Errors and omissions insurance: Protecting your creative vision and financial interests

Lights, camera, protection! The world of filmmaking is an exhilarating realm of creativity, where passionate filmmakers and producers embark on journeys to bring captivating stories to life on the silver screen. However, amidst the whirlwind of artistic expression and logistical complexities, there lurks a potential pitfall that could disrupt even the most carefully orchestrated productions: errors and omissions liabilities.

Enter Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O Insurance) – a safety net that shields film industry creatives from potential legal and financial setbacks.

Getting to know E&O insurance

Errors & Omissions insurance – often referred to as E&O insurance – is a specialised form of coverage designed explicitly for filmmakers and production companies. It serves as a crucial safeguard against various legal challenges related to content, including claims of defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, misrepresentation, and other content-related disputes.

In the film industry, E&O insurance claims can arise from various situations, and it happens more often than you may think. For example:

  1. The Walt Disney film Frozen faced a copyright infringement claim when a playwright alleged that the film’s storyline, characters, and themes were based on her original work. She claimed that she had pitched a similar story to Disney executives years before “Frozen” was released. The lawsuit sought damages for copyright infringement.
  • The Australian family drama, Red Dog, faced a copyright infringement claim from a writer. The claimant alleged that the film’s screenplay was substantially similar to his own unpublished work about the same dog. He sought damages and recognition as the original creator of the story.
  • The iconic Australian comedy, The Castle, faced a defamation claim from a real-life barrister who believed that his character in the movie was portrayed in a defamatory manner. The barrister alleged that the film’s portrayal damaged his professional reputation and sought financial compensation for defamation.

Australian broadcasters, distributors, or financiers generally require an E&O policy to be in place prior to the release of any theatrical or TV production, and American distributors may not purchase a film without one.

Errors & Omissions insurance is a critical asset for filmmakers and producers, offering protection against potential legal pitfalls and financial liabilities stemming from content-related claims. By securing E&O insurance, you can focus on telling your stories with confidence, knowing that your creative vision is safeguarded and your financial interests are protected.