Moral Dilemma or Legal Issue ?

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    • #90836

      This website seems to be full of genuinely helpful people. I am a new member here and just signed up for some advice on the situation below:

      A while ago i created a 2 minute video for a small startup business for them to use on their facebook page. As they were good friends of mine, and it was for their business launch, I offered to it for free but they insisted they paid me something so I accepted £30.(Normally I would charge about £200 for a corporate video like this.)

      The manufacturer of their pizza oven has seen the video and have asked my friend to ask me if its ok for them to share the video on their page. I said of course, just make sure they share it from my page so I can get a bit of exposure. If however they want to use it on their website we would need to talk about a price. I dont like the idea of essentially giving a commercial company a free video.

      They have now gone through my friend again asking if they can host the video on their website as a permanent feature in a ‘Showcase’ or ‘Product Videos’ page. They have done a few favours for him so he would feel bad about making them pay for the video so he has offered to pay me what I would have charged them. I will be making another video for my friend in future at full price.

      If you were in this situation how would you proceed ? Here are my options:

      Export an optimised version of the video for website streaming and charge my friend a resonable amount ? Say £50 – £60 ?

      Allow my friend to give them the link to the facebook video so they can embed this in their site ? If so, does my friend even have to ask me as he owns the rights to the video ? I mean can he just give the existing link to the facebook video to a commercial business or am i right in saying that I should be benefiting from this ?

      Just do it for them as another favour as it would be good for business ?

      Please let me know your thoughts, im in a bit of a pickle here.

    • #214287

      I’m not an attorney but it seems to me the operative phrase in your description of the situation is “he owns the rights to the video.” If your original contract (I do hope you have one) relinquishes copyrights to the material, your friend can do anything with it he likes. If not, then at least here in the U.S. you would own the copyright and could prevent his giving the material to a third party. Under U.S. copyright law, as I understand it, the fact that someone pays you for shooting and editing video does not necessarily convey the copyright to the payee, unless you are an employee of his company (work for hire.)

      This is a sticky wicket, however, and I would consult an attorney to help sort this out if you have a serious desire to block the third party use of your material.

      If you should decide to be a nice guy and let your friend give the work to the the pizza folks, you might insist that your company receive a credit at the bottom of the screen.

    • #214294
      Kevin Mc

      I mirror everything Jack said, and would add: We’ve all made that “free” video for a friend, under either a lose contract or none at all, thinking we were doing the right thing. And, at the end of the day, we were. It’s nice to do something for someone – no doubt. If it’s not worth the legal mess, just let this one go… Sometimes lessons come in small packages, and sometimes large. Swallow hard, and move on… But, only after exhausting the few avenues you have to see if your friend can help you make the situation right.

      A philosophy I adopted years ago, when it comes to working for friends is this: If the end result of my work is intended to help them make money – then I’m going to make money. This helps me separate (in advance) the differences between what is a favor for a friend, and what is business. But I still write up a contract, which includes a section about redistribution. I’d hate to develop something for little to no money, only to find out that the person I did the work for later decided to mass distribute it for lots of money.

    • #214298

      I didn’t really have trouble answering these. Who knows how it would be when you are faced with a real sudden decision.

    • #301486

      I didn’t really have trouble answering these. Who knows how it would be when you are faced with a real sudden decision.

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