I hire a lot of freelance writers to create blog posts for me for my websites. There name is displayed on each blog post that they create. I am looking to turn their blog posts into videos. I would be hiring an actress to create the videos by providing them the writers scripts. Do I need the writers to acknowledge this? I am paying them to create these scripts. Is there any type of agreement that they need to sign?
The safest approach from your perspective is to have an agreement with each writer by which you either own the posts or have license rights that are almost as broad as ownership.
Then you need to have an agreement with each actress (and whoever is shooting the videos, if not you) by which you own all rights to the videos and have sufficiently-broad rights to use, and make derivative works of, the actress's likeness and performance.
In summary, you need multiple agreements that you probably cannot prepare properly without a lawyer's assistance.
You should have the writers and actresses each sign contracts that include work-made-for-hire language in connection with the services to be provided, so that you will be the owner of the created-content. You should also secure the right to use their name, voice and likeness in connection with your commercial purposes. Your attorney can prepare the necessary contracts for you to use, and you should have a signed contract with each writer/actress before the writer/actress begins working. Your rights will differ if you let someone create content for you before there is executed work-made-for-hire language. It will also be more difficult to get someone to sign a contract with new language after they have been paid, so get the paperwork signed first. Good luck!
A lot of freelance writers out there ..and from great schools....Some of them have mothers and fathers that are lawyers or they are lawyers or they are in pre law or they work in a law office. Trust me ...I know.
For everything and everybody that writes for you, You need to have written agreements.
Some times one fits all..not always...
As per the actresses and actors..the same goes for them..
If you are serious about your idea you better create the right contracts and agreements with a smart entrepreneurial lawyer. You are in L.A the center of the world in visual arts...
People don't plan to fail they fail to plan.....You need to grow your great idea the right way
Dana Shultz has written an excellant answer. There is nothing I could add except to say you should follow his recommendation to look for a lawyer.
There is much you need to know as you try to create income out of your blog site. I suggest you do not attempt to write your own legal policies. This is not where your training and background lie, and though you are probably as smart as an attorney, you do not have their experience.
Below is a checklist for legal issues I use for new e-commerce clients.
1. Business entity - Are you going to be a C corp, an LLC or a sole proprietorship?
2. Terms of Service - This is your contract with your visitors and is the most important item for any e-commerce site. A little work here brings big dividends in the future.
4. FTC guidlines - The FTC has been regulating business advertising for almost a century. All of their advertising guidlines apply to e-commerce sites.
5. Domain Name issues? Is your name available. Can you create a Trademark?
6. Trademark - Do you have a brand name free from conflict? Should you start with just common law rights? Should you register the mark, and when?
7. Copyright - If it is on the web, it already belongs to somebody. Did you buy a license for the images you are using? Do you have a DMCA notice on your web site?
8. Do you need a DMCA policy?
9. Web Site security issues?
10. Do you need and have an EIN? You can get that for free.
11. Do you have employees? - If so you need written policies regarding their authority and use of the internet.
12. Do you know the difference between a "browser wrap" and a "click wrap" and which do you need?
When I discuss this list with clients other issues arise. Finally, I always discuss with my clients their need for good accounting services. An accountant's advice as you start up can save you many dollars in tax that you might not save if you wait to speak to an accountant until your first tax return is due.
I hope this list will give you pause to think about those issues for which you might need to seek professional advice.
You may want to discuss your situation with a lawyer in more detail. Most lawyers on Avvo offer a free phone consultation.
Andrew M. Jaffe
Attorney at Law
Practice Limited to E-Commerce and Internet Law
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