The Crucial Role of a Certificate of Clearance in Film Financing: Insights from Lawyer Ernest Goodman
Navigating Legal Waters in Filmmaking: The Indispensable Certificate of Clearance
Insights from Lawyer Ernest Goodman
In the intricate world of filmmaking, the journey from script to screen is laden with creative and legal challenges. As an entertainment lawyer, my role is to illuminate the path through one such legal challenge—the necessity of obtaining a certificate of clearance for intellectual property (IP) in screenplays.
In the film industry, issues of copyright and trademark infringement are not uncommon. From subtle references to overt uses of existing works, films can inadvertently become mired in legal issues. This reality underscores the importance of thorough IP clearance – ensuring every element of your screenplay that is not originally created by you is legally cleared for use.
Financiers and distributors are pivotal in transforming screenplays into cinematic realities. However, their support comes with a caveat: a strict adherence to legal assurances. Without a certificate of clearance, these entities fear the legal repercussions of copyright infringement, which can lead to costly lawsuits and project derailments. Hence, they typically refrain from financing projects lacking this essential document.
The Essence of IP Clearance in Screenplays
Screenplays often weave together a tapestry of elements, including character names, dialogues, and references to existing works. Ensuring these elements are used legally is the essence of IP clearance. A certificate of clearance confirms that all non-original elements are duly authorized for use.