Q&As

Can a producer of an audio-visual work (an advert) shown on TV ‘buy out’ the rights of an actor who features in the work as opposed to using a repeat fee model for payment?

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Published on LexisPSL on 19/04/2018

The following TMT Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a producer of an audio-visual work (an advert) shown on TV ‘buy out’ the rights of an actor who features in the work as opposed to using a repeat fee model for payment?

For the purposes of this Q&A, ‘buy out’ refers to a one-off fee rather than repeat fees.

In the scenario described, the typical intellectual property rights of patents, trade marks, designs and copyright are unlikely to be relevant. For example, any copyright in the audiovisual work as a dramatic work is unlikely to be owned by the actor unless they are also the author of the scenario for the advert. The actor does hold rights in their performance. Part II of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988) confers certain exclusive rights on performers. Performers rights arise automatically if the performance is a ‘qualifying performance’ (for further detail, see Practice Note: Performance rights).

A performance is defined by CDPA 1988, s 180(2) as a dramatic performance, a musical performance, a reading or recitation of a lite

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