Today, we talk about copyright, retention clauses and demo reels. Steven, a drone business owner, calls in from Tennessee to discuss a problem he has.
Essentially, Steven is having trouble maintaining the ownership over his own footage. After working with a real estate company in his area for a number of weeks, he wanted to include some of the footage in his demo reel.
In order to make sure he didn’t get sued, Steven asked his employer if it was alright that he use some of the footage he shot for them to promote himself. Of course, he assumed that this would be fine. Upon meeting with the employer, however, Steven was notified by the company that they did not want him to use the footage in his demo reel. Additionally, they disclosed that the company had a retention clause in all of their contracts. At this time, though, Steven has not signed a contract and wants to know if they can legally prevent him from using the footage. This is why he called us for help.
While we aren’t professional lawyers, we do know that a contract has no legal bearing if it hasn’t been signed. If Steven hasn’t actually signed the contract his company is referring to, then he will have no legal trouble if he moves forward with his demo reel. In the case that he has signed the contract, however, he could face legal repercussions.
Even if this is the case, though, there are certain ways that Steven can work around the contract. While we don’t recommend violating copyright laws, there are techniques for using your footage for promotion without publishing it in a public forum.
To this end, we discuss some ways in which Steven may be able to use his footage without making his employer angry. We also discuss when (and when not) to do this. Additionally, we talk about the importance of establishing clear and direct contracts at the time of employment.
Hope you enjoy! Fly safe!
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- [03:18] Today we discuss whether your employer can prevent you from using your footage in a demo reel
- [05:42] Paul answers the question from a legal perspective and highlights the importance of contractual paperwork
- [06:37] We discuss how copyright issues differ for company employees and contractors
- [07:23] We talk about the importance of holding on to exclusive rights to your footage
- [07:38] We discuss various contractual scenarios and highlight the importance of contractual paperwork
- [09:08] Tips and tricks to deal with clients and potential copyright issues
- [11:18] Are the terms and conditions stated in your calendar invite legally binding?