When submitting ideas to networks, studios, and producers, the film creators are worried about protecting their ideas. We examine how copyrights and trademarks protect film and Television Lawyer submissions and what lurks in submission agreements.
A Concern: How to Safely Submit Screenplays and Concepts for Films and TV Scripts
This is a major concern for creative artists in the entertainment industry who write books, come up with story ideas, develop concepts for films, television, or even the stage, or have written screenplays and film treatments.
A delay in production, an injunction to prevent the film from airing, or a lawsuit to tie up revenue or impose damages that could severely impact revenues are the last things these companies need or want.
Protecting Film and Television Concepts
The last thing any creative artist wants to hear is that his or her great concept for a film or television series might not be original. This should not cause them to panic, however. Even though a dozen creative people may have had the same idea for a film or TV series, none of them can express it the same way. A writer’s concept becomes more unique as they expand it and put it on paper.
In addition, a one-page treatment is unlikely to convince a jury that someone stole a writer’s concept to produce a film or series that took place in the same locations, had the same brief descriptions of characters, and adhered to the same genre as the one-page treatment.
An individual’s creative work and ideas should be protected.
Despite their disagreement with the law’s holding that ideas are not generally protected by copyright, most writers understand how copyright works. The only time those ideas become protected by copyright is when they are expressed in writing or on a computer.
Contracts with entertainment entities are a final method of protection.
After contracts are drafted and signed, the concept that a creator has conceived, the script, screenplay, or another form of their work is protected by proof of the contract. However, that does not mean that everyone will refrain from infringement. Now that they have proof of their infringement, they can seek damages.
Studio Submission Releases
Submission releases are other way studios, and networks discourage writers and independent producers from submitting projects to them. Unfortunately, it may still require a submission release before a studio or network accepts unsolicited material, even if the creator has a contact that can get them a job or their brother’s niece works at a firm recognized by the studio for its expertise in entertainment law.
Using entertainment attorneys to protect submissions
A law firm specializing in entertainment law will also provide submission protection for your project. This is why networks, studios, and even book publishers require submissions to be handled only by reputable law firms or agents, whether they are talent agents, entertainment lawyers, or literary agents.
If a studio, producer, network, or streaming company submits a project by a reputable and experienced entertainment attorney, the studio, producer, network, or streaming company can be confident that a precise record has been made of the materials submitted when the submission was made, and who it was sent to. No evidence exists that all entertainment attorneys keep such records, although they should.
A studio or network, talent agent, or producer may be willing to review a project or the work once a reliable entertainment law firm has submitted the project. For further information on how television lawyers are assisting you in protecting your rights in Toronto, North York, Etobicoke, Woodbridge, Scarborough, Markham, Vaughan, Thornhill, Mississauga, and Brampton, Ontario, Canada, please contact Ontario Trademark Lawyers by phone at 416-783-8378 or email at Info@OntarioTrademarkLawyers.com. Victor Opara. Victor Nnamdi Opara, Opara Law PC. TorontoBarristers.com. OntarioTrademarkLawyers.com. CCDC Stamp Statutory Declaration at 416-782-5926.