Print Story "Now, That's a Great Contract!"
By lylehsaxon (Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:12:16 AM EST) (all tags)
Sarcasm - just in case it's not obvious.  It's been my unfortunate experience over the years that just when I think I'm positively dripping with sarcasm and there is no possible way anyone could not see it - just then, especially then, for some unfathomable reason - (some) people mistake the heavy sarcasm for honest enthusiasm and... what?  Fortitude?  Strength of purpose?  Whatever it is, each time I'm flabbergasted at the misunderstanding, and each time I begin to see how politicians get away with their crimes. .................

So, I'm telling you here, now, in no uncertain terms, that the following "enthusiasm" for a contract I was sent is sarcasm, driven on by disappointment, disgust, amazement, etc.

Here's the story:

The video, or The Train Video.  (Do I hear groans?  Yeah, I feel your pain - in fact, I'm feeling the same way - maybe even worse I think.)  I've had three television stations approach me with offers (excluding one TV show in the UK that I gave permission to use for a single use of the low-resolution version).  The first two I'll just give the details from memory, and the last one, I'll show you the wonderful (unsigned) contract itself (with the name of the guilty company taken out of course).

1) I was offered about 100 pounds from a UK broadcaster for (non-exclusive) rights to use the video an unlimited number of times within three years.  I wrote back and basically asked "Well - what's in it for me?"

2) I was offered around 200 pounds from another UK broadcaster who wanted (non-exclusive) rights to use the video an unlimited number of times within five years.  I wrote back and said (in addition to "Well - what's in it for me?"): "Actually, I don't particularly even want this on TV.  It's already caused an enormous amount of misunderstanding due to the way it's been shown out-of-context."  In response, I got an indignant-sounding e-mail saying that it belonged to history now, and the world should see it(!), as though that company already owned it and I was getting in the way....  As for the world seeing it, they have been, and are.  The total number of Internet views that I know of (mostly stolen copies posted without my permission) is over five million (not counting it's appearance on TV in the UK and the US... and - if what I've been told is true - China and Germany).

3) I am now being offered $350 by a US company for what the contract calls "non-exclusive" rights, but goes on to say (if I'm reading the legalize correctly - let me know if I've got it wrong somehow), that they will - for $350 - get the right to use the material (in any way they like) forevermore - for all eternity - and if they sell it to someone else, they also have the right to use it forevermore - for all eternity.  Also, since the company would be paying such an astronomical amount of money for the clip (heavy sarcasm there, for those with very dark sunglasses on who managed to miss it), if ever there should arise some complaint by someone regarding their use of the material, I would be responsible for any legal costs, etc.

Now *that's* a great contract!  It brings tears to my eyes.  How could they have come up with such wonderful terms?  It makes me feel downright warm and fuzzy about the world, etc.

Well, here's the contract (with the guilty party's name removed).  Have a look for yourself.  And just in case my preamble didn't get the point across, I'm being sarcastic about saying it's a great contract.  It's a horrible contract!  I do not agree to such outlandish terms!  (It even uses the factually incorrect and insulting title of one of the stolen copies of the video!)



DATE: 3/23/09

LICENSOR: Lyle H. Saxon, address & telephone #

LICENSEE: [US company]

LICENSED MATERIAL: All Aboard The Train Fail – Japanese commuters get pushed into train.


Within the television series entitled  [xyz program]

LICENSE PERIOD:    In perpetuity


LICENSE FEE:      $350 (based on 100% ownership)

TERRITORY:  Worldwide

MEDIA:  All media now known or hereafter devised

For good and valuable consideration, Licensor hereby grants to Licensee, a non-exclusive license to use the Licensed Material in the Production for the purposes and in the manner set forth herein.  Rights granted include in-context and out-of-context advertising and promotion rights in all media now known or hereafter devised.  Licensee may use Licensed Material in all versions and derivative versions of the Production in whole or in part, including, but not limited to any retrospective or “best of” programming at no additional cost. This license is subject to both parties’ agreement to and compliance with the following:

1. Licensee shall have the right to edit the Licensed Material including but not limited to dubbing over or eliminating the soundtrack. 

2. Licensor represents and warrants that  (i) Licensor has full right, power and authority to enter into, fully perform and grant the rights granted by Licensor in this Agreement, and by entering into, fully performing and granting the rights granted by Licensor in this Agreement, it is not and shall not be in violation of the terms of any agreement or understanding to which Licensor is party, (ii) it owns or controls 100% of the copyrights in the Licensed Material, (iii) the Licensed Material does not and shall not infringe upon the rights or interests of any third party; (iv) all elements within the Licensed Material are either original with the Licensor, or Licensor has the right to grant the rights set forth in this Agreement in connection with such elements, including but not limited to all video and musical elements, master recordings and synchronization rights; (v) the Licensed Material is free and clear of any liens or claims with respect to the use of such Licensed Material in the manner authorized herein, and that such use authorized herein will not give rise to any claims of infringement, invasion of privacy or publicity or claims for payment of re-use fees, residuals or additional License Fees. 
3. Licensor shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless Licensee, its officers, directors, consultants, employees, successors, licensees, agents and permitted assigns from and against any claim, demand, action, damages, loss, expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) and other liabilities arising from actions brought by third parties arising from (a) any breach of any of the representations, warranties or agreements made by it hereunder; or (b) a claim that the use of any or all of the Licensed Material infringes any intellectual property right(s) of such party. Licensee shall promptly notify Licensor of any such claim.  Licensor shall bear full responsibility for the defense of any such claim.  Licensor shall keep Licensee informed of, and consult with, Licensee in connection with the progress of any litigation or settlement of any such claim.  Licensor shall not have any right, without Licensee’s written consent, to settle any such claim if such settlement obligates Licensee to make or contribute to a monetary payment; arises from or is part of any criminal or quasi-criminal action, suit or proceeding; or contains a stipulation, admission or acknowledgment of any liability or wrongdoing (whether in contract, tort or otherwise) on the part of Licensee. Licensor shall reimburse Licensee promptly upon demand for any payment made by Licensee at any time to which the foregoing indemnity applies

4.  Licensor acknowledges that due to editing and other factors; Licensee is under no obligation to include the Licensed Material within the Production.  If the Licensed Material is not used, Licensee has no obligation to compensate Licensor under this Agreement.

5. Licensee acknowledges that its use of the Licensed Material will not affect Licensor's continued and separate copyright ownership of the Licensed Material and Licensee represents and warrants that it shall take necessary and appropriate steps to protect Licensor's copyright and trademarks.

6. Licensee shall be entitled to assign all or a portion of the rights and licenses granted herein and shall be entitled to assign this agreement in its entirety to any person, firm or corporation acquiring ownership of or production rights to the Production without further payment to Licensor.  This Agreement is binding upon and shall inure to the benefit of the respective licensees, successors, and assigns of the Parties hereto.

7. This Agreement sets forth the entire understanding of the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof and there are no other representations, understandings or agreements between the parties relative to such subject matter.

8. This Agreement and all questions arising hereunder shall be governed by and construed in accordance with, the laws and decisions of the State of New York without giving effect to the principles thereof relating to the conflicts of law. 

[Name of Licensee]             [Name of Licensor Here]
By:  ________________________    By:  ________________________

      Its authorized representative     Its authorized representative

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"Now, That's a Great Contract!" | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
What would be a good contract? by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #1 Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:15:01 AM EST
Have you ever gotten a good offer?

A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
My Name is Earl

One - from an advertising agency. by lylehsaxon (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:10:23 PM EST
Yeah - one.  From an advertising agency.  I don't want to publicly say how much, but it was orders of magnitude higher than the change the TV stations have been offering.  And the terms were better as well.


The shortest way home is the longest way 'round....
[ Parent ]
Sign nothing by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #2 Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 01:16:20 AM EST
Not enough money to get into it for.  Unless someone offers you serious cash.  Until then fuck it.

CBB can tell you, property rights are a B-I-T-C-H.


"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
Yeah - that's what I'm thinking by lylehsaxon (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 04:10:29 PM EST
What's the point of giving the TV stations anything for that kind of loose change!  I guess a lot of people are so happy for the exposure, that they let them get away with it.


The shortest way home is the longest way 'round....
[ Parent ]
certainly by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 03:58:11 PM EST
Any offer should be at least 4 digits.  I mean come on.

One Good Example by lylehsaxon (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 02:00:23 PM EST
I spent a lot of time, money and effort recording videos from 1990 through 1992 (with a tiny bit in 1993), and it amazes me how people and these television stations seem to think that they have some kind of automatic right to that material.

There was one exception - which resulted in this ad for


The shortest way home is the longest way 'round....
[ Parent ]
"Now, That's a Great Contract!" | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback