Programs Tue 2.4.2014

LEGAL EASE: How and When To Protect Your Screenplay

“One thing that I typically advise my clients is to not register a script until it’s done,” suggests attorney Lisa Callif, Partner, Donaldson + Callif. “Because one, you don’t want it to be public before it’s done. And two, it can get confusing if there’s a bunch of copies of the same script registered with the copyright office. So, once your script is completed, you can register with the copyright office. And one of the main advantages of registering it is if there is a problem. So you have to register your script before you initiate a lawsuit.”

How to protect your original work is just one of the questions Callif will tackle in Film Independent’s monthly video blog Legal Ease.

“Ease” usually isn’t the first word that comes to mind when it comes to legal issues pertaining to the entertainment industry. But that’s where we come in. Each month, we will post a new Legal Ease video from Callif to help filmmakers sift through the tricky business of entertainment law.

In this month’s installment, Callif breaks down the benefits of copyrighting and registering a screenplay.

To see other LEGAL EASE columns, click here. If you have a question for attorney Lisa Callif, please send them to us at education@filmindependent.org.

The statements and opinions expressed here are those of the lawyers who provide them. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Film Independent; its directors, officers and staff. Film Independent does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of those statements or opinions and does not accept any legal liability arising from any reliance on them. 

Lee Jameson / Film Education Coordinator