View Full Version : If You Sign A Release Form With Benderspink, And They Copy Your Film.
Just wondering, if you sign a release form with Benderspink, and one day they copy your film, what can you do...? Are are you totally in trouble and can do nothing, as part 5 of the release form says, 'I hearby waive and agree to never make any claim against you...forever discharge you of any and all claims... etc etc.' This has not happened to me yet...and I hope it doesn't...but what if it happens to someone... Are they totally hamstrung by Benderspink...?
09-15-2007, 12:01 PM
People don't actually steal scripts.
09-16-2007, 10:07 AM
I love it when people get all neurotic about people stealing their material. Most of the material out there is not worth stealing.
09-16-2007, 05:22 PM
Don't ever sign a release
show me a writer who doesn't sign a release form and I'll show you a telephone that never rings, a mailbox that never clangs, an e-mail inbox that doesn't flash "incoming"...
09-16-2007, 06:35 PM
Done Deal's new motto -- "pile on the newbie". It's like 2nd grade recess only you don't get to play with construction paper later.
The legal protection a release form would provide a company that literally does simply shoot your script, or something that can be shown to be derivative of your script is doubtful. The companies use them because they want some additional layer of protection against whackos who claim that their script was plagiarized by both The Terminator and The Matrix.
10-16-2007, 02:43 PM
If a company requests everything, gets a release for everything, they wouldn't need to steal scripts. They could simply "borrow" the ideas and be covered.
It's brilliant, but it never happens.
10-16-2007, 02:46 PM
There isn't one single thing on this planet that some people wouldn't try to do.
People do anything and everything.
10-18-2007, 03:48 PM
Don't be scared - sign the release - we all go through the same nerve racking fear. There is no reputable production company that would read the script and not protect themselves in case the writer sued them.
In reality it would be very difficult for them to steal the script as they would be afraid of you coming after them like a juggernaut. Take the jump.
10-18-2007, 03:59 PM
American contracts are funny like that.
I forever promise to never make any and all claim.... what was that?..... throughout the universe?... oh okay.... I promise forever and throughout the universe to never make any and all claim against you.
04-01-2009, 06:43 AM
I know this is a reply to very old post but..............the original poster's got a point.
When I looked at Bender's release form and compared it to the four examples given on DD's "Example Page", there would be no way in hell I would sign theirs on account of clause 5.
I acknowledge that materials developed by you may contain similarities to the Screenplay. I hereby waive and agree that I will never make any claim or demand or bring any action against you in connection with the use
of the Screenplay. In this connection, I hereby release and absolutely and forever discharge you of and from any and all claims, damages, legal fees, costs, expenses, debts, actions and causes of action of every kind and nature whatsoever, whether now known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, asserted or unasserted, which I now have, or at any time
heretofore ever had or which I may have in the future, against you which in any way arise out of or in connection with the Screenplay.
I'm not a lawyer but I've seen enough release forms and NDAs to know that this clause stinks to high heaven. In short, it says that whatever they do in terms of copying or plagiarize, you basically waive any rights against them. The only time I've seen release forms like Bender's was for Guantanamo Bay inmates relating to their conditions of stay!
Sure its easy to "poo-poo" the original poster's comments, but my view is that if it was of no importance, why do Bender insert it whilst no-one else sees the need to? If enough people put a red line through clause 5 before submitting their scripts Bender will get the message.
04-01-2009, 08:31 AM
You make a good point. I'm not a lawyer but the phrase that's most important imo is "I acknowledge that materials developed by you may contain similarities to the Screenplay."
It's really vague. So it doesn't really cover them if, by some odd chance, someone does, let's say, rip the cover off your script and submit your work as their own.
Also -- I don't think it's legal for a contract to have the signee give up his/her rights.
It seems they included the phrase for thin weak lawsuits like -- "My comedy also has a lead named Jack!"
Benderspink has stolen ALL of my ideas. My intellectual properties have been pillaged, ripped from my heart and soul...
At least that's what my attorney says.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
:rolling: :rolling: :rolling:
04-01-2009, 04:19 PM
It's cheaper for a company to buy your script for its concept and fire you than it is to steal the idea or script and deal with legal fees and court costs. Real people don't steal in this business. The only people who would steal a concept or a script would be amateur writers (who most likely don't have the chops to execute the concept anyway).
04-01-2009, 05:00 PM
Have an attorney look at it.
Now, could we PLEASE just put this thread in the bath tub and hold it down until its dead? :rolleyes:
04-01-2009, 06:39 PM
People don't actually steal scripts.
True--they only steal ideas.
04-01-2009, 08:16 PM
True--they only steal ideas.
Too true... and sadly there's not a damn thing you can do about it, except buy a ticket and cry into your popcorn.
04-02-2009, 07:22 PM
As for clauses that look 'too bad to be true', they can be voided in court if a case ever gets that far, as 'unconscionable'. That's why most contracts have a clause in them that allow the contract to survive even if a clause is deemed to be unconscionable.
Remember too, that vague/ambiguous terms are interpreted against the party that drafted the agreement.
I guess we need to remember though, that the reason we have contracts to begin with, in addition to a whole lot of Contract Law (where's Kingsfield when we need him???) is that there dirtbags out there that breach agreements all the time... This is not to imply that Benderspink is one of them; they seem top shelf from what little I know.
There are bottom feeders in any field and that's who we need to worry about. Done Deal is great for identifying them, as there are some people/companies in all walks of life - probably even ours - who will violate any agreement they enter into. Not many, but they're out there... otherwise there would be no such thing as Contract Law, and I'd have a lot less business.
I wouldn't recommend paranoia, as we need to freely send our work out. Let's just keep identifying the few bad guys out there. With all the Done Deal posters, I think 'we can take 'em all'.
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