Most competing claims can be resolved quickly and easily between the parties
Here are our recommended steps to a successful resolution
Check your contracts
The royalties that you are entitled to collect from Screenrights will be dependent on the contracts you have entered into. When you are notified of a competing claim the first step should always be to make sure your contractual position reflects your right to claim the types of royalties administered by Screenrights.
Find your contracts. In many cases it will be clear from your contracts whether you are entitled to claim the royalties, but if you are unsure we recommend you seek legal advice.
Check that your registration reflects your contracts
Once you are clear on the royalties you are entitled to claim we ask that you review your own registration. It might be the case that you have overstated your claim in your original registration and that it is your claim to royalties that needs to be changed to resolve the competing claim.
Look up contact details of other claimant
Once you have verified your own claim against your contracts the next step is to make contact with the other party to the competing claim. Screenrights provides the contact details for the other party on MyScreenrights.
Sign in to MyScreenrights, navigate to Competing Claims and select the title. The detailed view of the competing claim will set out the name of the other party and their contact details.
Speak with the other claimant
We find the fastest way to resolve a competing claim is to pick up the phone and have a chat. It might be that the competing claim has arisen as a result of a misunderstanding and a quick call to clarify is all that it takes to reach a resolution.
Ask the other party to check that their registration reflects their contractual position and explain the basis of your entitlement to the royalties.
Confirm your conversation by email
Follow up your phone conversation with an email summarising your conversation. You may not have reached a final resolution by phone and this will serve as a reminder to the parties to follow up on next steps.
The email also serves as a means of documenting the steps you are taking to resolve the competing claim which can be useful later if you find that you cannot reach a resolution without the assistance of formal processes.
Some things to be mindful of…
A competing claim is resolved only when registrations change
A competing claim arises when two or more registrations to royalties overlap. Therefore a competing claim will only appear as resolved if the registrations no longer overlap.
If you need to update your registration to reflect your contractual position we ask that you do so as quickly as possible on MyScreenrights.
If the other party needs to update their registration to reflect their contractual position the competing claim will appear as resolved once they have done so.
Be mindful of deadlines
Royalties are available for distribution for a limited time only (6 years from first availability). Sometimes a competing claim will concern royalties that will expire soon – we call these ‘deadline royalties’.
Competing claims with deadline royalties are clearly marked on MyScreenrights and are searchable. We recommend prioritising the resolution of these competing claims to avoid missing out on royalties.
Be mindful of any royalties already paid to you
Sometimes a competing claim involves royalties that have been paid in part or paid in full to you already. This happens when a second, competing registration is submitted after you have already been paid, and the royalties are from distribution pools that are still open.
You can see whether any amount of royalties have already been paid to you on MyScreenrights.
It is important to note that if the competing claim is resolved in favour of the other party you may be required to return any previously paid royalties to Screenrights.
If all else fails…
Alternative dispute resolution
In limited cases the parties to a competing claim find that they are unable to reach a resolution themselves. Screenrights has alternative dispute resolution procedures to assist members in these cases.