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Contract Sources

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leadingedgeContract Sources
by on Jul 21, 2005 at 2:53:10 pm


I'm new to video production, and would like some feedback on intellectual property protection contracts. Is there an industry standard contract source available?

I have a client who is wanting to use the piece I produced for them in applications other than originally agreed upon. How do I handle that?

Is there are source for industry standard pricing on video production?


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Frank OttoRe: Contract Sources
by on Jul 21, 2005 at 9:59:28 pm

To my knowledge, there is no "industry standard" contract or license for use of intellectual property.

Too many variables now exist, such as California vs. the rest of the world - every artist has to sign off on a piece before you can use it...the rights of celebrity to control the use of their likeness and voice, regardless if their orignal work was a work for hire or central clearinghouse for rights issuance.

We give this advice almost every time...if you are new to the industry and you are promoting/producing/selling a work that has copyrighted material in it, please contact an attorney that specializes in entertainment law. The up front cost of the consult is far less expensive than the lawsuit that inevitably follows.

As always...good luck - this is an issue that is stopping many independent voices from being heard.


Frank Otto

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leadingedgeRe: Contract Sources
by on Jul 21, 2005 at 10:13:26 pm

Hi Frank,

Thanks for your response. I'm actually not using any "owned" material, but was looking at protecting my own work through the contracts I draw up for clients. Thanks again,


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David OwenRe: Contract Sources
by on Jul 22, 2005 at 5:34:42 pm


Having evolved from an engineering firm in the highly-litigious construction industry, our company started with a basic contract (you pay me $x for me to do task y by such & such a time, etc.). Then, we simply added to it. Our attorney (for the engineering firm) once told me that there is no such thing as the perfect contract... we just contemplate possible problems and write clauses to try to eliminate their impact.

Concern that clients may try to re-use programs beyond their intended use caused me to add the clause which states that Client will be liable for 3x the original contract fees for uses beyond the scope of the agreement unless otherwise agreed-to in writing. That catches their attention! WHEN they fuss about it, I simply state that if they don't intend to breech the contract, they've nothing to be concerned about. If they wish to expand the application of the program, though, you must be willing to be reasonable on your re-use rates. This can often wind up being an ownership discussion as well.

I would love to know how many corporate video producers/companies retain ownership of the final program versus relinquishing all rights to their clients.

Hopefully, this will shed a little light on the issue.

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