Legal Question in Entertainment Law in New York

For Entertainment Lawyer - I'm the beneficiary of my Uncle's estate. He was a well known historian/author of many books that have rec'd awards...I rec'd a call from an established independent LA Director interested in an Option for one of his books for a TV docu-drama he's interested in developing (6-8 episodes of 30 - 45 min each). The Director also wants to use 2 other authors' books for this....he offered a very low offer ($500 for 18 mths...and later $5,000 Final Payment to fully own the Option rights). Wondering what is the fair/ proper payment range for selling an option for a book for TV mini-series, given the above-mentioned specifics I addressed...and how to proceed/ negotiate. Thank you. 

Asked on 2/04/20, 7:39 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Roman Fichman Esq. Law Practice of Roman Fichman Esq.

Without knowing the nature of the books, how many copies were sold or whether the estate (and by extension you) even have the rights to option the books to TV, $500, though not unheard of, is the very low end of option prices. Factors that contribute to estimating a fair option price and final purchase price are the term of the option, the nature of the production, whether exclusivity is sought, the reputation of the producer, among some. In addition you can request approval rights (though many producers would bulk at such a request) and request that your legal costs be covered by the producer.

The next step would be to retain an attorney and proceed to negotiate the best price and terms.

Contact me directly for assistance in this matter

Roman R. Fichman, Esq. │ @TheLegalist

email: Info (@) TheLegalists (dot) com

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Answered on 2/04/20, 9:29 pm

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