Mandeville, LA asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California

Q: A producer has copyrighted a movie and left his two equal share owners of the copyright, can I force him to include us?

A producer has produced a movie and copyrighted the movie under his own name. The issue is that myself, and my non-profit charity foundation which is set up to help children with cancer, are all equal share owners of a movie with the producer. All three of us share the same percentage ownership in the movie. The producer copyrighted the movie without listing all three owners and the copyright registration states he has sole ownership of the copyrights. The contract signed doesn't say he gets sole ownership to the copyrights, the contract doesn't even mention copyrights at all.

Do I have legal recourse to force the producer to list all 3 owners "his production company, myself and my foundation" on the copyright registration?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If the contract that you signed with the producer does not grant the producer sole ownership of the copyright, and the producer did not list all three owners on the copyright registration, you may have legal recourse to seek an order that the producer list all three owners on the registration.

You should consult with a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property law to determine the best course of action. The lawyer can review the contract and copyright registration, and advise you on your legal options, which may include sending a demand letter to the producer or filing a lawsuit to enforce your ownership rights. It is important to take legal action promptly, as there may be time limitations on your ability to challenge the registration.

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