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Author:Mark Litwak

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Crowdfunding Finally Begins

by Mark Litwak on May 24, 2016


After a four year wait, as of May 16, 2016, crowdfunding portals can finally begin to operate and raise investment funds for film and other enterprises.  For the first time, producers will be able to offer funders a share of the profits of a project, including low budget films. Until …

Purchasing Life Story Rights

by Mark Litwak on March 2, 2016

Before you decide to purchase the rights to a person’s life story, it is worth considering what you are buying. When you buy the rights to portray someone in film or television, you are buying a bundle of rights. These rights include protection from suits based on defamation, invasion of …

Film Markets, Film Festivals, and the Difference Between Them

by Mark Litwak on February 3, 2016

Markets and festivals are not the same. Some filmmakers may find the difference confusing because the Berlin and Cannes Film Festivals operate concurrently with an adjoining film market. Sundance is a festival but an informal market of sorts has grown up around the festival with distributors bidding to acquire rights …

Crowdfunding Finally Approved

by Mark Litwak on November 10, 2015

Buckle your seat belts because there may soon be a wave of new indie films produced under relaxed government regulations. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), after a long delay, has finally adopted rules to permit companies to offer and sell securities through Crowdfunding. Several years overdue, the new Regulations …

Chain of Title

by Mark Litwak on October 23, 2015

Many filmmakers have a vague understanding of the term “Chain of Title.” Often they don’t focus on this phrase until production has been completed and a distributor expresses interest in their film. They quickly discover that they must secure E&O insurance in order to make delivery to the distributor, and …

Dancing Toddler Changes Copyright Law

by Mark Litwak on October 7, 2015

A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision is good news for filmmakers who want to rely on the fair use doctrine to include materials in their own work without obtaining permission. Stephanie Lenz is a mom who posted a 29-second amateur video onto YouTube of her children dancing in …