Uncategorized Archives – Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice « Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice

By: Barely Legal Radio  09-12-2011
Keywords: Film, Legal Advice, Free Legal Advice

Uncategorized Archives – Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice « Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice

Longenecker Accepting his Oscar with Sally Kellerman

So a student signing one of these adhesive contracts has remedies to invalidate parts of them that are unfair. If a court decides the transfer of one of these copyrights was unfair, it will be invalid. Welcome to Hollywood, where you often have to sue your former partners to get what you deserve.  That would be lesson #1 if I was teaching at any film school.

So what does a student do? If a student called me and asked if he or she should sign this thing I would say yes. Sign it, make some great short films, deal with the policy and move on. Sue them later if you really get screwed. The alternative is the death of your cinematic dreams. Does that make me a sell out, and John a hero?  Maybe. But if you are heading into the film industry, you are there to make films and money. If you want to be a hero, join the clergy. John is a rare breed, and we should celebrate him, but it would be bad advice for me to tell a student not to sign this agreement to get into film school.  When you get to Hollywood, you will find out that successful directors rarely own the copyrights to their work. They own perpetual rights to credit and  income from their work, as negotiated by their guild, but they don’t own copyrights. The investors own the copyrights either by written transfer or work for hire agreements.  That’s how stuff gets made, through investors. This is how it works.

Could we work toward a system that guarantees all the rights that go with copyright ownership to the actual creative forces behind hollywood projects? Yes, but few would invest in this system.  Would you invest in a film if the sequel rights, merchandising, marketing, etc. were controlled by  Woody Allen? Or would you rather invest in a film where all these rights are controlled by you, because it’s your money that is at risk? Of course, you would pick the latter. There is a lawful way to transfer copyrights to support this system and this is why so many people are willing to invest in films. It’s somewhat safe. My advice is to film makers is to seek to secure perpetual income rights to your work, and let the copyrights fall where they may. If you can finance your own work like super-artists such as David Lynch, good for you. But if not, don’t obsess over who owns the actual copyright.

But let’s get back to USC and John Longenecker’s cause. This is a higher learning institution that should be above this. Is it necessary for them to be this cutthroat? What would USC lose by allowing its students to keep their copyrights? It would lose very little, but it would gain much because I can tell you that this policy leads to some of its brightest students sometimes saving their best projects for when they graduate and are freed from this copyright cloud  that they feel hangs over them. I know because they call my show. I don’t know the policy at other schools but to be competitive to USC’s fine reputation, other schools should tout a policy of allowing students to keep the copyrights to their work. What happened to liberal academia? Let’s be consistent. Let’s not teach cutthroat as the norm. Let the kids keep all their work and watch the creative benefits bloom.

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Keywords: Film, Film Makers, Free Legal Advice, Legal Advice

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09-12-2011

Uncategorized Archives page 2 of 7 – Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice « Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice

Is it that offensive to these people that musicians should get paid for mastering their chosen instruments and making the sacrifices necessary to become a professional. Does he also agree that waiting until midnight with a brick in your hand is a “creative solution” to the problem of having to pay for a plasma TV as well.


09-12-2011

copyright law Archives – Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice « Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice

Regarding damages, however, Friedman should not be able to recover more than the reasonable statutory or even actual damages because he’s arguable suffered only the damages from not being compensated for the proceeds from the sale of the items not covered by the Fair Use Doctrine, plus attorney fees. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.


09-12-2011

music business Archives – Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice « Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ann I. Jones has ruled in a very important case involving what happens if you don’t vigorously pursue your royalty claims against companies that you feel owe you money. Equity demands that people be allowed to move forward on their good faith beliefs so that they can engage in predictable business without worrying about who’s lying in wait to get them.


09-12-2011

Fair Use Doctrine Archives – Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice « Barely Legal Radio – Free Legal Advice

Since Kung Fu Records is a Corp. it cannot represent itself so Vandals bassist Joe Escalante filed a motion with the Court to allow him, an attorney accepted to practice in California, to be accepted to practice in Delaware for the sole purpose of filing the motion to transfer venue back to California.