From Left Field: Talent Rights

by | Jul 20, 2016 | Jus' So You Know

Sound-boardThat spot you just voiced?…the one you put your heart ‘n’ soul into, and NAILED it hands down? 

Yeah, that one.

SO good that you not only landed the job, but now you’re starting to think the performance rises to the level of award-winning.

There aren’t a lot of places where a voice-actor can submit their work against other colleagues in a talent awards competition, but when you do — a word of caution.

That spot?  It’s not really yours.  I mean, your voice is…but you signed over the rights to the final spot when you contracted with the client and got paid.  So when the organization holding a competition asks you to hand over the rights to your spot when you submit for the competition…it’s not really yours to give.  That means running back up the chain-of-command to your agent, the producer, the engineer, the writer, the owner, the client.  You get the idea.

Or you could just ignore all that and submit anyway.  But the thing is…by asking for that permission, the contest organizers are covering THEIR behind.  Are you covering yours when the client comes and asks why their spot is getting all this unauthorized play?  The onus (and the legal responsibility) comes back on you…not them.

It’s not just talent competitions…it’s the use of that spot in social media, websites, marketing materials, and more. 

Clients tend to remember that kind of unapproved distribution of their intellectual property. You DO want to get more work from them…right?

Take a moment to read this rationale, penned by World-Voices Organization Executive Vice President Peter Bishop, and be careful out there!




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