Originally Posted by iDV8
If it's a standard screenwriter's deal without any compensation, the screenwriter would simply eat the cost of obtaining the rights and come out the other end with little or nothing.
Here's where I'm confused. They should not be "obtaining the rights" to your work for free unless we are talking about a free option on a limited term (in which case all rights revert to you if they do not purchase the script). Assuming this is the case, no, I wouldn't expect them to buy the life rights from you in order to secure a free option.
If I'm wrong about this being an option and they are wanting the ownership of the rights and material for free, then you are entirely right. That's a crap deal. Scripts cost money.