Digital Content Creation: What Should You Pay Attention to?

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A client reached out to us with the need to assist in launching a distinct project related to the creation of video content for clients both in Ukraine and internationally. The requirements included:

  • analyzing the client's documents and goals;
  • designing the company's workflow system;
  • outlining the initiation of the client's project;
  • ensuring a well-considered system with appropriate contractual structures.

After finalizing the workflow details, we proceeded to register a separate company, appoint management, assist in leasing premises, and acquire necessary assets. The subsequent stage involved establishing effective contractual mechanisms for collaboration with contractors and clients.

For the client's customers, we crafted a relevant service agreement that outlined the provision of services for creating specific content and the transfer of intellectual property rights to the clients. Corresponding agreements were also developed and signed for employees and contractors:

  • Employees were required to enter into an employment agreement and maintain an employment relationship. We formulated and executed agreements that outlined the transfer of property rights to the employer.
  • Sole proprietors or individuals engaged in specific tasks or services, such as actors, editors, or various technical specialists, signed appropriate service/performance agreements.

As a result of our efforts, the client established a fitting LLC, organized contractual relationships, and addressed other pertinent aspects. The subsequent focus was on ensuring they possessed the necessary contracts for a secure commencement of their video production activities for commercial purposes. What contracts and documents are crucial for operating a video production business commercially?

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What documents and agreements are necessary for involving individuals in content creation?

When creating content—be it audio, video, or other works—the following processes typically unfold:

  • Firstly, there's the development of the physical content, which is then stored on a specific information carrier, such as a disk, film, or cloud storage.
  • Secondly, the creation of intellectual property takes place.
  • Thirdly, individuals may be brought in who do not produce content or intellectual property themselves, but their role is crucial in the production process.

Our client collaborated with various sole proprietors and individuals who were engaged on a non-permanent basis to provide services or perform specific tasks. For example, some videos featured actors, while others required the creation of sets, and, of course, editing was essential. All participants in the process, as well as the intricacies of production, needed to be legally formalized.

Our work entailed creating relevant documents with the aim of:

  • Agreeing on the terms of work or service provision and outlining these conditions in a contract.
  • Defining the scope of the task.
  • Establishing terms for the transfer of work results or services and property rights to the created objects of intellectual property.

We handed the client documents confirming the transfer of the video clip and intellectual property rights from each co-author at every stage. Additionally, for certain clients, these documents, along with invoices and statements, served as confirmation of the use of the agreed-upon estimate.

When involving individuals in production, legal experts recommend coordinating all terms and entering into an appropriate contract, specifying:

  • The scope of obligations.
  • The cost of work or services.
  • The payment and transfer procedure for the results of work/services and property rights.

To initiate the client's operations, we provided the following documents:

  • Employment agreements with respective employees hired for various positions in the company.
  • Non-disclosure agreements for confidential information and trade secrets.
  • Service and work agreements with contractors brought into production on a non-permanent basis.
  • Agreements for the creation on demand and the use of intellectual property objects for creative professionals involved in composing music, writing texts, etc.
  • Licensing agreements for the use of specific intellectual property objects in frames (typically photos, videos, and audio).
  • Filming permits from individuals.
  • Other contracts arising during work, such as rental agreements for premises, shooting locations, equipment, vehicles, catering, cleaning, etc.
  • Agreements with content customers, including foreign trade agreements for working with non-residents.
  • Company orders and directives necessary for commencing activities.

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How and when to obtain filming permits in Ukraine?

If there is a person in the frame of a photo or video, we recommend obtaining permission from that individual for filming and using their image in accordance with the purposes and objectives of the production.

The filming permit should include:

  • Information about the individual appearing in the frame.
  • The right to film and use the image in specific areas.
  • Relevant passport details.

In the absence of the appropriate filming or image usage permit beyond the rights granted in the permit, such an individual may demand the cessation of the violation of their rights, removal from the frame, and compensation. This, in turn, could lead to legal claims and the resolution of disputes.

Permits are not necessary if the filming takes place on the street or during public events. However, if the person's image will be used for advertising, television, etc., the permit is obligatory—regulatory authorities may request it during checks for compliance with advertising legislation.

Please note! Another client needed to involve a child in advertising high-end children's clothing. In such cases, the permit must be obtained from the parents.

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Intellectual Property: How to Properly Acquire Property Rights and Transfer Them to the Client?

In the course of creating any production, intellectual property inevitably comes into play, as the result of work or service provision always yields a specific copyrighted object—a piece of work (visual, audiovisual, etc.). The issue of transferring property rights to the created objects of intellectual property is a crucial aspect that cannot be overlooked.

Generally, property rights are transferred through a contract, with both parties signing a corresponding transfer of ownership document. In most cases, a contractual framework such as a service agreement or a work performance contract is employed, containing necessary provisions for the transfer of property rights to the created objects of intellectual property.

However, another common practice is the execution of a contract for the creation on demand and the use of intellectual property objects. For instance, this might occur when an artist, composer or another creative professional creates a specific work expressly for a client.

Another option is a separate agreement for the transfer (alienation) of property rights in favor of the client. Such a contract is advisable when the intellectual property object has already been created.

Regardless of the chosen method for transferring property rights, it is crucial to clearly define the intellectual property objects being transferred and document the transfer appropriately. In such cases, our legal experts rely on a formula developed over the years:

  • Identification of the author and all co-authors.
  • Identification of the intellectual property objects that have already been created or will be created.
  • Determination of the scope of the rights being transferred.
  • Specification of the method of transferring the rights.
  • Execution of the transfer of rights.

Drawing on our experience and expertise in intellectual property, we always assist our clients in conducting their business activities correctly and efficiently.

We offer assistance in:

  • Establishing your business in Ukraine.
  • Planning the structure of your business in Ukraine.
  • Developing agreements and documents for legal protection and structuring your business.

We provide comprehensive accounting and legal services for businesses in Ukraine.

If you are interested in the cost of legal services in contract law, you can find it here.

Feel free to contact our team for the development of a personalized service package for your business.

Publication date: 06/10/2023

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