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southiecut
09-16-2009, 11:59 AM
"two screenwriters claim the script for Jennifer Aniston's new movie "Love Happens" was stolen from their script."

Anyone here ever had a story stolen from them?

Ernie Santamaria
09-16-2009, 01:50 PM
Back in 1938 I wrote a script called "Gone in the Wind."

They stole my story, changed one word in the title, and made millions.

Still hurts me to even think about it.

Ernie

ihavebiglips
09-16-2009, 02:31 PM
Isn't it funny how it's always the most unoriginal scripts that are "stolen?"

Not that I've read this thing, or plan on seeing the film, but it looks old hat to me.

Jenny
09-16-2009, 02:42 PM
It does look like the kind of movie that 50% of aspiring screenwriters have half-finished in a drawer somewhere.

ruby-throated phil
09-16-2009, 03:06 PM
Seriously. Does anyone see this trailer and think "I HAVE to see this movie?"

This one's gonna go down quick.

beejay
09-16-2009, 03:10 PM
the link, fyi
http://www.tmz.com/2009/09/15/writers-sue-new-aniston-flick-must-be-stopped/

wcmartell
09-16-2009, 03:41 PM
Every film has at least one person sue saying that it was stolen from them - even massive flops (do they want a % of the debt?).

There was one a couple of years ago where someone sued over a film that was a *remake* of a film that was made before the person was born. That one made the papers, too.

- Bill

roscoegino
09-16-2009, 03:46 PM
Regardless of whether the film is old hat, if the writers were truly wronged, I hope the get what's due.

Write-Away
09-16-2009, 04:20 PM
Okay, this isn't about the lawsuit and I haven't seen the movie, but what is with all these terrible Rom Com titles? Are they deliberately trying to sound generic and forgettable?

One Fine Day
Something's Gotta Give
She's the One
'Til There Was You
It Could Happen to You
Someone Like You
Only You

Love Happens

roscoegino
09-16-2009, 06:25 PM
Love Story

Bono
09-16-2009, 08:25 PM
My gut tells me the script was called "A-OKAY" after the book in the movie, but then they said, that's not a good title and changed it to the generic/forgettable LOVE HAPPENS which of course makes me read it as **** HAPPENS.

I would be embarrassed to sue over this movie. I usually don't make comments like that as I found it bitter writers talking, but it looks so bland. And I'm a guy that likes to watch the romantic comedies. But most of them are very very painful. And this looks depressing and painful.

TheKeenGuy
09-16-2009, 09:22 PM
Okay, this isn't about the lawsuit and I haven't seen the movie, but what is with all these terrible Rom Com titles? Are they deliberately trying to sound generic and forgettable?

One Fine Day
Something's Gotta Give
She's the One
'Til There Was You
It Could Happen to You
Someone Like You
Only You

Love Happens
The real irritating one on that list is SOMEONE LIKE YOU, which was originally going to have a much more interesting title... ANIMAL HUSBANDRY.

I guess they decided that the title needed to be as bland as the movie itself.

Mac H.
09-16-2009, 11:46 PM
The guy's website is a little sad.

According to the site, they are making waves in Hollywood, and offer as proof:

Their latest event .... a short film.

Completed six years ago.

A short film six years ago ?

http://www.6reel.com/press.asp

----

This kind of thing just makes it harder for the rest of us. It seems like they are arguing that simply because Scott Bernstein accepted meetings with them years ago to try and help with their screenplay, that now he can never be involved with films with similar elements (eg: a rom-com about a self-help guru) without getting sued.

It also worries me whether it really is in the client's interest for the lawyer to be involved with so much publicity, and bizarre claims like the $100 million value. The lawyer must know that this will destroy any possibility that anyone would ever want to risk receiving a script from them again ... so how can taking part in this kind of publicity be in the client's interest?

Mac

SoCalScribe
09-17-2009, 07:43 AM
Every film has at least one person sue saying that it was stolen from them - even massive flops (do they want a % of the debt?).

There was one a couple of years ago where someone sued over a film that was a *remake* of a film that was made before the person was born. That one made the papers, too.

- Bill

One of the last films I worked on is still $20M in the hole after flopping at the box office and on video. That didn't stop someone from suing and claiming we stole their script. Ultimately, it was settled, and after their legal fees, those "writers" won a whopping five grand or so each. I thought if their argument was that they wanted 50% of the profits, they then owed us $10M. Hey, -$10M is half of the current profits! :)

ylekot43
09-17-2009, 02:01 PM
Don't know why the link is long, but a couple writers are suing that Anniston's new movie is their script.


http://www.cinematical.com/2009/09/16/breaking-love-might-not-happen-this-weekend/?icid=webmail|wbml-aol|dl4|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cinematical.com%2F2 009%2F09%2F16%2Fbreaking-love-might-not-happen-this-weekend%2F

ihavebiglips
09-17-2009, 02:03 PM
Don't know why the link is long, but a couple writers are suing that Anniston's new movie is their script.


http://www.cinematical.com/2009/09/16/breaking-love-might-not-happen-this-weekend/?icid=webmail|wbml-aol|dl4|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cinematical.com%2F2 009%2F09%2F16%2Fbreaking-love-might-not-happen-this-weekend%2F

Dude, wtf?! This article is like, a day OLD! ;)

ylekot43
09-17-2009, 02:26 PM
Dude, wtf?! This article is like, a day OLD! ;)
:D :D :D :D

zz9
09-19-2009, 10:30 AM
I can sort of see why some writers would think their script has been stolen. I've had great ideas that are still sitting in my drawer in first draft form that a few years later I've seen a movie come out with very similar plot or elements.

It's only the fact that I know I have never told anyone about them means they cannot have stolen them from me that stops me getting paranoid.

Had I sent them out and then seen a "Copy" come out I might feel ripped off.

Takezo
09-22-2009, 11:35 AM
Isn't it funny how it's always the most unoriginal scripts that are "stolen?"

Everyone opens their can of "Whaaaaaaam" on this subject.
Yes, dear... they do steal ideas in this town.

FYI, one of the biggest and most revered directors in this business is also one of the biggest thieves and rat-finks in this business.

Just go back to Art Buchwald...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchwald_v._Paramount

Here's a guy that would let himself be bamboozled and screwed.
He actually filed suit against they/them and won a big payday back in the day.

So cover yourself.
Best way is with an agent or manager, and with your material copyrighted with the Library Of Congress (not WGA registered).

I actually had a director steal a sci-fi screenplay from my desk (during a party at my house).
I later found out that this guy was going into prodution with it (he added a few pages and changed the name).
Really! Not kidding!
Sets were built on a rental lot--the whole nine yards.
So I find out where he is and walk in.
So happens he is right in a meeting with a pack of investors.
And this was a low-budget pic during the 80's.
So the scene was very, very ugly at the least.

The investors literally run out the door in fear as me and this cheese bag go at it.
(Note to everyone: you could do things like that back then, but not today).
I can tell the tale now because the guy since died and the statue of limitations have run out.
Not kidding.

So yes--your work can be stolen.
Even from top directors, producers, and studios.
They do it all the time.

Only you don't hear about it, because we are way too busy worshiping the ground they walk upon.
We're too afraid of filing a suit because it might damage our careers.
Well when someone takes bread off of your table and out of the mouths of your family--you shouldn't roll over.

I think there should be more suits against these scumbags.
The theives are the ones who should be drummed out of this town.

Ulysses
09-22-2009, 04:39 PM
Back in 1938 I wrote a script called "Gone in the Wind."

They stole my story, changed one word in the title, and made millions.

Still hurts me to even think about it.

Ernie

Not entirely believable.

In 1941, when we met at the draft for the war in the Pacific, you told me it was called "Gone with the storm."

So they didn't change "in" to "with", but "storm" to "wind". Which is a much bigger creative effort.

Ulysses
09-22-2009, 04:45 PM
Isn't it funny how it's always the most unoriginal scripts that are "stolen?"


Group think is a bit**. There are always be half a dozen people that are writing the exact same script after the latest success formula.

Naturally, if one of them happens to sell this, he's getting sued by the nine other authors.

C.C.Baxter
09-22-2009, 09:33 PM
For these writers I'm guessing this is a bad career move.

landercello
09-22-2009, 10:14 PM
I've heard rumors of scripts stolen by a writer/director I once revered (They even got sued over them and lost). I heard the same thing about a hit TV show still on the air today. I know in at least one of those cases the writer did not register her material because she believed she was working with people she could trust.

Just out of curiosity, does registering with the WGA and/or copyrighting your script do much to protect you from situations like this? Either way I am always going to register, but I was just wondering.

Oh, and I'm a firm believer in karma... just look at the box office for Love Happens... :fryingpan:

I once believed one of my scripts might have been sampled/stolen from. But it was completely different producers. Then I realized perhaps the writers just did the same research I did which was certainly a possibility.

Ulysses
09-23-2009, 12:23 AM
I've heard rumors of scripts stolen by a writer/director I once revered (They even got sued over them and lost). I heard the same thing about a hit TV show still on the air today. I know in at least one of those cases the writer did not register her material because she believed she was working with people she could trust.

Just out of curiosity, does registering with the WGA and/or copyrighting your script do much to protect you from situations like this? Either way I am always going to register, but I was just wondering.

Oh, and I'm a firm believer in karma... just look at the box office for Love Happens... :fryingpan:

I once believed one of my scripts might have been sampled/stolen from. But it was completely different producers. Then I realized perhaps the writers just did the same research I did which was certainly a possibility.

Many say that writers exaggerate the risk of someone stealing your work. I don't think it's exaggerated. Most people simply don't have any ideas. This is why you're seeing the same stuff over and over again. Again, people say instead of stealing they would hire the writer. It may be true in many cases, in may not be true in many cases. Anyway, you can't control it. And the risk for writers breaking in is higher. Not only because they are nobodies, but because in the early stages of a writing career the access is usually to the bottom feeders of the business. There the risk is indeed higher that people just take advantage.

It's really something you can't control, and I don't want to rely on Karma, either (even though it's a nice concept that everybody gets what he deserves). After all, Stalin never got executed, Castro also ruled for the rest of his life, and Khomeini died in his bed. Mao also lived a long and pretty powerful life. Franco ruled until he dropped. So I guess Karma hasn't much clout.

Therefore, the registration of copyright of anything you send out is a must.

The WGA registration isn't a copyright registration. It only creates a paper trail.

I register everything with the library of congress. You can do that online, by electronic registration. You can even register several scripts for a single payment of 35.00$.