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Ozvalue
12-09-2009, 04:39 AM
With Software there are a range of Copyright licences where the author allows anyone to use their work free of charge but they remain copyright owners and place minor conditions such as correct attribution. For software they go under the general name of 'Open Source' licenses. Other names for them are Creative Commons and General Public licences with the best known ones being the two Gnu General Public Licences.

I'm looking at writing a film script which I don't expect any payment for. I'm hoping that film schools and the like will find it a great film script to use. It has only two actors and all action occurs within a single living room.

Is there any standard licenses out there being used in the film community which gives the public most of the features of public domain copyright but retains attribution provisions.

Note: I'm not looking for the viral effect that one of the Gnu licenses has. If someone wants to modify my script or use it for commercial purposes, that's fine.

Thanks
Ken

DavidK
12-09-2009, 01:42 PM
Is there any standard licenses out there being used in the film community which gives the public most of the features of public domain copyright but retains attribution provisions.


I'm not aware of any such license and this response is speculation, but I would think you could simply publish the work with an attached proviso which explains the conditions of use. Maybe make a parallel with the end user license agreements (EULAs) that typically accompany software downloads.

Mac H.
12-11-2009, 12:06 AM
I'm looking at writing a film script which I don't expect any payment for. I'm hoping that film schools and the like will find it a great film script to use. ...
Is there any standard licenses out there being used in the film community which gives the public most of the features of public domain copyright but retains attribution provisions.Absolutely - the Creative Commons licenses are exactly for this.

In particular, the 'Attribution' license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

To quote:

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.

It is actually aimed cultural artworks - contrary to popular belief, the Creative Commons foundation doesn't actually recommend using Creative Commons for source code licenses - they recommend using GNU instead !

The link has details of the full license - but you can simply say:

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.


Since you are in Australia, you might want to use the previous revision of the license - V2.5. That's because it has a version tweaked for the curiosities of Aussie law. They've released an easy-to-read draft of V3.0 but it hasn't been finalized yet.

See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/ for details.

Mac

Ozvalue
12-14-2009, 09:59 AM
Absolutely - the Creative Commons licenses are exactly for this.

In particular, the 'Attribution' license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Mac

Thank you Mac H. It was exactly what I was looking for. I had seen this some time ago but when I wanted it, I couldn't find it. I was searching in all the wrong places as I was still thinking about software licenses.

By the way, do you see anything wrong with using this as a 'donationware' license? That is give it a Creative Commons Attribution license but ask that they give an appropriate donation to the author should it be commercially successful.

I would like to get comments on this.

Mac H.
12-14-2009, 11:36 PM
Thank you Mac H. It was exactly what I was looking for. I had seen this some time ago but when I wanted it, I couldn't find it. I was searching in all the wrong places as I was still thinking about software licenses.

By the way, do you see anything wrong with using this as a 'donationware' license? That is give it a Creative Commons Attribution license but ask that they give an appropriate donation to the author should it be commercially successful.

I would like to get comments on this.If you 'ask' that they give a 'donation' then it fundamentally isn't part of the license.

A license is what MUST be done. Sure - ask, but it isn't part of the license agreement. It is simply a note that "A donation of $2 would be appreciated if you feel like it. It isn't essential though".

It might be a good thing for you to work out in your mind what is a likely outcome for the project. It seems that it would be the kind of thing that could be useful for someone teaching a film course. eg: Take one scene from this and do it in noir style, sitcom style, rom-com style etc as an experiment.

It's the kind of thing that could build good-will and name recognition between the next generation of up & comers from AFTRA and you as a writer. By trying to add stuff about what you would expect if it is 'commercially successful' or expectations about donations might weaken the appeal.

Just a thought, however.

Good luck !

Mac