Option Agreement to Develop Literary Material

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This Option Agreement to Develop Literary Material is between an author and purchaser who will determine if material can be developed into a motion picture or screenplay.

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This Option Agreement to Develop Literary Material is between an author and a purchaser who will determine if author's material can be developed into a motion picture, television show or theatrical play. The purchaser will then have the option to develop the work for a predetermined fee.

This agreement sets forth the exact project for which the material will be developed and that the author is the sole author and owner of the literary material. In addition, this agreement contains provisions regarding consideration paid to the author, exercise of option and if additional writing will be necessary in order for the material to be developed and produced.

This Option Agreement to Develop Literary Material contains:
  • Purpose: Specifies that purchaser will determine whether or not literary material can be developed into a film or theatrical or TV show;
  • Author's Warranties: Author warrants that he/she is the sole owner of the material and whether the material has been copyrighted or in the process of copyright;
  • Consideration: Sets forth the payment to the author and that purchaser is granted to exclusive right to ;purchase the rights in the material;
  • Development: Purchaser may undertake preproduction in connection with the rights and shall be solely at the purchaser's expense;
  • Signatures: Author and publisher must both sign this agreement.

Protect yourself and your rights by using our attorney-prepared forms.

This attorney-prepared packet contains:
  1. General Information
  2. Instructions and Checklist
  3. Option Agreement to Develop Literary Material
State Law Compliance: This form complies with the laws of all states
This is the content of the form and is provided for your convenience. It is not necessarily what the actual form looks like and does not include the information, instructions and other materials that come with the form you would purchase. An actual sample can also be viewed by clicking on the "Sample Form" near the top left of this page.











Option Agreement to Develop
Literary Material










This Packet Includes:
1.  General Information
2.  Instructions and Checklist
3.  Option Agreement to Develop Literary Material











General Information
Option Agreement to Develop Literary Material

This Option Agreement to Develop Literary Material is between an author and a purchaser who will determine if author's material can be developed into a motion picture, television show or theatrical play.  The purchaser will then have the option to develop the work for a predetermined fee.  

This agreement sets forth the exact project for which the material will be developed and that the author is the sole author and owner of the literary material. In addition, this agreement contains provisions regarding consideration paid to the author, exercise of option and if additional writing will be necessary in order for the material to be developed and produced.

It is vital that this arrangement be in writing rather than via an oral agreement.  A written Option Agreement to Develop Literary Material will prove invaluable in the event of miscommunication, disagreements or litigation between the parties.

  



Instructions and Checklist


Option Agreement to Develop Literary Material

   Both parties should read the agreement carefully.

   Insert all requested information in the spaces provided on the form.

    This agreement contains optional provisions and bracketed and italicized instructions are included to guide you.  Please delete any unused provisions before printing the final version of your agreement.

     It is important that both parties understand all provisions of this agreement.  If any provision is unclear or ambiguous, set out clear examples to remove any ambiguity.

     This form contains the basic terms and language that should be included in similar agreements.  

     Both the author and publisher must sign the agreement.

   Both parties should retain either an original or copy of the signed agreement.

   All legal documents should be kept in a safe location such as a fireproof safe or safe deposit box.  



   




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OPTION AGREEMENT TO DEVELOP LITERARY MATERIAL

1.  PURPOSE
Parties
1.01.  This Agreement is entered into between __________________ [purchasers name], referred to as Purchaser,” and __________________ [authors name], referred to as Author,” with respect to __________________ [title and description of literary property], referred to as Material.
Development of Project
1.02.  Purchaser intends to determine whether or not the Literary Material that is the subject of this Agreement can be developed into a __________________ [specify, e.g., feature length dramatic film appropriate for domestic and international distribution].
2.  AUTHORS WARRANTIES
Sole Ownership
2.01.  Author warrants that __________________ [he or she] is the sole and exclusive owner of the Literary Material to which this Agreement applies.
Sole Authorship
2.02.  Author warrants that __________________ [he or she] is the sole author of the Literary Material and that no other person participated in any manner in the creation of the Literary Material.
Copyright
2.03.  The Literary Material was first published on __________________, 19______, by __________________ [publishers name], under the title __________________ [title], and was registered for copyright in the name of __________________ [name] under copyright registration number __________________in the Office of the United States Register of Copyrights, Washington, DC.
[OR]
2.03.  Author has entered into an agreement with __________________ [name], which agreement will be referred to as the Publication Agreement.” The Publication Agreement provides that the Literary Material will be published in book form. The Literary Material, when so published, will be duly registered for copyright, and the Publication Agreement shall not be deemed to conflict or interfere with any of the rights, licenses, privileges, or property granted to Purchaser under this Agreement. The Literary Material and all existing and future forms, versions, and adaptations of the Literary Material are collectively referred to in this Agreement as the Literary Property.
[OR]
2.03.  The Literary Property has not been published in any place in the world. The Literary Material has not been copyrighted in any manner whatsoever and is not subject to any registration of any kind, including copyright registration.
Prior Production
2.04.  No motion picture or any dramatic version of any part of the Literary Material has been manufactured, produced, presented, or authorized. No radio, television development, presentation, or program based on any part of the Literary Material has been manufactured, produced, presented, broadcast, or authorized. No written or oral agreements or commitments whatsoever with respect to the Literary Material, or with respect to any right in the Literary Material, have previously been made by or on behalf of Author [add if Alternative Two to Paragraph 2.03 was used above:, except with respect to the publication of the Literary Material as specified in Paragraph 2.03 of this Agreement].
Third-Party Rights
2.05.  Author warrants that Author has not adapted the Literary Material from any other literary, dramatic, or other material of any kind, nature, or description. Author further warrants that, except for material in the public domain, Author has not copied or used in the Literary Material the plot, scenes, sequence, or story of any other literary, dramatic, or other material; that insofar as Author has knowledge, no material in the Literary Material is libelous or violative of the right of privacy of any person, and the full use of the rights in the Literary Material subject to this Agreement would not violate any rights of any person, firm, or corporation. Author further warrants that the Literary Material is not within the public domain in any country in which copyright protection is available.
No Encumbrances
2.06.  Author warrants that __________________ [he or she] is the exclusive world-wide owner of the all rights in the Literary Material and that __________________ [he or she] has not assigned, licensed, or in any manner encumbered, diminished, or impaired those rights. Author further warrants that __________________ [he or she] has neither committed, nor omitted to perform, any acts by which __________________ [his or her] rights in the Literary Material could be encumbered, diminished, or impaired, and that there is no outstanding claim or litigation pending against or involving the title, ownership, or copyright in any part of the Literary Material or in the rights covered by this Agreement. Author further warrants that, following the execution of this Agreement, __________________ [he or she] will make no attempt to encumber, diminish, or impair any of the rights granted in this Agreement and that __________________ [he or she] will continue to maintain all appropriate protections of such rights.
Claims and Litigation
2.07.  Without limiting any of Purchasers rights, Author agrees that if any claim and/or litigation arises involving the breach [add if desired: or alleged breach] of any warranties made by Author in this Agreement, the option period granted under Paragraph 4.01 of this Agreement and any periods within which Purchaser may extend the option period shall automatically be extended until no such claim and/or litigation exists [add if desired:, but under no circumstances shall such period exceed __________________ (specify time limitation on time period, e.g., one year) from the date on which the option would have expired under Paragraph 4.01 of this Agreement]. At any time after the occurrence of such a claim or litigation, and until the expiration of the extended option period, Purchaser may rescind this Agreement. The right to rescind shall exist in addition to any other rights and remedies that the Purchaser may have and notwithstanding any other provision in this Agreement. On rescission, Author shall repay to Purchaser any monies paid by Purchaser to Author in connection with this Agreement [add if desired: and any reasonable amounts paid by Purchaser to develop or exploit the Literary Material]. Author shall not, at any time during the option period, exercise, authorize, or permit the exercise by others of any of the rights covered by this Agreement or any of the rights reserved by Author under the provisions of Exhibit ____________, which are not to be exercised or licensed to others during any period of time specified in Exhibit ____________.
3.  CONSIDERATION
Nonrefundable Amount Credited Toward Literary Purchase
In consideration for the payment to Author of the sum of $ ____________ [amount to be paid for option], receipt of which Author acknowledges, Author grants to Purchaser the exclusive and irrevocable option to purchase from Author the rights in the Literary Material described in Exhibit ____________ [exhibit number of literary purchase agreement] for the total purchase price set forth in Exhibit ____________ [exhibit number of literary purchase agreement]. Any sums paid under this Article 3 or any other provision of this Agreement shall be credited against the first sums payable to Author under Exhibit ____________. If Purchaser fails to exercise the option granted under this Agreement, then Author shall be entitled to retain as __________________ [his or her] sole property all sums paid to __________________ [him or her] pursuant to this Article 3.
4.  OPTIONS
Option Period
4.01.  The option granted under this Agreement shall be effective during the period commencing on __________________, 19 ______, which is referred to as the initial option period.” The initial option period may be extended for an additional period of __________________ [time period, e.g., six months] on the payment of an additional $____________on or before __________________, 19______, and such extension shall be referred to as the second option period.” [If desired, provide for additional option periods, e.g., The second option period may be extended for an additional period of __________________ (specify time period, e.g., six months) on the payment of an additional $____________on or before __________________, 19______, and such extension shall be referred to as the third option period.”]
Notice of Exercise of Options
4.02.  Purchaser may elect to exercise any option provided for in Paragraph 4.01 of this Agreement at any time during the option period. Such election shall be made, if at all, when Purchaser provides written notice of the election to Author by addressing notice to Author at __________________ [his or her] address as it appears in Exhibit ____________                  [exhibit number of literary purchase agreement] and sending that notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, with postage prepaid. The deposit of the notice in the United States mail pursuant to this Paragraph 4.02 shall constitute service of the notice, and the date of deposit shall be deemed to be the date on which the notice was served.
Payment on Exercise of Option
4.03.  If Exhibit ____________ [exhibit number of literary purchase agreement] requires that all or part of the purchase price be paid on the exercise of an option, the amount to be paid, less the sums paid to the Author in connection with the option and any extension of the option, which may be credited against the purchase price, shall be paid to the Author concurrently with the exercise of the option.
Writing Required
4.04.  The exercise of any option or extension provided for under this Agreement shall be effective only if made by written notice as provided in Paragraph 4.02. No conduct or oral statement by Purchaser or Purchasers agents, representatives, or employees shall constitute an exercise of an option.


Additional Documents
4.05.  If Purchaser exercises the option provided for under this Agreement, Author shall execute, acknowledge, and deliver to Purchaser any further instruments that Purchaser may reasonably require in order to confirm Purchasers rights, licenses, privileges, and property interests in the Literary Material. If Author fails to execute and deliver such further instruments, Purchaser shall have the power to take any steps necessary to ensure that such instruments are delivered, and Author shall supply all supporting agreements, including but not limited to powers of attorney, that Purchaser requires in connection with taking such steps.
5.  DEVELOPMENT
Right to Engage in Preproduction
5.01.  During the option period, Purchaser may undertake preproduction activities in connection with any of the rights to be acquired under this Agreement, including __________________ [specify any appropriate preproduction activity, e.g., the preparation and submission of treatments and/or screenplays based on the Literary Material]. Any preproduction activities undertaken by Purchaser pursuant to this Paragraph 5.01 shall be solely at Purchasers own expense, and Author shall be in no way obligated to participate in such activities either financially or in any other way.
Option Reversion
5.02.  If Purchaser does not effectively exercise the option during its original or any extended term and make a timely payment of the purchase price, the option shall terminate, and all rights in the Literary Material shall revert to Author. Author shall retain all sums paid to __________________ [him or her] pursuant to this Agreement. Purchaser shall immediately execute and deliver to Author any assignments and documents required to accomplish the reversion of rights.
Turnaround
5.03.  If the option is timely exercised and the purchase price is paid and if a motion picture company does not produce a motion picture based on the Literary Material within __________________ [time period, e.g., five years] from the date on which the purchase was made, Author shall have a turnaround right to reacquire and place the Literary Material elsewhere. On obtaining a commitment for the production of a motion picture based on the Literary Material, Author shall reimburse Purchaser or the motion picture company for any actual out-of-pocket development costs paid in connection with the Literary Material, including but not limited to fees paid to scriptwriters, but excluding payments made to Author and/or Purchaser not directly related to scripting services.
Notice of Election to Neither Exercise Nor Extend
5.04.  If Purchaser neither exercises nor extends the option prior to the expiration of the option period, Purchaser shall notify Author of this fact as soon as is reasonably possible, but in no event later than the applicable option extension deadline. When such notice is given, the option granted under this Agreement shall automatically revert to Author.
6.  EXHIBITS
Effectiveness
Concurrently with the execution of this Agreement, Author has executed a Literary Purchase Agreement that is marked as Exhibit ____________ [exhibit number], a short-form Option Agreement for recordation with the United States Copyright Office that is marked as Exhibit ____________ [exhibit number], and an Assignment of Copyright that is marked as Exhibit ____________ [exhibit number]. All Exhibits are attached to and incorporated in this Agreement. If Purchaser exercises the option granted under this Agreement, then Authors signature to the Exhibits shall be deemed to be effective, the Exhibits shall constitute valid and binding agreements and assignments effective as of the date on which the option was exercised, and Purchaser shall have the power to date the Exhibits accordingly. If Purchaser fails to exercise the option provided for in this Agreement, then Authors signatures on the Exhibits shall be void, the Exhibits shall be of no force or effect, and Purchaser shall be deemed to have acquired no further interest in the Literary Material. If Purchaser exercises the option, Purchaser shall execute and deliver to Author copies of Exhibit ____________ [exhibit number of literary purchase agreement], dated as of the date on which the option was exercised, and Author will, if requested by Purchaser, execute and deliver to Purchaser additional copies of all Exhibits. Notwithstanding either parties failure or omission to execute and/or deliver such additional documents, on Purchasers exercise of the option, all rights to the Literary Material specified in Exhibit ____________ [exhibit number of literary purchase agreement] shall be irrevocably vested in Purchaser as of the date the option is exercised.
7.  CONSTRUCTION
Restrictions
7.01.  Unless expressly permitted in this Agreement, Author shall not exercise or otherwise use any of the rights granted to Purchaser under this Agreement or under Paragraph 2.01 of Exhibit ____________ [exhibit number of literary purchase agreement]. Author shall not use, or permit the use of, any other right reserved to Author in any manner that would constitute competition, interference, or conflict with Purchasers ability to fully and without restriction exercise the rights granted in this Agreement or any Exhibit.
Assignment
7.02.  Purchaser shall have the power to assign this Agreement and/or any rights granted under this Agreement to any other purchaser, firm, or corporation.
[OR]
7.02.  Purchaser shall not have the right to assign this Agreement or any part of this Agreement except to a bona fide third-party motion picture company or motion picture production company on the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement, and any such assignment and transfer shall be made specifically subject to the terms and conditions and obligations of this Agreement regardless of whether or not Purchaser becomes or remains involved in the production of the Literary Material as a writer, producer, or in any other capacity.
Section Headings
7.03.  The headings of paragraphs, sections, and other subdivisions of this Agreement are for reference only. They shall not be used in any way to govern, limit, modify, or construe this Agreement or any part or provision of this Agreement or be given any legal effect whatsoever.
Entire Agreement of Parties
7.04.  This Agreement, including the attached Exhibits, contains the full and complete agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter and supersedes all other written or oral agreements between the parties relating to the subject matter. No modification or amendment of this Agreement shall be given effect unless such modification or amendment is made in a written instrument executed by both parties.
Governing Law
7.05.  This Agreement shall in all respects be governed by the laws of the State of _________________ that are applicable to agreements executed and wholly performed within that state.
Revocability
7.06.  All the rights, licenses, privileges, and property granted to Purchaser under this Agreement shall be irrevocable and not subject to rescission, restraint, or injunction under any circumstances.
Executed on __________________, 20______.
AUTHOR

_________________________

PUBLISHER

__________________________

Number of Pages13
DimensionsDesigned for Letter Size (8.5" x 11")
EditableYes (.doc, .wpd and .rtf)
UsageUnlimited number of prints
Product number#43675

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