What is Chain of Title?
Put simply, Chain of Title is the paper trail that establishes a person or company’s right to take proposed action with respect to a piece of property. The “chain” runs from the present owner back to the original owner of the property in question.
In the entertainment industries, this means a series of documents that establish that a producer owns or controls the right to produce a film, tv-show, play, musical, or what-have-you based on particular material.
Typically the chain of title consists of the rights-agreements between the creators of any Continue Reading
(This post has been superseded by a change in California law. Please see this post.)
Lately, I’ve had several conversations with clients about whether the folks they hire to work on their films and theatre projects are properly classified as employees or independent contractors. It’s an important distinction, and one that can have costly consequences if not handled properly.
California Law imposes strict penalties for misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
On January 1 of 2012, California’s law changed to create significant penalties for employers who willfully misclassify workers, and fail to withhold taxes, pay into the Worker Compensation system, etc.
In the entertainment industries, this misclassification is prevalent. Producers who wish to avoid the hassle, and/or the cost of a payroll company, or of paying minimum wage, overtime, or complying with other wage and hour laws often prefer to treat their workers as independent contractors. But the Federal government, mainly through the IRS, has in recent years, been taking this situation seriously, aggressively pursuing violators.