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MovieHatch Tips and Advice Program


You always keep 100% ownership of the project you're submitting to the MovieHatch crowdfunding portion of the site.  There is no "equity" or "profit" funding allowed on the site.

It's important that you make sure, however, that your project truly is YOUR project and that you haven't infringed on someone's intellectual property.

How do you know if you are using someone's intellectual property? 

The simplest and easiest way is to make sure all the content was created by you.  This includes, the video, the text, the music, sound effects, visuals etc.

What is infringement?

It is simply the unauthorized use or misuse of trademarks/service marks (i.e. names, logos, package designs) or copyrights - works that have been filed and registered with the copyright office.  You can learn more by visiting the Trademark office - - or the Copyright Office - .

This doesn't mean you can't use other materials that have a trademark of copyright registrations... it just means that you must first obtain written approval before doing so.  And it doesn't always cost a fortune.  Some indie music groups won't mind your inclusion of their music in your soundtrack.  But if it's their intellectual property, you MUST ask first and get written permission (this may be needed as proof in the future).

Unless you have incredibly deep pockets (which we assume is not true or you probably wouldn't be posting a project for raising funds!), you probably won't be able to use a U2 or Rolling Stones or Adele track for your video.  Nor can you use a photograph of George Clooney or Jennifer Anniston - the photos are protected by the people that took them or paid to have them taken.  You can be pretty sure anything created by a large company is protected, as are most things that are found as well known in pop culture.

It's not all bad news... If the song is in the public domain and you have a friend that can lay down a track for you, you're set!  Of course, you must also make sure they give you written permission to use their rendition...

The best thing to do is to look online under 'trademarks" or "copyrights" or look for usage of the affiliated symbols.  If you see this - ® - it means something has already been approved for a registered trademark.  "TM" means they are in the process of protecting it or are currently claiming protection.  If you see this - © - it has a copyright.

Without express written permission, you must stay away from them all!  And keep in mind that not every use of a design or logo or name or artistic rendering carries the symbol.  So, just because you don't see it right away, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  Sometimes you need to dig deeper.

Infringement of trademarks and copyrights is serious business.  Trust us, you don't want to be sued for having done so.  Just do your homework first.