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Ownership of Video

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Ownership of Video
on Oct 11, 2005 at 3:27:52 pm

I've been hired to produce a video for a couple of nurses that will serve as an instructional tool for a new technique that they have developed. This video is part of a research project to be used with some RN's. Some questions have come up that I'm not sure how to answer. This nurse has a revolutionary new technique that she wants to test using a control group and my video to aid in the instruction process.

When the video is finished the nurse wants to retain all the rights to the video & the process she developed (as she wants to do further work using the technique). I should mention that this project may (possibly) be funded using a grant that another nurse received (though not directly for this video I believe), but the nurse who developed this process is willing to pay for the project herself if it means that she will "own" the video when it is finished.

To summarize here are my main questions:
1. Does it matter where the money comes from (a grant, personal funds from one of the nurses) for the project as to who owns the finished project?

2. As the producer (doing all the work of pre, production, and post) I would own the copyright to the material. Can I write the contract in a way that gives the nurses ownership of the final video but lets me retain the rights to the raw footage and any artwork that I create for the project?

3. If this technique is found to be very successful and it goes national how can I keep myself in the loop to make more money (assuming that I am still doing the production work for them)?

Any suggestions on how I should proceed with this one?

I want to protect everyone involved and keep them all happy (It is possible that I could be contracted to do several more videos for this nurse). Thanks for any advice!

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Re: Ownership of Video
on Oct 11, 2005 at 4:26:57 pm

i suspect that the reason she would like to retain the rights to the video is for copyright protection of her technique.

this is not a problem. just charge more than you normally would. i am sure she will understand and will pay the premium to retain control over the footage. for example: she wouldn't want you using b-roll of a secret technique in the girl guide fundraiser video that God-knows-who will see.

this is also the secret to doing more work for her. don't fight her on the rights issue. if you get your gander up and your back to the wall she may even pull this project from you.

just consider her to be the producer with all of the rights over the footage and yourself as a contractor to shoot, edit, and what-ever.

as i say. simply charge more than you usually would. she will pay it to keep control over her techniques.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Ownership of Video
on Oct 11, 2005 at 10:36:05 pm

Make it a work for hire, charge her a bonus for the stock and she gets the EDL, raw tapes and masters upon full payment. You might sweeten the deal by saying you're willing to sign an official Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to guarantee her stuff stays hers. This will likely encourage her to return to you with the additional future biz. Emphasize that as long as the money is paid up, she gets everything.

Always, the best way to guarantee return business is to do the absolute best job possible on the first one. People always tend to go with the familiar if there's no downside.

Where her money comes from, unless you know it to be from a criminal activity, I think is technically not your concern. If you're worried about it, ask for certified bank checks and make it the bank's problem. No, I am not a lawyer, but I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night;-)

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