Get it on paper! If you come away from this video of Wal-Mart executives dressed in drag with only one tip, it's this: Remember to get your business dealings down on paper! (well, that and to avoid dressing in drag in front of a camera unless you want to be a Youtube star. )This rather embarrassing and possibly litigious situation could have easily been avoided if somebody, I don't care who, had taken the time to get a paragraph signed stating that Wal-Mart owned the content of these meetings. Even though Flagler Productions recorded the meetings for Wal-Mart it isn't apparent to me that the company actually produced anything; rather, it acted as a simple recorder of events.
While Wal-mart contends that the videos are of little interest to outsiders; a slew of anti-discrimination lawyers, documentary makers and late show audience members will likely disagree. If this goes to court it will be very interesting to see how the judge rules, given the intent of the parties and agreements which exist solely in the memories of two parties with significant stakes in the outcome.
I have to side with Wal-Mart in this instance, because no reasonable company would save a few bucks to pass on control of video from internal company events and meetings. The risks of doing so greatly outweigh any initial savings and I believe a judge will reach the same conclusion. Of course by the time any rulings have been made Flagler Productions may have already released footage of senior management dressed in bikinis rocking out to Bon Jovi.