Anything Goes : Intellectual Property by Andrew Cahill

Andrew Cahill

Intellectual Property

I have some questions about intellectual property. The short version is I co-wrote and directed a short film in college that was based on a friends story. I wasn't happy with it and had NUMEROUS ideas to adjust it and make it better, in essence changing the entire project (even the medium, from short film to web series). But since I got my ideas after working on his idea, do I need his permission to work on my project.

Vidas Pliodzinskas

I would suggest asking for permission from your friend who originally had the idea and offer a percentage of profit / buy-out that they would be happy with. But also keep in mind that people make "spin-offs" all the time'. There is another post that is similar that you should check out.

C. D-Broughton

Your friend owns all rights to the original screenplay, as the author. Any work you did afterwards is based upon his original work, so you'd need to come to a formal agreement, at the end of which, your friend is fully entitled to some kind of credit. He also has the right to not allow you to use your version of the script or the short film, unless you had a contract in place beforehand.

G.R. Barnett

Yeeeah, I'd suggest asking your friend for permission first, and then maybe doing a spin-off thing.

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