RIGHTS CLEARANCE AGENCY VS. ATTORNEY
When approaching the process of rights clearance, most filmmakers, studios and creative agencies think that means it's simply time to hire a lawyer. (Read more about rights clearance here). While having a credible and experienced attorney involved in the process at some point is a definite requirement, the option of using a rights clearance house or agency is often a better way to execute the rights clearance process quickly, nimbly and cost-effectively, while ensuring the creative quality of your vision stays intact.
Here are the three main reasons you should consider hiring a rights clearance agency for your next project:
1. Rights Clearance Agencies offer more than legal guidance.
Rights clearance work often involves more than simple legal arrangements. There is a lot of time consuming and hands-on work required before legal contracts are prepared and signed. A rights clearance agency will assess your project, identify any material in your production that needs clearance, contacting rights owners to secure permissions, reviewing scripts, researching and suggesting suitable materials and sources for your productions, etc. AND then have an attorney on staff to provide legal analysis. Plus, rights clearance services often handle what are often time consuming transactions between parties including negotiations, billing and payment and file transfers.
2. You'll save money.
Given the complex and hands-on nature of most rights clearance processes, using a rights clearance agency saves money. Most lawyers require a retainer agreement, which is also known as a “work for hire” contract. This document typically includes the type of work the attorney is doing for the client, all associated fees, and the general rights of both parties entering into the agreement. Comparatively, an agency with an in-house lawyer will use non-attorney staff to execute most of the research, billing and contact with content sources and then set everything up for the attorney to review.
3. Clearance agencies have creative industry contacts and experience.
Clearance agencies are often embedded within the film, music and advertising content industry. They’ll understand the balance between legal caution while keeping your creative vision intact. And, clearance agency employees may have interest or experience in media or creative production themselves, meaning they can help concept and deliver creative ideas or sourcing solutions directly. And, if they can't do it themselves, they'll have a rolodex of contacts who can deliver.
Kurator has over 20 years of experience in digital rights management. Our team of music experts leverage industry connections and leave no stone unturned in their search to find the best music for your project. And with an in-house legal team, and in-house Kurator specializes in creating, reviewing and negotiating music licensing agreements. And, we can help remove or lower legal risk with custom indemnification agreements.