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Hello, I was a camera man on a project that had no written contracts and was done to help boost the local music scene. Most of the (small amount, 2500.00) money made by the producer was used to build a web site. Now the director claims he was promised half of the revenue. No contracts were written or signed only verbal promises made. Can he sue us or have the power to stop production on this project? Here's a poorly written letter he e-mailed. Thank You, XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX , I have spoken with our Board of Directors and our lawyers regarding Newport City Limits and we have found you negligent of honoring our original agreement for the show. As you know splitting the revenue from the show 50/50 as well as sharing rights in the show was our original agreement and now that everything is shot and completed you have chosen not to honor our original agreement. This is completely unacceptable as all of the major work has been completed on the show. We have spoken with our main lawyer who is an experienced Entertainment Lawyer with tons of experience in the Film & TV Industry. He has told me to inform me that besides not honoring our original agreement you are breaking the law and can and will be taken to court as you do not have the rights to XXXXX XXXX direction of the show OR the rights to Summing Point's audio recording. Therefore you are airing the show illegally and is punishable by law in State of RI and Providence Plantations. I understand you are not familiar with the legalities of the Film & TV world but we have been explained by our lawyers that it is really not that much different than the Theatre world. I have been asked to explain the situation in layman's terms so you can understand the copyright laws you are breaking. 1. All of the first seasons of Newport City Limits have been directed by XXXXX XXXX of XXXXX XXXXXX. This was the agreement, documented and practiced. Just like in a play you may have rights to the play, but you do not have the rights to the directors vision or interpretation to the play. This works the same way in Television. You do not have or own the rights to XXX XXXX direction of Newport City Limits. Therefore you have been using his Direction of the show and the images and interpretation thereof illegally. 2. Sound Recording - Although you are using the sound recorded by additional cameras you do not own the recording rights to Scott XXXXXXXXX of XXXXXXX XXXXX'X XXXXX & XXXXX XXXXXXXXX. Scott was Sound Producer / Engineer for Newport City Limits this was the agreement, documented and practiced. Like Directing, a Sound Engineer owns all of the rights to their interpretation of the recording or live performance equalization and projection. As with all music used in TV & Film there are the Syncing and Recording rights. While you may or may not own the rights to the syncing rights (per artists) unfortunately you do not own or have the rights to XXXXXXX XXXXXX recording rights. We have spoken with Scott and he has never released these rights to you nor does he intend to unless he is paid fairly for his time and services. Therefore, unfortunately, the audio for Newport City Limits is also being used illegally. We have spoken with Scott from XXXXXXX XXXXX and he has said he has never given you the rights to his recordings and they are being used illegally. We have also spoken with him about the agreements you had told to him before he started the show. It appears that you also lied to him about the shows terms. He had said that you were to give him 1/3 of the revenue from the show. You had told us you were to give us 1/2 off the revenue. Obviously the math does not add up and obviously you were dishonest about the agreement from the beginning. Statement Per XXX "Before we even started production on this show I remember meeting at Empire Tea & Coffee to go over terms of the show. Our original agreement was that we were to split all revenue from the show 50/50 as well as any rights to the show and future revenues. The terms equal partners were used meaning that we were to split everything down the line 50/50. I had asked you when we began recording if you were pulling any money in from the show and you told me you were not. Obviously you were completely lying to me as I have documented proof that you have been making money off the show and keeping all of the revenue to yourself. You have also told me that you would be paying for us additional hard drives and software I needed to purchase to edit the show (totaling around $500). You have not paid for these items either although you had said you would. In addition you have said that anything NCL related I would always be named as Director and XXXX XXXXX would be named as Production Studio, Cameras, Editing. Upon recently looking at your site you are now naming another Video Company as well as another cameraman that had absolutely nothing to do with the first 26 episodes. This not only completely unfair but completely untrue. Per a quote from our documented Facebook messages "The first 26 episode you will have Director credit as I promised as well as all promo that goes with the first season" Again I have been lied to as myself or Video & Vision is receiving no credit for this show. Everything you have promised for this show has been one complete and bold-faced lie. This was the same lie that was told to Scott from XXXXXXX XXXXX as he worked very hard on the show, has received no money or NO CREDIT for his hard time and work both of which you already agreed to with him." At this point the quality of the show is so poor it is nothing that a professional company of our stature wants anything to do with. Since we are already associated with the show, have had numerous articles posted including XXXXX XXXX XXXX, and everyone in RI knows we are a part of the show we need to make sure our quality image is upheld. We have worked very hard to gain the pristine name we have, we are not willing to lose it to an amateur music show. Obviously you have proven to be someone that cannot be trusted and someone who cannot honor business arrangements and works very hard to scam others out of time and money. We have done our research and have found there to be many cases of scam and fraud under your name, something you should be completely ashamed of because of the people you prey. We did not put all of this work into a show that is going nowhere so we are more than happy to stick with our original agreement. I will need to have our lawyers draft up a contract before we move forward. We have hired an extra editor to work on this project if this is the direction we need to take to make sure the show is of the high-quality and professionalism we originally agreed upon. I know XXXXX has been trying to reach you but you have been blatantly ignoring him. You have 2 options at this point. We are attaching an invoice for our Video Production & Editing Services. If this invoice is paid in full we will sign over all rights to the show to you. If you choose not to pay the invoice in full, or agree to the original terms for Newport City Limits, we will be taking you to court. We have been very lenient with our invoice and did not charge for all hours for Production as well as Editing. Also we did not charge you for many extras you asked for the production. You will find for services rendered we are offering our services well below standard rates. We do accept payment plans so please contact us to setup how you will be paying for this invoice. We take our copyrights and image very seriously at XXXX XXXX and you have blatantly lied to our employees and staff as well as used our services with absolutely no payment as which we originally agreed to. For this we must pursue legal action.You have 2 weeks (14) days to reply to this email. XXX has been trying to get ahold of you for months now and you have not returned his calls, emails or meetings. So you know we have done our background work with professional lawyers and team and have easily concluded you are clearly breaking the law and do not have a single chance in court on anything, and we will persecute you to the highest extent of the law with all of the many resources we have, so I would think twice about your decision wisely. If we do not hear back from you by June 15, 2011 we will begin filing our papers and will see you in court. Sincerely,
Thank you for the post, was your role limited to that of a camera man or do you have an ongoing role as producer, or otherwise responsible for the publication/airing of the project? I ask because if your role was limited to that of camera man, there is no basis to file suit against you.
Thank you for you're reply, yes my role was more extensive I was lighting director and now editor.
This was a small production, there were issues with this person quality of work and drank enough
ok, I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX letter reflects the actual advice of counsel as absent a written agreement or conclusive evidence of the terms of a verbal agreement, a verbal agreement is unenforceable as there is no evidence of its terms.
liqueur he had to be driven home by a crew member. Tom says he never said what he implies. I just don't want to get dragged into court over something so petty and not making money. Thank you
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