Read. Learn. Write.
Somebody educate me here. How, exactly, is it a threat to Universal or any other company for scripts to be posted online? Is it that they are afraid of people simply ripping off story ideas? If that’s the case, how is it any more of a threat than me going out and BUYING A DVD of any movie I am interested in stealing ideas from??
Its a combination of three things, MNM74.
First and most importantly, studios don’t understand how the internet works and don’t believe in Fair Use. To them, every person on the internet is automatically guilty of piracy.
Secondly, they believe that because they are in the business of sell intellectual properties, they should charge the consumer money for any and all of them. Even properties that are forty years old, out of print and nearly forgotten, and that have no commercial value to them whatsoever. Lawsuits are one of the ways they do this.And finally studios justify their actions by saying that the law requires them to challenge every instance of copyright violation. If they don’t, then they argue that technically they have forfeited that copyright.
“And finally studios justify their actions by saying that the law requires them to challenge every instance of copyright violation. If they don’t, then they argue that technically they have forfeited that copyright.”
You’re exactly right, and in my opinion allowing screenplays like Die Hard, etc. to remain on the internet in various forms unchallenged for 15+ years means they have already forfeited their copyright. A mad legal scramble at the one-yard line doesn’t change that.
Does this mean there will be like hardly any Unproduced Scripts? I frequent this site because I am a fan of unproduced scripts that I read just for entertainment and curiosity. I wonder how the legal demands affect these acquisitions because it doesn’t seem like many of these scripts were removed from the listings for the last script removal. I think a lot of people on the web seek out unproduced screenplays, and I hope you continue posting them, as this is one of the only places on the web where they can be found in abundance.
If I receive permission to post an unproduced script from the screenwriter, then, yes, I’ll be happy to post it. Otherwise, no.
It must be a lot of work to contact so many screenwriters for hundreds of scripts.
Thanks for the heads up. Was wondering…You really brought some great scripts to my shores over the past year I’ve been keepin’ up. It’s very much appreciated. I mean the Coen Bros. scripts!?!?! I thought I’d never see those things. ‘No more scripts’ is a sad occasion but you’ve provided a great service. Keep up the good work…in whatever its forms!!
A fair conclusion Sheridan. I am disappointed but understand totally, and for that I remain a fan of you and this site. Keep the faith brother!
It was thanks to this great site that I was able to read many great and inspiring screenplays from the days when good films were made (Bonnie and Clyde, Basic Instinct, Deliverance, Hard Times, Wild Bunch….). Thanks to that education I have been able to get, if not my foot, then at least a toe on the ladder with a produced credit coming up soon (The Rift) plus another shortly.
Not only that but I have been able to work with several independent studios on other scripts of mine, all thanks to learning the craft from the scripts you so generously posted – for this very reason!
I look forward to seeing your new direction, and wish you all the best.
You have my sympathies, but at least you got a DMCA notice.
Sheridan, I’ve been in the same situation with sites.google.com/site/tvwriting where a writer has e-mailed me their own scripts, with permission to post them, only for the studio to come along with a take down notice. Being outside the US is no guarantee of immunity, either.
And you know what? I totally support your choice to restrict the scripts available to those you’ve been given permission to post, rather than continuing to allow yourself to be – let’s face it – bullied. Who the hell can be bothered with that s**t?
I hope that with this new approach, you can start to once again actually enjoy running this site, which has always been an enormously valuable resource.
I’ve been following the site since within a few days of the original launch. Every iteration of a pdf script site has seemed a little bit like rodeo bullriding. How long can you stay up? Every time I clicked the bookmark, I’d wonder if today would be the day when we were all collectively thrown off.
Kudos to you for staying astride that mother-effer for as long as you have. Respect.
Even if the site just went dark today, you’ve already done a great service to screenwriters and other interested parties by making sure that most of these scripts have been distributed. Although it’s not nearly as convenient as having everything under one roof, anybody with enough determination and ingenuity should be able to find a copy of any script that was on here somewhere out there.
As it stands, I certainly understand and respect your new policies moving forward. It may seem like tilting at windmills to shake your fist and say “They’re not getting any more of my money!”, but hey, it has to start somewhere. Voting with our wallets is about the only recourse we have left.
“Every iteration of a pdf script site has seemed a little bit like rodeo bullriding. How long can you stay up? Every time I clicked the bookmark, I’d wonder if today would be the day when we were all collectively thrown off.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself!
Don’t worry mate. thank you so much for the opportunity you gave us wannabe writers to read some great scripts so that one day we can be able to write great stories ourselves for these producing companies to buy and sell. I really don’t understand why they’re doing this. Especially with old movies. It’s not like I’m gonna “steal” the script and make the movie myself. Shame
I love brick but I have one thing to say. You Sir are a good guy, with all that has happened I would expect anyone to give up but you’re powering through. Your travelling in a new direction now but I hope you continue to make this site great, a place for educational purposes and inspiration to all the budding writers out there.
While I don’t believe in posting unproduced scripts due to the harm it honestly does do to projects that are in development and to screenwriters’ careers (I’m not going to debate this with anyone here, but it really is the case), I don’t understand the harm in posting scripts that have ALREADY been produced — if anything, it encourages people to rent or buy the movie so they can do a comparison. Now, studios retain the rights to work for hire projects, but projects that began as spec scripts are usually protected by separation of rights clauses, so their stance on such scripts is stupid. Talk about focusing their energies on the wrong battle, when they should be more worried about actual piracy of films.
However, as to your decision that projects on the no-post list will get no more money from you, please do keep in mind that even though the studio gets money for your rental/purchase, boycotting a movie would also be punishing all the above-the-line people (including the writers) who fought so hard for their meager residuals, and also all the crew members whose health fund will inevitably be going bankrupt due to decreasing residuals from reruns, rentals, DVD purchases, and such. Just wanted to throw that out there because I often see anger at the studios used by people as a justification for piracy — not that you were doing that — and I wanted to remind people that punishing the “big guys” also hurts the “little guys” who can’t least afford it.
Err… “CAN” least afford it. (Curse you, lack of edit button.)
Both myself and Vertigo films are happy for you to re-post the script for ‘Faintheart’. Keep up the good work, Sir!
Thank you, David! I really hope there are more studios and screenwriters like you out there!
dude… I’m once again seriously sorry that you got screwed like that. I’m really glad that you’re sticking with it. Truly, yours was my favourite site on the net.
As per your request, I’ll contact some of my buddies to see if they have rights to their works and are willing to have you post them.
Hang in there…
Wait, you’re generating ad revenue from site traffic that you probably wouldn’t have if you weren’t posting/hosting others’ property. You really don’t see the problem here?
Wait, I’m generating ad revenue? That means I’m supposed to be receiving money from Google, right? How long should I hold my breath on that one, exactly?
Apologies if you’re not seeing ad revenue. I saw ads on the blog and assumed you were seeing money from then. Larger point being that ad revenue is being generated for someone by the ads on this blog, and it isn’t the owners of the screenplays. Hence the issue. You guys/gals do get that, right?
How come nobody’s gone after simply scripts, drew’s script-o-rama and daily script?
Here’s another place where scripts used to be readily available, blasted into the ether …
I wonder if it would be rude of you to post a list of the scripts you have available and e-mail them to someone by request rather than post them for download. Then it’s just among friends, so to speak.
Any script produced as a film by a major studio or any WGA signatory allows the credited writer to retain separated rights which includes the right of publication and so no studio should be able to demand that a script is taken down. (All learned thanks to John August and Craig Mazin.)
Upload it into your own server and use domain masking or domain changing to avoid domain ban… MediaFire only want to protect their site from being banned by authority and 500 fortune company who always prosper and wealth by protecting each other and never care about other people and their concept is the profit and prosper must come first. There are several people who upload particular and illegal file and nobody ban it..there are political games in web, so don’t be so upset ok? You will be not banned unless someone report the file to mediafire or impersonate as highly authority company who owns the copyright. There are some people from big company and an individual who like to ban anyone and assume all copyright is theirs…ALL PROBLEM HAVE SOLUTION ! HACKER NEVER EXISTS IF IN THE WORLD NO OR WITHOUT SOLUTIONS.
I have visited other script sites like Simply Scripts and others and they have lots of stuff in plain text and I was wondering why they haven’t been hit with legal demands from studios to take down stuff and this site has been singled out.
Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t understand why the studios have to make money from every little part of the film-making process. Even if I did, most of the scripts on this excellent site are NOT commercially available. I have bought many scripts in book form, covered them in notes, etc, etc, so I can see how offering these for free might upset some lawyer somewhere. But most scripts – even for blockbusters – are not commercially available.
This site has been a good friend to me for the last couple of years. Thanks, Sheridan.
Thanks also to Lee Thomson for the ‘Breaking Bad’ scripts (and many others).
If I post again I hope to be less angry and so make more sense.
I sympathize with the site operator (Sheridan?) completely. He’s in a very tough spot. The studios are obviously intent on playing bad cop with script distribution, because they see it as part and parcel of the larger fight against piracy of their produced media. So, the trend is that they are flexing their muscle in all areas of copyright, just to make a statement and be consistent in terms of asserting their ownership. It plainly sucks, but that’s the reality of the situation. I’ve been downloading scripts for a while from various websites because I foresaw that this situation would arise, but it’s unfortunate that it’s come to this.
In a perfect world, it would be nice if a sympathetic producer or studio made produced scripts available for viewing on their website for a nominal fee, or none at all — they could simply allow access to users who provided certain personal information and agreed to an electronic statement of terms and conditions of use.
I’d like to extend a personal thanks to Sheridan for the service he provided to all of us fans of the screenplay form, as a labor of love. Your passion and work is appreciated.
Look, I love your site, and I have loved the access to the scripts. But any writer knows when you sell your rights to Universal or Warner or whomever, you SELL YOUR RIGHTS. It’s very, very simple. You no longer own your material, whether created as writer for hire or on spec. The Universal lawyer is absolutely correct.
I posted this on my facebook page. I hope you approve… :)
STUDIOS are wankers. I hope more megauploads come along and put movies all over the net. They disgust me those fat cats at the top with their lawyers who toss their salads every monday
Several years ago I made my first script sale to a small prodco in Brentwood. They purchased the script after seeing it on http://www.simplyscripts.com, a site which gives aspiring writers the opportunity to have their work posted for others to read and critique. Once the contract had been signed, the first thing the prodco did was demand I contact the simplyscripts site admin and ask him to remove the screenplay. Their reason?
Because it was no longer mine.Legally, it was their right. Afterall, once you sell a screenplay it belongs to the studio/prodco who bought it from you. But after two months and several rewrites with the director who signed on, the script no longer resembled the one they had purchased. I didn’t see the harm in leaving the original screenplay available to others; it’s not like I could have sold that original script AGAIN. And as it turns out, the film was never made. It was back-burnered and later dropped altogether as the prodco changed directions and stopped producing films in order to focus on providing material for television. The project is dead, and the script will never be produced.Which begs the question, what’s the harm of leaving it available for others to view? The answer is that there is no harm. But it’s not about harm or a lack of it. As you experienced with Fox, studios are like spoiled kids who refuse to share their toy with the other kids for no other reason than because it’s THEIRS. There’s no big mystery to it. No conspiracy. No spite or hatefulness or malice. It’s just good old fashioned corporate greed, and absolutely nothing else.Welcome to Hollywood, folks.
Is there no way you can reconsider your decision? I used to come to your site EVERY DAY to read scripts and let me tell you, I speak for a lot of people in saying I’m devastated.
Couldn’t you post the scripts on some sort of offshore filehosting site? Or use your own server (storage is cheap these days)? Or maybe you could announce a grab bag week where you give everyone a chance to copy all your scripts for one week and then take them down? Then you could post new ones for a couple of weeks so your loyal followers would have time to keep up with what you get. Or you could email new ones to your fanbase.
You are sitting on a motherlode that is nothing short of the world’s CINEMATIC HISTORY. I know they spooked you but there has got to be a way to keep doing what you were doing. Maybe the folks at script-o-rama, simplyscripts, IMSDB, etc. can tell you how they are staying up and out of the studios’ reach??
Aspiring screenwriters really need you dude. Please consider coming back into the fold.
I’m gonna have to agree. This website is the reason I’ve become the writer I am. I have multiple screenplays from this sight that I read and reference to this day.
Why don’t you just “review” unproduced scripts, comparing and contrasting the finished movie with the different drafts?
No other website or blog is doing this, to my knowledge. It would certainly gain attention and more traffic.
An example would be reviewing Michael France’s original FANTASTIC FOUR script to the past two movies.
Is it illegal to review a script draft for a movie that has already been released?