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Old 03-02-2011, 03:08 AM   #1
iDV8
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Default Screenplay Release Forms

I've been dealing a lot lately in the UK and it seems to be a bit more casual than in the US, but I came across a post that mentioned a "Release Form."

Now, I've been contacting producers in the UK and some have requested scripts but I've never dealt with any release forms. Naturally I register all my scripts before I send them to anyone. It sounds like the big-boys always use these, can someone explain the function behind it because it sounds like it is a protection for both parties.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:59 AM   #2
NikeeGoddess
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Default Re: Screenplay Release Forms

it is just a protection thing. no need to worry really. if they want you to sign a release they will send you one.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:48 AM   #3
Juno Styles
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Default Re: Screenplay Release Forms

it protects them also from you popping up later with the whole "hey that last movie you made was kinda like mine...sort of...a little bit -- you stole it from me!"

it's pretty standard...nothing to lose sleep over. just signed one myself the day before yesterday after getting a read request on one of my scripts.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:27 AM   #4
SoCalScribe
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Default Re: Screenplay Release Forms

Quote:
Originally Posted by iDV8 View Post
I've been dealing a lot lately in the UK and it seems to be a bit more casual than in the US, but I came across a post that mentioned a "Release Form."

Now, I've been contacting producers in the UK and some have requested scripts but I've never dealt with any release forms. Naturally I register all my scripts before I send them to anyone. It sounds like the big-boys always use these, can someone explain the function behind it because it sounds like it is a protection for both parties.
Release forms are for the company's protection... to prevent people submitting work from suing over every little perceived similarity between their work and something the company produces. It's not a remedy against actual theft of intellectual property, but it's their protection against someone saying, "Hey, you're producing a basketball movie... I sent you a basketball movie two years ago! Thieves!"

It is definitely not protection for both parties... they have no reason to indemnify you in an agreement that protects their interests.

If a company insists you sign one before submitting, you need to make sure you're comfortable signing it (even if it means having someone look over it and explain it to you). If you aren't comfortable with what the release says, don't sign it. The consequence is that you can't submit to the company, but better to do that than to agree to a release that you're uncomfortable with. And if they don't ask for one, don't offer one.

Most companies use a fairly standard template, though.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Screenplay Release Forms

Good to know. Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:35 AM   #6
Ronaldinho
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Default Re: Screenplay Release Forms

I will say that my lawyer advised me not to sign a release form for a specific management company, which I won't name. He felt it was unusually draconian, and that they should be willing to accept a script coming directly from him (an established entertainment lawyer). They weren't. We didn't pursue representation at that company.

But for the most part, release forms are a non-issue.
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