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Hey MB Hires,
I sent out a query letter, so to make my script sound big time I mentioned it was registered with the WGA.
Now I'm freaking out.
I originally registered the first version of script I wrote in 2007. If I remember correctly you had to send a hardcopy, right?
After revamping, redecorating, re-ree'ing it, it ain't the same. Plots the same, sorta, characters same some dropped, execution not the same.
Okay question is...
Since I changed it dramatically from what I sent to WGA, do I have to send another one, A-sap? Do you keep sending revised scripts every time you change it, even a little.
Who am I kidding you never change the thing a little.
I added a scene to include some explosions, cause I like explosions in movies, big fireballs and plumps of smoke rising in the sky, the sub woofer kicking the bass so your ribcage vibrates, okay, okay back to the question.
I think I read something, but can't remember.
If these people that I sent letter to have the earthly producer powers to access script on WGA web, my ass is toast.
What say you'se
it's all good
I'm confused. Anyone can register with the WGA for $22 - you don't have to be big time. But I recommend copyrighting. Sure it's a bit more ($35 I think), but it's forever, not just 10 years. And it's a copyright, which is legal. WGA is just "proof." Also, the copyright office is finally online so once you have done it once, all your info is saved and it's almost as quick as WGA. But yes, you have to wait months to get your copyright (though it starts from the date you submit).
If I make drastic changes, I copyright again, but you don't have to for smaller stuff.
The question is do I have to send a revised hardcopy (printed paper copy with brads, cardstock cover, the whole bit) so the old one is not the one sitting in their underground vault protected by the notorious nitro nuclear nano ninjas?
Didn't you send a hardcopy (paper copy) to them?
Copyright the script. WGA tosses the script after a couple of years and does not give you the rights of a copyright. Also, it's assumed that the script is legally protected and it makes you look like an amateur indicating things like this. Rookies are usually paranoid about their script but ya gotta show it to shop it.
Also, get pro feedback (or a quick turnaround feedback contest from ScriptSavvy) to make sure the script is absolutely ready to go. 90%+ of scripts out there are NOT ready for market. Could be a great concept but you must nail the execution. Needs to be 'ready to shoot' as a lot less $ is being spent these days on development.
If you need a registration number quickly, go with the WGA. If I recall, copyright takes 6 months or more before you actually get the number. Otherwise, yes copyright lasts longer.
No one can access your script from the WGA except you. Unless they have a court order, I believe. All people can do is ask if it is registered by giving them the number you have listed as belonging to this script. Check their web site if you have any questions. WGA.org I believe.
The WGA only tells production companies if you indeed have a script registered with them. Nothing more.
Copyright registration gives you the right to statutory infringement penalties that you wouldn't have without the copyright registration. I register with WGA when I first finish the script, and then once I've finished with my revisions, I do the copyright registration.
To me either is okay. Basically, copyright is essentially just proof that you created something (song, screenplay. etc...) Legally, as soon as you write something, you have exclusive rights to it, and are the owner. Obviously then you have to prove it, which is what a copyright and/or WGA registration is for. The only advantage is a copyright is longer, but both would stand up in court if anyone attempted to steal your work.
You can upload a file to the WGA now. It's easier and quicker if you don't want to mail it in. Besides, some of those postal workers are ninjas in disguise!
And as of Friday it was only $20. At least that's what WGA West charged me when i submitted a new script. I just convert the file to a PDF file and submit it electronically. No brads, paper or anything. It has always worked for me that way.
Evie, just save yourself the $20. Unless it's a page one rewrite. You're probably going to make still more changes and unless you wind-up going to court, it isn't going to matter. Or, am I wrong on this people? She's asking about a script she's already sent in to the WGA not registering it for the first time.
The Copyright Office instructs writers not to recopyright material unless major changes have been made. The form asks you to explain why you're submitting it for a new copyright and requires that you list the changes, such as new characters and new scenes.
I had a money order stolen trying to copyright something.
Now I just do it online. Simpler, faster, and avoids using DC mail system.
Once I copyright, I never bother to submit revisions, because there are too damn many of them.
I figured if I keep my revisions under 33% than I'm okay.
Who cares if I add a major character or a scene?
If 2/3 of the story is there, I figure I'm safe.
I picked up this little rule by reading up on plagiarism suits, in which the WGA pretty much said siginificant contributions were roughly at the 33% mark.
So if I'm understanding right, I can either send a hard copy or email PDF of re-re-re-re-vised script.
it's all good
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