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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3653
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I have a question about copyright/contract law. I wrote a

Resolved Question:

I have a question about copyright/contract law.
I wrote a film script which was optioned by a film company for a five year period (we are now two years into that period). There was a dispute about payment and i instructed solicitors to act on my behalf, there followed a period of unsuccessful communication between my solicitors and the film company. We then sought the advice of a Barrister and on this advice made further contact and an offer. We never had a response to this, or indeed a response to four further attempts at communication. My question is: who owns the rights to my script?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Was the option solely an option to make the film? Where you commissioned to write the script or did you just write it of your own accord? Are you saying you were never paid for the option?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I was paid for the option and was also commissioned to be the writer. Was paid for the first draft but after I wrote the second draft, which they said in writing that they loved, they went silent and never paid me. After some chase up they became very unprofessional and aggressive, at which point I hired a solicitor.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. Technically if you specifically commissioned to do the work, then the ownership of the work belongs to the person that commissioned you. There maybe an exception if for example you retained title until payment - did you sign any terms and conditions with this company?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I did yes, the contract say 'payment due on reciept' of the work not due on invoice.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. Have you been paid in part at least?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Not for the most recent drafts. (This was about two years ago]c
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. Have you considered just putting in an invoice and suing for the money - without a doubt they owe you money for the commissioned work, but ultimately there is a question mark over ownership of the works if they commissioned you to do them. Kind regards AJ

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