copyright issue?

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  • I recently was hired by an organization that puts on a music festival to capture footage of everything and create a highlight video of the entire music festival. There is a plethora of artists who performed that weekend. One of these artists reached out to me about getting ahold of the RAW footage of their performance at the festival.


    So my question is, can I legally sell the RAW footage to this artist even though I was being paid by the music festival hosts to be there? There is no written agreement between the music festival hosts and myself that claims that they own copyrights to my footage. So to my understanding, I should still be the retainer of the copyrights of that footage unless otherwise stated in a contract. The agreement is to only deliver an edited highlight video to the festival owners, and nothing from the RAW footage that was shot.


    Also, can I legally sell this footage and STILL retain the copyrights to the footage? Is that something that needs to be stated in a written contract? OR am I handing over the copyrights by sending them the footage in the first place?


    I truly appreciate your time and help. Thank you!

  • If not stated in the contract, yes, you would own the raw footage to the video. Of course, the artists own the copyrights to their work, too, so unless selling footage to the artist (as in the scenario above), I would be careful about selling footage without the artist's permission (including both the performer and the composer of the work performed). 

    You can always sell footage and still retain copyright. You are not transferring any copyright you own in the footage unless you explicitly state so in the contract.

    You would want to provide the purchaser with a non-exclusive license to use the footage.


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