TV & Film Legal Clearances: Everything You Need To Know To Safeguard Your Project

Hosted by James Pacitti


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James Pacitti

Webinar hosted by: James Pacitti

Managing Attorney at Pacitti Law Firm (PLF)

James Pacitti has been an attorney for nearly three decades and is licensed to practice in California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. He is the founder and managing attorney of PLF, an entertainment law firm based in Beverly Hills, California. Prior to starting PLF, James was a trial attorney and litigator in state and federal courts across the country. PLF represents a broad spectrum of creatives, including producers and production companies, in the development, finance, production, and distribution of their projects. The firm also acts as general counsel to its clients and advises them on a wide array of entertainment matters and intellectual property rights issues. PLF has handled TV and film productions across the United States and the globe, including the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, the Middle East, and Australia. Past and current clients include Academy Award and Emmy-winning producers and production companies. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Learn all about legal clearances and how you can protect the rights to your project with esteemed entertainment attorney James Pacitti of Pacitti Law Firm

PLUS! You'll receive a Mock Script and Film Clearance Report as well as examples of clearance issues that led to court cases!

Producing a TV, film, or multimedia project is an incredibly daunting task wrought with potential legal peril throughout the entire process.

A TV, film, or multimedia project is the amalgamation of a vast array of rights. In order for producers to be able to distribute their projects, it is essential that the necessary rights are secured through expertly prepared and vetted agreements with each rights holder. It is also vital that producers do not infringe on the rights of those only incidentally involved in the production of their project, including copyright and trademark rights holders. In addition, producers must be mindful of issues of defamation, invasion of privacy, and rights of publicity. Successfully navigating through this complicated legal landscape is virtually impossible without the knowledge and assistance of an experienced entertainment attorney. We’re here to help.

In this essential Stage 32 webinar, you will learn the major legal issues that are most likely to arise during your production and how you can steer clear of any potential legal pitfalls so you can successfully produce and distribute your project. Teaching you everything you need to know about clearance issues for your project is esteemed entertainment attorney James Pacitti of Pacitti Law Firm. James has been an attorney for nearly three decades and is licensed to practice in California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. He is the founder and managing attorney of Pacitti Law Firm (PLF), an entertainment law firm based in Beverly Hills, California. PLF represents a broad spectrum of creatives, including producers and production companies, in the development, finance, production, and distribution of their projects. The firm also acts as general counsel to its clients and advises them on a wide array of entertainment matters and intellectual property rights issues. PLF has handled TV and film productions across the United States and the globe, including the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, the Middle East, and Australia.

In this information-packed webinar, James will guide you through the clearance process and illustrate why an entertainment attorney is an essential member of your producing team. You will learn everything from how to obtain permission to use work from a third party, how to navigate clearance of using underlying intellectual property (IP), how to copyright of your work and how and why you need to get clearance of your film after production and post-production.

PLUS! You’ll receive exclusive handouts to help you ensure clearance needs on your project are met. Downloads include:

  • Mock script and film clearance reports
  • Examples of clearance issues that led to court cases

If you are a filmmaker at any stage of your project, you do NOT want to miss this webinar with immensely important information to make sure the production and release of your project goes smoothly.

“Securing and clearing all the necessary rights is essential to all productions. However, proper clearance is often misunderstood by independent film and TV producers. I am looking forward to the opportunity to give guidance on common clearance issues and to convey the importance of involving legal counsel at the inception of the development of a project.” - James Pacitti

What You'll Learn

  • What Is Clearance?
    • Obtaining permission to use works owned by third parties
    • Avoiding copyright or trademark infringements
    • Content creation during production: Capturing rights through work-for-hire agreements
  • Acquisition of the Underlying IP or Script
    • Option/purchase of underlying intellectual property
    • Option/purchase of screenplay or work-for-hire
    • An entertainment attorney can ensure the necessary documents are properly prepared.
  • Copyright & Title Searches/Reports
    • Copyright reports can determine if the underlying literary material or script is available to exploit
    • Title reports will identify any prior uses to determine if the title is clear to use
    • An entertainment attorney can either conduct the review or review a third-party report and advise producers on how to proceed
  • Script Clearance Report
    • The attorney reviews the script and provides a script clearance report that breaks down the script to identify any potential legal issues.
    • Intellectual property infringements based on copyright or trademark.
    • Other issues, such as defamation or invasion of privacy
  • Film Clearance
    • After production and post-production are completed, prior to picture lock, an attorney should review the film
    • The attorney will compare the contents of the film to make sure all of the necessary agreements have been obtained and properly prepared
    • Film clearance will also confirm that the instructions and prohibitions in the script clearance report were followed
    • Common pitfall: Inadvertent IP infringements (e.g., artwork, photos, tattoos, etc.)
    • Based on the film clearance report, the producers and their entertainment attorney can address any outstanding clearance issues before locking picture
  • Practical vs. Legal Issues
    • Including trademark or copyright-protected material is not always purely a legal analysis
    • Risks of litigation of other, different issues is also a consideration
  • Consequences of Improper Clearance
    • Inability to secure errors & omissions insurance
    • Inability to distribute the project
    • Loss of your money or investors’ money
    • Lawsuits.
  • Q&A with James

About Your Instructor

James Pacitti has been an attorney for nearly three decades and is licensed to practice in California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. He is the founder and managing attorney of PLF, an entertainment law firm based in Beverly Hills, California. Prior to starting PLF, James was a trial attorney and litigator in state and federal courts across the country.

PLF represents a broad spectrum of creatives, including producers and production companies, in the development, finance, production, and distribution of their projects. The firm also acts as general counsel to its clients and advises them on a wide array of entertainment matters and intellectual property rights issues. PLF has handled TV and film productions across the United States and the globe, including the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, the Middle East, and Australia.

Past and current clients include Academy Award and Emmy-winning producers and production companies.


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