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Jeremy Aldermartin
Jeremy Aldermartin, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8359
Experience:  Dual qualified Solicitor and Attorney
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I have a situation where I was working with A British

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I have a situation where I was working with A British charity. I am therapist from canada and I was contracted to work with their families. The work with the children went very well but there was a dispute over filming ( I had told them that I want to make a documentary about the therapy proces) During covid, the work had to be canceled but now the charity is demanding that i give them all the footage I made or they will sue. Having shot the film with an assistant, I think the rights to the raw footage is mine? Can you help me figure out what are my rights?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: I worked in England. I live i Canada
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: They have sent me an email threatening litigation. Ihave drafted a response but havent' sent it yet
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: My understanding that as a free lance contractor and not an employee I have rights to the footage
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
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Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I have not received any phone call or text? Is it possible if you could let me know when the next lawyer is available?
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I would like a response to the question. I am still awaiting to speak to someone

Hi thank you for your message, please note that I will look to provide an accurate but nevertheless speedy reply to your inquiry. I am sorry to hear about your situation but I will endeavour to help you today.

So you had a dispute about the use of the footage did you get agreement in advance for the filming?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
no we did everything on a handshake
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
My understanding from UK copyright law that in situations like this, the producer/director has first owner rights for the raw footage. The documentary was never completed due to delays from Covid.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
My feeling is that I have full ownership of the raw video footage due to this stipulation—am I correct?

I see unfortunately that is not legally binding, as these are considered so called "gentleman's agreements". The issue you have is not so much ownership of the footage par se, where I agree with you that copyright would attach to you but use of the footage for example if you are found to have filmed individuals without consent especially children there is data protection and the permission from the families to film them. As you only have a handshake agreement it seems to me you do not have permission from these families to film them. I trust this assists you in understanding your position however, should you have any supplementary inquiries, do not hesitate to ask and I will look to clarify or expand on my previous response.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Well I do not want to use the raw footage—I just don't want to be forced to give the raw footage to the charity under threat of litigation

Ah I see, yes you do not have to give them the footage. I trust this assists

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Also if the project was suspended by them and there were no written contracts, I cannot be sued for breach of contract to have not completed the documentary? (I find this to be part of the unfair claims made on their side)?

Yes precisely, I agree with your view. I trust this assists

Jeremy Aldermartin, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8359
Experience: Dual qualified Solicitor and Attorney
Jeremy Aldermartin and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you. My last question—would a case like this be brought to court just to harass and intimidate me for legal fees in order to get the footage? In my opinion this is the only reason they have done this.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Would this case be thrown out of court or is there a realistic chance it will be brought to the bar in the UK?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I believe it is just a legal maneuver to intimidate me

Thank you for your time on the phone as discussed you do not not need to hand over the footage as the copyright belongs to you. In terms of them going forward as mentioned I do believe you would get the claim struck out if they brought a claim. I trust this assists