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Old 03-02-2011, 10:27 AM   #4
SoCalScribe's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Default Re: Screenplay Release Forms

Originally Posted by iDV8 View Post
I've been dealing a lot lately in the UK and it seems to be a bit more casual than in the US, but I came across a post that mentioned a "Release Form."

Now, I've been contacting producers in the UK and some have requested scripts but I've never dealt with any release forms. Naturally I register all my scripts before I send them to anyone. It sounds like the big-boys always use these, can someone explain the function behind it because it sounds like it is a protection for both parties.
Release forms are for the company's protection... to prevent people submitting work from suing over every little perceived similarity between their work and something the company produces. It's not a remedy against actual theft of intellectual property, but it's their protection against someone saying, "Hey, you're producing a basketball movie... I sent you a basketball movie two years ago! Thieves!"

It is definitely not protection for both parties... they have no reason to indemnify you in an agreement that protects their interests.

If a company insists you sign one before submitting, you need to make sure you're comfortable signing it (even if it means having someone look over it and explain it to you). If you aren't comfortable with what the release says, don't sign it. The consequence is that you can't submit to the company, but better to do that than to agree to a release that you're uncomfortable with. And if they don't ask for one, don't offer one.

Most companies use a fairly standard template, though.
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