Current cost to copyright a screenplay?

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  • Current cost to copyright a screenplay?

    Has anyone e-filed a screenplay for copyright recently?

    According to this page, https://www.copyright.gov/about/fees.html

    Registrations of a claim in a original work of authorship:
    Electronic filing:
    Single author, same claimant, one work, not for hire. $45
    All other filings $65
    I am currently trying to electronically file a screenplay (as an unpublished Work of the Performing Arts), listing only myself as author and claimant, marked not for hire. The cost when I add to cart is $65 rather than $45.

    Has the price risen to $65? Or am I more likely entering my information incorrectly?

  • #2
    Re: Current cost to copyright a screenplay?

    It used to be $35, but now it looks like it went up to $45. You shouldn't be paying more than that, I'm next to positive.

    Just double check what you are clicking on or selecting.
    Will
    Done Deal Pro
    www.donedealpro.com

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    • #3
      Re: Current cost to copyright a screenplay?

      I haven't done this in over 10 years, but yup the website says $45.

      By the way I stopped doing this so long ago I think I had to actually print it out and mail it in. I think it was like 20 bucks then? Maybe 30. Anyway -- is it necessary anymore for what we do? I recall it only being needed for contests. I always felt it was "fake" sense of security.

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      • #4
        Re: Current cost to copyright a screenplay?

        Originally posted by Bono View Post
        Anyway -- is it necessary anymore for what we do? I recall it only being needed for contests. I always felt it was "fake" sense of security.
        Yes. It's necessary. Not required, but if you ever need to sue over any issue a copyright will provide you will better compensation including legal fees for having to file the lawsuit, if you when. ANY lawyer I ever talked to about this will confirm that.

        Any other form of registering is more a "fake sense of security," so to speak. Granted you can still use a registration date for lawsuit, but you don't get the most protection from that vs. a copyright. This is very legal and basically the best creators can do for the most coverage. Anyone can steal try to steal from you -- as we see everyday in-spite of law. Laws don't stop crimes. Theft, murder, etc. still happen.

        Ultimately, do what you want,can afford and/or feel best about. But copyright is the best legal protection IF something bad goes down with your script.
        Last edited by Done Deal Pro; 05-26-2020, 06:03 PM.
        Will
        Done Deal Pro
        www.donedealpro.com

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        • #5
          Re: Current cost to copyright a screenplay?

          I believe you. I believe laws. And I"m sure any lawyer would say that.

          But I'm just saying -- are there more than 2 cases where a screenwriter won a case like this? That is what I'm trying to say.

          If you're in this business, you share a lot of ideas. Send scripts to tons of people. If you have reps -- trail of those emails.

          How can I prove my idea was stolen? Sometimes it's hard to know when an idea is stolen because how often do I find an idea I had just sold on deadline? I pitched ideas in the room and 2 months later they announced same idea sold. They didn't say a word during our pitch. Was it stolen? I don't think so. Could be. I assume they were just working on same idea.

          I do believe direct theft happens. But I'm just trying to discuss the reality of proving any of this and that it means the end of your writing career as far as I can see if you sue someone.

          I'm not saying that's fair, but just being practical.

          To me I would have spent a fortune copyrighting stuff I wrote. And what about new drafts?

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          • #6
            Re: Current cost to copyright a screenplay?

            Originally posted by Bono View Post
            But I'm just saying -- are there more than 2 cases where a screenwriter won a case like this? That is what I'm trying to say.
            Surely, there are a few cases we've never heard about which were probably settled quietly, thus tough to say, of course. But you're right. It could happen regardless, and who knows how the lawsuit would play out and what the issues & costs would be for the writer.

            It's a personal choice, really, whether you choose to or not. I haven't always. I think it's just something you have to make a call on; possibly even on a per script basis and based on who you are sending it to. But it's only $45. Not a $1,000, so I'd say think about it, to really anyone. It's insurance.

            But yeah, there can be issues, costs, problems, etc if you have to take legal action. Thus, if you feel it's not worth it for "you" personally, don't worry about it. I just wanted to note what lawyers have told me. More a best practice; but as I noted, not an actual requirement to do so. But if you are going to do some kind of registration, I'd say go U.S. Copyright.

            If you are a working writer with reps, then it's highly unlikely you'll have a problem. But aspiring screenwriters with no reps are much more likely to be a target, relatively speaking.
            Last edited by Done Deal Pro; 05-26-2020, 07:48 PM.
            Will
            Done Deal Pro
            www.donedealpro.com

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            • #7
              Re: Current cost to copyright a screenplay?

              Did you list your screenplay as an anthology? A few years ago, I copyrighted several distinct screenplays in one filing (as an anthology), and it cost extra.

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