On Writing : Copyrighting by Brian McAndrew

Brian McAndrew


Should I get a Writer's Guild copyright or a U.S. Patent for my script idea? I don't have the first draft done I'm outlining it now.

D Marcus

The Writers Guild does not issue the copyright. Go to copyright.gov to register the copyright. You cannot patent a script idea. A patent is granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter. You cannot even copyright a script idea. You can, however, copyright the finished script.

Allen Clark

You will need to finish the script first then send it to the U.S. Copyright Office. I did that when i finished my script before doing the fringe in 2014. Its a great way to cover your work.

Elisabeth Meier

I was told the Library of Congress would be the right address for registering and secure your copyrights for screenplays, plays, book scripts etc. - What is the difference to the US Copyright Office?

D Marcus

You were told poor information. Go to the Library of Congress website to see what they do. The copyright.gov website is where you go to register a copyright.

Elisabeth Meier

Thank you, D. Marcus!

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

There is no copyright in an idea. Only in the particular expression of the idea. We can all have the same idea and express it differently - only our expression is afforded some protection. And the USA is finally in the real world - your script is copyrighted as soon as you write it down. WGA is NOT a copyright process, just a way to prove when you wrote it.

Elisabeth Meier

I would like to know if this copyright.gov can and should also be used from non Americans or if Europeans should register their stuff in their own countries. Is this American copyright then worldwide valid and accepted in all jurisdictions?

D Marcus

A great resource for copyright info is copyright.gov. Click on Frequently Asked Questions on the main page. then you'll see, "Is my copyright good in other countries?" Click on that. There is also eucopyright.com and copyrightcode.eu. Both excellent resources.

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