Screenwriting : Changing the Title of your Screenplay by Nate Miller

Nate Miller

Changing the Title of your Screenplay

Hi Everyone, 

I have a screenplay registered with the WGA West.  After doing a few re-writes I have a title that fits the story much better than the one I originally gave it.  Has anyone renamed their screenplay and if so is it necessary re-register your work under the new title? 

Thank you in advance for your input.

Jimmy Matlosz

register with the library of congress

Derek Reid

I wouldn't bother to register a script with the WGA... that won't protect you if any legal issue were to arise. Register with LOC as Jimmy says if you haven't already. If you have I doubt that re-registering with them would ever be necessary unless the script was changed to the point of being unrecognizable. Anyone who copied somebody's work would probably change the title at least anyway. har har.

Doug Nelson

Donno - My registered script 'The Game' won Moondance back in '13, I later changed the title to 'Aces and Eights' but never re-registered it. It sold under the new title. Frankl. I don't think it matters.

Patricia Poulos

WOW A.S. Hi Nate. I've just added to a previous Title to include the name for that reason but hey... don't think it really matters. But I would register with the LOC. Doug (Grandpa of the baker's dozen) is probably right.

Nate Miller

Thanks Everyone!! I submitted the script for registration with the LOC and will make sure to do so for any future works as well. I submitted it under its original name figuring that Derek and Doug are probably correct. As long as the content of the script registered is substantially the same as the work in question, I should be able to change the title on the marketing side without re-registering.

Dan Guardino

Titles aren't protected under copyright so it doesn't matter if you change the title or not.

Scott Sawitz

Absolutely .. I had a great title for something I wrote and I never bothered to google it. Swapped with someone and they said "you know this is the exact title as something that was made" .... wound up with a better title after all but totally have.

Brian Shell

The copyright covers the execution of your concept... not your title or concept. So I once re-registered the same script with a different title, and Library of Congress sent me a letter saying it wasn't necessary... however, they did keep the fee I sent to re-register. Lesson learned...

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