March 11th, 2022


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Bryan Sullivan Speaks to Newsy About Studios Purchasing Individuals’ Life Rights

In a recent segment by Newsy, Bryan Sullivan shares extensive insight on the legalities of purchasing an individual’s life rights to create art. The segment exemplifies this practice by detailing Netflix’s purchase of Anna Sorokin’s life rights, resulting in its creation of “Inventing Anna.”

While Netflix reportedly paid $320,000 for Sorokin’s life rights, Bryan explains that purchasing an individual’s life rights is not required in order to tell their story, and there is no set cost to purchase. Studios choose to purchase rights for a number of reasons, including the guarantee that the individual is not able to sue the studio for defamation or privacy concerns. Bryan also notes that acquiring life rights results in exclusive access to telling the story, and it can even result in access to important artifacts such as diaries, emails, and documents. 

“It would be imperative that they get actual access to her and exclusive access, so that she doesn’t go around telling her story to everybody else, undercutting the value of the rights,” Bryan says.

Watch the segment or read more of Bryan’s comments on Newsy below.

What Does It Mean To Buy The Rights To A Life Story?