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Old 03-22-2016, 09:19 AM   #11
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Default Re: Circle of Confusion

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Originally Posted by flightspace View Post
Huh... Well i guess all of his info on his imdbpro is wrong. If that is the case they also lied and said they represented him. If this is typical, then... Well i'm terrified for the industry.
No. They are not wrong. Drew Goddard is not listed as being repped by them nor is he listed as a client. He has no manager and again, per all our listings for him over the last few years we've never listed a manager for him. Maybe look again and confirm with us via a screenshot.


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Originally Posted by flightspace View Post
Because my lawyer agrees with everything i've said, he says that the verbose nature of the contract alone is evidence of skullduggery and has told me signing this would be a terrible mistake. He offered to rewrite it to make a version in which my rights are actually protected. Also, this is definitely, NOT an NDA, which is the form i was told over the phone was going to be sent over.
Lawyers never want you signing anything. That's typical of them. Fine for their clients but that doesn't mean it's always the end of the world to sign a release form which people do every day.

And maybe some assistant who was busy with a number of other things accidentally said it was an NDA when they meant release. That's very possible. But they would never send you an NDA for you to send them material. Doesn't happen. As I'm sure you know, people have you sign NDA's when they don't want you discussing stuff they tell or show you. I've signed them before. I've also had writers sign release forms for submitting scripts to me or the companies I work for.

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Originally Posted by flightspace View Post
Regarding the suit, those kind of lawsuits are damn near impossible to win. You'd be hard pressed to find a single one in which the accuser has actually won. Because they're suing major productions with teams of lawyers and they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was ripped off, and there is always a reasonable doubt. Part of my cautiousness, if they do steal it, i have no legal protection. The copyright i filed isn't going to help me. And if this kind of stuff is standard then i'll stick to what is not standard cause as much as you say its stupid to suspect that they will steal it, you can't guarantee that they won't, and i know what is in peoples hearts in this city. I've already had people try to steal my screenplay pretending to be someone else. I've already had people i didn't even know shamelessly steal my ideas and pass it off as their own, just from eavesdropping on my conversation. I'm not going to ignore my actual experiences just because someone on a forum says that its boilerplate.
Sure. They are tough to win. Yeah. But many times it's for a good reason too. Be cautious. That's fine. I never said being concerned was stupid. Copyrighting can and does help when in court, but again, yes, do be careful -- all screenwriters should. I'm just noting, as others have too, that it's pretty safe to say you don't have to worry about Circle of Confusion. That's who you brought up so the rest of responded accordingly.

Maybe you've had different experiences with the hearts of the people in this city, but in my 25 plus years in the business working for directors and producers on studio feature films and network TV shows, I haven't seen any of that going on firsthand or even second hand. Not to mention the fact, I've been running Done Deal for over 18 years now and dealing with the world of script writers and all those goes on with writing, as well. Stealing happens, yes, but not to the level that one should worry to the extinct you seem to be. But hey, up to you. You brought it up, I/we responded accordingly based on our knowledge and experiences.

Thus, if your ideas are so great and they are constantly being stolen, then I wouldn't send anything to anyone ever. I'd sit tight on them. You're right.
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: Circle of Confusion

B movie coming out this year with a premise *very* similar to mine. Thing is... the guy who wrote it requested a read from me based on my log line a year and a half ago (thank god I never sent the script). So this kinda stuff *does* happen, and...
Considering so many *managers,* et al, are ALSO writers (this guy was a manager at a Prodco), I'd say it's the Wild West out there.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Circle of Confusion

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B movie coming out this year with a premise *very* similar to mine. Thing is... the guy who wrote it requested a read from me based on my log line a year and a half ago (thank god I never sent the script). So this kinda stuff *does* happen, and...
Considering so many *managers,* et al, are ALSO writers (this guy was a manager at a Prodco), I'd say it's the Wild West out there.
I was lucky enough that when it happened to me it was a student portfolio project and they weren't seriously trying to pitch it to a network but there were other students in the class that were. But with the very same screenplay i was trying to send to them, i literally had a guy tell me he signed a deal with disney and nbcuniversal and stuff and claim i was going to get a million dollars to produce the pilot, lying and saying he wasn't affiliated with the fake production company he himself set up under his own name. Didn't even bother to change the whois on the website, thats how i found out he was full of ****. It was suspicious enough that he didn't have any imdb credits, but his whole website was created with this whole phony "we connect writers with million dollar producers!" marketing spin to sort of farm out and appropriate talent. The point being there are predators out their making to look a buck and not all of them are no-names like this guy. I knew this guy who worked as a staff photographer for playboy and he says the people who make the most money these days are the ones that sell you the dream, not the ones trying to live the dream. That is very much the state of many things in the entertainment industry.

I'm not saying circle of confusion are straight up con artists but i do think that expecting that they won't abuse the terms of their release agreement, is expecting the minds of men to behave differently than they have since the dawn of creation. People are opportunists, if they can shamelessly rip you off with legal impunity, they're going to do it.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: Circle of Confusion

People in this town are shady, insincere, out for themselves, greedy, narcissistic, entitled, presumptuous, know-it-alls, arrogant, flighty, followers, flakey… and a few other F' words. But generally there are incredibly few THIEVES.

It's easier to simply option the material for no money down and lock it up for 24 months [see: thread in question]… happens everyday. Especially on the fringes.

Beyond that, it's easier to rep [hip pocket] the writer in question. Everyone loves a cash-cow/golden goose.

Having said that: If I'm grabbing coffee at Starbucks and I hear some fledgling writer openly boasting about their great concept, and if it is in fact great, snag, I'm taking it and making it mine. Can't copyright a jumping off point. Point being: I'd be more concerned with other writers than suits.

But, yes, it's generally simple as mud to acquire material via legit means. No real upside to stealing it.

ps… this speaks to the reason I aim to vet everything I write. If I secure the leading consultant in the 'world' the script takes place, I have a leg up over the other guy who is coincidentally writing the same script through entirely honest means.
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: Circle of Confusion

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People in this town are shady, insincere, out for themselves, greedy, narcissistic, entitled, presumptuous, know-it-alls, arrogant, flighty, followers, flakey… and a few other F' words. But generally there are incredibly few THIEVES.

It's easier to simply option the material for no money down and lock it up for 24 months [see: thread in question]… happens everyday. Especially on the fringes.

Beyond that, it's easier to rep [hip pocket] the writer in question. Everyone loves a cash-cow/golden goose.

Having said that: If I'm grabbing coffee at Starbucks and I hear some fledgling writer openly boasting about their great concept, and if it is in fact great, snag, I'm taking it and making it mine. Can't copyright a jumping off point. Point being: I'd be more concerned with other writers than suits.

But, yes, it's generally simple as mud to acquire material via legit means. No real upside to stealing it.

ps… this speaks to the reason I aim to vet everything I write. If I secure the leading consultant in the 'world' the script takes place, I have a leg up over the other guy who is coincidentally writing the same script through entirely honest means.
Well yeah of course its easier to rep someone when there is still heavy lifting to be done. Which in this case there isn't. Thats why i'm cautious about any release that gives legal impunity to "identical" works, especially by unrelated third parties. Its one thing if its derivative, but "identical" is overkill for any well intentioned person. If such a provision exists, they're at least giving themselves the option. Am i supposed to just take their word on it that they're not going to be motivated to take it? The US government said the same thing about the provision in the NDAA to allow for the indefinite detention of american citizens without due process, but that doesn't make it any less unconstitutional or unethical. And i've seen the abuses firsthand before that provision was even signed. Thats how people are, man. You're right that they're lazy, but they're also greedy. You're also right that it pays to stick with the guy who can best capture the idea, but that doesn't mean that everyone is smart enough to even know what is in their self interest. In my experience, people are often self involved at the behest of their own self interest. The chick who stole my great idea and turned it into this whole animated thing, she had no idea about the execution of the film or the universe it took place in, or even the obscure chinese myth the entire thing was based off of. She just overheard me talking about it and thought it sounded cool so she stole it and she butchered it.

On the other hand, have you ever heard of the doom patrol? No? What about the Xmen? Its a multi billion dollar franchise now despite the fact that the Xmen was a blatant ripoff of the doom patrol. Can you imagine how broke george lucas would be or how **** star wars would be if he signed away his merchandising and final cut rights just to get a sit down with someone who could produce it?

By the way what was the thread in question that you mentioned? I feel this is something that i should know about.
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: Circle of Confusion

Don't get me started on politics. This government is a disgrace and HoC doesn't go far enough in revealing the degree to which this statement is true and factual.

IDENTICAL. The full line is: "6. I recognize that you and your clients have access to and/or may create or have created literary materials and ideas which may be similar or identical to said material in theme, idea, plot, format or other respects." Key word *respects*. Meaning, not in its *entirety*.

Copyright laws are clumsy. Agreed. They boil down to "You can be inspired by whomever you'd like, but we, as a society, have deemed blatant theft as a crime of principle."

I believe the easiest way to regard a release form is to weigh how often you've heard of IP theft. I've been in and around this industry for 20 years and can maybe think of, and not even off the top of my head, less than a handful of instances. I have a vague memory of one 8-ish years ago.

I've never actually signed one. Not once. Perhaps because my stuff is always submitted by a rep. However, I don't believe that protects me any more or less than if I had.

I know the behind the scenes goings on at agencies in particular, and know they aren't interested in F'ing people over that way. Other ways, sure. Particularly in packaging when the studio gives one price for the package and they [agents] need to make the deal work. The writer will be the first person whose fee gets cut [behind the writers back] to service the rest of those folded into the package and/or the department heads/partners fancy clients. I'd be WAY more concerned with that happening, because your agent [mid level] will definitely lie to you in that scenario, claiming they got you a great deal. [SEE: People in this town are shady, insincere, out for themselves, greedy, narcissistic, entitled, presumptuous, know-it-alls, arrogant, flighty, followers, flakey… and a few other F' words. But generally there are incredibly few THIEVES.]

Everything else is negotiated and spelled out in your contract [merch etc.].
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: Circle of Confusion

I was genuinely curious if there was any link between Goddard and COC and the Cabin lawsuit. A quick search on Google revealed that about a month ago, the poster who started this thread revived a year old discussion on Cinemablend concerning the Cabin in The Woods lawsuit claiming he was sent an "aggregiously (sic) corrupt release form" by an assistant over at COC.

The guy also posted: "You should see circle of confusion's release form before calling bullshit. Its a very aptly named management company, surrounding writers who submit specs with a "circle of confusion" as they try to swindle them."

First off - there's nothing wrong with the release form. Like someone else said - sign it or don't. Second, why wage a smear campaign against a management company just because the release language doesn't meet with your sensibilities? It's a small town. Not the best way to get your name out there.

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Joss-...ods-70888.html

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Old 03-22-2016, 04:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: Circle of Confusion

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Originally Posted by RobWriter View Post
I was genuinely curious if there was any link between Goddard and COC and the Cabin lawsuit. A quick search on Google revealed that about a month ago, the poster who started this thread revived a year old discussion on Cinemablend concerning the Cabin in The Woods lawsuit claiming he was sent an "aggregiously (sic) corrupt release form" by an assistant over at COC.

The guy also posted: "You should see circle of confusion's release form before calling bullshit. Its a very aptly named management company, surrounding writers who submit specs with a "circle of confusion" as they try to swindle them."

First off - there's nothing wrong with the release form. Like someone else said - sign it or don't. Second, why wage a smear campaign against a management company just because the release language doesn't meet with your sensibilities? It's a small town. Not the best way to get your name out there.

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Joss-...ods-70888.html
I'm not trying to smear anyone. I'm stating what happened and how it looks. You have no right to tell me what to think about it and you have no right to tell me not to voice my concerns. Not the best way to get your name out there either.

If refusing to be unquestioning about what has apparently become standard practice is going to ostracize me from the film community then **** it. I will NOT stoop or pander or meekly put my tail between my legs for the status quo. I would rather be reviled by people who accept this as normal than to accept it as normal myself.
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:54 PM   #19
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Default Re: Circle of Confusion

Quote:
Well i wasn't so sure he did until i spoke to his manager over at Circle of Confusion and his assistant sent over this completely ridiculous release form
flightspace claims to be sure it was stolen based on language in a release form even though it has been pointed out numerous times here that Circle has not ever represented Goddard.

Quote:
Well i guess all of his info on his imdbpro is wrong. If that is the case they also lied and said they represented him.
IMDbPro does not list Goddard as a Circle client and I don't believe for a second that someone at Circle lied about representing him. If someone is lying that Trumpily (a blatant and easily fact checked lie) then out them; who was it?

Quote:
I was lucky enough that when it happened to me
I'm guessing you are letting this experience cloud your judgement when it comes to Goddard and Circle. btw, that writer claimed Goddard stole based on his book being available on Amazon, not that he signed a release that allowed it to be stolen.

Quote:
I'm stating what happened and how it looks.
It looks like you don't know how to use IMDBPro and are making spectacular and unfounded accusations. If you have a problem with release forms in general, fine, start a "Release Form" thread and discuss them in general; that is not what you did.

The main lesson to learn here is that one of the the reasons most reps won't even respond with a "no thanks" to queries is because of people who are so eager to accuse them of theft if they engage.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:03 PM   #20
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Default Re: Circle of Confusion

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Originally Posted by surftatboy View Post
Don't get me started on politics. This government is a disgrace and HoC doesn't go far enough in revealing the degree to which this statement is true and factual.

IDENTICAL. The full line is: "6. I recognize that you and your clients have access to and/or may create or have created literary materials and ideas which may be similar or identical to said material in theme, idea, plot, format or other respects." Key word *respects*. Meaning, not in its *entirety*.

Copyright laws are clumsy. Agreed. They boil down to "You can be inspired by whomever you'd like, but we, as a society, have deemed blatant theft as a crime of principle."

I believe the easiest way to regard a release form is to weigh how often you've heard of IP theft. I've been in and around this industry for 20 years and can maybe think of, and not even off the top of my head, less than a handful of instances. I have a vague memory of one 8-ish years ago.

I've never actually signed one. Not once. Perhaps because my stuff is always submitted by a rep. However, I don't believe that protects me any more or less than if I had.

I know the behind the scenes goings on at agencies in particular, and know they aren't interested in F'ing people over that way. Other ways, sure. Particularly in packaging when the studio gives one price for the package and they [agents] need to make the deal work. The writer will be the first person whose fee gets cut [behind the writers back] to service the rest of those folded into the package and/or the department heads/partners fancy clients. I'd be WAY more concerned with that happening, because your agent [mid level] will definitely lie to you in that scenario, claiming they got you a great deal. [SEE: People in this town are shady, insincere, out for themselves, greedy, narcissistic, entitled, presumptuous, know-it-alls, arrogant, flighty, followers, flakey… and a few other F' words. But generally there are incredibly few THIEVES.]

Everything else is negotiated and spelled out in your contract [merch etc.].
yeah they're a bit like record labels in that respect. i don't think that the letter of the law actually matters that much until theres a multinational conglomerate pressuring them to enforce it. but i don't like how theres so many people who want to fault me for questioning peoples intentions, whether they are likely or not. especially since i've literally seen this kind of behavior in the past, moreso than any well intentioned person. if my experiences are so limited and this is so uncommon, what are the chances that i just STUMBLED upon the few people in the world that actually do this? I think people just want to stick their head in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist because they read a moviebytes article on how unattractive it is for writers to be paranoid about that. I don't give a damn about unattractive. I'm covering my ass. Tell me not to, and i will doubt everything else you say for the rest of time.
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