Looking towards NuProdigy Media’s business plan, I see many cases that could come about just with our day-to-day normal projects for our clients. There is a lot to look out for when it comes to creating any visual media especially when it’s for profit. Listening to a couple podcasts on Entertainment Law Update (.com) I found out a couple things that could help me out in the future. Gordon Firemark is the host of the show, along with being a lawyer; he gives his legal opinion on various cases.
Listening to “Episode 36 – Faulkner, Einstein, Superman and Talent Managers” they go through a case talking about an author of the book called “The Match” by the name of Mark Frost. Frost was negotiating an offer with a production company to make a movie adaptation from the book to a movie. During the negotiation the representative from the production company asked about the rights and about forwarding them over to him so that he could start to receive funding for the film. Frost’s lawyer then replied with “Done, Thanks” and the representative from the defense started to proceed with using content from the protected book for his prospectus for the film pitches. In the actual case it stated that Frost’s attorney never had actual authority to transfer the rights over to anyone, and that if the rights were to be transferred it had to be in writing, which of course was never done. Gordon Firemark explained that the should be some type of power of attorney that would and should have been in writing if Frost’s lawyer really did have the authority to transfer the copyright over, being backed by the equal dignity rule. Also not having the transfer be in writing was mess-up number two. Firemark also stated that any deals you make especially when it comes to Intellectual Property you should always have it in writing, and not making the determination from the comment “Done, Thanks”.
There was another case discussed on “Episode 40 – Areo, ReDigi, Veoh & IMDB”. An art collector bought about 8 photographic works from a photographer. The collector bought them as a limited edition being that they were printed on die transfer prints. Changed the size, medium, production date and other things to make sure that no one would mistake them for the limited edition set. The collector also sold them at a show making profits from those reprints. The photographer argued that the monetary value of the limited edition was diminished because of the making of the reprints. The court dismissed all cases from fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, to promissory estoppel, stating that even though both works come from the same photograph; both works are markedly different from one another. He used a different digital process, in all creating a new piece of work. Firemark stating that them being in different jurisdictions could have caused some confusion. Stating that the case might have gotten a different opinion in New York courts than in Memphis.
All these issues affect NuProdigy Media and I because most of our media that we create will be reproductions of someone else work, like taking a logo and including it into a commercial. Although that client will approve of the use before distribution, we still need to make sure that the rights are transferred in all correct ways including contract in writing. So many things can go wrong but if you have the proper guidance and knowledge you should be fine.