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ChickenScratch
04-26-2013, 12:29 AM
I have a title for my film that was used on a little known documentary several years ago.

I had heard you can't copyright a title to a movie.

Can I keep my title as there is little chance it will be confused with the other movie?

Is this thinking correct or just change the darn name?

Thanks!

EdFury
04-26-2013, 12:50 AM
I have a title for my film that was used on a little known documentary several years ago.

I had heard you can't copyright a title to a movie.

Can I keep my title as there is little chance it will be confused with the other movie?

Is this thinking correct or just change the darn name?

Thanks!

Name it whatever you want. If you sell it and they think the name will be confused with that other film, they'll change it. They may change it for any number of reasons. Happens all the time. Just happened to me. Producer and director decided to change the title of my optioned script... didn't bother me at all... I kinda like the new title. And it comes with the territory. So... name away and don't worry about it.

ChickenScratch
04-26-2013, 08:54 AM
Ed,

Thanks for your input. Good answer.

Sounds like it was a nice problem for you to have :D and congrats on your success.

SoCalScribe
04-26-2013, 12:46 PM
I have a title for my film that was used on a little known documentary several years ago.

I had heard you can't copyright a title to a movie.

Can I keep my title as there is little chance it will be confused with the other movie?

Is this thinking correct or just change the darn name?

Thanks!

It's true you can't copyright a title, but if it's released through a studio it'll have to clear the MPAA Title Registration Bureau. That's something for the company to worry about, though, not you. Use whatever title you want and if it's a problem, as Ed has already mentioned, the company will tell you to change it or change it themselves. Until that happens, I think it's better to go with a title that fits and that you like rather than a title you've compromised on after exhaustively searching to make sure that no other project in the history of the industry has ever used the same title.

Just use common sense. If your title is the same as a "little-known documentary from several years ago," that shouldn't create any marketplace confusion. If the title of your script is AVATAR or THE IMITATION GAME or JURASSIC PARK, you might want to rethink it. ;)