Writing a script and putting your vision on the big screen can be the result of years of research, revisions, and dedication. Despite the sense of accomplishment and anticipation that often results from having a finished product, it is important to protect your creations with assistance from an experienced entertainment law attorney. This protection gives you sole ownership over the film and allows you to negotiate with theaters and distributing agencies from a position of power.
A West Palm film lawyer could help you protect your ownership rights to a film (or television series or any other similar production), as well as negotiate contracts for its display and distribution. This can include registering the film with the United States Copyright Office and acting as your representative during contract negotiations for the sale or display of your work.
All unique, creative works that come out of a person’s mind and take on a tangible form are eligible for copyright protection, including film scripts, treatments, and the final versions of movies. While it can be easy to assume that an author who includes their name on a script is declaring their ownership of the property, a far more effective and legally binding method is to apply for protection through the United States Copyright Office.
Obtaining copyright protection serves two primary purposes. First, it lets all other parties see who holds exclusive rights over the work in question. Second, it allows the owner to demand that parties who display the film without their permission cease their activities. In some cases, this can even include demanding compensation through a copyright infringement lawsuit. A West Palm film attorney is prepared to help film writers, directors, and creators register their works for full copyright protection and take steps to protect those rights in the event of unauthorized use.
The goal of creating a film is to share that creation with others. For most filmmakers, this also involves profiting from that work. It is essential to recognize that while the filmmaker and copyright holder has the undisputed authority to display this work, it is also possible to license or even sell that work to other entities. These may include theaters to show the film or distributing companies who can give the movie a wider audience.
A film lawyer in West Palm works with the copyright holder(s) to craft distribution or sale contracts that protect their rights even as they lend them out to others. This gives others the right to display the film in their own venues, often in exchange for paying royalties to the filmmakers. Other creators may wish to sell the rights to their film outright, which can be done at the script phase or once the final product is complete. An attorney could help draft contracts that seek out a fair sale price and state any other requirements necessary for the sale to take effect.
The creative process that goes into drafting a film script or putting that vision on the screen is substantial. No less important are the legal questions that this creative process raises. While your mind may be on the production and release of the film, you need to be prepared to stake your claim to this work and have a plan in place for the film’s distribution.
A West Palm film lawyer could provide the support that you need. The committed intellectual property attorneys at Lomnitzer Law could assist you in registering the film or script with the United States Copyright Office, negotiating licensing agreements, or drafting sale contracts that allow you to profit from your hard work. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.