Film rights

Film rights are rights under copyright laws to Produce a derivative work (a movie in this one) year based one item of intellectual property . Selon US law thesis belong to the holder of the copyright, Who May sell gold option em to someone in the movie industry (a producer or director or Sometimes a specialist broker of Such properties) Who will Then try to gather the other professionals and The financial backing needed to convert the property into a movie. This is different from the right to the finished motion picture commercially to an audience; this is usually referred to as “exhibition rights” or “public performance rights”.


In the United States , the need to secure the film rights of Previously Produced or published source materials still under copyright stems from law case . In 1907, the Kalem Company produced a one-reel silent film version of General Lew’s Wallace novel Ben-Hur without first securing film rights. Wallace’s estate, and his American publisher, Harper & Brothers , sued for copyright infringement . The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, establishing the precedent that all adaptations are subject to copyright.


When producers choose a script, they are buying the right to buy certain rights to intellectual property. A general option fee is 10% of the cost of the rights, should the producers manage to secure full financing for their project and have it “greenlit”. Because few projects actually manage to be green, options allow producers to reduce their loss in the event that a project fails to come to fruition. Should the project be green, an option provides a legal binding.

The contract for an option will specify the length of time it is valid for. If the producer is unable to have their project greenlit within the specified timeframe (eg two years), the option will expire. The rights holder can then be the last option. Or, the contract may allow the producer to renew the option for a certain price.

Chain of title

As it is common for scripts to be stuck in development , the options for a script may expire and be resold on multiple occasions. As well, producers who purchase an option and rework the scripture of their own rights. This lineage is referred to as the chain of title . This line can become cloudy if the underlying rights are divided. Producers may purchase the rights to a specific region (ie a country, the entire world, or the universe) and / or they may purchase ancillary rights such as merchandising rights.

In some cases, it can be certain to the exact owners of a particular version of a script and the exact set of rights. It is important for an entertainment lawyer to determine how clean a chain of title is.

See also

  • Screenplay
  • Chain of title
  • Copyright precedent set by Ben Hur (1907 film)