This article was written by Susan Cleary, Esq., Southwestern Law School Class of 1993, Vice President & General Counsel, Independent Film & Television Alliance
When negotiating for the exploitation of films or television programming to distributors worldwide, it is important to speak the same ‘language of licensing.’ That is why for the last 30 years, the Independent Film & Television Alliance® has promulgated model forms and standard contracts that are voluntarily used by the IFTA Membership and Industry at Large to provide a common ground to being to tailor and document their particular deals. IFTA has recently released the IFTA® Model International Licensing Agreements 6th Edition (MILA) which include the updated IFTA® International Multiple Rights Distribution Agreement including the IFTA® Standard Terms, Definitions and Territories, and a Change Chart which documents the revisions from the prior IFTA® MILA are attached and also publicly available here. Students and new lawyers may also find the video How to Fill Out an IFTA Deal Memo, a quick review of the deal terms of any exclusive distribution agreement.
The IFTA® MILA is a long-established and widely adopted set of contractual forms (IFTA Forms) that have assisted in documenting international distribution deals since the 1980s. Over the last year, IFTA reviewed and revised the entire MILA to keep pace with the evolving worldwide film and television industry. The changes reflect all current legal and industry licensing practices and standards with the most transformative being the adoption of modernized licensing terminology for VOD, Streaming, and Downloading Rights. The IFTA® MILA 6th Edition consists of the IFTA® International Multiple Rights Distribution Agreement (Multiple Rights Agreement), which includes the IFTA® Deal Terms, Additional Terms, and Standard Terms, the IFTA® Deal Memo, the IFTA® Schedules of Definitions and Territories, and other contractual templates like the Censorship Rider, Laboratory Access Letter and Financing Attachments.
Of course, things change, new types of exploitation and uses, territories, or legal practices may emerge and the IFTA® Form Agreements will continue to evolve with the marketplace. IFTA will soon be releasing the 3rd Edition of the IFTA® Sales Agency Agreements and IFTA® Delivery Schedule and that will be the subject of a future post.