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This program was recorded on March 28th, 2019
“Pay or Play” is an entertainment industry contract clause requiring a producer to pay a person providing services if the producer decides to terminate such person without cause. In an industry based on creative vision, whether the results of services are “satisfactory” is completely subjective, and yet, a producer will not want to alienate a services provider whom the producer may still want to work with in the future; what is unsatisfactory to one producer may turn out to be a huge hit when produced by someone else. So “pay or play” clauses permit a producer to terminate further services by striking a balance between having to find a reason to terminate for cause when there really is none and paying a person who set aside time to perform services and may thus have missed out on other work opportunities. It’s a crucial clause in a business built on creativity. Yet many lawyers think that inserting a clause saying that compensation is “pay or play” is sufficient, not fully understanding the intricacies of the clause and how to properly draft a “pay or play” provision. If such intricacies are not carefully considered and drafted, the results can be far from what the parties intended.