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Old 03-29-2015, 10:22 AM
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Default Non Compete/Non Disclosure still a factor?

I did some work for a client a few years ago. I signed a non compete non disclosure agreement.

After many shoots, he walked on me owing $2500. Am I still bound by the agreement or can I use the footage freely? He left the state. It's Civil War stuff and that's hot right now. I don't have the interview releases, but I do have plenty of b-roll.

Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:48 AM
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Did he pay anything at all? Was the stuff you shot staged just for his benefit or could anyone have gotten it?

Sounds more like an issue for a lawyer to me...I had a much smaller incident in the past and after months of asking to be paid, finally sent the client a notice that if he did not pay up within a set period of time that I owned all rights to the video shot. He didn't pay, so figure it is mine (again, minus the interviews or any shots of him). Unfortunately in my case it was inside local businesses, so no hope of resale.

(Of course I didn't give him the video, said he'd get it when I got paid...so I had leverage.)
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:36 AM
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As a standard practice invoices should set the terms of payment. Net 30 for example. If payment hasn't been received, and a good faith effort, like a second notice after 30 days has been sent, I would consider all the stock mine and free for resale by me. Most non competes are fairly flimsy anyway. I'd say try to sell the footage as part of recovery. Record it as such and if the amount in arrears meets the standard for legal action, go full court on the deadbeat.

Good luck
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:56 AM
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Definitely call a lawyer before reselling any of the footage. Specifically one with experience in Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright Law.
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Old 03-30-2015, 08:34 AM
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It's 2 separate issues, at least on it's face. Non compete/disclosure vs ownership of video. After asking a IP lawyer, she said you have to have an attorney look over the specific situation.
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:39 PM
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Just make sure your contracts state you retain full rights to any/all media produced until you are paid in full. I had a client skip out once too and I've made that money back plus by selling the footage as stock footage. I have written releases from all talent in the shots though.
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svp View Post
Just make sure your contracts state you retain full rights to any/all media produced until you are paid in full. I had a client skip out once too and I've made that money back plus by selling the footage as stock footage. I have written releases from all talent in the shots though.
You really showed them! Sounds like you made more money off them skipping out that you would of off the original deal. You are the smartest businessman in the world. Please tells us more of your amazing stories too fantastic to be believed but somehow true because. Just because.

You are a hero. Hopefully many successful freelancers will see the error in our ways and learn to to things properly like you do. Thank you for showing us the way with sound, reasonable and sober advice. The last thing we need is an internet message board blowhard to lead us astray. You are really doing a service to your fellow professionals. Thank you.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:30 AM
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Well, he did pay for many shoots, but he misrepresented himself. He claimed we were shooting for a well known network. It didn't add up right off the bat to me, but I got several shoots from it, even though he bounced two checks, he would always pay up until the final shoot. He paid part of it and then skipped out of state owing me $2500.

Some of the footage is generic b-roll that anyone could have shot. That's the stuff I'm thinking about selling, not any interviews or museum footage. BTW, my invoices say "due upon receipt, interest of 1.5% per month will be added after 30 days." I'm sure that is meaningless.

Originally, I had him sign letters of agreement, but over time I didn't continue. MY BAD.

Thanks for the replies!
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:04 PM
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The correct answer is to consult an attorney, with that said.....

My marginal legal advice is that if you were not paid, you own it all. Non-payment means you have an invalid / broken contract, so you can do what you want with the footage.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:35 AM
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Thank you. I think you are right, for a definitive answer a consultation with an entertainment law attorney is a good idea. Knowing the lack of a moral compass in this guy, I doubt he would try anything because he has misrepresented himself to a variety of people and organizations. On top of that, he misrepresented his affiliation with a TV network. This would all come out in any court case. Thx.
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