Citrus Heights, CA asked in Contracts, Copyright and Intellectual Property for California

Q: Does an addendum to a talent release for services override the original release? Or is it in addition to?

Signed talent release for my services as an actor(music video) and photographer(still film self-portraits). Part of the release grants license for prod. co. to use photos I took on set but explicitly states I get to keep copyright/ownership of my photos (which I made sure they added in). Long after filming they had me sign an addendum which they told me related only to my work as an actor and assured me I would get to keep copyright/ownership of my photos. At first it looked ok but after studying the language more carefully it seems that it might contradict some of the original release. The addendum refers to me as "Actor/Talent" and uses terms like "work-for-hire" and refers to prod. co. as "sole author" of "results of services as part of audio-visual work". They assured me this addendum was related only to my work as an actor but I am now having doubts it may extend to my photos as well. I made it clear I wanted to keep copyright/ownership of my photos (emails to prove it)

1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: You took the trouble to outline your matter in considerable detail and you await a response for five weeks. It could be difficult for the copyright, entertainment, and intellectual property attorneys here to answer your question. Any attorney is going to need to see the contract, and the format of this question and answer board isn't suited for posting documents for thorough attorney review. You could be better off approaching attorneys (you could locate them here under Find-a Lawyer or you could search independently on your own) and making arrangements for them to review the contract. Short of that, attorneys could be placed in a difficult position in offering input on a contract they don't see in its entirety. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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