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Copy of Penn & Teller’s Release

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 20th, 2006

The following is a copy of the release that Penn & Teller’s production company, Seymour K. Learly Productions, Inc. of Woodland Hills, California, requested I sign so they could tape an interview with me. Based upon legal advice, I merely told Penn & Teller’s production company that I would need their taping release to contain language that specifically notes that the primary production contractor and all subcontractors, as well as the network(s) where any broadcast and repeat broadcasts of this program will screen my "appearance" must ensure that all of these individuals, companies and their agents will not portray Loren Coleman in any fashion that could be construed as derogatory, malicious, base, defaming, cutting, malevolent, maligning, minimizing, opprobrious, reproachful, sarcastic, or otherwise in a negative light. They could not add that one paragraph to their release that, obviously, protected them so well. So, of course, I refused to sign it.

For more on the Penn & Teller show’s attack on cryptozoology, please click here.

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PERSONAL RELEASE

1. I hereby grant to Seymour K. Learly Productions, Inc. (“Producer”) the right to take motion and still pictures of me and record my voice and any sounds made by me, and to obtain other information about me, including but not limited to my name, likeness, photograph, voice, dialogue, sounds, biographical information, editorial comments made by me or concerning me, personal characteristics and/or other personal identification (collectively, the “Footage and Materials”), and to use the Footage and Materials in and in connection with the development, production, distribution and/or exploitation of the television program currently entitled “Penn & Teller: Bullshit!” (the “Program”), and/or any other Producer production, and in the advertisements and promotions for any such production and for the television network/broadcaster that broadcast any such production (the “Advertisements”), throughout the universe at any time, in perpetuity, in any and all media now known and hereafter devised, without any compensation to me whatsoever.

2. I have seen and/or am aware of the content and style of the Program. The rights granted herein shall also include the right to edit for any purpose whatsoever (including, without limitation, an informative, instructional, humorous or satirical effect) delete, dub and/or fictionalize the Footage and Materials, the Program, and the Advertisements as Producer sees fit in Producer’s sole discretion.

3. I represent and warrant the following:

(1) I am not, and during six months from today do not intend to be, a candidate for any public office; and

(2) I am not a professional actor and am not a member of SAG, AFTRA, AGVA, Equity or any other guild or union associated with the performing arts, unless listed here: (List union membership; if none please write “None”).

4. I understand that it is a federal offense, unless disclosed to Producer prior to broadcast, if any, to do any of the following: (a) give or agree to give any member of the production staff and anyone associated in any manner with the Program or any representative of Producer any portion of compensation or anything else of value to arrange my appearance in the Program or the Advertisements, or (b) accept or agree to accept anything of value to promote any product, service or venture on the air or to use any prepared material containing such a promotion. I represent and warrant that I gave nothing of value nor did I agree to give anything of value to anyone so I could be in the Program or the Advertisements. I know that Producer does not permit it and that it would be a Federal offense not to tell Producer if I had. I shall notify Producer and the broadcaster immediately if any person attempts or has attempted to induce me to do anything in violation of the foregoing or which is in any way dishonest.

5. I understand I will not be paid any compensation for appearing in the Program, in the Advertisements, and in the pictures and recordings, for giving Producer the rights listed in this Agreement, or for Producer’s exercise of any and all of the rights listed in this Agreement. I hereby waive any and all rights I may have to any such compensation. I acknowledge and agree that a significant element of the consideration I am receiving under this Agreement is the publicity I will receive if Producer includes me or the Footage and Materials, in the Program and/or in the Advertisements. I know Producer will incur significant costs and expenses in reliance upon this Agreement, so I will not attempt to cancel it or to revoke any of the rights granted to Producer herein. I acknowledge that I am a volunteer and that I shall not be deemed to be an employee of Producer, nor shall I be entitled to the benefits provided by Producer to its employees. I agree not to make any commercial or any other use of the fact that I appeared in the Program or that Producer used the Footage and Materials in the Program.

6. To the maximum extent permitted by law, I agree that I will never sue Producer or anyone because Producer did not take or use the Footage and Materials or because I do not like the manner in which Producer took or used the Footage and Materials. I, FOR MYSELF AND ON BEHALF OF MY HEIRS, EXECUTORS, AGENTS, SUCCESSORS OR ASSIGNS, HEREBY RELEASE, HOLD HARMLESS, PROMISE NOT TO SUE AND FOREVER DISCHARGE PRODUCER, ITS PARENT, SUBSIDIARY AND AFFILIATED COMPANIES, AS WELL AS SHOWTIME NETWORKS, INC. AND OTHER EXHIBITORS AND DISTRIBUTORS OF THE PROGRAM AND THE SPONSORS THEREOF, AND EACH OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES AND EMPLOYEES (THE “RELEASED PARTIES”), FROM ANY AND ALL CLAIMS, ACTIONS, DAMAGES, LOSSES, LIABILITIES, COSTS, EXPENSES, INJURIES OR CAUSES OF ACTION WHATSOEVER THAT IN ANY WAY ARE CAUSED BY, ARISE OUT OF OR RESULT FROM THIS AGREEMENT, MY APPEARANCE IN THE FOOTAGE AND MATERIALS, THE PROGRAM, OR IN THE ADVERTISEMENTS, THE CREATION OF THE FOOTAGE AND MATERIALS, MY PRESENCE AT OR TRAVEL TO ANY LOCATION IN CONNECTION WITH MY PARTICIPATION IN THE PROGRAM, OR THE BROADCAST OR OTHER EXHIBITION OF THE PROGRAM, THE FOOTAGE AND MATERIALS, OR THE ADVERTISEMENTS, ON ANY LEGAL THEORY WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PERSONAL INJURY, RIGHTS OF PRIVACY AND PUBLICITY, DEFAMATION, EMOTIONAL DISTRESS OR FALSE LIGHT), REGARDLESS OF WHETHER CAUSED BY THE NEGLIGENCE OR WILLFUL MISCONDUCT OF THE RELEASED PARTIES OR ANYONE ELSE CONNECTED WITH THE PROGRAM OR THE FOOTAGE AND MATERIALS. I WILL DEFEND, INDEMNIFY AND HOLD THE RELEASED PARTIES HARMLESS FROM ANY AND ALL SUCH CLAIMS, ACTIONS, DAMAGES, LOSSES, LIABILITIES, COSTS, EXPENSES, INJURIES OR CAUSES OF ACTION, AS WELL AS ALL THOSE THAT IN ANY WAY ARE CAUSED BY, ARISE OUT OF OR RESULT FROM ANY BREACH OR ALLEGED BREACH BY ME OF ANY OF THE REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES OR COVENANTS MADE BY ME IN THIS AGREEMENT.

7. To the maximum extent permitted by law, I waive any and all rights I may have under Section 1542 of the Civil Code of California, and every like provision in any foreign jurisdiction. Section 1542 provides as follows: A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH IF KNOWN BY HIM MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.

8. If any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Agreement, or the breach of any term hereof, cannot be settled through direct discussions, the parties agree to endeavor first to settle the controversy or claim by mediation conducted in the County of Los Angeles and administered by JAMS. If a controversy or claim is not otherwise resolved through direct discussions or mediation, it shall be resolved by arbitration conducted in the County of Los Ang
eles, and administered by JAMS in accordance with the JAMS Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures or subsequent versions thereof (the “JAMS Rules”). The JAMS Rules for selection of an arbitrator shall be followed, except that the arbitrator shall be an experienced arbitrator licensed to practice law in California. Without in any way limiting the foregoing, in no event shall I have any right to seek injunctive or other equitable relief against Producer, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies, its licensees, successor or assigns, or any other party arising out of any use or non-use of the Footage and Materials.

9. As used herein, “Producer” shall include Producer, its licensees, successors and assigns, and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents, representatives, successors, licensees and assigns. I agree that Producer may license, assign, and otherwise transfer this Agreement and all rights granted by me to Producer under this Agreement to any person or entity.

10. This is the complete and binding agreement between Producer and me, and it supercedes all prior understandings and/or communications, both oral and written, with respect to its subject matter. The illegality, invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this Agreement shall in no way affect the validity or enforceability of any of the remainder of this Agreement, which shall be enforced to the maximum extent permitted by law. This Agreement cannot be terminated, rescinded or amended, except by a written agreement signed by both Producer and me.

Signature:
Date:
Phone:
Print Name:
E-mail Address: ______________ _____
Address __________________________________
City ____________________
State________________
Zip_____________

—————————————————————————-

If participant is under eighteen years of age: I represent and warrant that I am the parent or guardian of the minor whose name appears above, I acknowledge that I have read the foregoing Agreement and am familiar with each and all of the terms contained therein, I am satisfied that the Agreement is fair and equitable, and I hereby give my express consent to its execution by my child/ward and will not revoke my consent at any time. I hereby release the Released Parties as defined in Paragraph 6 above from any claims and/or causes of action I may have against them of any nature whatsoever. I hereby fully and unconditionally guarantee the performance of my child’s/ward’s obligations and the grant of rights in and to the results and proceeds of my child’s/ward’s activities as set forth above.

Signature of Parent or Guardian:
Date:
Print Name:
Phone:

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


9 Responses to “Copy of Penn & Teller’s Release”

  1. RocketSeason responds:

    Oh well, Let them eat cake…as it were.

  2. vjmurphy responds:

    They rightfully rejected your amendment, because you could pretty much claim, based on your wording, that ANYTHING would trigger that clause. It’s too vague. I mean, come on “or otherwise in a negative light?”

    The correct amendment to make is to ask that your own film crew film the interview as well, so that if they take anything out of context, you’ll have your own copy of the interview to impeach with.

  3. Loren Coleman responds:

    Yes, of course, they did. But that was my point. My added paragraph was as silly as their ability to do what they were proposing to do with their “documentary footage.” After all, they clearly noted they would have “the right to edit for any purpose whatsoever (including, without limitation, an informative, instructional, humorous or satirical effect) delete, dub and/or fictionalize the Footage.”

    I would have been foolish to sign that!

  4. mrdark responds:

    The clause in that release that sends up -huge- red flags for me is that section about how they can ‘delete, dub and/or fictionalize the Footage and Materials, the Program, and the Advertisements as Producer sees fit in Producer’s sole discretion.’

    I’ll call this the Michael Moore clause. In effect this states ‘if we don’t like what you say, we reserve the right to completely forge it or otherwise manipulate it to the point that it says what we want, and not anything remotely resembling what you actually said.’

    As a previously partial P&T defender, I gotta say this yanks my support entirely. In this release they clearly state the desire to do exactly what they accuse so many others of doing: completely falsifying claims.

    Considering Penn’s direct claim at the end of ‘Michael Moore Hates America’ that if the director of MMHA edits him to make him say something he didn’t, that he would ‘f’ing kill him’, it’s doubly-egregious.

    My hope is that the show is made by some production team with P&T only having general overview of creative meetings and doing the voiceovers, which might explain why this release so completely deviates from what they have publically stood for in the last 20 years or so of their career.

  5. Mnynames responds:

    Welcome to America! I’m gonna edit you and manipulate your image to make you appear to be a complete fool when I accuse you of falsifying the truth. I’m amazed these guys aren’t in politics…

  6. claytron responds:

    As I mentioned in the other thread, they’re making a TV show. You’re not in a position to make demands of them. They’re offering you free promotion for yourself and whatever. You either have to believe any publicity is good publicity as most people do, or just not be on the show. They don’t NEED you, and as such they don’t have to meet any concessions. What you’ve been presented is a pretty standard release form for such a thing. People need to be able to do what they want with footage. If you aren’t comfortable with that, then you really have no room to complain. You can’t demand they that can’t use the footage they pay for how they see fit in a situation you know you have no control over? Well I think that’s pretty much given. Just don’t be on their show. You KNOW they’re going to be poking fun at the topic. That’s what they do. If you’re want to expose some sort grain of truth in a distributed television show… you’ve got another thing coming. That’s not their interest, it’s yours. They’re making entertainment. People who are attacking this miss the point of what Penn & Teller do and how any one who understands the concept of sarcasm percieves them. They are deceptive pranksters. That’s their characters. They’ve been playing them for a long time. I’ve met them, they’re very charming in real life; but they’re opinionated, just like you, and are going to present themselves as the same devious miscreants that they always have. For those of us who love them, we wouldn’t have it any other way… for those of you who don’t… change the channel. They’re not making the show for you.

  7. Loren Coleman responds:

    Actually, I don’t *need* them. I’ve been on literally hundreds of programs since 1969, produced my own documentaries, and, my gosh, taught a documentary film course at the university level for 23 semesters. I’ve never seen a release set up to so clearly give an open-ended ability to fictionalize documentary footage to the filmmaker.

  8. gordonrutter responds:

    It sure in heck is nothing like the releases I’ve signed for the BBC that’s for sure.

    Gordon

  9. claytron responds:

    They’re simply not making a documentary. It doesn’t matter what they’ve told you. When you’re manufacturing entertainment the way they do, they can request to take liberties. Of course you haven’t signed a release like that, you’ve not been on a such a show before. If you get the joke and don’t mind having fun poked at you, be on the show. If you don’t feel it’s appropriate… it’s quite simple. Don’t. You can disagree with their practices, but again to me it seems your taking this really personally. ‘That’s showbiz,’ as they say. It’s not honest, it’s not clean, and you don’t have to like it. That doesn’t mean you should be offended because they approached you. Take it as a compliment and politely decline them based on the fact you don’t like the terms of their release.



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