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    #31
    Senior Member Anthony Todaro's Avatar
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    I am by no means an expert and have never negotiated a deal... but, I would recommend that anyone showing their work should copyright that material. If it isn't, how will you prove it's yours?

    You can copyright your treatment and your rough draft. If the story changes drastically from the first draft then get another copyright for the "new" story. I usually just write my script, work through my drafts, then copyright when I'm done.

    Because you are working and negotiating, I would get copyrights for everything, ASAP.

    Also, if you have a great title and you don't trust the party you are negotiating with, don't reveal it until you sign a deal.

    Good luck!
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    #32
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    I think you just responded to a spam message. Who puts foreign ads in their fake signature and only posts once? Spammers that's who. They are getting more creative though.
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    #33
    Senior Member Sumfun's Avatar
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    Actually, I have the same question. Should you copyright your treatment? After all, the treatment is just ideas, and those are not copyright-able.


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    #34
    Senior Member StormFactory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasiksurgeon View Post
    If you have a project that is not 100% complete, but the treatment for the partial project is being looked at and shopped around, do you copyright the draft you have thus far or wait until it is a final draft?
    This questions needs clarifying. What do you mean by project? Do you mean script? Are you not 100% done with the script? If you are not done writing the script, but you are sending out the treatment, then stop sending out the treatment. You show people the treatment before you write the script. Since you are already writing the script, just wait until you are complete and send that out. Register and copyright it first, then send it out. Also you should have registered your treatment before sending it out. You can register treatments the same way you register scripts.
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    #35
    Senior Member StormFactory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sumfun View Post
    Actually, I have the same question. Should you copyright your treatment? After all, the treatment is just ideas, and those are not copyright-able.
    True, you can not copyright an idea, but once you put the execution of that idea into a tangible form like a treatment, screenplay, book, etc., then it can copyrighted.

    This is a section from the FAQ at the www.copyright.gov web site.

    How do I protect my idea?
    Copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, systems, or methods of doing something. You may express your ideas in writing or drawings and claim copyright in your description, but be aware that copyright will not protect the idea itself as revealed in your written or artistic work.
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    #36
    Senior Member Sumfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StormFactory View Post
    True, you can not copyright an idea, but once you put the execution of that idea into a tangible form like a treatment, screenplay, book, etc., then it can copyrighted.

    This is a section from the FAQ at the www.copyright.gov web site.

    How do I protect my idea?
    Copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, systems, or methods of doing something. You may express your ideas in writing or drawings and claim copyright in your description, but be aware that copyright will not protect the idea itself as revealed in your written or artistic work.
    This is exactly why I was wondering if it's useful to copyright a treatment.

    For example, say you write a treatment for the movie "The Matrix", which has some fairly unique concepts. Your treatment consists of a summary of each scene in the movie. Now if someone reads the treatment, writes out the full screenplay of the Matrix movie, and sells it, would they be violating your copyright? I don't think so, because although you're both expressing the same idea, the form of expression is very different. So therefore, the copyright didn't really protect your treatment.

    Or am I wrong here?


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    #37
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    You're right SumFun. You can't protect titles or ideas or themes. You can only protect strings of words in the order presented. But you can always sue for anything and a jury may still decide there was some impropriety going on, so most people will probably contact you to get some kind of permission or buy you off when this is discovered. If you refuse they'll probably just take the chance that you would lose a lawsuit. Because as I mentioned earlier you can't protect an idea.
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    #38
    Senior Member Sumfun's Avatar
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    Well, I guess copyrighting your treatment is better than not copyrighting it. At least you'll have some leverage if someone tries to steal your idea. And it's only $35.

    Now here's another question. If you have multiple documents, say a screenplay and 3 treatments, can you copyright them together as a collection? That way you save money, especially if you make changes to your documents, and you're afforded the same protection.


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    #39
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    I have copyrighted several treatments. It's definitely good if there are any issues and provides me with a feeling of security if nothing else.


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