If my original song was used in a film and I wasn’t given any recognition or money, what amI entitled to?

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2010

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If my original song was used in a film and I wasn’t given any recognition or money, what amI entitled to?

I Live in Australia but was holidaying in Hollywood last year. The director /producer of a film asked to use my original song that I sung in in his film. I was told that I would get a payment and some kind of recognition but nothing was given to me. I was not even put in the credits. My song was played for over 3 minutes in the film. I do have a contract which Idon’t thoroughly understand. What are my rights as I signed the contract in America but I am Australian?

Asked on October 12, 2010 under Business Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Ok so we are learning an expensive lesson here.  First and fast, take that contract to an attorney in your area to review.  It does not matter that you are an Australian citizen.  You can still be bound by the agreement and so can the producer.  The problem will be if the verbal agreement is contradictory to the written agreement.  Then what you have to do is to attack the agreement on some grounds (contractual grounds) and asking a court to void it.  Then you are going to have to start  an action based upon the verbal agreement and/or common law.  Which laws will apply will be an issue as well.  Good luck. 

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