Introduce Yourself : Protecting your Work by Eric Barnett

Eric Barnett

Protecting your Work

What ways should I use to protect my screenplays once I have written them? I have been told different answers but I would like to know the best way.

Eric Barnett

Thank you. Does that require a payment? Also is there a waiting period for the copyright? Any other tips/advice that you can offer would be appreciated. I'm trying to learn from anyone so I can get better.

Lydea Torres

I use the WGAW. It can be done in a couple of minutes for $15. And later they send you cert. I do that when submit to contests. Its faster.

Elisabeth Meier

1st: You should think about this only when your script is really written and ready to be sent to contests and ready to be pitched. Is it? Then, I agree to Vitaly and would like to add that the WGA is not responsible for copyrights. Your script is only registered there - no more, no less. The library of congress is also not responsible for your copyrights but the U.S. Copyright Office is - who had thought so? :) Hence, best you register at - here is the link to their fees, but you easily find all the answers to your questions on their site. I recommend this because it's valid worldwide and it's the only institution which would count at court should it come to any dispute with a trial etc. Hopefully not of course, but you know.... better spent your money the right way. Your script is sheltered from the moment you registered (and paid) it which is possible online. You only get the confirmation later which can take some weeks for administrative reasons. I learned that such a copyright office website exists for all countries, the EU etc. meaning have a look in your own languages, maybe different countries different rules, different fees. I just checked it for the EU: In Germany, for example, there is no way to register your script. Hence, for Germans it's recommendable to use the U.S. Copyright Office. The EU website tells that the EU has laws which tell that everything is already protected when created. Which sounds like a joke, but they mean it - in other words it's still not organized. You would have difficulties to prove that you own the rights. So, I don't know about other country's rights, but this all sounds as if it would be recommendable for everybody everywhere to use the U.S. Copyright Office to register the screenplays. Think this answers all questions about this topic. :)

Serafin Soto

That's the answer I was looking for previously. Thanks Elisabeth.

Elisabeth Meier

Here's an interesting and important article:

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