Operations and contracts

  • Can you help me buy the exploitation rights?

    We offer to take care of purchasing the exploitation rights on your behalf.

    To find out how, please contact us here!

  • How much does an archive cost?

    We can usually give you an estimate of the cost of using an archive, based on past projects. However, the price of an archive varies according to its nature, its beneficiaries and its use. All these variables mean that we cannot always provide you with the information you need.

  • What is the right to archive?

    This is a practice that allows you to leave your publication in the News Feed, rather than deleting it at the end of the operation. However, you are no longer allowed to promote this publication in any way whatsoever (new publication, sponsored post, purchase of advertising space, story, etc.).

  • Can I make a film entirely using images from the Public Domain, so that it doesn’t cost me anything?

    What has fallen into the Public Domain can be used without remuneration of the rightful owners (please note, however, that the author’s moral rights persist, conferring respect for his or her name, status and work). But that doesn’t mean it won’t cost you anything! You might even be surprised. You probably don’t have the medium in your possession, which may be fragile, damaged and protected. You will then have to pay the various technical costs, which can be high.

Rights Owner Clearance

  • How do I identify all the elements I need to clear for my film?

    A specific reading of your script by our legal team will identify any elements requiring clearance. This legal review may be accompanied by one or more viewings of the edited film, to check that nothing has been omitted.

  • What can you clear?

    Any content protected by intellectual property rights or image rights, but here is a more or less exhaustive list of possible clearances:

    copyright in graphic, pictorial, plastic and architectural works (photographs, paintings, sculptures, graphics, buildings), literary works (novels, poems, plays, screenplays, essays) and musical works ;
    rights related to copyright, audiovisual or musical works (fiction, documentary, feature film, short film, series, sketch, television programme, radio programme, musical recording);
    trademark rights (registered trademark, logo, interface) ;
    personality rights (image rights, voice).

  • I want to use protected content in a problematic scene (illegal act, drugs, sex, violence, etc.). What do you recommend?

    As a general rule, it is necessary to obtain permission from the rights holder before using protected content. In a case as sensitive as this, it is strongly recommended that you obtain permission from the rights holder concerned, taking care to specify the sensitive nature of the scene. To do this, we will probably need the film synopsis and the script for the sequence in question. We also recommend that you get in touch with us as early as possible, well in advance of the filming of the sequence, so that you can find an alternative in the event of lengthy negotiations, too long a response time or even a refusal, because in this type of case refusal is to be feared. It may be a good idea to contact a lawyer specialising in intellectual property law. If you don’t know any, we can put you in touch.

  • Can I clear tobacco or alcohol brands?

    The Evin law strictly regulates advertising for tobacco and alcohol brands. The use of these brands in a film may be considered disguised advertising. To find out more, please contact us.

  • Do I have to clear even if I don’t denigrate the person or the protected content? What are the risks if I don’t?

    We always recommend that you obtain the necessary authorisations. It is up to the rightful owners to judge whether the use of their work or image is appropriate. Even if you believe you have the best intentions or are defending a good cause. Some celebrities may have a job or function that does not allow them to associate their image with your project. Others may prefer to remain anonymous. Some brands and authors are very protective of their property, and may have strong demands. There are various risks involved: media interference that harms your project, interruption of distribution, damages to be paid, etc.

  • I’m pressed for time. When do you expect to hear back from the rights holders?

    We make every effort to obtain answers as quickly as possible. However, we are dependent on the availability and goodwill of the rightful claimants. Sometimes we get a response the same day, sometimes after several weeks. We follow up regularly and consider that after a month without a response, it is unlikely that we will obtain the agreement requested.

  • The beneficiary has never replied despite several reminders. Can I use my good faith to make a claim?

    It is true that every effort has been made to obtain authorisation, but a lack of response does not constitute authorisation. The beneficiary may not have had the time or the means to respond to requests, or may simply not wish to give an answer. At your request, we can provide you with a file listing all the steps taken.

  • Is it possible to know how much the beneficiary could ask for, so as not to launch clearance unnecessarily?

    If you have already been approached in the past, we will probably be able to give you our opinion on the terms of an agreement. However, a past agreement is no guarantee of a future agreement, and the amounts involved can vary greatly from one project to another. The only way to find out more is to contact us again to present your project.

  • Does a failure by the beneficiary to reply constitute authorisation?

    On the contrary, a lack of response would be tantamount to a refusal.

  • What are third parties?

    Literally, this refers to all third-party rights linked to the document: image rights, brand, logo, “work within the work”.

  • If a beneficiary refuses, will I be reimbursed for the clearance benefit?

    Before beginning any service, and whenever possible, we will inform you of any doubts or difficulties we may encounter. We will then do everything in our power to obtain the authorisation of the beneficiary. But bear in mind that it is up to the beneficiary – and the beneficiary alone – to assess your project and define the conditions of his or her agreement. He is therefore perfectly free to refuse or to impose conditions that are incompatible with your means. Once the clearance service has been engaged, it is due.

Rights Clearance

  • I’ve found a photo on the internet that’s exactly what I’m looking for. But I don’t know who it belongs to.

    Send us the photo you like, and we’ll do everything we can to identify the rightful owner. Then it’s up to you to tell us if you want to go on to the next stage, clearance.

  • In the search for the right beneficiary, isn’t there a risk in divulging confidential information about the project?

    The confidentiality of the projects entrusted to us is at the heart of our concerns.

    As a first step, let’s discuss together what information we can disclose and what we must keep confidential. If someone insists on knowing more, we will ask for your permission to answer their questions. However, bear in mind that in order to obtain authorisation and a fee, it will be necessary to be transparent with the rights holder about the project concerned.

  • Why isn’t sourcing systematic before clearance?

    We may already have all the information we need to identify the rightful owners, or we may already have contacted them in the past.

Archive research

  • Shouldn’t I call in a archive researcher who specialises in my subject?

    We always ensure that the researcher we appoint has a particular interest in, and in-depth knowledge of, the subject of your film. Our researchers are insatiably curious, with a wide range of passions and interests: they are rarely completely unfamiliar with a subject, and their knowledge is generally sufficient to accomplish the task entrusted to them. They are perfectly capable of working on any project, whatever the subject (politics, science, sport, economics, society, arts, etc.).

  • Can you assure me that your research will be fruitful?

    Every effort is made to find as much relevant content as possible within the allotted time. What’s more, the experience we’ve built up over the years means that we can usually assess the difficulty of your request in advance. However, we cannot guarantee a result: this can only be verified by research. As sources regularly renew their catalogues, some content may disappear from the collections and be replaced by new content.

  • The archives researchers did not find the extracts I wanted. Will I be reimbursed for the search service?

    Before starting any work, and whenever possible, we will inform you of any doubts or difficulties we may encounter. We will then do our utmost to find the most relevant images or sound. But bear in mind that only research can validate or invalidate our doubts. Once the service has been agreed, it is due.

  • You say you can’t find anything, but in just a few clicks I can access a whole range of relevant content. How do you explain this?

    We’ve probably seen this content, but if we haven’t selected it for you, it’s because it didn’t meet certain requirements: accessibility and quality of support, cost, deadlines, compliance of rights with the required scope of use, etc.

  • Why didn’t you find what I was looking for?

    It is not always possible to anticipate a lack of results: only a search will reveal this. However, you should be aware that the more constraints and requirements there are, the more difficult the search will be: dedicated search time and urgency, limited budget for purchasing rights, high image quality, image format and composition, etc. Bear in mind that we’re looking for pre-existing images, which may be in 1080p when you’re looking for 4K, which may be moving when you’re looking for a still shot, which may have an important element placed in the top left when you were looking for it in the bottom right.

  • After accepting your search quote, you ask me for additional search fees.

    We search first and foremost in sources where documents are available without intermediaries. Many have a portal dedicated to searching and selecting archives (in low definition with watermark). However, what you are looking for may be held by a source that requires us to contact their archivist. In this case, a fee may be charged to cover their work: this is the search fee.

    This does not mean that we are inactive. We are in constant contact with the source to guide their research, and we sort through all their proposals before sharing the most relevant with you. Finally, once your selection has been made, we get back in touch with the source to obtain legal, technical and pricing information.

  • What do technical costs cover?

    Technical costs cover all costs associated with the medium: de-archiving, digitisation, restoration, encoding, provision of screener or master, etc.

General questions

  • Why use pre-existing images?

    There are many reasons to use audiovisual archives, or more generally pre-existing content (stock shots, film extracts, viral videos, etc.):

    You’re looking for authenticity, and want to bring reality and veracity to your film
    Your film contains references to works, personalities or events that you’d like to illustrate.
    It’s impossible for you to shoot, for legal, technical or weather reasons.
    Organizing a shoot would be too expensive and/or time-consuming.

  • What exactly is an “archive researcher”?

    A archive researcher is an audiovisual documentalist who specialises in finding audiovisual and multimedia documents with a view to re-using them.

    The archive researcher can look for anything: iconography, photographs, photos of works, film extracts, television archives, radio archives, music, stock footage, live performances, ceremonies or conferences, sports archives, personal archives, legal or administrative archives. Of course, research is carried out with a view to its future use: the researcher is careful to propose documents that can be used in technical and legal terms.

    In addition to “researcher” (archive researcher, footage researcher, visual researcher, picture researcher, etc.), there is another term that is relevant to this profession: “Archive Producer”. In France, the Archive Producer refers to the researcher who, in addition to carrying out the research, supervises all aspects of the archival work: organising the work, obtaining authorisations for use, negotiating rates and monitoring the budget, ordering and delivering master files for conformation.

  • How can your Intellectual Property lawyers help me?

    First of all, our lawyers can help you to clarify a few points of law, so that you can anticipate any legal problems your production may encounter. They can also help you identify the rightful owners, ask for their authorisation (=rights clearance), and contract with them on your behalf.

  • I usually do my own research and rights clearances. What is your added value and why should I call on you?

    What we offer you first and foremost is time and peace of mind, allowing you to devote yourself fully to your core business. Research is by its very nature time-consuming, and negotiations can be tough, with long processing times requiring real availability.

    We also draw on specific skills and qualifications to ensure that our work is efficient and of the highest quality. Of course, you can search and clear on your own, but are you sure that you have all the authorisations you need to use the material? Is there a master file that is accessible and of sufficient quality for your use? have you chosen a document that suits your budget? These are all parameters that we take into account in our day-to-day work.

    By placing your trust in the teams at Le Chaînon Manquant, you will benefit from our unique expertise and know-how. Since 1992, we have carried out over a thousand projects in all fields, and countless searches, sourcings and clearances.

  • What are your team members’ specialities?

    We come from a wide range of backgrounds and have had very different experiences: just as many tastes, passions and interests!

    Why not take a look at our TEAM page?

  • Does your estimate for the service include the amount of the exploitation rights?

    No, you must systematically provide two budget envelopes: one to pay for our service, and the other to pay the rights holders for the documents selected.

  • What do the “days” mentioned in your quote correspond to?

    This is not a calendar day, but the actual time worked by a researcher.
    So don’t be surprised if we do 3 days in 1: it’s because three researchers have worked on your project for one day each!