Why Legal Protection Preempts Problems for Your Film
As a filmmaker, you’re always thinking ahead. While crafting your script, you’re already planning your cast. While overseeing the first shoot, you already know each location involved.
When it comes to the legal protection of your film, you should be several steps ahead of the game as well.
If you want your cinematic masterpiece to be seen by audiences, you’ll need to preempt legal problems. The last thing you want is a court battle to stall the release of your film or television show.
Common sense goes a long way to protecting your film. Avoid identifiable personalities. Cut any copyrighted material. Beware of defamatory dialogue.
However, common sense has its limitations. If you want to keep your film from lawsuits, you’ll need special tools to mitigate your risk. Here are four ways you can give your film a measure of protection:
Obtain Script Clearance
When you obtain script clearance, you gain a way to spot any risks before production. The beauty of script clearance is that it gives you a second set of eyes to examine your film. Here at The Clearance Lab, we provide research for films, looking for copyright infringement, defamation, and more.
Getting script clearance can help your production budget. If you know ahead of time that filming a location will create a legal ruckus, you’ll avoid the cost of reshooting that scene. You’ll assure your E & O Insurance provider of your limited risk.
Obtain a Title Report
There’s nothing like an iconic title that packs a meaningful punch. However, unless you specialize in media research, you may not know if your potential title violates the trademark of another franchise.
That’s where a title report comes in. Like script clearance, a title report helps you get the E & O Insurance you need. And it will also ward off a future trademark lawsuit.
Obtain a Title Opinion
Once you’ve obtained a title report, you can make the process of securing E & O Insurance a little easier. Obtain a title opinion for your film.
Providing credibility, this document is a legal statement given by an attorney regarding your film’s title. At The Clearance Lab, each title opinion comes from an entertainment lawyer.
Obtain a Chain of Title Review and Opinion
From its name, a chain of title review and opinion sounds like an instrument similar to a title report or title opinion. But it’s not.
A chain of title review does something quite different. The review examines how the intellectual property in your film has been transferred. If your film uses another artist’s work, a title review ensures you can prove the legal right of ownership to their contribution to the project. A chain of title opinion provides an attorney’s statement on your documentation.
These come in handy when that artist (who signed over his rights before production) suddenly claims you’ve committed copyright infringement. Secure your chain of title review and opinion together—in one package.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, purchase The Clearance Lab’s Complete Clearance Package. This package contains each safeguard we’ve discussed along with other standard deliverables for E&O and distribution.