February 22, 2017 at 1:13PM


When should the client receive copyright of the final video?

I am working on a product video for a tech startup. They were not excited about the clause in our contract that states final copyright remains with the production company. This include the raw footages AND the final video.

Obviously, the RAW footage should remain with us. However, do you typically give copyright to the client for the final video? My guess is no. On this one, Im happy to give them the copyright (since it's a short video) with the agreement that we can use it for marketing. Am I shooting my self in the foot here?


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The typical way somebody would hire a company to do a product video is that the video itself is a work for hire. And as such, all copyright (over both the finished product, but also all raw footage shot as part of that work for hire) belongs to the hiring entity, not the hired entity. It is a good idea to have permission for projects you've worked on to build your reel, and it's perfectly reasonable to request a license to use such works for your own promotional purposes.

But you definitely started on the wrong foot by saying "my cameras, my copyright". Whether you've actually shot yourself in that foot remains to be seen. But if they can forgive your inexperience and they do hire you, they should also grant the use you request, because that is fair, reasonable, and customary.

February 22, 2017 at 2:37PM

You voted '-1'.

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