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Old 03-13-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
Conroy Films
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my script copyright.

No bizness like show bizness. Thanks.

Last edited by Conroy Films; 04-23-2012 at 05:49 PM. Reason: change
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:58 PM   #2
GuerrillaAngel
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Do you have a written agreement between the two of you? Did you pay him for any work on it? Do you have a receipt?

In the absence of one, your copyrighting it in your name may not be of much legal help since he could argue you did it without his knowledge.

You could offer him 5% of future profits and see if he bites. 10% max. I say. You're likely to not make ANY profit so I wouldn't quibble here. Just get a written agreement.

If he wants a LOT more, walk away unless you you're willing to demand an up-front cash-only sale of your film and cook the books a la Hollywood style.

This is just my opinion.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:28 AM   #3
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Tell him he can have the proportion of NET profits commensurate to his contribution to the screenplay - in - equal PROPORTION to the industry standard screenplay writers typically receive about 1-2% of the budget, maybe.



http://www.screenwritershowcase.com/tips/production.php
"Producers generally pay screenwriters 1% to 3% of negative costs for their scripts. That is to say, if a film costs $2 million to shoot, edit and get into the can, the screenwriter may receive $20,000 to $60,000 for the script. For writers of low budget films, payment is often deferred, in which case you would want to be paid when the money is raised or, in the worst case, on the first day of principal photography. If you cannot get that, get paid from the first dollar of revenue, if there is any. Payment from producer’s net profits – or from any net – may amount to no payment at all."

Remember our conversation in the other thread about what happens AFTER the distributor takes their cut.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conroy Films View Post
The gentleman who wrote the script for me is asking for a percentage of the future profits. I already copyrighted it under my name only. I agreed to a small percentage, he did a lot more work on it than I did. But, can he really ask for a percentage of my copyrighted script? He gets a little sqirrelly about the issue sometimes. No bizness like show bizness. Thanks.
Did the writer actually transfer the ownership & copyright to you, in a deal of some kind?

You can't just slap your name on something and send it off to the Copyright Office as if you own it... unless you actually do.

If the script actually is yours all yours, you don't need to go revisit the existing deal unless you really want to.

If there's no existing deal that has transferred all the rights to you, you've got a few things to take care of.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Conroy Films View Post
The gentleman who wrote the script for me is asking for...
Begin an investigation of "Work for Hire."

The following is hardly legally satisfactory, but a general start:
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ09.pdf

Pay closest attention to "independent contractor" aspects


More fun:
http://copylaw.com/new_articles/wfh.html


You guys don't have anything in writing that could pass as an enforceable contract, do you?
http://www.atyourlibrary.org/financi...eable-contract

Last edited by rayw; 03-14-2012 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:23 AM   #6
fernando97echeverria
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I suppose you kill him and keep all the profits.

JOKE. That was a joke. Hope that doesn't get used against me in my next trial
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:13 AM   #7
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I suppose you kill him and keep all the profits.

JOKE. That was a joke. Hope that doesn't get used against me in my next trial
How about in your next screenplay?!

However, I despise narcissistic "Hollywood/film" related stories, so please change it to a writer or some other pay-for-performance/percentage industry.

Last edited by rayw; 03-14-2012 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:12 AM   #8
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I'm trying to figure out how HIS script got copyrighted under YOUR name. Did you pay him cash up front for it?
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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So many loops in this business. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:09 AM   #10
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The gentleman who wrote the script for me is asking for a percentage of the future profits. I already copyrighted it under my name only. I agreed to a small percentage, he did a lot more work on it than I did. But, can he really ask for a percentage of my copyrighted script? He gets a little sqirrelly about the issue sometimes. No bizness like show bizness. Thanks.
So he wrote the script? Then it's his intellectual property unless you can prove a work for hire agreement was in place, prove that there was consideration, etc. Do you have a written agreement? If it was under a verbal agreement, what did he write this script for you in exchange for? Money? A percentage of profits? Do you have any emails or documentation to prove that there was ANY kind of agreement? If not then your registering of the script might have been fraudulent.

Anything that's verbal doesn't exist in court without something to back it up. People just lie when push comes to shove in court.

I wouldn't even dream of shooting a movie without a written release for the script. That's just a nasty legal can of worms waiting to get opened.

There's a LOT of expenses and labor that goes into making a movie. The script writing is just one piece. I'd just offer him something fair. He may very well demand something ridiculous. You need to respond by providing him with real world examples of how much a script is worth as a percentage of an entire movie.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:05 PM   #11
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My lord, you seem to have made quite a mess. You should have discussed this with the writer before copyrighting it under solely your name.

At this point, you may just want to agree to split the profit right down the middle with the guy who wrote the script and let this be a lesson learned.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:48 PM   #12
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At this point, you may just want to agree to split the profit right down the middle with the guy who wrote the script and let this be a lesson learned.
A script is not worth 50% of profits? Not even close.

I have a text book (independent Feature Film Production by Gregory Goodell) that has a hypothetical film budget. It lists the screenplay as costing $16,000 on a $500,000 movie (including above and below the line costs). That's a little more than 3%.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:03 PM   #13
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If you really want that story, do a page-one rewrite?
Throw out his half and re do it with yours.
Now he can't sell it as is without your agreeing (original script) but you can shoot yours now.

I don't understand why people fight about scripts. It's really not that difficult to find one or write one. I wrote a feature in two days... first draft that needed very little change. Maybe I can do this effortlessly, I don't know how other people write scripts. To me it's not a big deal.
Yeah, I know... it may not be a masterpiece but it's a good story in capable hands to shoot it.

Alternative proposal:
There are MANY writers out there let you have the scipt for $1 and give them credit. How many writer have a chance to get credit? If you don't think it's true, go to forums and make offer and see it yourself.

Last edited by p38; 03-20-2012 at 09:06 PM.
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