Welcome to the online home of Rights Management International.  Whether you need an entertainment lawyer or simply an experienced business affairs executive to negotiate and close a deal for you, we can help you without busting your budget.  

But namely we can help you because behind Rights Management stands someone who has been in your shoes (since before he finished film school back in 1992!).

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Jose J. Garcia, Esq: “I was a producer for about 15 years before I became a lawyer.  I’ve written for the screen, directed a short or two, and produced indie features as well as TV content for established media organizations.  So I speak your language.  I know what it’s like to want to realize a vision of sight and sound.  And I know what it’s like to do it responsibly: you want to protect your effort (and your crew’s!) and investment – not to mention your investors’ investments!”

During Pre-pro: You need contracts and agreements (with service providers, vendors, and talent) that protect your interests and are fair to all sides.  Because things happen.  And when things happen, people and businesses who have something valuable at stake could take you to court.  Are you sure your contracts are right for you?  Every shoot is different.  Don’t rely on any old template from the web.

During Production and Post: Does your film rely heavily on third-party content?  (Even if it’s based on a true story and especially if it’s based on a story you read once, you need to be especially careful)  Does it contain photos and music for which you didn’t clear the appropriate rights?  Whether the photos were shot by your roommate or the music was played by your friend’s band, if you don’t have your friendly agreement on paper you may not be able to distribute your film or insure it unless the agreement provides broad media rights over a specific period of time.  They might be your friends, but will Netflix feel equally comfortable with a handshake agreement it didn’t shake on?

After the Festival Screening: One more hypothetical: Someone from a studio saw your movie at a festival.  They would like to acquire it for distribution in Latin America, where they know your story will resonate.  They put a $50,000 contract in front of you and you sign it.  The amount only covers about 1/3 of your movie’s budget, but you think it’s a good start.  Is it?  Think again!  You may have just been the victim of a rights grab!  Just imagine: what if the contract had actually granted that studio – and its parent company – worldwide distribution rights to your movie (which include, naturally, distribution rights in Latin America) in all media for 20 years?  They could in this fashion become the exclusive distributors of your movie in theaters, TV, DVD, on-line, and cable on demand, worldwide for the next 2 decades.  Now no other company or platform in the world can distribute or show your film (not even you, on your own website!) until you are near retirement age, depriving you of the opportunity to make many more $50,000 deals across the world – all because you didn’t get an experienced dealmaker to negotiate your deal.

Legal advice from production counsel is not about saying ‘no’. It’s about finding the right way to carry out your project. And negotiating with talent is about reaching a deal that benefits all parties in a setting of trust and respect. Let me help you.

Rights Management is never far!  Check out our blog for discussion of current entertainment law issues that you’ll likely find relevant – or schedule an appointment today!  Initial consultation is always free.


Member: New Mexico State Bar; New Mexico Lawyers for the Arts


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