Transfering Copyright Ownership

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    • #42753

      Hi Everyone,

      I’m new to the forum so please excuse my question in case it has already been discussed. I’ve just started a video production business a few months ago and am trying to tie up all my legal loose ends.

      My target market so far has been the corporate crowd, making short company videos. Up until this point the issue of ownership has not come up with my clients. They have been happy with me providing them with a finished product they can upload to their website.

      I am however working with a new client that is insiting on copyright ownership over the video I am making for them. I don’t have an issue with this as I have already made it clear to them that I would increase my price to reflect my time spent creating the video and the transfer of ownership.

      Does anyone out there know of any templates of copyright transfers that I could take a look at and see if I could work it into my contract?. I’d tell my lawyer to make one, but he’s a freebie laywer I have at school, so he doesn’t have the time to do all the work.


    • #179160

      since this is a new piece, i don’t really think a transfer of copyright would apply. just have the copyright applied for in their name, or even better, by them directly.

      here’s the Office of Copyright faq on Assignment (Transfer) of Copyright

    • #179161

      Why don’t you just make your contract a"work for hire"? Then the person who hires you owns all copyrights.

    • #179162

      Just realize that any buyout assets you use in your productions are still copyrighted and owned by the companies you got them from. You are licensed to use and distribute them in a production but you cannot assign rights or ownership to anyone.

    • #179163

      Thanks for the tips everyone, that sound be enough info to get me going.

    • #179164

      Our clients own the finished product and all footage/graphics created for the project. They pay us for our time to shoot/edit so I feel like they should own the rights to everything. This works great for us and even serves as a competitive advantage. Many of our competitors won’t give their clients ownership of b-roll and project materials, only the finished product. Then, when the client is unhappy and wants to start working with another production company (like us!) they have to pay us to create everything from scratch again instead of tapping into the bank of footage and materials they have already paid to create.

    • #179165

      the drawback to that of course is misuse of materials associated with your name.
      you find material you shot being abused, but some lowlife and you want to put things right, but gave up your copyrights…people connect the abused material with your reputation…(for example you shoot a video of kids playing at a play ground thinking a client might use the images for promoting a laundry detergent, and the find the KKK use it for promoting hatred about letting mixed races in public playgrounds, and their parents want to sue you).

      or the kid you shot one week rockets to superstardom, and somebody else is selling your footage for tens of thousands of dollars and paying you zip for royalties….

      lot’s of good reasons to retian you copyright……

    • #179166

      How much does it cost to copyright materials?

    • #179167

      I agree about retaining the copyright. I want to be in control of what materials are floating around with my name on them. Plus, if you give clients the rights, what are you going to use for promotional material?

    • #179168

      moglepro Wrote:

      How much does it cost to copyright materials?

    • #179169

      I put the following statement in ALL my contracts:

      Fire Eye Productions, Inc. reserves the right to use video footage captured throughout the course of this project as well as the finished video for promotion and adjudication.

      This gives me permission to use anything produced/shot for a project in our promotional efforts.

    • #179170

      here is a template you can customize if you’re going to transfer copyrights:

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