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Chain of title

Chain of title in the motion picture industry is the series of documentation which establishes proprietary rights in a film. The establishment of chain of title falls within the the realm of entertainment law. Chain of title is extremely important to film purchasers and to film distributors, as it establishes the veracity of the owner's proprietary rights (or rights under license) in the intellectual property in a film.


Please see the legal disclaimer if you are looking for legal advice.

Chain of title documentation can include:

  • proof of errors and omission insurance (a special form of insurance for motion picture producers which covers omissions in obtaining adequate chain of title).

Specialist organisations engage in the production of copyright property reports for motion picture studios, which cover original or unexploited works, and include the results of US Copyright Office screening searches, author claimant searches, registration renewal searches and assignment searches. This involves reviewing US Copyright Office records from 1870 to present and numerous trade publications and databases, and Library of Congress records.

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