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Taking Care of Business
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Old December 13th, 2008, 06:20 PM   #1
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Location Release - SOP, apparent fishiness, or ?

I'm shooting a quick, low-budget commercial for two small businesses located in leased storefronts.

I made up a release form using a general template; the owner of the property where the businesses are located specified that they don't want the footage used for any purpose other than the TV commercial. The businesses are the client, the property owner is not paying for any of this. Ok, no problem...

The disagreement in the form has arisen from who should have rights to the footage; I originally stated that the limited rights (building footage only for TV broadcast) would originally be mine, assignable to the client upon payment. The property owner's lawyer rewrote the contract to give exclusive rights to all produced material to the property owner.

I thought this was odd, considering they're not paying for any of the production as, essentially, the businesses that ARE paying for this would have to ask permission each time they wanted to use THEIR commercial.

My only horse in this race is that the deal not fall through and I eventually get paid. Yet, I can't help thinking the person who pays should have access to the rights, even if those rights are limited by another entity.

Any thoughts from the fine feathered folk here? Any recommendations on how to approach the property owner? Should I just kindly step away and allow the businesses and the peropety owner to hash this out on their own?
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Old December 14th, 2008, 03:33 AM   #2
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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The release shouldn't have anything to do with who has rights to the footage, IMHO. AFAIK, you own the copyright to the footage unless you transfer the rights to your client. The release is simply giving you permission to photograph the premisis and to use those images as you see fit. The lawyer apparently is operating from the posture that what's right is anything he can get away with. Refuse to accept the his changes and let your client and the property owner thrash it out among themselves.
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