Understand:Contractual, legal and ethicalobligations in the television and film industries:Contracts: types of contract;confidentiality; exclusivityEmploymentlegislation: healthand safety; equal opportunities; Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006;employer’s liability; employee rights; belonging to a trade union; intellectualproperty: copyright;trademarks; other forms of intellectual property; passing offEthical: codesof practice; policies and procedures; emerging social concerns andexpectations; representation, eg individuals, groups, religions, issuesLegal: RaceRelations Act 1976 (and later amendments); Broadcasting Act 1990 (and lateramendments); Obscene Publications Act 1959 (and later amendments); BritishBoard of Film Classification (BBFC); Ofcom CONFIDENTIALITY CONTRACTS Confidentiality contracts, also known as a confidentialityagreement or non-disclosure agreement, is simple a contract between two or moreparties where the subject of the agreement is a promise that informationconveyed will be maintained in secrecy. These agreements can be mutualagreements where both parties are obligated to main secrecy, or they can beunilateral agreements where only the receiving party becomes obligated tomaintain secrecy. Within the television and film industryconfidentiality agreements are used to prevent any plot lines, characters ortitles being released to the public or stolen by other filmmakers. Someprojects are to top secret that they are ‘Untitled’ and the actors do notreceive any information to prepare until they arrive at the casting office tosign the contract. These contracts are often drawn up between a film companyand their publishing company or a television studio and the actors hired. Ifany information about a project was released to the public this couldjeopardise the whole production as the film or Television Company could losethe rights to the idea as well as all the money that they invested in theproduction. Even something as minute as revealing a cast member to a friend orfamily member can throw the entire casting process into a spin. Especially if actorshave not yet been signed to the project or if filmmakers decide they no longerwant a particular actor.
Breaking the confidentiality agreement byrevealing an actor linked to a project is the number one reason why actors getdropped from projects. If the contract is violated it can be actionable in acourt of law and if a party is found to have broken the agreement, then theywill have to pay compensation to the other party. In previous cases crewmembershave been sued for £100 million for breaking confidentiality agreements withmajor film companies. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTYIntellectual property refers to the creationsof the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works like designs,symbols, names and images used in commerce. In short, intellectual property issomething unique that you physically create. An idea alone is not intellectualproperty.
For example, an idea for a book doesn’t count, but the words you’vewritten do. Intellectual property can be protected in lawby patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognitionor financial benefit from what they invent or create. By finding the rightbalance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, theintellectual system aims to foster an environment in which creativity andinnovation can flourish. iPhone applications are a good example, as thedeveloper can file a patent on the app which will protect it from being stolenand will ensure the developer earns the correct revenue for their app.Copyright is a legal term used to describe the rights that the creators haveover their distribution of their work.
Copyright can be used in all fields ofintellectual property and will secure the creation from plagiarism or theft. A patent is an exclusive right granted for aninvention that provides the patent owner with the right to decide how or forwhat means the invention can be used. A patent protects BBC iPlayer so theowners of the BBC can determine how they want their site to be used and thepublic are aware the site is an official creation from the BBC and not a knockoff site. Trademarks establish the goods of a service ofone enterprise from others. These protection avenues need to be applied forthrough the government, which takes an average of 4 months. If an intellectualproperty infringement occurs it is the owner’s responsibility to defend theircreation. The owner can come to an agreement with the party by licensing the intellectualproperty, use alternative dispute resolution or take legal action by suing theparty.
But dispute resolution must’ve occurred prior to taking legal action.For example, in 2016 when Immersion Corporation sued HTC Corporation for theirdesign patent it was HTC’s responsibility to handle the lawsuit. HEALTH AND SAFETYHealth and safety is a legal set of rules andregulations that protect the workers at any company in United Kingdom. TheHealth and Safety Act was enforced in 1974 and now acts as a primary piece oflegislation covering occupational roles in the UK.
The legislation applies toall employees and employers whether it is part, full or unpaid work. This actis essential within the television and film industry as there are a multitudeof problems that can arise in this industry’s working environment. For example,stunt workers can occasionally risk their lives for the production of a filmand the production company involved must take all the necessary requirements toensure their safety by having doctors on set, making sure the stunt workerknows what they must do and check that the set is safe. Companies must alsocomplete all the necessary pre-production health and safety work, such as arisk assessment and a health and safety report as these documents focus onpotential risks and hazards on set and identifies ways to neutralize them.
IV.ETHICAL ISSUES Ethics are the moral principles that define how a person acts.Ethical obligations and considerations are a list of rules and paperwork thatneeds to be completed in order to work in the film and television industry.
Ethical obligations range from scandals to protecting children frominappropriate content to character and place representation. Representationfocuses on how gender, age, ethnicity and places are shown on television and inmovies. Representation is often considered when creating a film or programme asa director or producer will consider how a person should act to display arepresentation of the character they are playing. BBC has a representationspolicy to prevent stereotyping. As the BBC is widely accessible to the nation,they have a responsibility to display ethically correct content otherwise itmay offend or promote poor behavior to viewers. Discrimination is a big issueduring the hiring process in the television and film industry.
It is reportedthat only 50% of working age and willing disabled people can get a job,compared to 95% employment rate of nondisabled people. In the television andfilm industry, production companies have to make sure their cast and crew isdiverse in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and ability to ensure they are notstereotyping or discriminating potential candidates in the hiring process.Codes of practice are important in the television and film industry as theyshow how vital issues are.
Policies support effective decision making as theyprovide rules on what people can and can’t do, what decisions they make andwhat activities they represent are appropriate. V. BBFC The British board ofFilm Classification (BBFC) is an independent non-governmental body that hasclassified cinema films since 1912 and videos since 1984. Their aims are toprotect children and other vulnerable groups from harm through legallyenforceable classification decisions and education. They are accountable to parliament,so this means that the government do not control or fund the BBFC but can vouchthat they are helping to protect vulnerable groups of people from seeing orhearing things through the means of films or games. The BBCF classificationapplies to all moving picture contents for showing on DVD or in cinema and doesnot apply to television.
The BBFC regulates films by giving them a rating of U,PG, 12/12A, 15 or 18. Films are graded for the ratings by considering all theaspects in the film. A film with the rating of U should be a positive storywith no reference to illegal drugs and include minimal violence. If violence ispresent then any weapons should be unrealistic or hard to acquire. The onlysexual behavior present should be kissing and the only allowed reference shouldbe ‘making love’. A film with the rating of PG should not disturb a child agedeight or older.
There should only be mild bad language and sexual activity canbe implied but only infrequently. Violence is allowed but cannot be shown indetail. 12/12A films are suitable for children over the age of 12.
Drug misusemust be in infrequent and cannot be given in detail and any suicide orself-harming should not be given in detail because it could be copied. Strongerlanguage and nudity is allowed but should be infrequent and appropriate foryoung teenagers to watch and hear. A film rated 15 is appropriate for childrenover the age of 15. It can include violence, and language and sexual activitybut the film should not focus on it as the main picture. Films rated 18 aresuitable for 18 year olds and over. The content will be ‘In line with theconsistent findings of the BBFC’s public consultations and The Human Rights Act1998, at ’18’ the BBFC’s guideline concerns will not normally override theprinciple that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment’. Butthe exceptions is anything that breaches the law or if it could affect behaviorin society.
If the guidelines are broken the minor can be banned from thecinema chain as breaking these ratings can lead to serious crimes. Many youngviewers have tried to reenact horror films or action stunts not realizing theconsequences and have paid with someone’s live. These guidelines have been putin place to protect young viewers from being corrupted by media that isinappropriate to see whilst they are still young.