How much to charge for use of amature footage

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    • #50580

      I’ve been approached by the uk company TwoFour because of a video I posted on YouTube a little over a year ago. They want to use it for a show they are doing for the Discovery Channel, called What Happened Next? I’ve never sold the rights to a video before, nor was it my intention when I took the footage. It’s just a clip I took while on vacation. I’d like some advice on negotiating a price for this. In the message they said “Discovery requires that the footage that we use is cleared for all media, 10 years, world wide”. Here’s a link to the video:

      Any help would be greatly appreciated, since I really have no idea what would be reasonable.

    • #203878

      personally, I’d ask them what they are offering and just take it. you’re talking about getting paid a little something for something you’ve essentially already given away for free on youtube.. unless the video footage has some incredible value to thier production and they stand to get filthy rich off it, there is no point in being tough with the negotiating..

    • #203879

      I would require them to give you credit though…

    • #203880

      A hug and a kiss for the payment: take whatever they’re offering. But, like Ed says, absolutely — no exception — get a credit on the finished product. And make it contractually clear ( for which you gotta have a contract!) that 1) you own the copyright for the material and that 2) you’re authorizing it for one-time use only at the specified price.

      If you’re unclear as to how to write a contract for this, get an attorney to help.



    • #203881

      No – that’s not what is on offer – They want any media, 10 years lifespan worldwide – which to be honest is quite normal – so you are giving the rights to them for this period. So what you ask must be worth the fact that you will not be able to use it yourself for this period. I’d simply suggest you ask them to make an offer based on their normal media contract, and whatever they offer, if you feel it’s desultory, just tell them you’d be prepared to grant their exlusive use for x above the offer. The current ITV permissions form for performers states, in perpetuity – as in for ever! A professional artiste, who goes onto something like Good Morning, on mainstream ITV may get a performance fee of around 500, while another will do it for free if they’re flogging a book or show. For your clip, I’d be surprised if they want to pay more than 100-250, with a credit. Discovery might not even want to pay that much – so if they offer 50 – it’s up to you to negotiate it up, but whatever happens, they want unrestricted ownership because of their long lifespan of a product. Don’t give it for free. A colleague of mine gave one of our edited sections – 20 mins in length to a religious organisation he supports, but didn’t get the contract signed because he didn’t want to offend them. They sold it to a satellite broadcaster, who used the content after stripping out our end credits and ident – and there wasn’t a thing we could do.

    • #203882

      Excellent advice gents….

    • #203883

      A few years back The show Destroyed in Seconds wanted a segment i took of a race crash. They offered $500.00 to sign over rights to them for good. They ended up not using it in the end but that was the offer they gave me in 2009.

    • #203884

      Thanks everyone for your input. I’ve sent them a message and I’ll see what they offer.

    • #203885

      This is the answer I received from TwoFour:

      “Thank you for your message.

      Thenext step would be if you could provide us with a Hi Res version of your clip. As we are in our edit stage we need the best quality available so we can play around with it to see if it works. When we decide that a clip has made the final cut we will make it clear in our final declaration. This should be in late November.

      For every clip that we use, we offer a fee of 200 per clip. Once we know for definite the clip makes the show we will then process your payment.”

      How does this sound to all of you? Is it normal procedure to send a Hi Res copy before writing up a contract? And does 200 sound fair? I would be signing away my rights to use the clip for ten years.

    • #204082

      No deal. Normal agreement or no, I’m not releasing anything without payment up front. When, over the years, I’ve been offered $200 or so for one-time use (whether or not they use it) the producers or companies making the offer have never sought a option with payment ONLY if they decide to use the footage. Sounds sucky to me.

    • #204083

      Thank you so much, EarlC. It sounded kind of fishy to me too, but I wasn’t sure how this usually works. I’ll tell them no, unless they change their conditions.

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