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Old January 15th, 2007, 01:31 PM   #1
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Client providing footage

I have a client who is bringing footage for me to edit. He says he has written permission to use this footage, but I would like to just make sure I am covered on my end as well. Does anyone have or know where I can get a hold harmless contract for this kind of situation?

Thanks in advance
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Old January 15th, 2007, 04:52 PM   #2
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Mike, not sure what you mean by harmless- do you mean something that won't intimidate/offend the client?

I don't know of any standard or template for that specific situation but you could simply type something up that clearly states that what you are doing is "work for hire", that the client assumes any liability for copyright/licensing issues, etc. I use a production agreement for nearly every single paying job I do, so that the expectations are clear and there are no surprises for either party. Both sides usually feel better about doing business when things are clear.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 07:26 PM   #3
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This kind of situation can be tricky and you have to be careful.

When it comes to lawsuits in this area, judges may be inclined to take contracts with a grain of salt because it is not an unknown practice for people to play around with contract provisions about the employer-employee relationship to gain tax advantages. Some video producers want to look like employees (work for hire) to avoid self employment tax etc. Some employers want employees to look like independent contractors so they avoid the hassle of witholding, benefits, worker's comp etc.

So a judge may be inclined to look at facts about the relationship not defined by the contract, one of which is that you are a professional producer/editor. One thing that defines a professional, or ought to, is a good understanding of the legal aspects of the business you are in, such as copyright law. If one asks a client to indemnify one for copyright problems one is admiting that one knows there could be problems but does not want to do what one should do as a professional producer: get whatever needs to be cleared in the supplied footage cleared or insist that the client do so.

I think that since you are just editing and the client producing it's less likely that you get blamed . . . but a lot depends on the specific project, your creative role, your client's role etc. and it's hard to guess what a client might be tempted to say if an issue arises. Best thing to do is get legal advice about your specific situation.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 03:39 PM   #4
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Thanks guys

Thanks for your replies. By harmless I meant that the "client" assures me he either shot the footage himself or has permission to use it. I usually edit this clients projects, but he needed something done quick out of town and didn't have time to get it to me and back to him completed. So he hired someone in that area to do a quick fix. Now the footage he used, maybe shot, has graphics on it aka someone elses "work". (not sure what happened to original footage) The whole thing just sounds funny and he claims to have written permission to use it. So I was looking for something that says something like....I ______________ have provided footage to ______________ to use for ____________project. I have complete rights to said footage and hold _______________ and his company ______________ harmless......etc. etc.

UPDATE: Since I was asking a lot of questions, this client no longer needs this particular project done and can use stuff we have previously edited to complete this business proposal. So, I guess I no longer need this waiver at this time. Thanks again for your suggestions.

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