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Contracts Entertainment and Sports Law Litigation

Author and Licensee Content Rights in Agreements for TV Productions

These times are heady for creators of books and stories that may be suitable for television production. In addition to the traditional broadcast networks, a legion of pay and basic cable exhibitors and, more recently, direct-to-consumer streaming outlets are voraciously licensing product from those creators. Much press is given to the compensation aspects of the creators’ agreements with exhibitors, but attention also should be paid to the extent and duration of the exhibitor’s exclusivity in the property in which rights are being acquired,

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These are heady times for creators of books and stories that may be suitable for television production. In addition to the traditional broadcast networks (NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox), a legion of pay and basic cable exhibitors and, more recently, direct-to-consumer streaming outlets such as Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Hulu, are voraciously licensing product from those creators. (Although the licensee of the content may be a production company or the ultimate exhibitor, for the purposes of the article we will refer to the licensee as “the exhibitor”).

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