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Larry Zerner ESQ

Articles by Larry Zerner ESQ

Writers Guild of America-West Registration vs. Copyright Registration

Learn about the differences between Writers Guild of America-West Registration and copyright registration for your script.

WGA REGISTRATION vs. COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION For screenwriters who use the latest version of Final Draft ® to help write their script, one n... (read more)

Can Sinatra Get Me Into Trouble?

Patrice from Los Angeles asks:
I'm currently writing a screenplay that I'll be directing myself in about 10 months. I would like to use a Frank Sinatra look-alike to sing 3 ORIGINAL songs in the STYLE of Sinatra. Is that a copyright violation? Do I need to get approval from the family of Sinatra before I can use his likeness?

Larry Zerner ESQ responds:
This is an... (read more)

Do I Need to Obtain Rights to Portray the Ex?

A Reader Asks: I have the rights to do a screenplay on the life of a person, but how do you handle the rights to include other people in life, like an ex-wife and others who may be important to the story. Do you need get their rights also?

Larry Zerner, Esq. Responds:

This is a great question and one that comes up fairly ... (read more)

I Want My Rights Back!

A Reader Asks:
I sold a five-year option to my screenplay three years ago, and it appears that we're going nowhere with the company that bought it. I recently "pitched" my story to a well-heeled friend in the film business, and he showed interest, which waned immediately when he heard about the option. Is there a cool way of having the first buyer releasing his rights without having to... (read more)

Until Life (Plus 70) Do Us Part - The Writer's Prenup

For many writers, working with a collaborator is great. Instead of sitting in a room, alone, staring at the wall, waiting for inspiration to strike, now there are two of you, together, sitting in a room, discussing last night's episode of The Daily Show waiting for inspiration to strike.
However, as any writer who has worked with a partner knows, a c... (read more)