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Four Examples > Game into Children's TV Show - Pg. 230

Licensing 230 The production period is the time after exercising the option when the producer creates the licensed entertainment. The production period is limited to prevent parties from locking up rights and never actually producing any material. If the production period ends, the rights will usually revert to licensor. There may be some kind of turnaround provision (see the "Turnaround/Reversion" section that fol- lows). Credits Developer should receive a prominent credit in any entertainment and advertising. The credit should read something like "Based on the video game by Developer" and should be of the same size and emphasis as the screenwriter credit. Intellectual Property The ownership of the film's copyright and any other new trademarks or copyrights created (new characters, for example) may be the subject of intense negotiation. Licensor will want to own all additions to the property, as will licensee. The producer will likely insist on ownership of the actual licensed product and will probably want control over the registration and enforcement of the intel- lectual property rights. Turnaround/Reversion As mentioned earlier in this chapter, rights that are not in use for an extended period of time should revert to the licensor. If the producer has spent money to create a script that the licensor would like to use, the licensor may purchase the script for a turnaround fee . Some producers negotiate for a licensor to pay a turnaround fee, regardless of whether the licensor uses any of the producer's materials, if the licensor takes the property elsewhere. Creative Approvals Developer should try to receive some form of consultation or approval right over the major creative aspects of the production, such as treatment, script, and visual elements. The licensor's need to maintain the integrity and value of the property must compete with the producer's viable argument that, since it is making a massive investment in the production, it needs to operate according to its own logic. Game into Children's TV Show Children's television is the brass ring of licensing because it generally creates the most merchandise and toy revenue, in addition to spawning related entertainment (like direct to video). One fact of children's television licensing that surprises many people is that the television shows don't make much money by themselves; most of the parties involved in the production and distribution of the television show (and other entertainment) are compensated with shares of the toy and merchandise revenue. Children's television licensing can become very math-intensive, involving a lot of fractions-of-frac- tions. For example, the producer may receive a fraction of the licensor's toy royalties, which are a fraction of the toy licensee's revenue. Cast of Characters This entertainment license often incorporates many other parties. · Licensor. This can be anyone from the property's actual owner to another party--like a toy company or publisher--to whom the owner has licensed the television/filmed entertainment and merchandise rights. · Licensee. The licensee may be either the network or the production company.