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How can I protect my script in the USA?

By Marisa D'Vari

From a writer living in Turkey:...

Question: How can I protect my script in the USA? I mean how can I take the 'all rights reserved' for my script? I am afraid to (have my script) copied and stolen!! What is the best way to protect my script?

Marisa D'Vari responds: This is the most common question in all the screenwriting classes I teach. I will detail the steps you can take to protect your script, but ownership will still be difficult to prove - and win - in a court of law. Often, studios and producers don't consciously try to steal a script, it's just 'in the air' or a concept that several people think of at the same time. Unfortunately, sometimes theft is intentional. But if you don't write scripts and give pitch meetings about your ideas, there is no chance your idea will be heard. So here are the steps:

Call or email the script registration division of the Writers Guild (http://www.wga.org) or (323) 782-4500. Registration costs $20 and lasts for five years, after which time it can be renewed. The guild just recently added online registration at https://www.writersguild.org/webrss/dataentry.asp

Meet the Author: Marisa D'Vari

Marisa D’Vari, former studio executive, story consultant, sought-after speaker, and author of five books, is committed to helping authors and screenwriters tap into their creativity and manifest success. She divides her time between Hollywood and Boston.