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Old 05-10-2017, 11:56 AM   #1
RickG
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Default Expired Book Rights

In a bit of a quandary. A few years back I decided to write a script about an historical figure (athlete) and purchased the rights to the only book on him. I had the rights for 3 years but being a newbie to screenwriting had little success marketing (I'm a published novelist but live well north of Toronto) and those rights expired last summer.

Since then I've optioned a couple of other scripts and another producer is seriously interested in my orig project with the elapsed rights. Although they like the storyline they're not crazy about the structure and themes in that early attempt and are considering going at the story in a completely different direction.

My concern is what is my position as a writer who once held the rights if we go ahead? Are my hands tied from ever writing anything about this character for the rest of my life without those rights? There's a significant amount of info on him in the public domain, but some facets of his life which could have only been known through the book.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:53 PM   #2
Northbank
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Default Re: Expired Book Rights

If you ever had the rights and try to proceed without them, even if you tried to remove elements specific to that book, you are just asking for a huge lawsuit. It's also the kind of thing you'd need to disclose to a financier who then won't touch it. Re-option the book; based on a true story and a book is good for the project.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:48 PM   #3
DavidK
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Default Re: Expired Book Rights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northbank View Post
If you ever had the rights and try to proceed without them, even if you tried to remove elements specific to that book, you are just asking for a huge lawsuit. It's also the kind of thing you'd need to disclose to a financier who then won't touch it. Re-option the book; based on a true story and a book is good for the project.
This. No legit producer would go near it knowing the history, which you would be obliged to disclose. Definitely re-option.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:22 PM   #4
AnconRanger
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Default Re: Expired Book Rights

you have some good words here.

quandary.

historical

(athlete)

rights

newbie

screenwriting

marketing

published

novelist

expired

summer

optioned

scripts

producer

interested

project

elapsed

rights

crazy

structure

themes

early

attempt

considering

story

different

direction

what is my position

as a writer

for me, sometimes it helps to look at the words. good luck!




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Old 05-11-2017, 12:01 AM   #5
JoeBanks
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Default Re: Expired Book Rights

why not just re-option the rights, especially if you now have legit producer heat behind them?
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