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Elucid Concepts
10-29-2005, 03:28 PM
I've been writing a script to be made into a CG movie, and I was curious how the coypright issue worked. One of my friends told me the moment I create something, the work belongs to me, but say I post the movie on the web, how do I prove it was mine? I don't have the thousands of dollars to copyright the name, so I was wondering if you guys knew another way.

Thanks.

Matty2Phatty
10-29-2005, 05:23 PM
your friend is right, though the problem is not whether you own it, but proving you owned it first. The reason you pay for copyright is simply so they will have a record that you made it first.

It's not thousands of dollars to get a script registered, though it would cost money.

Your idea would have to be pretty original for it to hold up in court that somebody stole your concept, too. For example, if you make a movie about a bank robbery, and i do too... you probably can't prove i stole your concept, it's just too general.

Megalodon
10-29-2005, 10:21 PM
I don't know how it works in Canada, but here is the info for US copyrights:

http://www.copyright.gov/

It's only about $30 to copyright a script I believe.

Megalodon

Elucid Concepts
10-30-2005, 01:02 AM
Thanx for the site, Megalodon.

This script is based on a book I spent 6 years writing, and I believe it touches on grounds that has never been written about before. Its not your standard dragon and knight fantasy, so if someone punked it, I would be pretty pissed.

Megalodon
10-30-2005, 03:34 AM
In that case... I would DEFINITELY copyright it! There are way too many unscrupulous people and although it's very cynical, trust no one and copyright it ASAP. You never know... you could have the next Harry Potter! :)


Megalodon

bperry
11-02-2005, 03:08 PM
The old fashioned, and still valid, way to copyright material is to put everything into a sealed manilla folder, send it to yourself or a friend, but never open it. If infringement happens you have a dated, postmarked set of materials to prove you did it first. You can also register with the WGA (Writer's Guild of America). For very little money (I think around ten bucks) you can send a copy to them for dated storage. They hold it forever under a WGA number you can reference on future copies.

Velk
11-02-2005, 03:54 PM
The old fashioned, and still valid, way to copyright material is to put everything into a sealed manilla folder, send it to yourself or a friend, but never open it. If infringement happens you have a dated, postmarked set of materials to prove you did it first. You can also register with the WGA (Writer's Guild of America). For very little money (I think around ten bucks) you can send a copy to them for dated storage. They hold it forever under a WGA number you can reference on future copies.
False, false, false. This does not provide you with any legal protection! In the US the only way to have full copyright protection is to register it with the Library of Congress. Mailing it to yourself only will allow a judge to see at what point you mailed it, not that you created it. I recently attended a class on copyright and this was debunked as one of the leading myths out there on Copyright.

Elucid Concepts
11-03-2005, 03:22 AM
Many thanks for answering, everyone.

I live in Canada, so I guess I'll have to ask around abit, but say I lived in US, how much does it cost to license with the Library of Congress?

riot1
11-03-2005, 01:42 PM
Copyright here in the UK is automatic. There is no need to register. In Canada is different. I found this link for you:

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/notices/016-200-e.html

Velk
11-03-2005, 02:44 PM
Many thanks for answering, everyone.

I live in Canada, so I guess I'll have to ask around abit, but say I lived in US, how much does it cost to license with the Library of Congress?
Last time I checked it was $35.

Elsie
11-04-2005, 08:28 AM
Copyright here in the UK is automatic. There is no need to register.


That's always confused me. If theres no need to register it, wheres the hard evidence that it was you who created it? :shrug:

3dtutorial
11-04-2005, 01:16 PM
That's always confused me. If theres no need to register it, wheres the hard evidence that it was you who created it? :shrug:


Ahhhh -- that's for the judge to decide.

You would have to take the matter to court and present your best evidence.

Kind Regards,

/joe

fwtep
11-04-2005, 04:01 PM
Ahhhh -- that's for the judge to decide.

You would have to take the matter to court and present your best evidence.
That sounds like it's not very effective for the little guy. I'd rather pay my $30 (which is probably 17) and have the peace of mind that there is hard evidence that I am the author and a verified copyright date.

In the US you are the copyright holder as soon as you create something (just like in England), but it's often rather hard to prove, so you have the inexpensive option of making it official.

Fred

3dtutorial
11-04-2005, 05:18 PM
That sounds like it's not very effective for the little guy. I'd rather pay my $30 (which is probably 17) and have the peace of mind that there is hard evidence that I am the author and a verified copyright date.

In the US you are the copyright holder as soon as you create something (just like in England), but it's often rather hard to prove, so you have the inexpensive option of making it official.

Fred

Yup.

/joe

Daniel-McMillan
11-04-2005, 07:06 PM
I've been writing a script to be made into a CG movie, and I was curious how the coypright issue worked. One of my friends told me the moment I create something, the work belongs to me, but say I post the movie on the web, how do I prove it was mine? I don't have the thousands of dollars to copyright the name, so I was wondering if you guys knew another way.

Thanks.

Do as the professionals do:

1. Register your screenplay with The Writers Guild (it is not expensive)
http://www.wga.org/subpage_register.aspx?id=1183

2. Download or obtain Form PA, and file it with a copy of your script. (it is not expensive either)
http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formpai.pdf#search='Form%20PA'


This is the best you can do.

-

Elsie
11-05-2005, 01:33 PM
In the US you are the copyright holder as soon as you create something (just like in England), but it's often rather hard to prove, so you have the inexpensive option of making it official.


Hm, so do we have that option in the UK too do you know? Who would deal with that?

3dtutorial
11-05-2005, 01:44 PM
Hm, so do we have that option in the UK too do you know? Who would deal with that?


Yes, I do.

You can register your published works with the British Library.

http://www.bl.uk/about/policies/legaldeposit.html

You might also find this helpful for unpublished works...

http://copyrightservice.co.uk/


Cheers,

/joe

Disclaimer
I am not providing legal advice or practicing law, the comments that I have made above are only opinion based on my years of experience at BBC Television. I suggest that in all legal matters that you consult with your solicitor / lawyer.

3dtutorial
11-05-2005, 02:02 PM
One word of warning....

Most people who are worried about copyright issues are so because they fear that their ideas will be stolen.

The BEST thing that you can do to protect against this (other than register your literary works) is to NOT TALK ABOUT THEM or WRITE about them. In other words, keep your gob shut. I can't tell you how many times I see people revealing every aspect of their works in public forums, this is a non-starter if you want to have a legal leg to stand on.

If you need to discuss your work with anyone and you are paranoid about your ideas being lifted, then I would suggest that you make sure that any 3rd party sign a non disclosure agreement, PRIOR to any discussion about your work taking place, this is very important.

The other advice that I can give you is this...

At the end of the day if someone does steal your idea it's going to cost you a shed load of money in order to defend your case in the courts -- that's just how it is. This is why it's much better to keep very quiet about what you are working on and make sure that when you do release/publish your work that it has been registered beforehand.

But again, even if you are in the right and someone does steal your work defending your IP rights in the courts is a very, very, costly thing.

Cheers,

/joe

Disclaimer
I am not providing legal advice or practicing law, the comments that I have made above are only opinion based on my years of experience at BBC Television. I suggest that in all legal matters that you consult with your solicitor / lawyer.

riot1
11-05-2005, 02:02 PM
This link was on the British Library website:

http://www.intellectual-property.gov.uk/std/faq/copyright/auto_protection.htm

Remember there are fees payable for registering copyright material with most organisations.

The best way to protect your stuff for free is to publish it somewhere like a website just ilke CGTALK with your name, date and the international copyright symbol '(c)' clearly shown on the work. As HTML is automatically copyrighted, just like any other work, anyone will clearly see your work was published on a specific date by you.

3dtutorial
11-05-2005, 02:03 PM
This link was on the British Library website:

http://www.intellectual-property.gov.uk/std/faq/copyright/auto_protection.htm

Remember there are fees payable for registering copyright material with most organisations.

The best way to protect your stuff for free is to publish it somewhere like a website just ilke CGTALK with your name, date and the international copyright symbol '(c)' clearly shown on the work. As HTML is automatically copyrighted, just like any other work, anyone will clearly see your work was published on a specific date by you.

Dead wrong.

This in actual fact will provide you with next to no protection whatsoever.

Trust me.

BTW -- this is a subject where being penny wise is certainly pound foolish in the long run.
Trust me, the small amount of money that it will cost to properly register your work is nothing in comparison to what it will cost you to defend your case in the courts.

I have first hand knowledge of this.

Cheers

/joe

Disclaimer
I am not providing legal advice or practicing law, the comments that I have made above are only opinion based on my years of experience at BBC Television. I suggest that in all legal matters that you consult with your solicitor / lawyer.

riot1
11-05-2005, 03:26 PM
Cheers, indeed!

Elucid Concepts
11-05-2005, 07:04 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys.

About not sharing your work on the internet, it is practical sounding, I know, but as any author would probably know too, creating a concept that you haven't seen anywhere else is very exicting. You WANT to share it with the world, to shout it to everyone as loud as you can.

I'll copyright my work as soon as it reaches the stage where it starts to leak into the media. Once again, many thanks for the advice everyone.

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