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Old 05-26-2020, 05:29 PM   #11
jmpowell7
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Default Re: Legalities of submitting into competition

Merrick, I understand your concern about indemnity clauses. The likelihood of trouble is small but grows with any writing success. I worry about the firm I contract with being sued for even a frivolous reason, and the firm giving a call to their usual representation, who has contract lawyers run up their hours at $500 each one. Hey, why not? It is free money. And then they tell me I must pay the bill.

If you have legal training you always look at the possible downside.

On the other hand, when a good company recognizes the benefit they have in you they will work to protect it.

Last edited by Done Deal Pro : 05-26-2020 at 05:54 PM. Reason: Formatting
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:30 AM   #12
Merrick
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Default Re: Legalities of submitting into competition

jmpowell - Very fair assessment as well. Understand your reasoning, and it's why I decided to submit to one of them despite an aversion to the indemnity.

Bono - Not trying to say my material is gold, but there are certainly examples of 1:1 plagiarism out in the world, and it's fair after all the hard work to retain your protection. Being "stripped" of rights has its time and place, but usually when equitable compensation is in place. You know, someone buys the rights to your screenplay to actually produce it and rolls the dice on whether it's gonna hit. Before that, I don't really see the point in signing away rights.

What if one of your 20 screenplays gets produced and becomes a hit through some measure of surprise. Everyone will come asking "what else?" A few of those other 19 might be worth *something*, even if they're not all gold.

Don't worship your own material, of course. Just things to consider.
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:39 AM   #13
Merrick
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Default Re: Legalities of submitting into competition

I don't know am I going blind or crazy, but I just submitted my screenplay everywhere I intended to. I double checked the few places I was going to skip, and several of their indemnity clauses now state they won't be indemnified against commercial exploitation - essentially leaving it so you retain your copyright protection.

Soooooooooo, either I read a few of them poorly the first go or a few of the competitions happened to see this thread and update it?

In any case, there are only maybe ~3 competitions in the top or second tier level now that I saw which have in my opinion "too strict" clauses.
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:39 PM   #14
Bono
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Default Re: Legalities of submitting into competition

My best advice Merrick is start writing the 2nd screenplay and assume all contests don't go well. And then when you're done with script 2 -- you can get good news on script 1--- or if you don't -- doesn't matter -- already got script 2.

Take the positive energy and write before you lose it!
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:44 AM   #15
Merrick
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Default Re: Legalities of submitting into competition

A bit off topic, Bono. But a solid plan! Thanks for the advice.
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