A submission release refers to a contract between an individual and a company in which the individual agrees to submit certain materials (usually creative works, such as a script or song) to the company for evaluation. The company then has the right to use, adapt, or reject the materials. Submission releases are often used in the entertainment industry, as they allow companies to screen potential projects without incurring any liability.
Assume you’ve come up with a concept for a reality television show and want to submit it to a specific TV network or station. In order to do so, you’ll likely need to sign a submission release. This document essentially gives the network or station permission to review your concept and determine whether or not they’d like to produce it as a show.
The submission release will also outline what will happen to your concept if the network chooses to pass on it. For example, the network may specify that they will return your concept to you.
A submission release is intended to protect the network or station from any legal liability. For example, if you submit a concept that is similar to another reality show that is already in production, the network could be sued for copyright infringement. By having you sign a submission release, the network can avoid such legal trouble.
It is important to read over a submission release carefully before signing it. This document can have a major impact on your rights to your concept, so you’ll want to make sure that you understand all of the terms and conditions. If you’re not comfortable with the terms of the submission release, you may want to consult an attorney.
An entertainment attorney will diligently review the submission release and help you understand every part of it. This will help you know the terms and conditions you are agreeing to and whether the contract is fair.
Unsolicited material is any creative work that you submit to a company without having been asked to do so. For example, if you write a script and send it to a studio without having been hired to do so, this would be considered unsolicited material.
If a company receives unsolicited material, they are not obligated to return it or destroy it. In fact, many companies have policies in place that state that any unsolicited material will be automatically destroyed. This is because unsolicited material can create legal liability for the company if they are accused of stealing someone’s idea.
To avoid having your unsolicited material destroyed, you’ll need to submit it along with a signed submission release. This document essentially gives the company permission to review your material and determine whether they’d like to produce it. However, submitting a signed submission release does not guarantee that the company will produce your concept.
Before pitching any idea, you must also ensure that it is your own and does not infringe on any other copyrighted material. This is because you can be sued for copyright infringement if you submit someone else’s idea as your own.
It’s also important to note that many companies will not accept unsolicited material. So, before submitting anything, you’ll need to research the company’s submission policy to see if they accept unsolicited material.
When signing a submission release, there are some key points you should consider:
It’s crucial to remember that if the firm is sued for copyright infringement, you would be responsible for any legal expenses it incurs.
By understanding these key parameters, you can ensure you are protected before submitting your material to a company.
It’s important to note that submission releases are often one-sided contracts, meaning that they favor the company over the creator. This is why it’s so important to have an attorney review the contract before you sign it.
A submission release can have a major impact on your rights to your concept, so you’ll want to make sure that you understand all of the terms and conditions. If you’re not comfortable with the terms of the submission release, you may want to consult with an entertainment lawyer before signing it.
Our experienced entertainment attorneys at The Venture Lawyer can help you understand submission releases and other contracts in the entertainment industry. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.