Who owns the video once it’s shot?

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    • #43102

      I’m just starting out in the video production business and want to make business profile videos in my small hometown, located one hour north of Toronto, ON. If I charge a company $350 to shoot, edit and post the video on YouTube or their own site, what is the normal procedure for ownership or buyout of the video? I’m sure the answer is on this site, but I haven’t had much luck finding the answer. Looking forward to your commnents. Thanks! MiKe

    • #180672

      If you do a “work for hire” which much/most production work actually is, then THEY own it. If you create/generate a special interest, how to, animation or other such production using your time, money and energy, then YOU own it.

      The above are the simple rules. The realities of video work is, or can be, much more complex and primarily relies on what is stipulated in the contract. The agreement should really spell out who gets, claims, owns and can sell what, when, where and for how long, or what percentage thereof.

    • #180673
      AvatarJennifer O’Rourke

      Earl is right, Mike, and the recent controversy over a famous poster of then-senator Obama is proof that the lines are too gray to draw.

      Photographer Mannie Garcia filed suit against the Associated Press for allowing his photo of Obama to be used for the poster without giving Garcia proper compensation. AP says Garcia was hired to shoot the image, so it belongs to AP, Garcia claims that all images are his, and AP just bought the use. http://nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2009/07/garcia.html

      However, I know a few wedding videographers that have it stated specifically in their contracts that THEY own the footage, and they have the right to do with it as they will. They have used some of the images for stock footage contracts, for instance.

      It’s all in how you make the agreements up front, and it’s a good idea to get it all in writing before you deliver the work.

      check out Videomaker’s “What’s Legal” column for some advice on this and other legal issue concerning video production. http://www.videomaker.com/learn/business/legal/

    • #180674

      I have seen (and written) contracts that state while the final product may belong to the client (not always as sometimes copyright remains with me and they have use – unlimited or restricted), all source materials remain the property of either myself or their owners (in the case of royalty free asset use).

      But then again, everything and anything is up to legal interpretation at any given moment in time….

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