Do you know that the movie Lionheart by Genevieve Nnaji was allegedly sold to Netflix for a whopping $3.8 million dollars?.
“Lionheart” marks Genevieve’s directorial debut and the first Netflix original film from Nigeria.
The acquisition of Lionheart’s copyright by Netflix vests in them the license to publish and reproduce the movie on their online streaming platform.
Now for a second you might have assumed that Genevieve Nnaji is now a proud owner of $3.8mil but this is actually not that straightforward.
Under the copyright law, there can be more than one persons who may have contributed to the creation of a work and thus own it. It is often said that a copyright is “infinitely divisible.”
Thus any profit is to be shared among all the owners and in determining their share, they have to refer to the Chain of Title agreement.
Basically, in the film industry, the phrase “chain of title” refers to the series of documents or agreements that prove the ownership right of the entire movie or film.
Knowing fully well that Copyright provides the owner with the exclusive right to reproduce, communicate, make adaptions and enter into rental arrangements in respect of the work, it is important to note that the protection can subsist in each creative contribution to the movie. This means that there are often some overlapping owners or authors of copyright to which exclusive rights exist.
Thus in Lionheart, copyright subsists in the soundtracks or music playing in the background, story line of the film by the screenplay writers, the director or producer who crafted the movie together, the editor etc.
IP BITS…ONE TITBIT a week, watch out for the next episode.