How to Make a Living in the Film Industry

Films are considered an important art form with social, cultural and economic impact. They are essentially collaborative works, fusing the creativity and effort of a multitude of collaborators: scriptwriters, actors, directors, costume and set designers, music composers, to name a few.

Copyright is present in all stages in the making of the film (development, financing, marketing and distribution) and it is important that key players in the industry know what and how the various rights can be protected. It is necessary that contractual agreements defining copyright ownership and its use be put in place, not only to protect the interests of all concerned, but also to facilitate financing and distribution, avoid costly disputes and reduce the risk of illegal reproduction.

To build awareness about the importance of copyright in the making of films, WIPO collaborated with public and private partners in the film industry and implemented technical cooperation projects in the field of creative industries in coordination with other relevant entities. An important development in this area is the recent adoption of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, which formally recognizes and strengthens the economic and moral rights of performers.

The WIPO Academy offers an advanced distance learning course in copyright and related rights, including the collective management of rights.

Managing IP in the Film-Making Process


Copyright for Audiovisual Industry Professionals


Learning resources

Module 1: Copyright for Film Professionals

Module 2: Ownership of Film Copyright

Module 3: How Copyright Leads to Revenues

Module 4: It Takes a Village