You Cannot Sue Borat - the Release Form

Having seen the film, and given the box office receipts, I conclude that just about every unsuspecting person caught in the film will probably try to sue for defamation and other injuries.

Will they succeed? No, definitely not. I am not a lawyer, but it would appear to me that the release form that they signed is quite strong and the producers have no incentive to settle with any litigant.

The lesson learned here is - if you don't want your family to see you making a fool of yourself, don't get drunk and have yourself filmed.

Here is the Borat release form that has been floating around the Internet:


This is an agreement between One America Production, Inc. (the “Producer”) and the Undersigned (the “Participant”). In exchange for the Producer’s obligation to pay a participation fee in the amount of $____ (receipt of which is acknowledged by the Participant) and the opportunity for the Participant to appear in a motion picture, the Participant agrees as follows:

1. The Participant agrees to be filmed and audio taped by the Producer for a documentary-style film (the “Film”). It is understood that the Producer hopes to reach a young adult audience by using entertaining content and footage.

2. The Participant agrees that any rights that the Participant may have in the Film or the Participant’s contribution to the Film are hereby assigned to the Producer, and that the Producer shall be exclusively entitled to use, or to assign or license to others the right to use, the Film and any recorded material that includes the Participant without restriction in the media throughout the universe in perpituity and without liability to the Participant, and the Participant hereby grants any consents required for those purposes. The Participant also agrees to allow the Producer, and any of its assignees or licenses to use the Participant’s contribution, photograph, film footage, and biographical material to connection not only with the Film, but also in any advertising, marketing or publicity for the Film and in connection with any ancillary products associated with the Film.

3. The Participant understands that the Producer and its assignees or licenses are relying upon this consent agreement in spending time, money and effort on the Film and the Participant’s participation in it, and that the consent agreement, for this and other reasons, shall be irrevocable.

4. The Participant specifically, but without limitation, waives, and agrees not to bring at any time in the future, any claims against the Producer, or against any of its assignees or licenses or anyone associated with the Film, that include assertions of (a) infringement of rights of publicity or misappropriation (such as any allegedly improper or unauthorized use of the Participant’s name or likeness or image), (b) damages caused by “acts of God” (such as, but not limited to, injuries from natural disasters), (c) damages caused by acts of terrorism or war, (d) intrusion (such as any allegedly offensive behavior or questioning or any invasion of privacy), (e) false light (such as any allegedly false or misleading portrayal of the Participant) (f) infliction of emotional distress (whether allegedly intentional or negligent), (g) trespass (in property or person), (h) breach of any alleged contract (whether the alleged contract is verbal or in writing) (i) allegedly deceptive business or trades practices, (j) copyright or trademark infringement, (k) defamation (such as any allegedly false or misleading statements made on the Film), (l) violations of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act (such as allegedly false or misleading statements or suggestions about the Participant in relation to the Film or the Film in relation to the Participant), (m) prima facie (such as alleged intentional harm to the Participant), (n) fraud (such as any alleged deception or surprise about the Film or the consent agreement), (o) breach of alleged moral rights, or (p) tortuous or wrongful interference with any contracts or business of the Participant.

5. This is the entire agreement between the Participant and the Producer or anyone else in relation to the Film, and the Participant acknowledges that in entering into it, the Participant is not relying upon any promises or statements made by anyone about the nature of the Film or the identity of any other Participants or persons involved in the Film.

6. Although the Participant agrees not to bring any claim in connection with the Film or the production, if any claim nevertheless is made, the Participant agrees that any such claim must be brought before, and adjudicated by, only a competent court located in the State of New York and County of New York under the laws of the State of New York.

1 comment:

Sholom said...

Sounds just about airtight to me.