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Old 03-17-2011, 11:25 PM   #31
Hamboogul
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Default Re: This is really depressing (but not unexpected)....

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Originally Posted by sc111 View Post
I finally drifted over to mypdfs.com and read that list of titles Warner Brothers demanded Sheridan take down from his site. One of them:

Gone With The Wind.

Besides being an ironic tagline for the entire practice of script trading online ...

Seriously? They're asserting their copyright on Gone With The Wind? They're threatening legal action on circulating PDFs of Gone With The wind?

Has their legal department really thought this through? Or is this one big knee-jerk reaction to in-dev scripts being traded.
GONE WITH THE WIND, script doctored by the most accomplished screenwriter in history. BENJAMIN HECHT!!!!!

...still waiting for his notes.
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:27 PM   #32
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Default Re: This is really depressing (but not unexpected)....

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GONE WITH THE WIND, script doctored by the most accomplished screenwriter in history. BENJAMIN HECHT!!!!!

...still waiting for his notes.
Well ... I'm pretty good with a Ouija board.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:44 AM   #33
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Default Re: This is really depressing (but not unexpected)....

I guess I’m the only one who thinks that a copyright holder should be able to protect their property. I don’t see why folks think they should have the right to have something they don’t own. It’s pretty black and white in my view: Company/Writer owns “Screenplay”, Jimmy takes “Screenplay”, Company/Writer asserts ownership of “Screenplay”.
  • Company/Writer doesn’t have to care if Jimmy thinks Company/Writer is not really being harmed.
  • Company/Writer doesn’t have to care if Jimmy wants to learn.

Most importantly, Company/Writer doesn’t have to explain or justify to Jimmy or to anyone else why he is asserting his legal protections.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:13 AM   #34
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Default Re: This is really depressing (but not unexpected)....

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Well - I've been schooled.
A screenwriting expert like you?...Nah!
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:15 AM   #35
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Default Re: This is really depressing (but not unexpected)....

I wonder what screenwriting site the "Gone With the Wind" writer got all his spec scripts to read from?
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:42 AM   #36
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Default Re: This is really depressing (but not unexpected)....

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Originally Posted by Joe Unidos View Post
I guess I’m the only one who thinks that a copyright holder should be able to protect their property. I don’t see why folks think they should have the right to have something they don’t own. It’s pretty black and white in my view: Company/Writer owns “Screenplay”, Jimmy takes “Screenplay”, Company/Writer asserts ownership of “Screenplay”.
  • Company/Writer doesn’t have to care if Jimmy thinks Company/Writer is not really being harmed.
  • Company/Writer doesn’t have to care if Jimmy wants to learn.
Most importantly, Company/Writer doesn’t have to explain or justify to Jimmy or to anyone else why he is asserting his legal protections.
So I can assume you've never downloaded a PDF of a produced script? A Blacklist Script? Never, ever?

I think a company/writer can totally assert its copyright. No argument there.

Circulating in-dev scripts -- totally a bad thing IMO (trade secrets).

I'm simply wondering why they ignored the practice of posting PRODUCED script PDFs online for 15+ years. How old is Drew's Scriptorama?

I don't think it's outrageous to ask, "Why now? Why so comprehensive, sending C&Ds for scripts dating back to Gone With The Wind?"

There's something to be said about a "law" being ignored for decades giving people the idea it's okay to ignore it.

Lawyers argue such a point all the time.

Lastly -- in the case of in-dev scripts -- I'd like to know if Studios are taking steps to STOP their own employees and associates from leaking these unproduced scripts? Are they?
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:00 AM   #37
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Default Re: This is really depressing (but not unexpected)....

Scripts, yup. Hell, I've stolen a shitload of songs off the internet, but that doesn't mean I didn't know I was most definitely stealing and I was hoping I didn't get caught.

My larger point has mostly to do with what I perceive to be a widespread sense of entitlement regarding the availablity of material on the internet. This idea that an aspiring screenwriter has a "right" to leverage whatever resources he sees fit because it's somehow everybody in the world's obligation to help him learn. I dunno. Rubs me the wrong way.

Is it interesting that this full court press on screenplay copyright is happening now? Sure, although I think it's simply a case of the studios being a little behind the curve on the explosion of scripts available online over the past few years. The interest in that material has reinforced to the studios that this material is a corporate asset and should be treated as such, even if they don't have a model for creating an ancillary market for it. They don't have to --they own it. They are in no way obligated to make it available (the ole "since they won't sell it to me, I should be allowed to take it" defense) Does it inconvenience beginners? No question. Does that matter from a legal standpoint? No.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:21 AM   #38
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Default Re: This is really depressing (but not unexpected)....

I like you, Joe, Nice to see you back, too. But, honestly, your response puzzles me. Because if you personally download scripts and songs you know are copyrighted, how can you - at the same time - say:

"I guess I’m the only one who thinks that a copyright holder should be able to protect their property."

It confuses me.

But on this topic of take-down notices on produced scripts -- I'm just wondering if they've thought it through.

What about IMDB's script database. Are all those scripts archived with studio permission? If, yes -- isn't it still illegal, according to copyright law, for an individual to read them? Download them?

Studio websites offer PDFs of their own produced scripts. Dare I download them? It doesn't seem I should unless I personally get permission.

Just questions.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:22 AM   #39
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Default Re: This is really depressing (but not unexpected)....

I think suing regular folk (like PJ) is going too far... but I generally agree that copyright holders have a right to exert control over their property... as in, ask sites to take down scripts.

It would be great if studios understood the benefits of having people read & talk about the scripts, but that isn't the case here.

There are still plenty of ways to read & study scripts. Not having instantaneous access to Black List scripts is not such a hardship.

But again, I think it's crappy what they're doing to PJ & others.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:32 AM   #40
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Default Re: This is really depressing (but not unexpected)....

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Is it interesting that this full court press on screenplay copyright is happening now? Sure, although I think it's simply a case of the studios being a little behind the curve on the explosion of scripts available online over the past few years.
My money is on the relatively recent trend of people putting unproduced scripts up. If the only scripts floating around were produced ones (like it was for years), the studios probably still wouldn't give a damn. Especially since writers are the ones who have the right to publish their screenplays from produced films.

From the WGA separated rights: "Publication rights. The writer obtains the right to publish the script, or book(s) based on the script, subject to a holdback period."

If only a bunch of professional writers had very loudly and very publicly begged people to stop leaking unproduced scripts because they were fucking things up for everyone...

Last edited by JeffLowell : 03-20-2011 at 08:20 PM.
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