I was recently involved in filming and one of the actors walked out partway though. She has since convinced the other actors to sign a document with her stating that no footage filmed involving them is to be used.
The script was written by the producer and all of the cast and crew were hired on an expenses only agreement. While there is no official contract, the job listing and email correspondence back this up. I have looked up the copyright law in the uk and here is what it says:
"Where a written, theatrical, musical or artistic work, or a film, is made by an employee in the course of his employment, his employer is the first owner of any copyright in the work (subject to any agreement to the contrary). In the course of employment is not defined by the Act but in settling disputes the courts have typically had to decide whether the employee was working under 'contract of service'.
Where a person works under a 'contract for services' he may be considered by the courts to be an independent contractor and his works may then be considered to be commissioned works."
Contracts for service are further defined here http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy/c-ownership/c-commissioned.htm
"When you ask or commission another person or organisation to create a copyright work for you, the first legal owner of copyright is the person or organisation that created the work and not you the commissioner, unless you otherwise agree it in writing."
Given my understanding, the actors have no legal say in the footage, raw or otherwise, only the script writer/producer, director and cameraman have a stake. I guess you could argue their case if it was being used for something totally different, but all it's wanted for is to keep the project going. I'm pretty convinced that if I'm right, and the actors don't have a legal leg to stand on, that we could convince the others to come to the table and discuss terms for continuing the shoot. The actor who walked out is totally replaceable given that she only shot a couple of takes. I think that this is why she has worked so hard to try and stop us using footage of the other actors too -if she hadn't we would just shrug her off and recast the role.
Can anyone shed any light on this?