Avoid Theft: How To Legally Protect Your Script, Idea or Project

Hosted by Jaia Thomas

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Jaia Thomas

Webinar hosted by: Jaia Thomas

Entertainment Attorney at The Law Office of Jaia Thomas

Jaia Thomas is an entertainment attorney with over nine years of legal experience assisting clients with transactional and intellectual property matters. She regularly counsels filmmakers and producers on all aspects of film financing, production and distribution. She also regularly assists content creators with federal copyright registration and licensing. Ms. Thomas is an adjunct instructor at UCLA, where she teaches a course titled, “Copyright Law in the Entertainment Industries.” The course provides students with an overview of copyright protection and how it affects the television, film, fashion and new media industries. Prior to her appointment at UCLA, Ms. Thomas was an adjunct instructor at American University, where she taught graduate producing students about production company formation. She provided students with the tools necessary to launch and sustain their own television and film production companies. Ms. Thomas is a regular legal contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine, where she regularly writes about the intersection of entrepreneurship, entertainment and intellectual property law. Jaia Thomas is a graduate of Colgate University (BA) and The George Washington University Law School (JD). She also holds a Certificate in Television, Film and New Media Production from University of California, Los Angeles Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

In an industry built on storytelling there’s nothing more valuable than ideas. A good idea or good story can take you far in Hollywood, but it also makes you vulnerable. From Avatar to Empire, hundreds of films and television shows have been faced with infringement and idea theft lawsuits over the years. While the film and television industry can be an exciting and supportive place, this is not always the case and it’s more common than it should be for writers’ ideas or stories to be stolen. Without the proper protection and forethought, this can leave creatives at risk.

As the saying goes, it’s a jungle out there, and the risk of having your ideas stolen is unfortunately always a possibility, as is the possibility of being accused of doing this yourself. It’s important to always be vigilant and aware of these dangers. Yet this does not mean it’s open season on creators. Whether you’re concerned about having your idea stolen or facing lawsuits of your own, there are important steps you must take to ensure you and your intellectual property remain protected. There will always be a risk of being taken advantage of, but better understanding the dangers as well as how to protect and copyright your work will put you in a much safer and more secure position.

Jaia Thomas is an entertainment attorney with over ten years of legal experience who has brokered deals with companies like ABC, NBC, HBO, and Bravo and has been quoted as a legal expert in such publications as The New York Times, USA Today and ESPN. Jaia regularly assists clients with transactional and intellectual property matters and counsels filmmakers and producers on all aspects of film financing, production and distribution. She also regularly assists content creators with federal copyright registration and licensing and has had several works published in the American Bar Association, National Bar Association and multiple law journals. Through her many years specializing in federal copyright registration and licensing, Jaia has become an expert on how creators can keep their projects safe, and is ready to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community.

Drawing from her many years of legal experience successfully assisting filmmakers with transactional and intellectual property matters Jaia will provide you with all the legal tools necessary to protect any and every type of script and screenplay. She will begin by discussing copyright registration. She’ll explain how to register a script with the US copyright office and explain the legal advantages of doing this. She’ll also debunk common misconceptions such as the “Poor Man’s Copyright”. Next she will explain what goes into Writers Guild registration. She’ll outline how to register a script, idea or outline with the Guild and explain the legal advantages and disadvantages of doing so. She’ll also delve into the key distinctions between registering with the US Copyright Office and Writers Guild. Jaia will then go over idea protection and theft. She’ll teach you how to protect a television show or reality show in its idea form and will outline the legal requirements for filing an idea theft claim in New York and California. She’ll even go through a case study of the seminal idea theft court case Desny V. Wilder from 1956. Finally Jaia will provide you with additional precautionary measures you can take in protecting yourself, including mobile apps, digital watermarks, confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements. Expect to leave knowing exactly how to protect your current and future ideas, scripts and projects.

 

 

Praise for Jaia's Stage 32 Webinar

 

"Highly informative. Thank you Jaia Thomas!"

-Patrick D.

 

"Great webinar with invaluable tips and advice. Great presentation and presenter. Very pleased and satisfied."

-Robert F

What You'll Learn

  • Copyright Registration
    • How to register a script with the US Copyright Office
    • The legal advantages of registering a script with the US Copyright Office
    • Debunking common misconceptions such as the “Poor Man’s Copyright”
  • Writers Guild Registration
    • Registering a script, idea, outline with the Writers Guild
    • The legal advantages and disadvantages of registering a script with the Writers Guild
    • Key distinctions between registration with the US Copyright Office and Writers Guild
  • Idea Protection and Theft
    • How to protect a television show or reality show “idea”
    • Legal requirements for filing an “idea theft” claim in New York and California
    • Overview of seminal idea theft court case, Desny v. Wilder, 46 Cal. 2d 715 (1956)
  • Additional Precautionary Measures
    • Mobile Apps
    • Digital Watermarks
    • Confidentiality Agreements
    • Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Q&A with Jaia

 

About Your Instructor

Jaia Thomas is an entertainment attorney with over nine years of legal experience assisting clients with transactional and intellectual property matters. She regularly counsels filmmakers and producers on all aspects of film financing, production and distribution. She also regularly assists content creators with federal copyright registration and licensing.

Ms. Thomas is an adjunct instructor at UCLA, where she teaches a course titled, “Copyright Law in the Entertainment Industries.” The course provides students with an overview of copyright protection and how it affects the television, film, fashion and new media industries. Prior to her appointment at UCLA, Ms. Thomas was an adjunct instructor at American University, where she taught graduate producing students about production company formation. She provided students with the tools necessary to launch and sustain their own television and film production companies.

Ms. Thomas is a regular legal contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine, where she regularly writes about the intersection of entrepreneurship, entertainment and intellectual property law.

Jaia Thomas is a graduate of Colgate University (BA) and The George Washington University Law School (JD). She also holds a Certificate in Television, Film and New Media Production from University of California, Los Angeles

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Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Excellent webinar. It touched on several issues of concern. I enjoyed every minute of this webinar and found each topic to be extremely relevant.
  • For me a very dry but valuable subject. I put me on the right path and I feel more comfortable in the knowledge that I now know what needs to be done to protect myself.
  • Highly informative. Thank you Jaia Thomas!
  • Great webinar with invaluable tips and advice. Great presentation and presenter. Very pleased and satisfied.

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