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

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Old August 11th, 2012, 02:42 AM   #1
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freelancers and owenership


A lot of freelancers that assist me as a second shooter now think its common practice for them to be allowed to use any footage they capture on their cameras to be used for their own promotional services.

I make it clear beforehand that the footage belongs to my company but due to this I have now lost 3 2nd shooters. Has anybody come across this before?
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Old August 11th, 2012, 04:18 AM   #2
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Re: freelancers and owenership

Do you have them sign a contract relinquishing their rights to the footage and establishing a clear work for hire relationship?

Here in the USA anything you shoot is yours unless you are clearly in a work for hire situation.

Written agreements are a must.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 09:25 PM   #3
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Re: freelancers and owenership

Contract. Proper wording. Both are essential.

If YOU were paying ME to shoot for YOU, then I would have no problems with you owning all the rights. I would most likely want something in writing that allows me to use portions of the finished project in my demo reel, but that would be settled before shooting.

For no/low pay shoots, where I either get reimbursed for expenses only, or paid with credit, that gets to be a different situation. I've worked on a couple of projects with the understanding that I could use the finished project for my reel, but the project died in post, so I'm left with nothing because I handed over all the footage I shot. Total waste of my time and equipment.

If your freelancers went into the shoot thinking they could keep a copy of their footage for their own use, then there was a communications issue between you and them. A signed, clear contract will eliminate this.

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Old August 14th, 2012, 09:18 PM   #4
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Re: freelancers and owenership

While I agree that you need to have things in writing, if you are hiring people who are that desperate for footage that they are willing to turn work down because of it, then maybe they weren't the best choice for the job in the first place.
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