Title Reports: Who Needs Them???? - E&O insurance

Posted by Meghan Stickney on Apr 3, 2009 5:35:00 AM

One of the least understood areas dealt with in the hectic world of film and television production is that of Title research and E&O insurance.Entertainment Lawyers often comment on how often their Clients ask "Why do we need a Title Search?", as well as "Why is a Title Report for financing so expensive?" Herein, I will attempt to provide simple answers to these excellent, oft-asked questions.

Over the past decade, the huge expansion in both modes of broadcast transmission and new channels, of distribution of content via cable, internet and satellite has made it virtually impossible to completely control by whom as well as where a television program or film property will be seen. Hence, the possibility of potential Title, Copyright of Trademark infringement suits has expanded immeasurable over the past decade.

In order to avoid lawsuits over conflict due to previously used Titles, the insurer underwriting the financing of the production requires a Title Search. The report generated by this search is thus an attempt to reduce the risk of a lawsuit by meeting the insurance application requirements and ensuring as much as is possible the uniqueness of your Title. Increasingly, due to the rapid growth of media content spill-over into neighboring foreign markets, Entertainment Lawyers and Insures are requiring basic Title Search coverage in both Canada in the US even if the property is licensed for broadcast into just one of the markets initially.

Since 1923, the foremost provider of North American Title and Copyright Reports has been Thomson CompuMark. Initially known as Thomson & Thomson, the Boston-based firm now offers research offices in Washington, Boston, and Montreal, as well as local sales offices in 9 cities across North America, Europe and Japan.  These capabilities, tired to the numerous proprietary Thomson Corp. databases and continuous major capital investment have enabled Thomson CompuMark to lead the world in Title. Copyright and Trade-Mark research for close to a century!

Coupled with their initial question of "Why is Title Search coverage is required?", the curious producer is then likely to ask "what is being investigated?" In the provision of a Title Report in Canada, the research includes searching all registered and unregistered Canadian trade-marks, the Canadian Copyright Registry, titles in the National Libraries of Canada and Quebec, as well as numerous online sources and proprietary databases. Similarly, in the United States, research is done not just on registered and common law US Federal and State trade-marks, but also titles found in the US copyright Office, the Library of Congress and numerous other online and proprietary sources.

As the world shrinks, International Title coverage is emerging as a major new concern. Thomson CompuMark has responded to this new challenge by introducing our new International Tile Search services in early 2006. This new capability enables us to office Title reports for such vital entertainment markers as the UK, Australia & new Zealand, the European Union, China, Japan and South Korea, as well as South Central America! For each Title , we research common law exact and closely similar title usage across multiple media including film, television and computer games.

Ensure that your television or film production successfully find distribution without costly delays or lawsuits. Use a world-class provider to ensure the smooth, timely progression of your work from pre-productions to successful distribution and release!

Contact us for a no obligation E&O Quote!

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You are a Director or an Officer, do you need D&O insurance?

Posted by Meghan Stickney on Apr 3, 2009 5:35:00 AM

The Canada Business Corporation Act and numerous statutes in each Province impose many duties on the Company Director. The breach of any of these , if it leads to financial loss to the company  or to the shareholders or to others, can be grounds for an action for damages. There are further duties established by Common Law.

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It is not uncommon for many claims to be unjustified or unfounded; however, the costs associated with their investigation and defense are often substantial.

Allegations which are most commonly made and which have to be defended by Directors include:

Acting beyond the scope of their authority

  • Giving wrong or unprofessional advice
  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Failure to police the corporation or supervise subordinates properly. Anti-trust violations.
  • Improper or excessive company spending
  • Unauthorized company borrowing
  • Conflict of interest.

Remember, the above only need to be alleged for costs to be incurred.

These allegations are most likely to occur following:

  • Acquisitions/divestitures
  • Mergers
  • Foreign investment (especially in the USA)
  • Public offerings
  • Management buy-outs.
  • Lack of growth, reduced dividends, improper handling of negotiations.
  • Mismanagement or waste of corporate assets.
  • Employee dismissal.
  • Board room dispute
  • Breach of contract
  • Liquidation of the company
  • Change in ownership of the company's share capital.

It is also worth remembering that Directors can be held liable for acts committed by other Directors, simply because they sit on the same board. Such damages can extend to the entire personal estate of the Director involved.

Directors' and Officers' Liability (D&O Insurance) is...

Financial protection for personal assets of an individual Director or Officer. 

  1. Financial protection for personal assets of an individual Director or Officer.
  2. Reimbursement of claims paid by the organization for its Directors and Officers.
  3. Designed especially to meet the cost of:
  •  Defending claims
  •  Compensatory damages which the Director or Officer may be legally obligated to pay following a wrongful act arising out of his position within the organization

A D&O insurance policy should be a serious business consideration for your company.

Tags: directors & officers liablity, directors & officers insurance, D&O liability, d&o insurances, d & o insurance, d&o insurance, d&o insurance

Do I need Weather Insurance?

Posted by Meghan Stickney on Apr 3, 2009 5:35:00 AM

We can arrange protection against a lost day of filming due to rain or snow.  This is commonly referred to as weather insurance.

To do so, please provide:

  1. Completed Weather Insurance Application (see applications page)
  2. Daily Budget
  3. Dates of Filming

Information needs to be received 3-4 weeks in advance of filming. Premium needs to be paid two weeks in advance of filming to prevent predicting the weather.

The premium is based on the historical percentage chance of the weather event taking place in the chosen day. For instance there is traditionally, a ten percent chance of rain on July 17th in Vancouver. The underwriter would charge a premium of 10% plus 5% for overhead and profit. To insure a $100,000 commercial against rain on July 17th, the premium would be $15,000. There is a much greater chance of rain occurring in November, and as a result the premium is higher. Historically, there is a 40% chance of rain occurring on November 14th. To insure against rain on November 14th, the premium would be $45,000.

To Obtain a Weather Insurance Quote click here: Weather Insurance

For US based customers:  CLICK HERE to obtain a quote & purchase coverage online

Tags: Weather Insurances, Insurance for weather, Snow Insurance, Rain Insurance, Weather Insurance

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