Question about copyright

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  • #31
    Re: Question about copyright

    Originally posted by zz9 View Post
    You said you had "never" seen a studio do that. I posted an example.

    I also posted the far more modern True Romance example which is exactly what the OP was asking about and clearly, somehow, they managed to do that without the TR producers suing.

    Also, I never suggested a writer asking to keep rights to characters, sequel rights etc. (though Lucas managed that) We are talking about the True Romance/Pulp Fiction scenario where a writer wants to reuse scenes that he has taken out of a script he sells. That example, if true (and I've seen it elsewhere) proves it can be done.
    "You said you had "never" seen a studio do that." No I did not.

    Please re-read my posts. I said that selling all drafts occurs "often" and "commonly," and I provided the only example I could think of where a filmmaker successfully withheld certain rights, which has likely rarely occurred since then in large part because of that.

    So please do not create straw man arguments.

    As I stated earlier, I don't believe either of us think that copyright lawsuits will result from vague similarities to unused material in previous drafts of sold scripts, such as the case with TRUE ROMANCE/PULP FICTION.

    The plausible explanation for this is that it's likely not considered a copyright violation, or a violation worth pursuing in court.

    Your explanation, that this is somehow tied to writers withholding the rights to certain material in certain drafts during contract negotiations, is not plausible, and has not been supported by any evidence.

    That's not to say it cannot happen, just that it's not likely that the answer to the OP's question has anything to do with your theory about Tarantino/Avary and other writers carving out exceptions to the common contract stipulation of selling all drafts/revisions to the buyer.

    But again, if you have evidence of things like that happening with any level of frequency in recent years, please provide it.

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: Question about copyright

      Originally posted by TheKeenGuy View Post
      "You said you had "never" seen a studio do that." No I did not.

      Please re-read my posts. I said that selling all drafts occurs "often" and "commonly," and I provided the only example I could think of where a filmmaker successfully withheld certain rights, which has likely rarely occurred since then in large part because of that.

      So please do not create straw man arguments.

      As I stated earlier, I don't believe either of us think that copyright lawsuits will result from vague similarities to unused material in previous drafts of sold scripts, such as the case with TRUE ROMANCE/PULP FICTION.

      The plausible explanation for this is that it's likely not considered a copyright violation, or a violation worth pursuing in court.

      Your explanation, that this is somehow tied to writers withholding the rights to certain material in certain drafts during contract negotiations, is not plausible, and has not been supported by any evidence.

      That's not to say it cannot happen, just that it's not likely that the answer to the OP's question has anything to do with your theory about Tarantino/Avary and other writers carving out exceptions to the common contract stipulation of selling all drafts/revisions to the buyer.

      But again, if you have evidence of things like that happening with any level of frequency in recent years, please provide it.
      Surely if the studio buying the rights to all drafts happens "often" and "commonly" then that implies that it does not happen in every case? So it would be something up for negotiation? Otherwise it would happen in "every" case.

      What case did you provide? I was the one who bought up Star Wars.

      And you did say you had "never seen a studio do that"

      You said "If you have a copy of a contract where a screenwriter was successfully able to withhold material rights from a straight screenplay sale, I'd love to see that agreement and I'll happily admit I was wrong. I've worked in business & legal affairs in the industry for years, and I've never seen the studio give that" which is exactly what happened with Lucas and Star Wars. And somehow Tarrentino and Averey managed to be able to reuese scenes, and publicly admit to doing so, without any action from the people who, in theory, owned those rights.

      Either they did manage to retain the rights to those scenes or those producers simply decided not to bother suing over their property being used in a hugely profitable movie, deeply implausible in itself . Whether they retained them because they negotiated them, or because they were simply not included in the draft they sold or whether simple changing the names and rewriting them made them different enough I suspect we'll never know.

      (Remember I'm not talking about character rights, although Lucas managed that. Just material, generic scenes with character names changed, from earlier drafts that were not in the version seen and bought by a studio.)

      But the fact is that they clearly bought a script without getting the right to those scenes and the writer used them again in another script. Which is what the OP asked.

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: Question about copyright

        Originally posted by zz9 View Post
        Surely if the studio buying the rights to all drafts happens "often" and "commonly" then that implies that it does not happen in every case? So it would be something up for negotiation? Otherwise it would happen in "every" case.

        What case did you provide? I was the one who bought up Star Wars.

        And you did say you had "never seen a studio do that"

        You said "If you have a copy of a contract where a screenwriter was successfully able to withhold material rights from a straight screenplay sale, I'd love to see that agreement and I'll happily admit I was wrong. I've worked in business & legal affairs in the industry for years, and I've never seen the studio give that" which is exactly what happened with Lucas and Star Wars. And somehow Tarrentino and Averey managed to be able to reuese scenes, and publicly admit to doing so, without any action from the people who, in theory, owned those rights.

        Either they did manage to retain the rights to those scenes or those producers simply decided not to bother suing over their property being used in a hugely profitable movie, deeply implausible in itself . Whether they retained them because they negotiated them, or because they were simply not included in the draft they sold or whether simple changing the names and rewriting them made them different enough I suspect we'll never know.

        (Remember I'm not talking about character rights, although Lucas managed that. Just material, generic scenes with character names changed, from earlier drafts that were not in the version seen and bought by a studio.)

        But the fact is that they clearly bought a script without getting the right to those scenes and the writer used them again in another script. Which is what the OP asked.
        First, you are quoting someone else and mistakenly attributing it to me.

        Second, over and over again, you are creating a false dichotomy. "Either they did manage to retain the rights to those scenes or those producers simply decided not to bother suing over their property being used in a hugely profitable movie, deeply implausible in itself."

        You believe that it's "deeply implausible" that a studio would "simply decide not to bother suing" and have therefore come to the conclusion, citing only a 35 year-old deal that was deemed a monumentally bad decision, that the most likely explanation is that writers carve out exceptions to the common "all drafts/revisions" clause, when the more likely scenario is that these "generic scenes" (as you put it) are not considered copyright violations, or violations worth pursuing for practical legal or business reasons.

        So, for at least the fourth time, provide evidence of writers carving out exceptions to the "all drafts/revisions" stipulations of contracts in recent years. If you don't want to or aren't able to, then there's no point in going round and round about it any longer.

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: Question about copyright

          Originally posted by TheKeenGuy View Post
          First, you are quoting someone else and mistakenly attributing it to me.

          Second, over and over again, you are creating a false dichotomy. "Either they did manage to retain the rights to those scenes or those producers simply decided not to bother suing over their property being used in a hugely profitable movie, deeply implausible in itself."

          You believe that it's "deeply implausible" that a studio would "simply decide not to bother suing" and have therefore come to the conclusion, citing only a 35 year-old deal that was deemed a monumentally bad decision, that the most likely explanation is that writers carve out exceptions to the common "all drafts/revisions" clause, when the more likely scenario is that these "generic scenes" (as you put it) are not considered copyright violations, or violations worth pursuing for practical legal or business reasons.

          So, for at least the fourth time, provide evidence of writers carving out exceptions to the "all drafts/revisions" stipulations of contracts in recent years. If you don't want to or aren't able to, then there's no point in going round and round about it any longer.
          My mistake, I did quote SoCalScribe instead of you. My bad.

          And I think we're arguing when we're more or less on the same page here. I myself said that generic scenes, even when similar to earlier ones, are not copyright violations. As I said on the first page "If I sell a script where I had deleted a scene with a guy robbing a bank does that mean I can never write another script ever with a guy robbing a bank?"

          I did not say the only explanation was that they managed to negotiate keeping those rights. I said "Whether they retained them because they negotiated them, or because they were simply not included in the draft they sold or whether simple changing the names and rewriting them made them different enough I suspect we'll never know."
          The point I was trying to argue was the suggestion that any scene being in any draft of a sold script automatically prevented a writer from ever using that scene again without "fundamental" changes which some people in this thread have suggested.

          When Tarrantino and Averey can openly talk about reusing specific scenes in a later movie, the exact thing the OP was asking about and the exact thing that some posters here have said is impossible, then clearly that suggests very strongly they are wrong.

          Comment

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