Before I sign this...

KaraZor-El

Active Member
This question is directed towards anyone here who's previously made props/products for a film production and who may know what sort of things to watch out for... Or anyone who knows a bit about legal terminology and can help me understand.

Basically, I've been sent some paperwork to sign (please read below for the specifics). I think I need someone with a more legal vanacular who may be able to help me understand this a little clearer? I hope that this is just simple standard stuff, so I can sign it without worrying. Any advice would be much appreciated!


Some background info:

I'm a novice when it comes to making props for a production. I'm an artist who makes things based on what fans commission me to do. A year ago I was recruited by someone who saw my work and wanted me to contribute to his production. He's an actor that I'm familiar with, so it's not like some strange guy from the internet contacted me wanting me to make him stuff, so I feel safe working with this person...However I still understand that there are a lot of people out there who don't care who they step on if it helps their career (not that I think this guy would do that, but hey, who really knows). I have my head up in the clouds but I'd still like to keep my feet on the ground. Even though I'm excited that my work is starting to take me places...I want to make sure that I'm not giving my work away for free or get myself tied up in legal technicalities that screws me over in the long run...or whatever, I don't even know if I'm making sense....

I've already done some work for him, He paid for all the materials and labor and all that. I've already signed a privacy waiver before I began, so I can't give too much info on specifics about the project, but it's for a sci-fi web series. I've just been sent something new to sign, and I'm not an expert on all the legal stuff. I just want to make sure I understand the jist of this so that I, a young wide eyed overly-ambitious artist, don't somehow get taken advantage of in the long run (it asks me to sign my name at the bottom...and my SSN...? Why do they need my SSN?)



Here's the text:

General Terms:
1. Participant acknowledges that Producer shall solely and exclusively own all rights of every kind and nature in and to the results and proceeds of Participant’s services in connection with the Series, and that Participant is rendering such services as an employee-for-hire for Producer. To this end, Producer has the right, but not the obligation to use Participant’s name, voice, interviews, and/or any video, film, recordings or photographs taken by Producer of Participant’s actions, poses, person, likeness and appearances, of any and all kinds, and/or recordings of my voice (collectively “Performance”), as Producer see fit in the exercise of Producer’s sole discretion, in and in connection with the Series and the distribution, exhibition, advertising and exploitation thereof in any manner and by any means whatsoever, forever and for use worldwide. To the extent any of the results or proceeds of Participant’s services are not deemed a work for hire, Participant hereby assigns all such rights in and to the Series and the results and proceeds of Participant’s services to Producer. Participant hereby acknowledges that Participant will not receive any further compensation hereunder, regardless of the extent or nature of the use of the Performance.
2. In the event of a breach by Producer of this agreement, your sole remedy shall be an action at law in damages (if any), and in no event shall you be entitled to enjoin or restrain the production, distribution, or exploitation of the Series.
3. You acknowledge and agree that in entering into this Agreement you have not relied upon or been induced by any promise or representation (express or implied, oral or written) of Producer or any person acing for Producer, which is not contained in this Agreement. No modification to this Agreement is effective unless in writing signed by both parties. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California applicable to contracts entered into and fully performed therein.


At the bottom it asks me to sign my name and asks for my Social Security Number. As far as I know, (I was told) everyone associated (including actors) have to sign this and fax it in to them.

My understanding of the text is "We own our designs that you're basing the sculpts on, and we own the props that you make for us, so don't make copies and sell them to your friends. Don't get mad if something you made doesn't make it into the show, and if it does make it in, no, you won't be paid royalties every time someone watches it. If we screw you over in some way, you don't have the right to stop our production" It seems pretty basic to me...

I'm I totally off?
So...is this safe for me to sign? Or does anything look suspicious? Is there a white flag here I'm not seeing? (Like the SSN thing...) ?

Thank you so much for taking time to read all this!
 

rollerboi

Sr Member
If you're concerned about your SSN, you may want to look into applying for a tax ID and/or establishing a legal entity such as an LLC for legal and tax purposes. However, you should see an attorney before taking any action based on this post.
 

EyeofSauron

Master Member
seems legit, its like working for a firm where you invent something, there all rights go to the firm. as long as they pay you according to your work and cover expenses for material etc
what i dont understand is why they want you to fax it. i am not familiar with CA law, but here, a signed fax doesnt count as signed, only original or digital signatures are taken in concern. may wanna look that up :)
 

Ozymandius

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My understanding of the text is...

I'm I totally off?
The short answer is yes, you understood it perfectly. The only thing you left out in your summary is that they also have the right to use your name and likeness in the credits, promos, and any behind-the-scenes videos.

So nothing hidden, sneaky, or otherwise untoward. That's a pretty basic contract. I've signed hundreds of them and they are perfectly safe.

Oz
 

KaraZor-El

Active Member
Thank you so much for your input guys! I really appreciate it!

rollerboi- I will be talking to someone soon about the tax id/ LLC thing. I'm just now learning about all this.

Ozy- Seeing that you've signed many documents like this makes me feel more secure.

eyeofsauron- yes I will be mailing it. He originally wanted me to fax it but I requested a mailing address

Thanks for your time everyone!
 
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