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Cameraman Contract RE: Footage Ownership and Rights - Need Template Model

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Scott Bethel
Cameraman Contract RE: Footage Ownership and Rights - Need Template Model
on Mar 1, 2013 at 3:51:36 pm

I am looking for a "template" contract to use in hiring camera ops for TV documentary type of work.

Particularly need to include the stipulation that all footage becomes property of the production company - OR that ownership is retained by the camera op but licensed to the production company for X amount of time.

Just so we have the intellectual property lined out and there is no uncomfortable confrontations or discussions down the road (that I just had to go through for 3 months).

Thank you!

Have a COW, man.


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Ned Miller
Re: Cameraman Contract RE: Footage Ownership and Rights - Need Template Model
on Mar 2, 2013 at 3:20:47 pm

I have many copies of Work-for-Hire Agreements I have had to sign as a DP for different production companies. If you email me privately I will send you some attachments and you and/or your lawyer can customize them. My email is ned AT nedmiller.com

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Mike Cohen
Re: Cameraman Contract RE: Footage Ownership and Rights - Need Template Model
on Mar 8, 2013 at 9:22:30 pm

Why would a camera operator own any video recorded on a work for hire project?

Mike Cohen


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Ned Miller
Re: Cameraman Contract RE: Footage Ownership and Rights - Need Template Model
on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:50:29 pm

My understanding is that if a crew member signs a Work-for-Hire Agreement they give up any rights as a co-copyright holder according to the Copyright Act of 1976, that's why it's wise to have them sign it. If they do not sign one they are free to sell the footage, etc. since they also participate in the benefits of the copyright as a co-creator.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Scott Bethel
Re: Cameraman Contract RE: Footage Ownership and Rights - Need Template Model
on Mar 10, 2013 at 9:29:39 pm

It's part of the ongoing debate of intellectual property rights.

In our case the agreement varies according to relationship we have with the shooter and is also affected by pay. For example we would pay more (or full rate) if our expectation is for them to forfeit rights to the footage. This would be common if the assignment is one where we see value in the stock footage beyond the actual production, say going out and getting footage of Bigfoot (yeah, right).

Or if it is a very mundane and common assignment we are not all that insistent of having full footage rights and if we can use that as a bargaining chip for a little cut in day rate - well that makes my EP very happy.

But then again, one example we have is a client who has a highly proprietary machine they often get footage of at work. The footage itself isn't going make people line up but competitors might want to get their hands on it to decipher how it works. They need and want sole rights and possession.

Like a lot of other stuff - it's negotiable. If you are a shooter you should probably not just assume you have no rights to your footage unless it has been detailed out with the client. Nor can you assume it is okay to put in your demo without permission.
On the other hand producers should not assume full ownership just because they paid for the job to be done.
It's a whole lot of gray so having it detailed out in a Work for Hire agreement can save a bunch of pissin and moanin down the road.

Have a COW, man.


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