Re: This is really depressing (but not unexpected)....
Copyright stuff: The only one I have direct knowledge of is Germany - because a German screewriter retains copyright, they *can* sell the rights to make the script again and again (depending on contract). The film rights are "leased" for a specific period of time, and (at least in Germany) the "lease" is usually only for films in a specific language (German) so the screenwriter can sell the same screenplay to a dozen producers at the same time... provided each is a different language. Not uncommon for a hit German film to have "brothers" in other countries... and maybe even sell to the USA.
I have a friend who sells scripts to German producers because they don't transfer copyright and he is free to continue selling the same screenplay.
This may be true for all of Europe, I don't know. Those French probably have the same thing. The USA is the only country (that I know of) where copyright can be sold - everywhere else it is something owned by a person (the creator). That creator has all kinds of rights we don't have. The USA has weird copyright laws that don't match the rest of the world.
- Bill (about a decade ago the guy who wrote the DIE HARD novel called me drunk and swore at me for a half hour)