As a producer and even a distributor, an issue facing the world of production is illegal duplication of programs. Surprisingly, this issue is not limited only to Feature Films, as we in education production and distribution face this issue regularly.
To avoid any issues with copyright and illegal duplication of materials, make sure that you are purchasing programs from a reputable company that has a track record and proven relationship with the producer’s. The legal ramifications for the individuals performing the illegal duplications is quite severe, however, as a an organization purchasing illegally duplicated content, you are potentially putting yourself and your organization at risk as well.
Things to keep in mind when purchasing content from distributors:
1) How long have they truely been in business? Research the company first before purchasing the content
2) Look at the number of programs available. It takes a VERY long time to build relationships with producers. If a distributor, who is new to the business, all of a sudden has access to and is distributing hundreds of titles from various producer’s , the likelihood, is that they DO NOT have agreements with the producer’s to do conduct business.
3) Ask to see an agreement between distributor and producer to ensure that you are getting content that has been agreed upon for resale by the producer.
These are just a few key points to keep in mind as we see the repercussions of illegal copyrighting on the rise in our industry.