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Television Agreements Notes

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Television Agreements

1) What are the four main types of television agreement?

1) Option and Assignment Agreement

2) Writer's agreement

3) Production, Finance and Distribution Agreement

4) A separate Distribution Agreement

What is it?

Used to acquire rights in an underlying work (existing work) and gain exclusivity over that story while the production company seeks finance

Who is it between?

The production company and the original writer of the story

What is it?

Used where a writer is developing a new story / original script or adapting an old story

Who is it between?

The production company and a writer

What is it?

Used to govern all aspects of the development of the film itself from production to exploitation

Who is it between?

The production company, financiers, distributors

What is it?

Used to distribute the film locally and globally

Who is it between?

The production company, financiers, distributors

2) Option and Assignment Agreement - Key Terms

1) The duration of the option period

Normally a fixed period up to 24 months with one extension exercisable for a period of up to 18 months

2) Definitions

3) The rights to be granted / assigned, reserved and asserted / waived by the copyright owner on exercise of the option

Granted / assigned

*
Full or limited assignment / licence

*
E.g. Film, video, TV and character merchandising rights throughout the world

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Whether the assignment includes subsequent films including sequels, prequels, remakes and spin-offs

Reserved

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E.g. book rights, theatre and radio

Asserted / waived

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Moral rights including: a) Identification as original author (s.77 CDPA) b) Not to be object to derogatory treatment (s.80 CDPA) 4) Option price payable (the price paid to purchase the option ? Normally 10% of full price)

5) Exercise of Option fee (the full price payable on exercise of the option)

a) On exercise of the option, the rights in the underlying work stay with the writer (e.g. in the book) but the rights needed to make the film are assigned

6) The mechanism for exercising the option

b) If the option is not exercised or the film is not made, parties will have a 'turnaround' provision so the rights revert back to the writer

7) Provision for credits in the final production ("written by")

8) Turnaround provisions

Whereby if the option is not exercised within a specified period, all the rights subject to the option revert back to the writer

9) A copy of the Option Agreement and Assignment to be completed if the option is exercised

10) The warranties as to the IP rights by the owner

a) That the owner owns all the rights in the work

b) That the owner can validly assign these rights to the producer

11) An indemnity given by the Writer for any breach of the Warranties

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