Screenwriting : New writer needing advice by Angela Tinkler

New writer needing advice

Hello all!! I am an Actress based in London but have really been enjoying writing scripts recently. I now have 3 Short film scripts I am happy with that I would love to actually make. My first question is do I need to copyright them before I show them to anyone? Also does anyone have any tips on getting the production ball rolling? All advice much appreciated. Angela

Marvin Willson

Always copyright your material.

CJ Walley

Angela as Marvin says you should always protect your scripts, you can do so at the WGA West: http://www.wgawregistry.org/webrss/ To get the ball rolling you can upload your scripts to your profile here and also upload for free with InkTip: http://www.inktip.com/sa_short_script_listing.php?cat=sa&scat=services Best of luck to you :)

Angela Tinkler

Ok, great thank you for the link. I found a company called Script Vault that seem to copyright material also, have you heard of them or used them before? Angela

CJ Walley

I've heard of ScriptVault but not used them, they seem cool. There's also the American Copyright Office who seem to offer the best all round protection. Personally I'd go with either WGA West or the US Copyright Office. It's also worth noting that as a UK resident you have a degree of copyright protection by default. http://www.loc.gov/copyright/

Marvin Willson

Angela - If you intend to shop your stories I would advise registering with the U.S. Library of Congress (LOC). They offer the best level of global protection of your scripts.

Ali Fateh

Mate, try to keep a track of your correspondence with potential parties. If you're showing them scripts, try doing it via email just so you have proof that YOUR script was sent to them for consideration. That gives you almost the same level of protection like copyright. If they steal your idea, and twist it to make it look different, email correspondence can help you in the court like it did for the Winklevoss twins who actually came up with idea of Facebook.

Marvin Willson

Ali - Your information is incorrect and has potentially serious consequences if followed . Facebook and the film world are two very different animals. What Ali is discussing whats is known as "access"; proof that a producer etc had a copy of your script. First of all, most reputable producers do not accept unsolicited scripts so they can't be placed in such a position and if they did, they would insist that the script be registered. Secondly, if you don't have the script registered with the LOC, you won't be able to sue for damages and your costs in any litigation case. Thus, if your script is stolen and you want to sue, it's a very expensive exercise and unless you have registered your script with the LOC NOT the WGA, no lawyer will take on your case because of the lack of damages/costs issue.

Angela Tinkler

Ok thanks everyone, I will register for copyright, and will look into the different organisations that offer it. Thanks again.

CJ Walley

No problem Angela, FYI the American Copyright Office is a part of U.S Library of Congress (LOC).

Pedro Vasquez

Always COPYRIGHT BEFORE showing your work to anyone.

Kimite Cancino

If u live in South Africa, can we use the USA Copyright office also? Im new to all this, but interested in following the good advice given to Angela.

Ali Fateh

From what I understand, you can register as long as certain conditions are met. More details here: http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-who.html#foreigners

Marvin Willson

Ali - There are no conditions to meet. The UK has a copyright treaty with the U.S. so you would be covered.

Ali Fateh

Marvin - That was the condition I was talking about!

Jenny Dome

Always make sure you protect your work before you show it to anyone. Registering it for copyright is the way to go. A few years ago I sent a short story to a person I thought I could trust, and then found out after the fact, that the plagiarizer filmed my story as their own adapted short film! I originally wrote the story for a writing contest and submitted it for notes! Hope this helps you and others. Learn from my mistake, so you don't repeat it as your own. Good luck with your writing and in your career! :)

Simon © Simon

Jenny makes a good point. I use this rule for trust: "If they put their pants on one leg at a time you probably should not trust them." Locks are to keep honest people honest.

Justin Kapr

No need to copyright your hard work. Just send them to me and I'll copyright them for you. =O

Dominik Susmel

Register your stuff with WGA (it's $20 for couple of years) and send a sealed envelope with a copy either to your lawyer or yourself (if you don't have a lawyer) which has notarized date on every page. Work is automatically copyrighted with date of creation, but with this mechanism you will have a proof of date which would precede possible violation.

Jenny Dome

Actually, registering your material through the WGA doesn't hold up in court. I met a guy named John at an industry event in 2008, who submitted his material to a production company who in turn told him they already had a story just like his when he inquired about their decision. Yeah, they sure did. They took his story and just changed the names in it. He took them to court and lost. John taught a workshop on how to protect your material. Mailing it to yourself doesn't hold up in court either. Write your story in prose first, register it for copyright and then adapt it into a script. Good luck with your material! :)

Dominik Susmel

It's not a protection, it's a third party service to authenticate the date when you registered the work. If it's your work or not is a whole other matter, which you have to prove to court as your own.

Michael D. Lancaster

I have been all through this matter with lawyers and producers. There is no real answer. Even a treatment can be copyrighted. However - the proof may all come down to courts and lawyers. Part 2 is how aggressive are you once the pitch(ing) begins. Don't stop and always start on top with the most reputable producers. Register with the WGA, send to yourself, and writing it in prose first - (Jenny) is a good idea.

Doug Nelson

I don’t know if there’s something comparable to the Writers Guild of America in the UK but you can certainly register your scripts with the WGA and feel comfortable. I produce shorts in NorWest USA and would be happy to help you get started – just let me know.

Jenny Dome

To everyone who has responded, please check out THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER website. There are two excellent articles in the HOLLYWOOD, ESQ. section about what Sylvester Stallone and Quentin Tarantino are experiencing regarding their scripts and current legal battles.

Christopher Binder

Yes copyright your material. Never know who might like your ideas and want to steal them. Then you can show them to producers, directors etc. People that know people who have the resources needed to actually make a film, assuming they like what they read and decide to commit. Good Luck!

Richard Paul Skinner

For everything original that you write, the copyright automatically belongs to you. Even your shopping list. But you can't copyright ideas.

James Morelli-Green

I was just about to say the same. You can't copyright ideas. Paying money to copyright your work is redundant. You already have all the evidence needed should you suspect copyright violations of your work.

CJ Walley

Regardless of how copyright really protects the novel elements of your material, it's something some prodcos, agencies and managers seem to require more than ever now.

Israel Murray

http://www.wga.org and yes! Get a copyright (it won't hurt). Getting the production ball rolling is quite a challenge, but the best tip is make sure there's money (either in escrow or somewhere tangible) to pull the working parts together and that the money is VERIFIABLE! And from the looks of it, Stage 32 is a great place to pull together a really good crew!

Doug Nelson

Newbie screenwriters seem to fear that someone will steal their wonderworks. That’s not really an issue. Frankly I think it’s only an excuse used to cover up beginner’s insecurity and results in writing stagnation. There are zillions of writers out there (very few good ones) so it’s only natural for there to be some overlap of stories – register your script; don’t worry about it. Even if you lock your car, someone can still steal it – I’ll bet you still drive it. Just keep writing.

James Morelli-Green

In reply to Doug Nelson - ! believe that the WGA, and other script registration co's, perpetuate this idea so "newbies" do feel insecure and they profit from it. The rest of that post was nonsense. Angela, you're in England; look at the Writers' Guild and their view on it: http://www.writersguild.org.uk/faqs/25-who-can-i-register-my-script-with

Marvin Willson

@ James - Professional writers ALWAYS register their material. This is not a "Newbie" thing, you should always register your material. Reputable prodco's, studios and even competitions insist on at least WGA registration, before they will even read your material. (Personally, I would advise staying away from WGA as it is only proof of REGISTRATION and use only Library of Congress, for the reasons I stated earlier in this thread). I would also advise all contributors to READ THE ENTIRE THREAD before responding, It causes confusion and there is a lot of repetitive responses that name it clear that the posters are not reading the responses. It's okay to have an opinion, but unless you have knowledge in this area, please refrain from commenting, as the potential fallout from your inaccurate postings could have a huge impact on new writers projects.

James Morelli-Green

@Marvin - I am a professional, represented writer with a number of existing projects with major investment, production and broadcast companies in the UK. I quoted the word "newbie" as it was merely supporting a comment by someone else. You make reference to the WGA, in the UK we don't pay to register our work like you do in the US as we believe it does not give you any significant protection from copyright infringement. Therefore, professional writers (here in the UK anyway) DO NOT ALWAYS register their material. It's fine to have an opinion but please know what you're talking about or refrain from posting a comment blah blah blah...

CJ Walley

I'm in the UK and register with WGAW and LOC (although I'll most likely be dropping WGAW). The way I see it is it's $20-30 to further protect months of passionate work, it's a no-brainer.

James Morelli-Green

@Dan - The poster of this thread is in England and didn't mention sending to the States. If I were to send material to the States, I would register it for sure as I know what expectations exist there. Marvin was not "up on all the customs in the UK", you're right, so my highlighting this is no cause for you to contradict yourself in your argument. Good defending though.

Frank G. Lind

@WriteAMovie Angela great question...always copyright before submission. CJ Walley is right on with locations to send them when done. But make sure your drafts are rewritten to the best of their ability. You don't want to be spending money submitting a new draft every 8 weeks. Hope this helps!

Michael D. Lancaster

@writeAMovie Frank you couldn't be more spot on. It is, however, a problem for me, because each time I pitch I have likely made changes since the last pitch. I am a constant re-writer re-writer re-writer - just can't help it - always striving to be better. My attorney has me copyright treatments too. If the treatment is a long treatment (which is what I write before the script) then he says that it is able to be copyrighted. I have one that is 28 pages. However, a synopsis or 2-3 page treatment is likely not able to be copyrighted. It is just an idea.

Wayne Douglas Johnson

It would be an honor if someone stole your work as a fist time writer of 3 short film scripts.. In fact you should do ALL you can to promote that ..leave the car door open with the keys in - That would mean that you had/ have something worth stealing. PART 2..You are an Actor.. Pretend to be a producer, play the part we wont now the difference. Now if you want someone else to PAY for your making your movies.. THEN , you'll have to do a little cooking an cleaning also. On a more productive note: You find out a cost factor - get an Idea of how much it will take to make one of your short. -

James Morelli-Green

@Dan - Yawn. Some have been made in the UK and some have been optioned in the UK. So, no, legally I wouldn't be able to send them out to US production co's anyway. I'm not stupid buddy, I only post what I have under contract. The other projects get pitched directly by my agent to producers, investment co's and television broadcasters BEFORE I post. As and when we pitch to American co's, I will of course register the script. Once again, you are arguing a nonsensical point.

Rich James

In reality, copyrighting only gets you so far: as creative ideas can't be copyrighted, only words, a better writer/prod co. can nick (it doesn't happen) your "original" idea (it isn't) and do it anyway (if that's what you're worried about). So, if it makes you feel better, WGA away!

Doug Nelson

I register every script I write, I lock my car and keep the key in my pocket – I’ve had one car stolen, don’t know about scripts. “What, me worry?” Tell me something I don’t know.

Andy Kubat

Many of you probably won't agree with me but I don't think it makes sense to pay money to 'officially' copyright a SHORT film script (officially in inverted commas because copyright is automatic), whether it's the WGA or any other of these copyright websites, due to the practicalities involved with copyright protection and infringement. It's certainly important to have a chain of title but in reality, what would you gain from it?! I think the chance that someone will plagiarise your short film idea is very very small and if it indeed happens, would you really spend £1000s to sue that person or production company (as far as I am aware you can't use the small claims court in the UK for copyright infringement claims)? And even if you decide to do that, as the short film will likely not have generated any revenue, there is nothing to take. And that's ignoring that copyright is incredibly difficult to prove unless the person who infringed literally took your script sentence for sentence which is very unlikely unless that person is a complete moron. So all in all, while the idea may sound good, the practicality of it makes it pointless in my opinion. I therefore think it's a waste of money, time and energy and you would be better suited to put your energy in writing more scripts.

Andy Kubat

Regarding your last question of getting the production ball rolling, ideally you'll find a filmmaker or producer who likes your script and is happy to collaborate with you. Apart from this site I'd recommend using Shooting People or Talent Circle, where you can submit a post describing your project and who you are looking for. It would help a lot if you already have a bit of funding and/or great connections with known actors you can bring to the table. And since you are London-based, check out the next Shooters in the pub event by Shooting People. There will be lots of filmmakers in attendance. Or go to one of the many film courses such as the Guerilla Masterclass where you can also meet many like-minded people. I.e. I met the writer/director of the current short film I am producing at the Guerilla Masterclass and also met lots of other interesting writers I am still in touch with.

Marvin Willson

@ James - For the record, I'm actually British. When I lived in London I STILL registered my scripts with the LOC. CJ nailed it - No brainer.

Christopher Kardos

Andy does have a point...in not registering everything you write. If you do want to have proof though that it belongs to you, there's a trick I've heard of from writers. Send a copy of the script to yourself in the mail and don't open it, unless you're in court already. That way, the date will be on it and you'll have proof for a smaller fee. The odds that your script will be stolen are small but it's still possible. Depends on the script. How good is it? Just my thoughts.. Though seeing "WGA Registered' on a script always gives it more credibility and shows that you're serious. It's your call which way to go. And FWIW, another website where you can find cast or crew worldwide is http://www.juntoboxfilms.com/

Marvin Willson

@Chris - Mailing yourself a copy and not opening it or "Poor man's copyright" is a fallacy and would not stand up in a court of law. If you want reputable companies in the U.S. to read you, you will have to have either WGA or LOC registration. Most of them will make you sign an NDA and some actually ask your for your WGA/LOC registration number. If you want to try another method, knock yourself out.

Christopher Kardos

@Marvin. I agree. As I also mentioned, if you want to be taken seriously, take it to WGA. I'm not sure if this method wouldn't hold up in a court of law though, that's why this 'method' spread in the first place. I wasn't saying this is a good idea, just tossing it out there as the last means of backing up some evidence (potentially) for someone who's starting out. My comment was to be taken with a grain of salt and looked at critically, just like anything else. @Dan. How do you send yourself - via USPS - an unsealed envelope? With the date stamped on it?

Marvin Willson

@ Chris LOL @ USPS... The answers the same, but I like your hustle... This thread is dead. EVERYONE GO WRITE... LOL!

Marvin Willson

Funny you should say that, Dan, I've just started outlining a new TV pilot idea. Any one up for a 30-day challenge? From idea to first draft?

Christopher Kardos

@Marv: Sorry, I just finished writing a short and I'm starting my first feature script. I don't think I'm up for writing for TV yet :P But the script is pretty much finished in my head. Maybe a 30-day challenge with my feature and your pilot? Would that be even fair? lol @Angela: Sorry for sidetracking the thread

CJ Walley

Sorry to further this exhaustive thread, but regarding the note about sticking your WGA reg number on your script, I believe this will make you look more amateurish than having nothing. AFAIK it's simply assumed that your work is protected. And regardless, chances are you'll have to include a release form with your copyright details included alongside any script submission.

Peter Dink

COPYRIGHT LAWS— For Playwrights, Theatre Managers, Producers, Artistic Directors, Theatre Department Chairs, High School and College Teachers, Directors, and Sound Designers http://lecatr.people.wm.edu/copy.htm

Peter Dink

Why the Playwright is Entitled to Creative Control of Their Works http://voices.yahoo.com/why-playwright-entitled-creative-control-2393404...

Peter Dink

p.s. Now that I think of it, I quoted U.S Common Law/IP Law = while our legal system was originally copy and pasted from British common law, it has had a number of centuries, and "ages" e.g. agricultural, industrial, post industrial ages" to vastly transform.

Peter Dink

in Google = Showing results for copyright a creative playwright Search instead for copywrite a creative playwrite

Peter Dink

Tuesday 16 October 2012 at 1300 Intellectual Property Discussion Group Copyright law in the realm of Theatre Speaker: Dr Luke McDonagh, LSE Venue: Oxford Law Faculty Senior Common Room http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/event=11869

Peter Dink

The UK Copyright Service Issued: April 2000 Last amended: 27th November 2009 The UK copyright law fact sheet outlines the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the principal legislation covering intellectual property rights in the United Kingdom and the work to which it applies.

Michael D. Lancaster

@Dan maybe time to try something new - write some short stories, write a novel or novella, Personally I can't stop writing - something. Hopefully it will be good. My grandfather was the cartoonist who co-created Pecos Bill. My Mom eventually became a master as a twentieth century portraitist. At age 21 she had a farm 3 hrs north of NY. My grandparents had lost everything during the depression and moved up to her farm. My mom and grandfather shared a studio. On day one my mom went for a walk on the country road with her dogs. At 9:45 my grandfather went after her and scolded her. He said, "If you are going to be a painter then paint and be in the studio 9-5." Defending herself she replied, "but Dad, I don't have a model. What am I supposed to paint?" His reply, "Just be in the studio and stare at the canvas. Even if you paint nothing, twiddle your thumbs!" As I grew up in the 50's and 60's I was a latch key kid even when Mom was home. She was in the studio and we kids came home from school and the studio was locked. She became one of the twentieth Century's greatest portraitists. No models, she drew illustrations, painted still lifes, surreal paintings about historic events, even wrote some books in the studio. Personally I don't always write my craft, but I keep writing [something].

Christopher Kardos

I'd have a question about copyrights. If it's not the final draft of the script but you wanna start sending it out because of deadlines: if you copyright your work before it's the final version, does the copyright still count after you revised it? Or what does this depend on? Certain plot-points/if the overall script is the same? @CJ: btw, "WGA-Registered" is not exactly what I meant, providing the WGA number is rather. Maybe it's different in the UK, here in NYC, there are many amateurs that don't copyright their scripts, they don't care or don't have enough experience, knowledge to know how to go about it. So when I see a script without the WGA registration number or other issues in the script (e.g. bad grammar, unnecessary things, etc) - even if the casting call seemed professional and everything else until that point was fine - I'll give it a high probability that I'm dealing with an amateur though I'll stay open and won't make up my mind until I meet the person and can talk to them to get more info. @Daniel: Sólo una nota, si la contestación en español a un hilo de Inglés, la mayoría de la gente no será capaz de responder a usted y su punto se perderá. Puedes usar Google Translate, si es necesario, al igual que yo.

Rich James

Sigh. Never dealt with a single high-level pro from WME to the studios that was obsessed with copyright. They know what I know: good execution requires no copyright, a good idea cannot be copyrighted. Absorb that and get back to your writing. Contact me if you need more.

Ken Larson

Copyrighting is always a good idea with anything you want to protect. The key to protecting your work is to make it the best it can be and then show it to as few people as possible. Most creative writers and producers will respect your work but you may want to be careful not to spread it all over the internet. You can always send yourself a copy in the mail as a cheap alternative. Your other question is as old as the film business itself. The best advice I ever got was from a producer who told me "The best way tot make movies is, to just start making movies." Do as much as you can until you can't move forward anymore. If you come to the states, look me up, I would be glad to work with you.

James Allen Brewer

Hi, Angela - Ken is right: copyrighting your work is always a good idea. That being said, your copyright is only as good as the money you have to pay the lawyers ("solicitors" in your neck of the woods) to defend it. I speak from personal experience, having had quite a bit of material co-opted over the years. As ken suggested, the bottom line is indeed to just "do it," but be mindful and careful whom you trust with your intellectual property and play your cards close to your vest, hopefully without being overly paranoid. All the best - Jim

Michael D. Lancaster

Good advice James. There are reputable producers and questionable producers. Some are out to make money by getting it on the cheap and others know what is above the line is the creative people who are what great stories come from.

Mike Donald

I usually register scripts through WGAE, $25...

Michael D. Lancaster

I register scripts and treatments through WGAW. Note: a one page or even a very short treatment is not going to get much protection. If you have a longer treatment say 10-25 pgs, you are half way to a script. You may have defined a majority of your story in three acts. It can be protected, is considered intellectual property, and is worth the $10 for the registration. There is no real protection without an attny, so your best bet is to try to find reputable producers. A good industry attorney can cost over $500 (US) an hour and some are double that. Certainly look through the IMDB and see what their history is - what other projects have they been involved in.

James Allen Brewer

Great advice, both Michael and Mike. That being said, some of the personal experiences I referred to (I won't bore you with the specific details) were projects I did with some Oscar, Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning parties. Sadly, there are too many "successful and reputable" producers who have wittingly (or sometimes unwittingly) built their careers standing on the shoulders of hapless content creators. You can't be too careful.

Mike Donald

Also there is the very bad website for the library of congress, which is $45 but a more solid protection...

Marvin Willson

Actually, It's $35.00. Again, please post accurate information.

Justin Kapr

Marvin! You've gotta send me that script son! lol justin.kapr@vonkapr.com There's gotta be something you can throw at me that isn't uber sensitive or proprietary. C'mon bro. It's been like 4 months of waiting. =/ I'm dying to read your material!

Jonathan Alexander Green

Angela copyright should be the first thing you do and while waiting on them to get protected you can start looking to get the production ball rolling. I have some contacts that I am working with in Luxembourg and if you like I would love to read some of your work. I would like to share some of my work with you as well. You can email me at jonathangreen329@googlemail.com.

Mary Ellen Wilson

Thanks for the invitation. Tell me about your latest project.

Craig D Griffiths

Hi Angela, just make your short films. Don't worry about copyright. People will tell you so many horror stories, but people don't really steal that much, and these are shorts.

My advice is just make one. The easiest one first. You'll learn so much about being a writer and how as a writer you can influence the film. My first was all outside locations. This taught me that weather can be difficult as well as you have no control of your location.

Copyright is automatically granted to the creator of any unique artistic expression, if you register it or not. Registering it also does not guarantee ownership. You have to be willing to defend it. Registering it is a record of when you had your unique artistic expression. This would enable to prove a time and date, that is all.

Make your film and post the link. If you have a phone, use that. If you have a DSLR use that. Its not the tools, its the craftsman. You can only sharpen your craft by doing it.

Adam Harper

Hi Angela, I'd make sure to e-mail your scripts to yourself and then if they are low budget with limited locations/characters go get them made :-) I'm fairly new to screenwriting but if you ever want some feedback I'd be happy to read your shorts. Depending on how short the shorts are, I may also have some contacts for people you could send them to once they're complete. Either way, good luck, and enjoy!

Adam Harper

....and just realised this is 5 years old. Well, my offer still stands. Doh!

Pierre Langenegger

Hey Adam Harper , the poor man's copyright is completely worthless and does not work, it's a waste of the cost of postage. Spend $35 and utilize registration with the US Copyright Office instead.

Adam Harper

@Pierre I'm hoping you're not talking about this due to a bad experience. Yes, you're probably right, if you want to do it properly.

Pierre Langenegger

I never had a bad experience because I never did it because it won't hold up in a court of law.

Adam Harper

Fair enough, my bad. thank you for correcting me.

Pierre Langenegger

No problems, don't worry about it, I just wanted to let you know that it doesn't work.

Dan Guardino

Adam. You can mail an unsealed envelope to yourself and get a postmark date on it than stick a script in it years later and seal it so it won't hold up in court.

Donald Shaw

That is an urban legend. Should be registered with the screen actors guild or

Adam Harper

I meant e-mail, but still, I understand the implications now. For every ounce of proof I could personally muster, there's always a way to disprove or challenge it. Hence, registering a script with a company as WGA or another official company.

Sam Borowski

Angela, as you've already read, you should always copyright your work and register it with the Writers Guild, although here on the East Coast, we register with the WGA East. As for getting the production ball rolling, you should seek out an experienced producer - one with credits, connections to other actors - that can help you make one. Also, as you likely realize, everything you put in your script has a cost to it, so it's best to write one with the idea of actually making it in mind. If you do that and hook up with an experienced producer, who might have locations that match your script, connections to actors, film festivals, ideas to raise money, you can only improve your chances.

Dan Guardino

Adam. An email wouldn’t be admissible wouldn’t be admissible evidence in court either. Register with the WGA can be used in court but if you win you probably wouldn’t be awarded attorney fees or compensatory damages which could amount to a lot of money if you won. The U.S. Copyright Office is the best place to register your screenplays.

James Drago

Do both and email yourself (or someone else) a copy. An electronic trail can help.

James Allen Brewer

Hello, again, Angela - The bottom line regarding protection of your intellectual property is monetary. Whichever party has more money to pay his/her attorneys wins. I had my intellectual property stolen by a very famous and powerful individual. I sued, and he had his attorneys keep the case out of court until the statute of limitations had run out: seven years. If some well-heeled person steals your material, that person can pay their legal team to either keep the case from commencing litigation or just run-out your money. Unless you have unlimited funds, your chances of protecting yourself, even with a US copyright and registration with the WGA, are nil.

Dan MaxXx

this post is 5 freaking years old. If she can’t figure out how to shoot a short movie in 5 years, it’s pointless. Nobody is stealing a short movie idea and rushing into feature production.

John Pepin

This is all very interesting... but as I recall, didn't Art Buchwald successfully sued the producers of the movie, Coming To America, because he had made a joke many years before, about an African Prince coming to the US and working at McDonalds? Then you hear horror stories of scripts stolen without consequence.

I worry the standard is, in reality, arbitrary. So you do all you can to protect yourself, plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Dan MaxXx

Buchwald sued for distribution money, not copyright

Dan Guardino

Buchwald sued because Paramount optioned his treatment and they used it to develop the screenplay Coming to America without paying him or giving him a story credit so it was a breach of contract lawsuit not a copyright infringement case. I have some of the money used in the movie with Eddie Murphy's picture on it.

John Pepin

Thanks for the corrected information. I remember listening to him talk about it with Terry Gross. He was reticent at the time to opine about the nature of the case. I assumed it was a copyright case because of the conversation.

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