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Old May 18th, 2004, 02:02 PM   #1
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Location: KZN South Africa
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Can my client copy my work

Hi all

I recently did a promotional video for a client with the final 10 minute video burnt to DVD which I delivered to him. He was blown away and extremely happy and satisfied and paid me for the work. I was phoned a few days later and asked to quote him on making 50 DVD copies of this same 10 minute DVD for him to distribute to his prospective clients. After quoting him a reasonable amount he said there was no way he was prepared to pay me anywhere near that amount (FWIW I quoted him eq. of $12.00 a DVD copy) Needless to say I ended up not making the copies for him BUT he "insinuated" he would make them himself, even though I had a clear copyright warning at the front of the production. The questions I have are as follows. Firstly, when a videographer makes either a video or DVD for a client, say for $3000.00, can the client make his own copies of that production seeming that he paid for the finished production in the first place.
Secondly, is there such a thing as selling the client "copyright rights" giving him your permission to copy your production at will.
I also don't want to have to go policing around trying to find out if indeed he did copy my work so wouldn't putting some sort of CSS or macrovision encryption on the master DVD you give him, solve the problem. I would like to hear anyone and everyones opinions and experiences with this .... if any.

Many thanks


Paul Swires is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18th, 2004, 02:38 PM   #2
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Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
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You should check out the Who Owns It? thread.
Technically, it sounds like it is you that owns the copyright unless you signed a contract that assigns those rights to the client.

I think though, that CSS and macrovision don't work on burned discs, so there's no way to "copy protect" the disc.

You're only consolation might be that DVD duplication shops usually require proper copyright authorization to accept a job, so he would likely have to do the work himself (or have some kid do the copies) which, in the long run, might cost him more than it would have been to just pay your fee.

Good luck.
Nick Jushchyshyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18th, 2004, 03:29 PM   #3
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We should note that Paul is in South Africa where civil laws regarding intellectual property may be quite different than they are in the U.S.
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