can an author protect themselves from lawsuit?
A: You should ensure that all proper copyright registrations are in place, obtain a book clearance report, general liability and errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, and proper contracts with publishers and other parties. “Script clearance” means that a clearance service will go through the script and create a report that flags potential legal problems relating to copyright, trademark, defamation, right to publicity and privacy issues. "General Liability Insurance" covers a number of liabilities, including, defamation and copyright infringement claims against you. "Errors & Omissions Insurance" covers claims against you brought by a client, publisher, or a customer, where the other party claims you were negligent, failed to deliver the book you agreed to, or delivered shoddy, incomplete, or unsatisfactory work, etc.
Q. I have a trademark question, regarding legality around opening a new business and whether it infringes on another?
A: Firstly, you will need to apply for a New York Natural Hair Styling license. Secondly, if you plan to setup your business as a LLC, partnership or corporation, the New York Division of Corporations may reject your proposed business name if it is not "distinguishable" from existing names on file. You should not have a problem if 'American Haircut Club' is not on file. Thirdly, just because 'American Haircut Club' is not on file and you can incorporate or organize your company using the name 'Haircut Club' does not mean you may use the name. 'American Haircut Club' may own the trademark, giving them exclusive right to use the name for hair salon service within New York. Under U.S. law, trademark rights are obtained through actual use of a mark in commerce, i.e., being the first to use the mark on or in connection with specific goods and/or services in the marketplace. Use in commerce requires a bone fide use of the mark in the ordinary course of business. Where the mark is a service mark, use in commerce requires that the mark be used or displayed in the sale or advertising of services, and that the services actually be rendered. You should contact an intellectual property attorney to help you review your specific situation and advise you.
Q. I want to publish a book showing the work of tattooists. They provide the picss. Do I need model releases. Many are old.
A: Not only should you obtain model releases, you ought to also obtain license from the photographer(s) and clearance for the artwork depicted in the pics.
Q. What kind of licensing agreement should I have for a song I wrote and I'd like to sell?
A: That depends on who you would like to sell or license your song to. Your question is too vague for a proper answer. You should speak with an experienced entertainment lawyer.
Q. Can I include a closely partnered business into my non-compete agreement?
A: You may, but you should pay close attention to the scope and term of any restrictive covenant. You will also want to address other issues, such as, use of your trademark, copyright and other property. You should consult with a qualified business lawyer for advice.
Q. Displaying others' marks in ads
A: You should be fine if the products shot are portrayed in the manner they are commonly portrayed and the audience is not led to believe that the product brands are sponsoring or associated with the product/service being featured in your video ad. That does not mean you won't get sued or receive a cease and desist letter. The best way to avoid this scenario altogether is to not show or blur/remove the logos of these products. The materials provided herein are for informational purposes only and do not constitute advertising, solicitation or legal advice. Consequently, you should not rely upon it as advice about specific legal problems because it does not constitute the rendering of legal advice and does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you need legal or other professional advice, you should consult with appropriate legal counsel familiar with your particular facts and circumstances.
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