Copyright holder release form? at

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Old June 13th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
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Copyright holder release form?

I have seen MANY individual release forms online for actors, models etc etc to sign that give you permission to use whatever footage you shot of them BUT I have never seen any samples or forms online that give you permission to use a copyright holder's product or invention / creation.

For example, say I am doing a documentary film about Mickey Mouse and I got Walt Disney to sign an individual release form so I can use all the interviews I did with him talking about Mickey Mouse. But now don't I also need his permission on paper to use video clips, images, and the likeness of Mickey Mouse? What if he doesn't like the way the documentary is making him look and now says that I DO NOT have his permission to use his creation (Mickey Mouse)?

Is there a form that any you guys know of that would take care of this?

Here is what I have so far, I just edited an individual release form:

I, the undersigned, hereby grant permission to __________________ the producer, editor and director of the documentary currently titled _________________ (title of the film subject to change) the right to use the full name, biography, video image, likeness, or audio record activities of ____________________________ in the documentary film.

I also grant permission to record the voice, performance, poses, acts, and use of pictures, photograph, silhouette and other reproductions of the physical likeness and voice in connection with the unlimited distribution, advertising, promotion, exhibition and exploitation, and use throughout the documentary and in perpetuity and on whatever media is known or hereafter devised FOR THE FILM and web promotions pertaining to the film.

I agree that I will not assert, maintain or consent to others bringing any claim, action, suit or demand of any kind or nature whatsoever against the Producer including but not limited to, those grounded upon invasion of privacy, rights or publicity or other civil rights, or for any other reason in connection with the authorized use of my physical likeness and sound in ______________________ as herein provided. I hereby release the Producer, its directors, officers, successors and assigns from and against any and all claims, liability, demands, actions, causes of action(s), costs, expenses and damages whatsoever, at law or in equity, known or unknown, anticipated or unanticipated, which I ever had, now have, or may, shall or hereafter have by reason, matter, cause or thing arising out of the rights granted to the Producer herein.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 05:42 AM   #2
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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There must be an exchange of "consideration" to make a contract. Amend it with words to the effect of "In exchange for the reciept of One Dollar ($1) in United States currency and other valuable consideration, I hereby grant ....."

You really should have all of the documents you've come up with looked over by an attorney before you bet the farm (literally!) on the assumption that they properly cover your situation.

Note that there are differences between personal releases, property releases, permission to use a trademark (and that's what the Mickey Mouse character is), assignment of copyright, and licenses to use copyright images or other works (as an example, an image from an animation cell from the Disney archives depicting Mickey as the Sourcerer's Apprentice in "Fantasia"). Explaining all of that to you so you'll know what forms to use when and reviewing the wording to make sure it's all legally correct for your jurisdiction and properly covers your specific business needs is the job of an entertainment or intellectual property lawyer, not an online forum. A couupe of hundred dollars in legal fees is cheap insurance.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 07:32 AM   #3
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Location: San Mateo, CA
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One does not 'release' a copyright, one either transfers it, or one licenses it. A transfer does exactly that, it transfers ownership from one entity to another, and must be registered with the copyright office. (This is typically done as a 'sale' and may or may not include all the bundle of copyrights)

A license is a limited use of a copyright. (Which is what you are looking for.) It lays out the specific terms of the license IE: What, when, where, how much, how long etc.

Make sure you are not confusing copyright with trademarks.

Yes, you should get an IP attorney to draw up the license.

If you're looking for examples, take a look at the various STOCK IMAGE/STOCK FOOTAGE licenses that are posted online. You can see how varied they are.
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Old June 15th, 2008, 01:25 AM   #4
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Looks like I need a laywer...=)

I will look into that, thanks guys.
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