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Copyright Co-Ownership in Uncertain Times: How Security Interests Can Save the Day

Posted by on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 in Articles, Volume 25, Volume 25, Issue 2.

Evie Whiting & Ashleigh Stanley | 25 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 291 (2023).

Films and television series are increasingly being created under a co-production model, making copyright co-ownership a common occurrence in the world of Hollywood content creation. So long as each co-owner’s rights are pre-negotiated and specifically delineated in their contracts, the co-owners can rest assured that their rights to the project and any potential derivative works are safe. Or can they? In the modern entertainment landscape, where tentpole programming and related spinoffs and derivatives are the gold standard of content creation, the proper protection of co-owned copyrights is more important than ever. But tenuous financial outlooks pose a looming, existential threat to the future of copyright co-owners. Will their co-owners declare bankruptcy, and what does that mean for those highly negotiated rights? Is there anything that entertainment executives can do to protect their companies and their content? This Article argues that security interests are common sense protections for copyright co-owners.

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