Why theatre authors are more powerful than screenwriters.

Gordon P. Firemark

Authors in theatre enjoy privileges and approval rights not held by their screenwriting brethren. Authors of theatrical plays and musicals enjoy significantly more prestige than their screenwriting counterparts. Why theatre authors are more powerful than screenwriters. Sometimes, this can lead to trouble for producers and playwrights alike. A recent article at The Guardian asks: “Should a playwright have the final say over a production?

Asked & Answered: Can a screenwriter retain control?

Gordon P. Firemark

Q: Is it possible through an entertainment attorney, for the screenwriter to have control of rewriting, changing, adding or eliminating scenes, etc.? Related posts: Asked & Answered: I don’t have a formal contract. How do I make sure I get my credit? Asked and Answered: Idea Theft and Submission Releases/Waivers. Asked & Answered: Can co-writers exclude music rights from screenplay rights?

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Screenwriter Sues Disney/Pixar Claiming 'Cars' Was Stolen (Exclusive)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

screenwriter, asks a judge to prevent the release of the sequel, due in theaters this June. Eriq Gardner The plaintiff, a U.K. read more. THR, Esq. Movies Movies

Fox Sued by Screenwriter Who Claims 'Kingsman' Stole His Story

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Dog companions, holograms and overcoming humble origins to achieve greatness are among the similarities alleged. read more. THR, Esq. Movies Movies THR Online Kingsman: The Secret Service

Screenwriter Sues To Stop Indie Movie In Its 'Tracks'

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

edit@hollywoodreporter.com (Eriq Gardner) Film starring Michelle Monaghan, Willem Dafoe, and Stephen Dorff is in jeopardy over alleged breaches of screenwriter's rights. read more. THR, Esq. Movies Movies

Justice Scalia has some advice for aspiring screenwriters

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

By Eriq Gardner Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has opened a screenwriting workshop. The cantankerous conservative justice took time out of his busy schedule to write a letter to an aspiring screenwriter who asked 10 Supreme Court justices (including O'Connor).

WGA Restores Dalton Trumbo's Screenwriting Credit on 'Roman Holiday'

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The new screenwriting credit also pays "tribute to the friendship of two fathers and then two sons." Eriq Gardner The Guild says it wants to "make amends" for injustices of 1950s McCarthyism by telling the truth about who really wrote the 1953 classic film. read more. THR, Esq. Movies Movies Audrey Hepburn Gregory Peck WGA

WGA 77

CINEMA LAW: SCREENWRITER RIGHTS

KWIKA Entertainment Law Blog

Q: When a writer sells the rights to his script to a production company, I understand that the writer no longer has the right to option his script to other production companies, even if he receives a better offer. That being said, does the writer lose all creative control once he signs his name on [.].

Asked & Answered: Can I sell my novel after I’ve already sold the screenplay?

Gordon P. Firemark

Q: If a screenwriter sells the copyright to their screenplay, do they also give up the rights to the novel if they’ve written one based on the same story? Asked & Answered Contract copyright Hollywood Screenplay Screenwriting

Screenwriter Sued for Making Henry James Adaptation Too Personal

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Ronee Sue Blakley, a musician and actress once nominated for an Academy Award, says she was defamed in "What Maisie Knew" by the father of her child. read more. Movies THR Online THR, Esq. Business

Fox Sues Blogger, Aspiring Screenwriter For Copyright Infringement Over Her Site

Media Law Prof Blog

She's a "struggling screenwriter" who has posted numerous scripts, according to Fox without permission. From THR, Esq.'s s blog: Fox is suing Patricia McIlwaine for copyright infringement over her website. Who's Ms. McIlwaine? Among them: "Aliens," "Edward Scissorhands," and "Glee."

United Talent Agency Escapes Screenwriter's Lawsuit Over 'The Purge'

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

A judge can''t find any contract between the talent agency and a guy who submitted a script for consideration. read more. The Business Movies THR Online THR, Esq. Business

Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Mark Boal Sues U.S. Government Over Bowe Bergdahl Interviews

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Boal says he shouldn't be held in contempt in a military court for refusing to comply with a subpoena. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Movies Culture Business THR Online

I'm a Lawyer! No, a Screenwriter! No, a Lawyer!

Media Law Prof Blog

From the ever-entertaining and insightful Julie Hilden today, tips for lawyers from screenwriting school. I'm suggesting this column to my Entertainment Law class, which meets for the first time this semester today

Screenwriter Sues Mel Gibson for Fraud

Entertainment Law Resources Blog

Mel Gibson has been sued for fraud and unjust enrichment by Benedict Fitzgerald, one of the screenwriters for Gibson's "Passion of the Christ." Fitzgerald alleges that Gibson had the express purpose of depriving him of the full fruits of his efforts as the screenwriter, and that Fitzgerald experienced severe cash-flow problems due to his devotion to the project. Screenwriters need to protect themselves from the people they write about and producers they contract with.

Screenwriter Sues Mel Gibson for Fraud

Entertainment Law Resources Blog

Mel Gibson has been sued for fraud and unjust enrichment by Benedict Fitzgerald, one of the screenwriters for Gibson's "Passion of the Christ." Fitzgerald alleges that Gibson had the express purpose of depriving him of the full fruits of his efforts as the screenwriter, and that Fitzgerald experienced severe cash-flow problems due to his devotion to the project. Screenwriters need to protect themselves from the people they write about and producers they contract with.

Santa Barbara Fest Screenwriters Panel: Stanton, Black, McCarthy, Knott

Thompson On Hollywood

I always look forward to the annual screenwriters panel at the Santa Barbara Film Festival because I get to interview the folks behind some of the year's best movies.

Heir of 'Raging Bull' screenwriter is looking at MGM, Fox

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

By Eriq Gardner Here we go with another big case involving the estate of a dead author trying to grab back from a studio the copyright to a famous property. And this one involves one of our favorite movies, the.

Screenwriter loses implied contract suit against Miramax

Entertainment Law Resources Blog

Miramax has prevailed in an implied contract case filed by screenwriter Jeff Grosso concerning the Miramax movie “Rounders” which Grasso claimed copied ideas from his script. The case was first dismissed when a federal District Court ruled that Grosso’s contract claim was preempted by federal copyright law. But this decision was overturned by a federal Court of Appeals which held that an implied contract claim is not preempted.

Screenwriter loses implied contract suit against Miramax

Entertainment Law Resources Blog

Miramax has prevailed in an implied contract case filed by screenwriter Jeff Grosso concerning the Miramax movie “Rounders” which Grasso claimed copied ideas from his script. The case was first dismissed when a federal District Court ruled that Grosso’s contract claim was preempted by federal copyright law. But this decision was overturned by a federal Court of Appeals which held that an implied contract claim is not preempted.

Leonardo DiCaprio Attacked in Defamation Lawsuit for Not Doing Enough Character Research

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

In his legal action over "Wolf of Wall Street," former Stratton Oakmont executive Andrew Greene submits depositions from DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, and screenwriter Terence Winter.In his legal action over 'Wolf of Wall Street,' former Stratton Oakmont executive Andrew Greene submits depositions from DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, and screenwriter Terence Winter.

Fox Sues to Stop Film and TV Script Leaks

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner Studio files $15 million lawsuit against screenwriter who created online library to help other screenwriters read more. Movies Movies Television

Mark Boal's Bergdahl Tapes: U.S. Govt. Tells Federal Judge to Stand Down

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Justice Department attorneys say the Oscar-nominated screenwriter must pursue his constitutional arguments in military court. read more. THR, Esq. Culture Movies Culture THR Online

'Friday the 13th' Rights at Stake in Lawsuit Over Horror Classic

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Screenwriter Victor Miller aims to terminate a copyright grant, but a successor of the film's producer asserts the screenplay was a work-made-for-hire. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Movies Business THR Online

SELF DEFENSE FOR SCREENWRITERS

Entertainment Law Resources Blog

March 29, 2001 NEW ARTICLE: SELF DEFENSE FOR SCREENWRITERS As an entertainment attorney I am often called upon to assist writers who have gotten themselves into trouble because they don’t understand how their work infringes the rights of others. A writer who learns the fine points of the law through trial and error is receiving an expensive education. I have written an article that was recently published by Screentalk Magazine ( www.screentalk.org ) and is now posted on my website.

SELF DEFENSE FOR SCREENWRITERS

Entertainment Law Resources Blog

March 29, 2001 NEW ARTICLE: SELF DEFENSE FOR SCREENWRITERS As an entertainment attorney I am often called upon to assist writers who have gotten themselves into trouble because they don’t understand how their work infringes the rights of others. A writer who learns the fine points of the law through trial and error is receiving an expensive education. I have written an article that was recently published by Screentalk Magazine ( www.screentalk.org ) and is now posted on my website.

'Cars' Copyright Lawsuit Dismissed in Win for Disney

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner UK screenwriter claimed animated films were based on his screenplay, but judge finds works dissimilar. read more. THR, Esq. Movies Movies Business Cars 2

'Age of the Hobbits' is Now 'Clash of the Empires'

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Meanwhile, the screenwriter reveals the movie’s original title. read more. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movies Warner Bros. THR, Esq. New Line Cinema MGM Business

Potential Leonardo DiCaprio Deposition in 'Wolf of Wall Street' Suit Brings Objection

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Terence Winter have already given depositions in a defamation lawsuit brought by a former Stratton Oakmont executive. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Movies Business THR Online

Fox Drops Lawsuit Over 'Glee,' 'X-Men: Deadpool' Film and TV Script Leaks

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner The studio had accused a self-described "struggling screenwriter" of posting more than 100 scripts — which also included "Aliens," "Edward Scissorhands" and "Wall Street" -- without permission. read more. THR, Esq. Movies Movies Business 20th Century Fox Film Glee

Mark Boal Focuses on Fact He's a Civilian in Fight to Shield Bowe Bergdahl Tapes

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The screenwriter argues that it would be grossly unfair for him to rely upon a military court to recognize his asserted constitutional rights. read more. THR, Esq. Movies Movies Culture THR Online

Fox, New Regency Sued for Allegedly Stealing 'In Time' Idea

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

A Greek screenwriter says he met with Fox about a action adventure love story set in the future -- now the basis of the New Regency movie. read more. New Regency Productions Movies THR Online THR, Esq

Does an indemnification clause really protect you?

Gordon P. Firemark

Sure enough, the screenplay turns out to be based on an unpublished book written by the screenwriter’s cousin, and which the screenwriter read, but didn’t mention to the Producer. So, the Producer seeks indemnity from the screenwriter. Even if the screenwriter owns a house, and a fat bank account, collecting on the indemnity could require a second lawsuit, this time between Producer and Screenwriter. Does an Indemnification Clause really protect you?

Writers Guild Trying to Shut Down 'Bring It On: The Musical' (Exclusive)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Jonathan Handel Citing the guild agreement’s “separated rights” provisions, the union is seeking to enjoin the new play and obtain damages on behalf of the screenwriter of the 2000 movie that began the franchise. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Movies Business Labor THR exclusive

Lawsuit claims writer, managers stole 'Lottery Ticket'

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

By Matthew Belloni EXCLUSIVE: It's every screenwriter's nightmare: your manager advises you to collaborate with another client, who then takes your idea and develops it into a big movie without including or even telling you. Those are the allegations in.

'Raging Bull' Fight to Hit Supreme Court

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Fox and MGM could lose rights to Martin Scorsese''s film if the original screenwriter''s daughter wins the case, which the studios insist was filed too late. read more. Raging Bull Movies Robert De Niro THR, Esq. Alfred Hitchcock Martin Scorsese THR Weekly Magazine MGM Business 20th Century Fox Film

Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Greene threaten legal action over nude photos

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Last week, there was "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black's lawsuit against a photo agency. By Eriq Gardner Two trends that will probably never ever go away — celebrities showing some skin and lawyers threatening action if naked photos are published.

Anatomy of an Oscar winner's sex tape lawsuit

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

By Eriq Gardner A few weeks ago, Perez Hilton created a stir when he posted naked photographs of Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Milk." Hilton got the photographs from photo agency Starzlife, but after hearing cries he betrayed.

Entertainment Law Asked & Answered – What are Separated Rights?

Gordon P. Firemark

” Well, unless your adaptation adheres strictly to the script as written by the screenwriter, it probably incorporates elements from the film, which aren’t in the script. In this Asked & Answered video, I answer a question about separated rights. Hi, I’m attorney Gordon Firemark, and this is Asked and Answered, where I answer your entertainment law questions, to help you take your career and business to the next level.

Cheating people shouldn’t be the way you succeed.

Gordon P. Firemark

So, where a first-time screenwriter might have given a producer a free option for a year or two, the renewal payments and purchase price would, generally, be fair, and if the writer were expected to prepare rewrites, there'd be some reasonable compensation for that work at some point in the deal. As you know, I am sometimes led to rant a bit about the state of the entertainment business, or more particularly, the mental state(s) of some of the people IN the industry. Rant of the month.

Review: In ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ Spike Lee Journeys Into White America’s Heart of Darkness - The New York Times

Communications And Entertainment Law Blog

".Rather than add his voice to the chorus trying to explain how we got here, Mr. Lee (who shares screenwriting credit with Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott) muses that we might have been here all along.

CINEMA LAW: THE IMPORTANCE OF FINALIZING CONTRACTS

KWIKA Entertainment Law Blog

Q: A screenwriter and I signed a non-disclosure/non-circumvent agreement in late 2007 with the intention to make a movie together, myself serving as producer and bringing $6 million for the budget. [This blog entry originally appeared at MovieMaker.com.] I found an overseas investor, the writer got paid WGA scale ($125,000 plus 14 percent) and as soon as [.].

Asked and Answered: Query letters as unsolicited submissions?

Gordon P. Firemark

Q: As a TV/film screenwriter I’ve sent short pitches and query letters to several agents. Some have responded with requests to see my work, but other have returned my queries with a “no unsolicited&# material letter from the submissions department.