Submission & Mutual Option Agreement
This submission and mutual option agreement (the “Agreement”) is a binding agreement between Dark Matter Media LLC (“Company”, “we” or “us”) and you or, if applicable, the individual, company or other legal entity you represent (“you”). This Agreement includes the terms of the Dark Matter Account Agreement (the “Account Agreement”), which also contains limitations of liability, governing law and other provisions relevant to all of your activities under this Agreement. This Agreement sets forth our submission policies for any screenplay, video, or other content (“Content”) that you submit to Company using the content submission tool(s) we provide on the Company’s website(s) or any other portal(s) we designate (the “Website”).
1. Acceptance. You accept the terms of this Agreement by clicking to confirm acceptance or by contributing Content to Company. If you are entering into this Agreement on behalf of a company or other legal entity, you represent that you have the legal authority to bind that company or legal entity to this Agreement. If you do not have the authority, or if you do not agree with the terms of this Agreement, you must not confirm acceptance and you may not submit Content to Company.
2. Purpose of Agreement. In this Agreement, you grant us (i) rights to display, use, modify and distribute Content on the Website and (ii) a mutual option to further develop any Content you submit. A “Submission” is content, including Content, like an original screenplay that is wholly new to Company when it is submitted. A Submission can be based on or contain elements of a public domain work, but that work must be public domain in all countries worldwide, and only your original contributions (like new dialogue you create) will be considered your Submission, not any element from the public domain work.
3. Grant of Rights from You to Company for Original Properties. You grant us (i) a worldwide, royalty-free, nonterminable, sub-licensable, transferable right to copy, transfer, stream, make available for download, add captions and make other distribution-related modifications to your Submission as we desire to facilitate such distribution and (ii) a mutual option to purchase all rights in the Submission upon and subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the “Mutual Option Purchase Agreement” attached hereto and made a part hereof as Appendix A.
4. Authority to Enter Into this Agreement. In order for Company to function well, it’s crucial that you have the right to enter into this Agreement and to grant us all of the rights described in this Agreement:
A) You represent and warrant that you are at least 18 years old (or the age of majority where you reside, whichever is older), can form a legally binding contract by accepting a contract online (without exchange of paper), and have the full right, power and authority to enter into and comply with your obligations under this Agreement.
B) You acknowledge that your activities on the Website, including those under this Agreement, are subject to the terms of the Account Agreement and you represent and warrant that you are in compliance with the terms of the Account Agreement.
C) If you submit a Submission to Company, you represent and warrant that you are legally entitled to do so because:
i) you are the sole author or creator of the Submission (for example, you are contributing an original screenplay you have written completely on your own); or
ii) you are the sole holder of rights in the Submission because all rights in the Submission have been assigned or transferred to you (for example, you are contributing a video you created and all talent who helped you create the video assigned all their rights to you).
5. Representations, Warranties and Covenants. You further represent and warrant the following with respect to any Submission you submit:
A) you have obtained all rights of publicity to any cast members or other individuals appearing in your Content;
B) you have obtained all rights necessary to use any music in your Content and are in compliance with all licenses to use the music in your Content;
C) you have obtained all rights necessary to use the locations or premises in your Content;
D) you have obtained all rights necessary to use any images or footage recognizable in your Content and are in compliance with all licenses to use such images and footage;
E) neither your Content nor the exercise of the rights you grant in this Agreement will infringe or violate any copyrights, contract rights, rights of privacy or other rights of any person or defame any person;
F) if your Content is based in whole or in part on the life of any real person, you will identify that during the submission process using the means we provide for doing so;
G) our exercise of the rights you grant under this Agreement will not give rise to any obligation to pay you or any third party any royalty or other payment;
H) if your Content is appropriate only for viewers 17 and older, you will identify the Content as such during the process using the means we provide for doing so;
I) your Content is free and clear of any pending or threatened litigation; and
J) your Content complies with this Agreement and the Conditions of Use posted on the Website (“Conditions of Use”).
6. Profile Information. For all Submissions, you grant to us the right to use any profile information you submit on the Website.
7. Similar Content. Given the open nature of the Website, the Website participants may develop and submit scripts, movies, shows, videos and other content that are similar to each other. In order to prevent legal claims that could be disruptive to the Website participants and impede the ability of Company scripts, movies, shows and videos to be developed and released, you agree to irrevocably and forever waive any legal claim you may have under any theory of law in any territory, including, without limitation, copyright infringement or breach of implied in fact contract (idea submission), that your rights were infringed due to any similarity between your Content and any other content that is or may become available on the Website, unless there is substantial similarity of protectable expression under United States copyright law between your Content and the other content and the other content includes a verbatim copy of a material portion of your script or other written material, if your Content is a script or other written material, or a re-use of a material portion of footage from your movie, show or other video if your Content is a movie, show, or other video. Note that the Account Agreement includes additional waivers of claims related to Content that apply to the Company Parties, as defined in Section 11(D) below.
8. No Obligation to Make Available or Use. We have no obligation to make any Content available on the Website or to otherwise use it in any way. If we make any Content available on the Website or otherwise commence exploitation, we may remove it from the Website and cease further exploitation at any time in our sole discretion.
9. Compensation. You will have no right to compensation in connection with the exploitation of rights you grant under this Agreement, except as expressly set forth in the Mutual Option Agreement.
10. Cumulative Rights. All rights you grant under this Agreement are cumulative and we may exercise or refrain from exercising any one or more of them separately from, simultaneously and/or in connection with any other rights you grant us or with any rights we obtain from other sources. In addition, if any grant of exclusive rights you make to us is deemed invalid or to be less than exclusive, we will, nonetheless, have a non-exclusive license to use the Content as authorized in this Agreement to the fullest extent permissible under law.
A) Relationship of the Parties. You will perform under this Agreement as an independent contractor of Company. Nothing in this agreement will be deemed to constitute a joint venture or partnership between the parties. Neither party will have the right to bind the other in any manner.
B) Affiliates. All rights you grant to us may be exercised by us or by any of our affiliates, subcontractors or sublicensees.
C) Assignment. You will not assign any part or all of this Agreement without our prior written consent. Any attempt to assign in violation of this section is void in each instance. We may assign any or all of our rights or obligations under this Agreement to any party, and the assignment will be deemed a novation under law forever releasing Company from any and all obligations and liabilities under this Agreement.
D) No Responsibility for Third-Party Actions. You acknowledge that your Submission is freely available for download without copy protection. In no event will Company or any of its licensees, its sublicensees, its distributors, its producers, any party to which it assigns any of its rights hereunder, or its or their affiliates, successors or assigns, or any of their directors, officers, members, shareholders, employees, associates, agents or representatives (collectively, the “Company Parties”) be responsible for any reproduction, display, modification, or use of your Content or any portion thereof by you or any third party.
E) Remedies and Interpretation. All remedies will be cumulative and pursuit of any one will not waive any other. Captions and headings are for convenience only and will not be used to construe meaning.
MUTUAL OPTION PURCHASE AGREEMENT
This mutual option purchase agreement (the “Agreement”) is a binding agreement between Dark Matter Media LLC (“Producer”, “Company”, “we” or “us”) and you or, if applicable, the individual, company or other legal entity you represent (“you” or “Author”). This Agreement includes the terms of the Dark Matter Submission & Option Agreement (the “Submission & Option Agreement”) and the Dark Matter Account Agreement (the “Account Agreement”), which also contains limitations of liability, governing law and other provisions relevant to all of your activities under this Agreement. This Agreement sets forth our mutual option purchase policies for any screenplay or other content (“Content”) that you submit to Company for entry in the Dark Matter script competition using the content submission tool(s) we provide on the Company’s website(s) or any other portal(s) we designate (the “Website”). By submitting your script(s), you confirm the agreement between Producer and Author with respect to the script(s) you submit to Producer’s script competition (the competition applicable to your submission, the “Dark Matter Competition”). The work(s), including Submissions (as defined in the Submission & Option Agreement) and the title(s), themes, stories and all other contents thereof, and the characters therein, and all translations, adaptations and other versions thereof now or hereafter owned by Author, whether now existing or hereafter created, are herein referred to collectively as the “Property”.
A. Conditions Precedent: Producer’s obligations hereunder are subject to its receipt, in form and pursuant to terms and conditions satisfactory to Producer, of copies of all chain of title documents with respect to the Property including without limitation the executed Publisher’s Releases further described in Paragraph 7.
1. Option: In exchange for good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, Author hereby grants to Producer an option, subject to Author's written consent as set forth below, to purchase all rights in the Property as set forth in Paragraph 4 hereof (the “Rights”) upon and subject to the following terms and conditions:
A) Option Period: The option period (“Option Period”) shall commence on the date Producer confirms Author’s submission of the Property for entry into the Dark Matter Competition (“Confirmation Date”) and shall continue until the date on which the Dark Matter Competition ends, to be determined by Producer in its sole discretion, not to exceed one year from the Confirmation Date unless with Author’s consent.
B) Automatic Extensions: The Option Period shall be extended without notice for periods equal to the length of the time necessary to settle or otherwise resolve any third party claims arising during the Option Period that, in Producer’s reasonable good faith judgment, would adversely affect Producer’s acquisition and/or exercise of the Rights and of labor disputes and other force majeure events, which interfere with Producer’s development and preproduction of the Property and for such additional time as is reasonably necessary for Producer to recommence its usual business operations. In the event that the Option Period would otherwise expire on a Saturday, Sunday or national holiday, said period shall be extended without notice until the end of the next following business day.
2. Purchase Price/Exercise of Mutual Option: If Producer offers to exercise its option, (a) Author shall have ten (10) business days to provide written consent to the exercise thereof and (b) the purchase price for the Rights shall be a total of $25,000 (the “Purchase Price”), which shall be paid upon receipt of Author's written consent to Dark Matter's offer to exercise the option. In the event that Author either (a) fails to timely respond in writing to Producer's offer to exercise the option, or (b) declines Producer's offer, then this Agreement shall terminate and be of no further force or effect.
3. Net Proceeds Participation: If the Picture (defined below) is produced and released, a sum equal to 1% of 100% of the Net Proceeds of the Picture, defined, accounted for and paid in accordance with Producer’s standard definition thereof. "Picture" means the first feature-length motion picture based on the Property produced pursuant to the Rights (the “Picture”).
4. Grant of Rights: If the option is duly exercised by Producer and consented to by Author in accordance with Section 2, Producer shall own, and Author assigns and sells to Producer, exclusively, in perpetuity and throughout the universe, all right, title and interest in the Property except for the Reserved Rights expressly set forth in Paragraph 5 below; provided, however, that if Producer is unable to begin principal production of the Picture, including without limitation by beginning to film a motion picture based on the Property, within three (3) years of Author's written consent to Dark Matter's offer to exercise the option, then this Agreement shall terminate and be of no further force of effect (for clarity, if Producer begins principal production within such period, this Agreement shall continue perpetually). Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Rights in the Property herein granted include:
A) Audiovisual Works: The right to produce all types of audiovisual works and sequels thereto and remakes thereof and all other types of derivative works based thereon, intended for exploitation in any medium now or hereafter devised (including by way of illustration only, any form of theatrical, television or home video exploitation) and all music and music publishing rights, soundtrack album and other soundtrack exploitation rights, merchandising rights and promotional and advertising rights.
B) Copyrights/Exploitation Rights: With respect to works produced pursuant to the rights granted in subparagraph (a) above, all copyrights, neighboring rights, trademarks and any and all other Authorship and exploitation rights in the Property now or hereafter recognized in any and all territories and jurisdictions (including by way of illustration only, reproduction, distribution, adaptation, performance, fixation, rental and lending rights, exhibition, broadcast and all other rights of communication to the public) and the right to exploit such works in all media, markets and languages and in any manner now known or hereafter devised subject to Author’s Reserved Rights.
C) Alteration Rights: The right to change, add to, delete or take from, translate, or otherwise modify the Property in any manner Producer may in its discretion determine in connection with the Picture and other works that will embody all or part of the Property. To the fullest extent allowable under any applicable law, Author hereby irrevocably waives or assigns to Producer its so-called “moral rights” or “droit moral”. Author expressly acknowledges that many parties will contribute to the Picture and other works that will embody all or part of the Property. Accordingly, if under any applicable law the above waiver or assignment by Author of “moral rights” or “droit moral” is not effective, then Author agrees to exercise such rights in a manner that recognizes the contribution of and will not have a material adverse effect upon such other parties.
D) Name, Likeness and Biography: The right to use, in a reasonable and customary manner, Author’s names, likenesses and biographies in and in connection with the Picture and any other works that will embody all or part of the Property.
E) Rental Right: Author acknowledges that the assignment by Author hereunder also includes, without limitation, the assignment, on Author’s own behalf and on behalf of Author’s heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, in perpetuity, of all rental and lending rights (including any right to equitable remuneration) under national laws (whether implemented pursuant to the Economic Community Rental and lending Rights Directive or otherwise) to which Author may now be or hereafter become entitled with respect to the Property and all versions thereof, and Author acknowledges that the consideration hereunder includes consideration for all such lending and rental rights and is an adequate part of the revenue derived or to be derived from said rights and constitutes equitable remuneration.
F) General Public Rights: The rights herein granted by Author to Producer are in addition to, and this Agreement shall in no way limit, the rights with respect to the Property, or the subject matter thereof, which Producer may now or hereafter enjoy as a member of the general public.
G) No Obligation To Proceed: Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be construed as requiring Producer to exercise or exploit, or continue to exercise or exploit, any of the rights herein granted.
5. Reserved Rights: Author reserves the following rights (the “Reserved Rights”) in the Property, subject to the terms and conditions set forth below, it being expressly acknowledged and agreed that Author shall have no right to utilize any elements from any work produced pursuant to the Rights or any new or changed material created by or for Producer in the exercise of the Reserved Rights or otherwise, provided that if Producer does not exercise the option hereunder, Producer’s use (if any) of such new or changed material shall be subject to Author’s rights in the Property.
A) Publishing Rights: The following publishing rights in the Property, except that Producer shall have the right to publish excerpts from and summaries of the Property, or any motion picture or other versions thereof based upon the Property, for advertising and/or publicizing purposes only (not for sale or resale) of any work produced pursuant to the Rights and the right to publish souvenir booklets and “making-of-the-movie” and “coffee-table” type books relating to the Picture, provided that no such publication shall contain excerpts or summaries in excess of 7,500 words in the aggregate taken from the Property.
i) Print Editions: The right to publish print editions of the Property in book form, whether hardcover or softcover and in magazines or other periodicals, whether in installments or otherwise, it being acknowledged that unless the Property has heretofore been published in comic book or comic strip form, the right to publish comic books and/or comic strips shall be deemed included within the merchandising rights granted to Producer in Paragraph 4(a) hereof.
ii) Recorded Readings: The right to publish recorded readings by a single narrator of the text of published print editions of the Property in the form of audiocassettes, audiodisks or similar audio-only devices individually purchased by the end-user.
iii) Electronically Read Editions: The right to publish the text of published print editions of the Property in the form of CD-ROM, DVD, videocassette tape, e-reader or similar electronically read devices individually purchased by the end-user. Such electronically read editions may not contain visual images (other than the text) or audio tracks of any kind.
Producer shall take all steps necessary to protect the copyright in the Property as it may be contained in any publication by Producer. With respect to any excerpts from the Property (if any) used by Producer as aforesaid, Producer shall identify Author as the author of the Property from which the excerpts were taken, but any summaries of the Property (as distinguished from actual excerpts) shall not be attributable to Author.
B) Author Written Sequels: Subject to subparagraphs (c) and (d) below, the right to write and publish printed versions of author written sequels to the Property, whether hardcover or softcover and in magazines or other periodicals, whether in installments or otherwise. An author written sequel is a work of authorship, whether created by or under license from Author before or after the creation of the Property, using one or more of the characters appearing in the Property participating in different events from those found in the Property.
C) Holdbacks: Except for publishing rights, Author shall not exercise or exploit, or suffer or knowingly permit the exercise or exploitation of, any of the Reserved Rights until 5 years after the first general release of the Picture in the United States, or 7 years after the date of exercise of the option by Producer, whichever occurs first. Further, Author agrees that if Author writes a work which is an author written sequel to the Property, Author will not dispose of or exploit rights in such author written sequel corresponding or equivalent to the Rights (the “Equivalent Rights”) or to the Reserved Rights other than publishing rights (the “Equivalent Reserved Rights”) until 5 years after the first general release of the Picture in the United States or 7 years after the date of exercise of the option by Producer, whichever occurs first, it being acknowledged and agreed that, with respect to the Equivalent Rights, Author’s right to do so is in any case limited to new characters and material contained in such author written sequel and not previously contained in the Property.
D) First Negotiation: If Author at any time proposes to negotiate with any party for the license, exercise or other disposition of any or all of the Reserved Rights (other than publishing rights), or the Equivalent Rights or the Equivalent Reserved Rights, Author shall give Producer notice thereof and an opportunity to so negotiate prior to Author so negotiating with any third party. If Producer elects to so negotiate, Author and Producer shall negotiate in good faith for a period of not less than 30 days from the commencement of such negotiations, and if an agreement does not result therefrom Author may thereafter negotiate with any third party. If Author is at any time prepared to enter into an agreement with a third party for the license, exercise or other disposition of any or all of the Reserved Rights (other than publishing rights), or the Equivalent Rights or the Equivalent Reserved Rights, Author shall, before entering into such agreement, give Producer notice of the proposed terms thereof (and all modifications of such terms) and the party involved. In each instance, Producer shall then have 10 business days in which to elect to acquire the rights involved on the terms contained in the notice.
6. Representations and Warranties: Author hereby represents and warrants that: (a) the Property was written solely by and is original with Author or, in minor part, in the public domain; (b) the Property is not based in whole or in part on the life of any real person except as approved in writing by Producer; (c) neither the Property nor any element thereof infringes the copyright in any other work; (d) the Property does not violate the rights to privacy or publicity of any person or constitute a defamation against any person, or in any other way violate the rights of any person whomsoever; (e) Author owns all rights assigned to Producer free and clear of any liens, encumbrances, other third party interests of any kind, and, to the best of Author’s knowledge, free of any claims or litigation, whether pending or threatened; (f) Author has full right and power to make and perform this Agreement without the consent of any third party; (g) Author has not previously authorized or consented to exploitation of the Property as a motion picture production (including without limitation television, video and internet productions) or in any other form of audiovisual exploitation and, to the best of Author’s knowledge, the Property has not previously been so exploited; and (h) without limiting Producer’s rights to do so, Author will maintain copyright protection in the Reserved Rights. The term “person” as used in this Agreement shall mean any person, firm, corporation or other entity. Author shall indemnify Producer against any liability, damages, costs and expenses (including outside attorneys’ fees and expenses) incurred by Producer by reason of any claim which if true would constitute a breach of any of Author’s representations, warranties and/or agreements contained in this Agreement. Upon presentation of any such claim to Author, or the institution of any such action naming either or both of the parties as defendants, Author shall promptly notify Producer thereof. In any such claim or action, Author may engage independent counsel, at Author’s sole cost and expense, and said counsel may participate on Author’s behalf, provided that Producer shall be entitled to maintain control of the conduct of the defense of any such claim or action. Producer shall have the right to adjust or settle any such claim or action as it may determine in its sole discretion in good faith without affecting the foregoing indemnity.
7. Additional Documents: At Producer’s request, Author will execute, acknowledge and deliver to Producer any and all additional documents which Producer may reasonably deem necessary to evidence and effectuate the purposes of this Agreement including, without limitation short-form options and assignments in the form attached hereto. Author hereby irrevocably appoints Producer as attorney-in-fact with full power to execute, acknowledge, deliver and record in the U.S. Copyright Office and elsewhere any and all such documents which Author fails to execute within 5 business days after Producer’s request therefor. The appointment shall be a power coupled with an interest. Concurrently with or promptly after execution by Author of this Agreement, and as a condition to payment by Producer hereunder, Author will deliver to Producer a Publisher’s Release in a form as Producer has approved in writing, executed by an authorized signatory of each party to whom Author has granted publishing rights in the Property.
8. Credit: Author shall receive credit on screen on a separate card in the main titles (meaning the credits, whether before or after the body of the Picture, where the “directed by” credit appears) of all positive prints of the Picture in connection with the Picture as follows (subject to applicable guild requirements): if the Picture as initially released has the same title as the Property, in substantially the form: “Based on the [novel/screenplay/etc.] by ___________”. No casual or inadvertent failure by Producer to accord such credit, nor the failure for any reason by third parties to comply with the provisions of this paragraph, shall be deemed a breach hereof by Producer.
9. Irrevocability and No Equitable Relief: All rights granted and agreed to be granted to Producer under this Agreement shall be irrevocably vested in Producer in perpetuity, including without limitation, for the full term of copyright protection everywhere in the world and any and all renewals, extensions and revivals thereof. No breach by Producer of this Agreement shall entitle Author to equitable relief, whether injunctive or otherwise, against or with respect to the Picture or any other works produced pursuant to the Rights granted hereunder or their exploitation, it being acknowledged and agreed that Author’s remedy of money damages in accordance with the dispute resolution provisions set forth below is adequate. If the rights granted to Producer hereunder should revert to Author pursuant to the provisions of any copyright law or similar law, and if Author is at any time thereafter prepared to enter into an agreement with a third party for the license, exercise or other disposition of all or any of such rights, Author shall, before entering into such agreement, give Producer notice of the proposed terms thereof (and all modifications of such terms) and the party involved. In each instance, Producer shall then have 10 business days in which to elect to acquire the rights involved on the terms contained in the notice.
10. Assignment: Producer shall have the right to assign any or all of its rights under this Agreement to any person, and upon such assignment Producer shall have no further obligations to Author hereunder.
A) Entire Agreement: Except as herein expressly provided, this Agreement cancels and supersedes all prior negotiations and undertakings relating to the Property and contains all terms and conditions, pertaining to the subject hereof. If there is any conflict between any provision of this Agreement and any present or future statute, law, ordinance, regulation or collective bargaining agreement the latter shall prevail; provided, that the provision hereof so affected shall be limited only to the extent necessary and no other provision shall be affected.
B) Notices: All written notices that either party hereto is required or may desire to give to the other shall be given by delivering or mailing the same to the other at the address shown on the face hereof, or at such other address as may be designated in writing in a notice to the other given as aforesaid. Notices shall be sufficiently given when hand-delivered or when the same shall be deposited so addressed, postage prepaid, in the United States mail and/or when the same shall have been transmitted by facsimile or similar means and the date of said delivery, mailing or transmission shall be the date of the giving of such notice.
C) Governing Law/Dispute Resolution: This Agreement shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania applicable to agreements executed and wholly performed within said state and the parties consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and the Western District of Pennsylvania, respectively, with respect to any and all disputes arising under this agreement or related to its subject matter.
D) Relationship of the Parties: This Agreement is not a partnership between or joint venture of the parties hereto and neither party is the agent of the other. This Agreement is not for the benefit of any third party, whether or not referred to herein. Paragraph headings and organization are for convenience only and shall not be used to construe meaning. A waiver of any breach shall not waive a prior or subsequent breach. All remedies shall be cumulative and pursuit of any one shall not waive any other. This Agreement may be signed in counterpart, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which together shall constitute the Agreement.