Denver, CO asked in Contracts, Copyright and Business Law for Colorado

Q: What to do ?

I started a new instagram account for my twin boys and have posted a video that reached 6 millions views in a week or so and a company contacted me to get a permission from me to share their video in their social media and I will get 60% and they get %40. So I just want to talk with an attorney before I sign anything so that I can protect my right

2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin Michael Strait
Kevin Michael Strait
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: You are wise to check with an attorney before you sign anything that does not make sense. Generally, the person creating a video clip has an automatically-occurring copyright in that video. The automatic rights are harder to enforce or sell, but the maker of the video clip can register their rights in the official federal copyright process.

Selling the rights to a video clip may be straightforward, or it may not. A 60% / 40% split, as you mentioned, is sometimes offered in a way that results in very little money given to the seller. For example, a licensing agreement for the video might deduct production costs or might subtract a fee for the buyer to process the licensing payments. Further, the agreement might give the buyer permission to alter the video clip in ways that the seller does not approve.

Contact an attorney that offers copyright services. The licensing agreement can be interpreted and explained. It is a good investment to make sure you are making life better, not worse, by signing the papers.

This is general commentary on situations like the one described, not advice specific to your situation.

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp agrees with this answer

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
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  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Beverly Hills, CA

A: You should consult an attorney to register the copyright in the work, and to represent you in the licensing transaction.

The licensing deal should acknowledge your ownership and provide for a periodic accounting of revenue so that you can be assured of proper payment.

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