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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!

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Old September 27th, 2010, 03:38 PM   #1
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What's this form called?

My board of directors needs a form signed by all our employees working in video and graphics work that basically states that what they work on for us is our property and they don't own any rights to it. I got the "just get it done" answer when asking them. Grr!

I know what it is, but what is it called? If there's a template out there, that would be great too!

Thanks all!
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Old September 27th, 2010, 07:16 PM   #2
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Work for hire? Something stating videographers and graphic artists are strictly employees, that copyright and all raw and finished material produced while an employee is retained by "XYZ Corp"...
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Old September 28th, 2010, 11:38 AM   #3
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In point of fact, what you want is just a common personal video rights release.

Same form you'd use in the field when you videotape someone. A "video release" search on Google will turn up a bunch. Just alter the language to indicate that the person signing - the employee - understands that the blanket release covers any and all uses of their likeness, image, voice, personal property etc, etc, etc while working on any project on behalf of Company XYZ and you should be fine.

If you want detailed language and the execs are driving this - THEY should know enough to pay their legal staff to draft the specific language they think they need.

If you aren't a lawyer - what the heck are they doing asking you to draft legal language?

Boggles the mind.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 12:21 PM   #4
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Legal form

What you're looking for is either:

(a) an employment agreement containing "work made for hire" language specifying that all work product created by the employee belongs to the company (but be careful to specify what is/isn't within the course and scope of the employment). This can get tricky if the employees do stuff at home for the company, or have other projects that aren't company business.

Truth is, most of the time, the mere fact that they're employees automatically makes their work product "work made for hire" of the company (as long as it's within the scope of their usual duties).

or, if the crew folks are independent contractors

(b) a CREW DEAL MEMO that includes the "Work Made for Hire" language.

The relevant language you need is something like this:

"Company shall be entitled to and shall own, as works-made-for-hire (as that term is defined in the United States Copyright Act) all of the results and proceeds thereof throughout the world in perpetuity (including, but not limited to, all rights throughout the world of production, public performance, manufacture, television, recordation, and reproduction by any art or method, whether now known or hereafter devised, copyright, trademark and patent) whether such results and proceeds consist of literary, dramatic, musical, motion picture, mechanical or any other form of works, ideas, themes, compositions, creations, or products and without obligation to pay any fees, royalties or other amounts except those expressly provided for in this Agreement. Specifically, but without in any way limiting the generality of the foregoing, Production Company shall own all rights of every kind and character in and to any and all acts, poses, plays and appearances of any and all kinds which Employee may write, suggest, direct or produce during the term hereof (provided, however, that any assignment will not reduce Production Company's obligations to Employee in regard to compensation and credit). In the event that Production Company shall desire to secure separate assignments of any of the foregoing, Employee agrees to execute them upon Production Company's request therefore. All rights granted or agreed to be granted to Production Company hereunder shall vest in Production Company immediately and shall remain vested in Production Company and Production Company's successors and assigns whether this Agreement expires in normal course or whether Employee's engagement hereunder is sooner terminated for any cause or reason. Production Company shall have the right to use and authorize others to use the name, voice and likeness of Employee, and any results and proceeds of his services hereunder, to advertise and publicize the Picture including, but not limited to, the right to use the same in the credits of the Picture, in trailers, in commercial tie-ups, and in all other forms and media of advertising and publicity including merchandising, publications, records and commercial advertising and publicity tie-ups derived from or relating to the Picture."
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Old September 28th, 2010, 01:44 PM   #5
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Sorry Bill, re-read his post. He's not looking for releases for people APPEARING in the video, he's aksing for paperwork for people MAKING the video.

Lloyd, what you asking about is called a "work-for-hire agreement." Here's one example a quick google turned up ... http://www.creativebusiness.com/pdf_...orkforhire.pdf ... and there same search returns many others.

Doesn't your firm have a legal department to draft this? It's not like it's something exotic or requiring much research. Usually it's a pretty standard form they probably would have on hand.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 02:11 PM   #6
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Sorry for being unclear. These are direct employees of the company that work both behind the cameras and computers (After Effects, editing, etc.).

Thanks, Steve, for the document. That's just what we were looking for. No lawyers around here.
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