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    Wga Register Your Scripts
    #1
    Senior Member Isaac_Brody's Avatar
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    WGA register your scripts. It doesn't cost much and it's a good habit to get into. Especially when sending your scripts into the "ether" of the internet. I eat ether for breakfast.

    Writers Guild of America West
    http://www.wgawregistry.org/webrss/
    Cost: $20

    Writers Guild of America East
    https://www.wgaeast.org/script_reg/
    Cost: $22
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    #2
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    Do you prefer your ether toasted or not?

    This is a good tip if you want to keep your script, well, your script.


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    #3
    Senior Member karapetkov's Avatar
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    Does the WGA accept foreign scripts?

    Written in foreign language?


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    #4
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    I mention this in the spirit of open discussion rather than just to be contrary...

    I suspect that WGA registration is largely a waste of money. I did some snooping around and found some stuff to back this up. Here's a bit of an article on Copyright law from an intellectual property law firm:

    "...Other than establishing a date of creation, the WGA registration gives them almost no benefits at all. In fact, relying solely on the WGA registration can prove extremely costly for the following reasons.

    First, although copyright protection exists at the moment of creation, registration with the Copyright Office is required before a lawsuit can be brought. Because it can take up to six months from the time the application is mailed to the Copyright Office until the application is processed and returned, if the writer needs to immediately file a lawsuit (i.e., in order to enjoin the movie's distribution), he must apply for an expedited registration, for which the Copyright Office charges an additional $580.

    Second, if the writer registers the script with the Copyright Office only after the infringement has taken place, he will be barred from recovering attorneys fees or statutory damages in the lawsuit.

    Third, if the script is registered prior to or within five years of its publication, the registration acts as prima facie proof of ownership of the script, in the event of a trial. There is no such benefit form the WGA registration.

    The only real advantage of the WGA registration is that, in the event of a lawsuit or a credit arbitration, the WGA will have an employee appear and testify concerning the date of the registration. But I have found that this is rarely an issue during litigation."

    So the bottom line is, I guess, if you want any real protection at all, you need to register with BOTH the WGA and the Copyright Office. Online copyright registration costs $35 minimum, and WGA registration is $20. So now you're talking about $55 total.


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    #5
    Senior Member Isaac_Brody's Avatar
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    Yeah, for short scripts I go with WGA. For features I copyright my work.
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    #6
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    Yeah, for a feature I'd DEFINITELY do both. That's too much hard work to risk.

    But is the money you spend registering your short with the WGA really going to get you anything? What happens if, say, a year from now you see a short film exactly like the script you wrote for Scriptfest, produced by somebody you never heard of and with no credit given to you whatsoever. What's your course of action?

    Would you pursue legal action? Will the WGA registration help you win your case at all? And who's going to pay the massive legal fees? What of value do you get for your $20? So far the only answer I can find is that it might be a deterrent to somebody considering stealing your work. Emphasis on "might". Otherwise, it doesn't seem to provide much actual protection at all.

    (I've always just registered my stuff with the WGA, assuming that was the thing to do. It's only recently I've started to question exactly what it gets me. I'm really curious to hear views on this!)


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    #7
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    I think if that happened and it was your script word for word I would sue and put in a stipulation that I want all litigation fees paid for by the other party in the event that the court takes my side, which they would, because someone from the WGA would testify to the fact that I indeed wrote the script, not whoever was credited for it.


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    #8
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    Well, I'm going to ask the stupid question.

    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?

    Do you have to re-apply for copyright on subsequent drafts or re-writes?


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    #9
    Senior Member Isaac_Brody's Avatar
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    You register your treatment, this protects your idea so that when you show it to people they can't rip you off. Then register your draft when it's done. You would only re-register your draft if the project had changed significantly. A couple changes wouldn't warrant re-registering.
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    #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConspiracyPenguin View Post
    I think if that happened and it was your script word for word I would sue and put in a stipulation that I want all litigation fees paid for by the other party in the event that the court takes my side, which they would, because someone from the WGA would testify to the fact that I indeed wrote the script, not whoever was credited for it.

    But according to the law firm I quoted above, you cannot bring a law suit against this other party until your script has been registered with the copyright office. And if you register with the copyright office AFTER the infringement has taken place, you are not entitled to recover attorney fees or statutory damages.


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