Music Video–> Legal Help

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    • #44405

      Greetings everyone.

      I recently shot a music video for an artist in my state. The music video turned out excellent and the artist was very happy with it. But his manager was unhappy. He seen the direction of the video going another route then what was discussed between the artist and my team. The manager does not want it released.

      My team and I, however, do. I did this free of charge for the artist since I am a fan of his, and we came to a friendly agreement that he would help me out with music collaborations in the future. There was nothing written or signed, it was a friendly gesture from both sides.

      The few people involved, some of his fans, and my vid prod. team would like to release this even without his manager’s (who is just a friend who handles his music ventures) consent. Since it is not actually owned by them…Am I free to release it?

      And if not, should he buy the product from me in order for him to dispose of?

      I was thinking he should, for my time, effort, and gas money spent. But i was wondering on the legality of it all and if his manager, if decided, could get me on anything.

      Any answer would be much appreciated.

    • #185966

      I would like to add again, there was no legal documents present and/or issue till after the video was complete.

    • #185967

      My two cents…

      …and I may be harsh but…

      You did it free of charge for the artist. That tells me itis theartist who owns the rights to it. His payment for this was to provide you future collaborations although there is nothing in writing. His manager does not want this released intocirculation.You all agree he is the manager even though there is nothing in writing.

      I would not want to be in your shoes when this goes to court. Give the work to the artist and hope the manager will allow you to collect on those future collaborations. You do not need to be burning these bridges if you want to continue to produce this type of media as this kind of news will travel faster than you can ever think possible and kill that future.

    • #185968


      Here’s how this will play out. Since there was no written contract, you own the video. But though the artist obviously consented to be in the video unless there’s a shot you got on tape where he/she says they gave their consent, you don’t have the rights to their image. Now, since there does not seem to be a contractual agreement between the ‘manager’ and the artist, it’s up to the artist to give consent for the video to be shown. However, before you do get what the expectations from both you and the artists are from showing this video in Writing! And I don’t mean loose-leaf notebook paper but an actual agreement preferably a release form that says you the producer will show the video by whatever means to potential audiences with the full written consent of the artist. There will need to be language concerning the terms of consent (i.e. type of compensation if any and for how long) and about who gets what and when. You’ll need a lawyer to draw up the form for you after you hash out the agreement terms between you. That way if any OBTW’s pop up, the Lawyer should catch them before you sign.

      Next time, don’t do a gig like this without a Work for Hire Agreement and Talent Release forms. The days of ‘Hey gang let’s make a movie’ are over. At any given time something could take off and there be serious money involved. You want to make sure you are covered in case that happens.

    • #185969

      Talk to the artist and mention that since there was no written contract the agreement is between you and the artist alone.. have the artist sing a release for you to use the video for non commercial purposes. .plus give him at least two to three copies for his use.. this should satisfy. I had this problem.. a friend who leads a well known bluegrass band asked me to shoot a weekend road tour in the winter.. at my own cost and on my own gear I shot it. .the idea was to shoot more video but they kept stalling then wanted to have me foot the bill to produce a major shoot at a venue. No way.. I had no money and had received nothing. In fact I cut a documentary on the tour for a local cable station I worked with. I never sold the video nor made any other copies. The friend said someone saw it on tV.. he said I should not air it again. I said we did not have a signed contract and the fact that he and his band had stalled for a year on doing anything amounted to a null and void voiced idea to produce another video.. so I continued airing it.. we no longer speak since he stiffed me but he also did not have grounds to sue me since there was no contract.. and they willinglly appear on video. I did not sell the video nor earn any money off it. I may though not that it’s 10 yrs later make a dvd and sell if online.

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