Clearing (and not worrying about) brands, artwork and monikers for your movie.
Link to a great legal resource for filmmakers concerned with portraying reality.
How to deal when your situations and characters are based on real incidents and people.
Legal and moral issues arise when taking someone else’s story, even just pieces of it.
Link to a great book to ease your fears of getting permissions to copyrighted material.
Options; defined and explained.
Using unlicensed material can be okay at the festival level. The trouble comes when you make money off of it.
What is the average option price short stories are optioned for? Just to get an estimate of what I should be offering/accepting. Where else can I do research about these confidential matters?
If there’s a book you can’t afford to option yourself, it’s worth trying to get someone to option it for you.
Having the rights shouldn’t necessarily be your first concern.
Dead people are fair game, for the most part.
How to track down rights after someone passes on.
Navigating the differences between public domain and intellectual property.
Let lawyers handle the law. You have plenty to worry about as a mere screenwriter.
Got an idea but no writing chops? Here’s some options for getting a writer on board.
Copyright almost certainly rests with the songwriters, so start there.
Thoughts on writing a biopic.
At a certain point, some jokes circulate out in the popular culture enough that I would argue they’re essentially public domain.
How much is my book worth? Should I option or sell?
The consequences for trampling someone else’s copyright are not that dire. Since you’re a student, and probably broke, it’s not like 20th Century Fox is going to sue you for your life’s savings.
How is that label earned? What are the legal parameters?
Hope you have to worry about these problems when the movie gets made. Until then, don’t.
Worry about writing the best scenes and not about lawsuits or song rights.
This is America. If you want your characters to say that TOWN AND COUNTRY was a boring, unfunny disaster, they can.
If you can, option. If not, don’t be afraid to show your script for fear of losing the rights to the source material.