Errors and Omissions Clearance Procedures

E & O Clearance Procedures


1.              Identifiable Elements – Do not use any names of persons, firms, places,  products or services, addresses, telephone numbers, license plates, trade names and trade-marks unless fictitious or permission has been obtained.

2.              Personal Releases – Do not use the name, voice, photograph or other likeness of a living person (or fictional person which can be possibly identified as a living person) unless written permission is obtained or it is in a fleeting background or part of public crowds in which they cannot be recognized.  Use standard form of personal appearance which should include:

·       edit, delete material, juxtapose any part of the film with any other film, change the sequence of events or of any questions posed and/or answers

·       fictionalize persons or events including the release and to make any other changes in the film).

·       legally bind a minor if applicable

·       should give the right to market the production in all media and markets.  Should also include language or the right to manufacture, distribute and release the production on new technologies from all individuals (including writers, directors, actors, musicians, composers etc.).  Clearances from dead people and minors should also be obtained.

3.              Location/Artwork/Products/Props – Do not use any distinctive locations, buildings, products, artwork or personal property, distinctive or recognizable props unless permission is obtained in the proper form of agreement.

4.              Standard Form Agreements – Only the use of production company’s approved form of standard agreements for:

  • Location releases
  • Product use releases
  • Personal appearance releases
  • Crew agreements
  • music license or agreements
  • photography and artwork use releases
  • director agreements
  • crew agreements (art director, editor, director of photography and other key crew)

5.              Script Clearance – Script Clearance should be obtained from a research company to review all elements of script with legal counsel.  Annotate the script to document the source of the work to defend against defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuits. Annotations shall specify the source of all script elements except those elements that are completely fictional. Script elements include characters, events, settings and dialogue.   For each character note whether the character is a real person (living or dead), a fictional or a composite character (the name(s) of actual person(s) on whom the composite character is based, and what traits can be attributed to the real person(s)).   Note whether each script element portrays fact or fiction (note title, author, publisher, date and page, website address, time of broadcasts, interviewer, program name for any books, newspaper or magazine articles, material obtained from the Internet, radio or television interviews, etc).

6.              Script review – Script should be reviewed by legal counsel prior to commencement of production for items requiring clearance or potential claims of defamation, invasion of privacy, infringement of trade-mark, trade-name or copyright, infringement of rights of publicity, product placement, intereview clearances or likely exposure to any other civil claims or criminal prosecution.

7.              Chain of Title Review – review all chain of title documentation (writer, author and creator agreements, agreements for underlying works and included works such as quotes from other works).  Review date and circumstances of the commissioning of writing for the script.

8.              Fiction vs. Actual Events – Ensure any actual events that are depicted are based on primary sources (court transcripts, writers’ own interviews with witnesses and contemporaneous newspaper reports and public records) and not sources subject to copyright such as the copyrighted works of other authors, autobiographies and copyrighted magazine articles.

9.              Copyright Reports – If not from an original source, order copyright report of Canada, US and other relevant foreign copyright of the script and all underlying works upon which it is based unless script is an original work not based on any other work and its origins can be ascertained.  Review results of copyright search reports.  Copyright Report (domestic and foreign and renwal rights) required unless and unpublished original not based on any other work.

10.           Unsolicited Submissions – Ensure that any other unsolicited submissions received by production company are not similar such that any claims can be made based on similarity of the script produced.

11.           Title Search Reports – Order title search report (recommended to do this prior to production).

12.           Music Agreements – Music use agreements should include agrant of synchronization rights, performance licenses, reproduction and public performance licenses must be obtained for lyrics, music, recording and synchronization, performance rights, soundtrack, CD tape and DVD).

13.           Quotes – Obtain permission for all quotes from copyrighted works.

14.           Stock Footage – Stock footage clearance (product use clearances) – rights bible.

15.           Trade-marks – Review to ensure there is no use of trade-marks or products without permission.

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