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Deal Point Checklists:

Screenplay Co-Ownership Agreement

  1. Term
    • Length of Agreement
      • For a period of years?
      • The life of the copyright?
      • In perpetuity?
  2. Ownership
    • How will the property be owned (jointly?)?
    • Will any rights be held back by any party?
  3. Assignments
    • Will any one party have to assign any rights to the other?
  4. Exploitation Rights
    • Will any or all of the parties have the right to exploit the screenplay?
  5. Approvals
    • Will agreements regarding exploitation require unanimous approval?
    • If more than two parties, a majority?
    • Can any one party bind the others, but be required to account to the others for money?
  6. Credits
    • Joint or sole credit?
    • "Story By" credit for any one party?
    • Who is in first position on the cards?
    • Separate Card?
  7. Death or Incapacity of any Party
    • Can the estate or Guardian/Conservator have any say in exploitation, or does surviving party control all exploitation subject only to a duty to account to the estate or representative?
    • Will credits be altered in the event of death?
  8. Assignment of Proceeds
    • May any party assign proceeds to someone else (gift, debt, etc.)?
    • Will consent be required if a party does so?
  9. Sequels and Remakes
    • What if one party wishes to create a sequel or remake?
    • Must he notify the others?
    • Must he account?
  10. Warranties
    • Is title clear?
    • Are there any prior liens or encumbrances on the Screenplay?
    • Is there any chance that the screenplay may violate the right of privacy, publicity, violate law, or constitute a libel against anyone?
  11. Fees, Expenses and Profits
    • How will proceeds be split? Will costs be reimbursed?
    • What kind of costs?
    • What kind of records and back up will be required?
    • What about audit and inspection rights?
  12. Accountings
    • How will proceeds be paid?
    • By separate checks to each party?
    • By third party escrow?
    • If one party receives proceeds that belong to both, how soon must he turn over the funds?
    • Audits, statements, etc..
  13. What additional documents need to be signed?
    • Assignment of Copyright?
  14. Assignments
    • Can either party assign his rights and obligations under the contract?
  15. Relationship of the Parties
    • Partnership?
    • Joint Venture?
    • Independent Contractors?
  16. Confidentiality
    • Should the agreement and its terms remain confidential?
    • May any party make an announcement to the trades?
    • Exclusivity
    • Can either party work on other projects or must he only work on this project?
    • How much time must be devoted to this project.
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