Re: Sonic the Hedgehog Movie

From: Erich Schulman (KTN4CA) Team OS/2 <"Erich>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 1995 06:42:36 -0500 (EST)

On Sun, 29 Oct 1995, James Firmiss wrote:

> I remember at my first Trek Convention (ugh... those things are scary)
> I noticed they had scripts to upcoming movies... I would expect that
> movie studios would be upset that bootlegged copies of scripts were
> floating around at conventions but I don't think this is strictly
> 'illegal' (I don't know how the law would view this but, how could
> dealers at cons sell them if it WERE illegal?) Anyway... how do movie
> studios feel about having scripts of movies which aren't going to be
> made getting out into 'public view' (or are 'rejected' movies the
> author's responsibility) ?

Most scripts not written by the employees of the studio or producer are
written "on spec" in hopes of finding a buyer. They are owned by the
screenwriter until sold and beyond the studio's control. The use of
copyrighted characters (like Sonic) would make it hard for the spec
writer to do much with the script if it is rejected. Normally, a script
written by an employee is a "work for hire" and automatically owned by
the employer. If a studio or producer hires a freelance writer not
intending for them to be an employee, it's negotiable. The studio or
producer will probably want to prepurchase the script (they wouldn't have
asked that writer if they didn't have enough confidence in him/her), but
the writer could ask to retain ownership until the studio has decided to
buy and has paid at least xx%. A writer may be able to negotiate a
"right of first refusal" where the studio that asked him/her is
guaranteed to have the first opportunity to buy, and if they say no, the
writer is immediately free to try to sell the script to someone else.

Erich Schulman (KTN4CA) [Team OS/2] A net.freedom-fighter for Mobius!
"Freedom Fighters are #1!" -- Sonic the Hedgehog
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Received on Mon Oct 30 1995 - 06:54:45 PST

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