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ProSeries Alumni — A Thriving Community of Professional Screenwriters

Cirile on why you really need to copyright

December 26th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

“… Writers often ask me how to protect themselves against plagiarism. And for years, I’ve always said the same thing: plagiarism in Hollywood for the most part doesn’t exist, at least not in the way people think. By that I mean, it’s highly unlikely that some producer is going to simply rip off your script and make it into a movie without paying you. Frankly, to do so would be moronic, because they’re opening themselves up to lawsuits and hassles, when instead they could likely option your script for a few bucks up front and then purchase it outright if and when the production money comes in. So why steal? Further, lots of times when we think someone ‘stole our idea,’ it may just be because with 100,000 screenwriters in LA, there’s bound to be some similar concepts floating around out there at any given time. I learned this the hard way a decade ago when sending out REBIRTH, my spec thriller about cloning Jesus from blood stains on the Shroud of Turin–only to discover there were no less than six others already out there with the exact same @^$*@!!&#^! idea.

“But I’m quick to follow this up with explaining the REAL way plagiarism often happens. …”

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Tags: Business & Craft

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