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MacG
01-13-2011, 05:29 PM
I just parted ways with my manager last night; amicable but something neither of us wanted. Alas, circumstances conspired against us and there was no other option...and I'll leave it at that.

When he responded to my e-mail, he mentioned getting a "protection letter" to cover material he developed with me if / when it should sell. Frankly, I have no problem with this -- the guy certainly put in a crapload of development work that has bettered the material -- but I wanted to make sure this was standard.

Yes? No?

abiqua
01-13-2011, 07:51 PM
Never heard of a protection letter. Let him draft one for your review if he's that concerned about it. Obviously, he thinks the script will eventually sell.

Ronaldinho
01-13-2011, 09:04 PM
Get. A. Lawyer.

You're not interested in free legal advice off the internet in a situation like this. It has the potential to be wayyyyy to expensive.

SoCalScribe
01-14-2011, 12:28 AM
I just parted ways with my manager last night; amicable but something neither of us wanted. Alas, circumstances conspired against us and there was no other option...and I'll leave it at that.

When he responded to my e-mail, he mentioned getting a "protection letter" to cover material he developed with me if / when it should sell. Frankly, I have no problem with this -- the guy certainly put in a crapload of development work that has bettered the material -- but I wanted to make sure this was standard.

Yes? No?


It's not uncommon to have a letter agreement that stipulates how situations (payments, rights, etc.) are to be handled at the dissolution of a working relationship. You definitely need an attorney to draft (or at least review) it, though.

And make sure you're really okay with it. Once you agree to this, it's forever (unless he agrees to relinquish the rights/protections you're granting him). What happens if you're in a situation down the road where the script is material is developed further with someone else... to the point where his contributions are nonexistent in the work... would you still be okay with paying him? And if that other person happens to be your new rep, are you okay with paying two percentages to two different reps on this project?

If you are, that's fine, but under no circumstances should you allow any attachments or approvals on his part to remain with the project; this should be an arrangement purely about him getting a cut of the money you make. A lawyer can help you with the specific details, though.

MacG
01-14-2011, 04:09 PM
It's not uncommon to have a letter agreement that stipulates how situations (payments, rights, etc.) are to be handled at the dissolution of a working relationship. You definitely need an attorney to draft (or at least review) it, though.

And make sure you're really okay with it. Once you agree to this, it's forever (unless he agrees to relinquish the rights/protections you're granting him). What happens if you're in a situation down the road where the script is material is developed further with someone else... to the point where his contributions are nonexistent in the work... would you still be okay with paying him? And if that other person happens to be your new rep, are you okay with paying two percentages to two different reps on this project?

If you are, that's fine, but under no circumstances should you allow any attachments or approvals on his part to remain with the project; this should be an arrangement purely about him getting a cut of the money you make. A lawyer can help you with the specific details, though.

Good stuff...and a lot of it is things I've been thinking about, so it's nice to know my head was in the right place. Thanks, SoCal.

Raff
01-16-2011, 07:40 AM
Development work?
You're not talking "notes" are you?
Because contributing notes is pretty standard stuff and doesn't entitle anyone to ownership of the material.

Jules
01-17-2011, 07:35 PM
You seem to go through a lot of managers, Mac.

gravitas
01-17-2011, 08:25 PM
I'm curious as to the extent of the development. Were these ideas you came up with? Outlines he helped you revise? Notes on a draft? When a manager gives you input to revise an outline or script, does that automatically entitle him to claim partial ownership over the material? After all, you can't copyright ideas. Having an idea and actually incorporating it into a script aren't the same thing.

If I had traction with a project, and I split with a manager, then they are certainly entitled to their percentage for their contributions toward the project they worked to set up. But future projects? That I don't get. If that were the case, anyone that gives you input could make the same claim.