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Introduction

This chapter addresses the fundamental legal protections for, and limits on, the media and entertainment industries in the United States. Section II provides a brief review of the most notable developments over the past year affecting regulation of the US media and entertainment industries. Section III sets out the legal and regulatory framework that governs those industries, including the interplay between state and federal laws. Section IV describes the robust protections in the United States for free speech and a free press. In Section V, we consider the predominant forms of intellectual property that both protect the creative output of the media and entertainment industries and limit what those industries can do with the creative output of others without first securing permission. Section VI addresses the regulatory framework for preserving competition and protecting consumers. Section VII briefly touches on the nature of contractual disputes most common to the US media and entertainment industries. In each of these sections, we highlight recent developments and legal trends of interest. The final section, Section VIII, provides an outlook for the year ahead.