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Copyright...How much it works?

  1. Rishy Rich profile image77
    Rishy Richposted 7 years ago

    Spec scripts, screenplays, short stories & many more creative works can be produced by urself through a lot of hard work. And in order to keep it safe u might copyright it...but Copyright only secures the script, as far as Im concerned it cant secure the idea. If someone steals the idea, changes it a little bit or modifies it, will u be able to sue him? or will u be able to stop him getting published?


    Other than that, whats the guarantee that a copyright done in US will be safe in other parts of the world? If copyright is not the final solution then what is?

    1. girly_girl09 profile image67
      girly_girl09posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      First, it depends on what country the copyright violation occurs.

      Copyrights do not protect ideas.

      Lastly, you can certainly try to sue someone for stealing your ideas, but it's very tough to do!!!

    2. Shadesbreath profile image86
      Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Internationally, there are some countries that will pursue copyright violations rigorously and others that won't.  For example, the UK would, China would not.

      As far as idea theft, you have to prove it was your idea.  Concepts cannot be "owned," only particular and specific instantiations of them, meaning, if someone changes your screenplay around enough (granted the "enough" is the operative term) it may become too hard to prove that they stole it.

      There are no ideas or stories that haven't been told, however.  And the instantiation is the essence.  I know the story behind Lolita but that doesn't mean I could pull it off.  If I were to start messing with the manuscript enough to make it so that it was easily recognizable as Nabokov's, by the time you couldn't recognize it as his, it would probably suck.  I hope that makes sense.

      1. camlo profile image85
        camloposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        You're right. So it would be impossible to prove the idea was yours.
        Maybe a concept could be stolen, though - I'm still thinking about it smile

        1. Shadesbreath profile image86
          Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Let's say I came up with the concept of a story that went like:  A young sorceress gets rabies from a bat and suddenly wakes up with the ability to transmute lead into gold.

          If you stole it, and wrote:  A young sorcerer gets rabies from a squirrel and wakes up with the ability to transmute rocks into diamonds... how am I going to prove you "stole my idea?"

          Heck you could even stay with the whole same original idea.  The bottom line is, if you write that concept out, there is no way your short story is going to be the same as mine.  Only the concept of rabies bitten sorceress making gold is the same.  Every word, scene and piece of dialogue will be different.

          Bottom line, in my opinion anyway, is just write.  Write every day, write as much as you can, and keep sending stuff out.  Ideas beget new ideas, and well, somehow it will all pay off.  That, a beer and some faith in luck and humanity will do you just fine.

  2. Rishy Rich profile image77
    Rishy Richposted 7 years ago

    Thanks for the suggestion shade...it was helpful.

  3. camlo profile image85
    camloposted 7 years ago

    Thank you, Shadesbreath, that's what I was thinking - just confused myself when I thought up the word 'concept' ... but that is an idea ...
    Yes, it seems quite clear that we can't copyright ideas, which takes us back to 'There are no ideas or stories that haven't been told ...' This is something that was stressed when I was learning about writing fiction.

  4. Daniel Carter profile image91
    Daniel Carterposted 7 years ago

    I have nondisclosure agreements of my "hot" ideas so that if I share with someone I regard as a potential professional collaborator, I am protected. If they violate the terms of the nondisclosure agreement by talking to others about my idea, I have the right to sue. That has never happened, and I don't think it will.

    Better to copyright your work than not. The Library of Congress advises everyone who creates intellectual properties to use the legal copyright notice for their own protection. Registering it with the Library of Congress is optional, but if you do, it's protected. Otherwise, if you don't register, you are protected, but if someone contests your ownership or creation, you have to have the ability to prove it.

    For writers of all kinds, there are societies and organizations set up to help you protect your work. The film and theater industry have very good organizations.

    1. Shadesbreath profile image86
      Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      You don't need to put the notice on it.  Once you write it down, it's copyright protected. The following two passages are taken right off of the US Copyright Office website http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/ :

      Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

      and

      While use of a copyright notice was once required as a condition of copyright protection, it is now optional.

  5. 2uesday profile image84
    2uesdayposted 7 years ago

    I think 'Plagiarism' includes the stealing of someone's idea as well as the written word. Not sure how that helps in protecting your work though.

    The Telegraph newspaper here in the UK has an article on the 11th of August about Ricky Grevais that states that an author is claiming plagirism over his (Grevais's) children's book 'Flanimals'. The article gives further details about copyright and about John Savages claim.

  6. Rafini profile image87
    Rafiniposted 7 years ago

    Doesn't copyright protect the writer after the work is published?  While plagiarism would accuse a thief before or after.  Right?

    1. Shadesbreath profile image86
      Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Depends one what you are intending by the word "published."

      I think this part of the copyright quote above might be helpful:

      Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

      1. Rafini profile image87
        Rafiniposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Okay, even better!! big_smile smile

        (by Published I was meaning the regular definition of the word in whatever forms are available)

  7. DC Brownlow profile image60
    DC Brownlowposted 7 years ago

    eco is an online registration for the copyright. It cost $45

 
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