A Certificate of Authorship is a key document in the chain of title of a motion picture. This is a notarized statement by the writer identifying the author of the script. In the case of a work made for hire, the script's author is considered to be the production company. A certificate should be executed by all of the script's authors.
the certificate of authorship
"I, [writer's name] certify that I have written the attached screenplay as a work made for hire for [production company's name], pursuant to that writer's services agreement, dated_, between me and the aforementioned production company. Accordingly, I understand and agree that the production company shall be considered the author of the attached screenplay. If a court of competent jurisdiction determines that the screenplay was not created as a work made for hire, I hereby assign all copyright, title, and interest to that screenplay to the production company with full rights to assign said copyright in whatsoever manner the production company chooses. I waive any right to "droit moral," or other moral right, now known, or hereafter enacted.
I understand and agree that as full owner of the copyright to the screenplay, the production company and its assigns, may make any modification or change whatsoever to the screenplay or its derivative works.
I represent and warrant that nothing in the screenplay infringes upon any rights of third parties; the screenplay contains no defamatory material and does not infringe the privacy rights of any parties. All of the material not original with me which was used to create the screenplay was either provided to me by the production company or was in the public domain. I have the full right and power to execute this document, and nothing in the screenplay, or my services in connection with the creation of the screenplay does, or shall infringe the rights of a third party."
All of the documents that affect your chain of title should be kept in a separate, well-organized binder. Presenting a financier, distribution company, or insurer with an easy-to-follow, comprehensive file goes a long way toward establishing your credibility as a trustworthy and reliable filmmaker.
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