All production/media/creative contracts can be negotiated. Consider incorporating the following best practices so that you may gain more control over the work that you create.
If you’re signing a production/media/creative contract without negotiating it then you’re likely agreeing that the media you produce is considered a work made-for-hire. A work made-for-hire transfers all your rights in the media to your client. Before signing your next contract, follow these steps.
- Use your contract not their contract. Send the client a contract that has default terms drafted in your benefit. For example, consider using this contract that the Nimia Legal Team drafted for your benefit – https://nimia.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Production-Contract.pdf
- If the client requires the use of their contract, consider sending it to the Nimia Legal Team to review.
- Request a license back clause to the contract. A license back allows you to have certain rights to the footage that you produced. Here is an example clause to request adding to the contract: Company grants Contractor an exclusive, worldwide, sublicenseable, transferable, royalty free license to all media produced during the course of the contracted work.
- If the client does not agree to a full license back, request a limited license back to the footage not used in the final cut (all the footage that lands on the cutting room floor). Here is an example clause to request adding to the contract: Company grants Contractor an exclusive, worldwide, sublicenseable, transferable, royalty free license to media that is not used in the final completed work.
The Nimia Legal team is here to help you get more out of your legal contracts. Nimia provides you an opportunity to have an attorney represent your interests in the contract negotiation stage. Nimia handles media rights clearance, the negotiation and preparation of media licenses, film rights, and publishing. Nimia also manages rights of publicity, non-disclosure agreements, employee agreements, and work for hire agreements.
Hiring an attorney is an important decision and should not be based on advertising alone. Eric J. Harrison, Esq. is a registered attorney licensed to practice in Washington state. By accessing and reading this blog, you acknowledge and understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and you further acknowledge and understand that this blog is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice and counsel requires a fact-specific analysis of your particular issues, and you should thus obtain legal advice directly and individually from an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction, if appropriate.