Here's a good article on "you stole my script" lawsuits.

It focuses on idea theft and California's "implied contract" theory that sometimes protects screenwriters making pitches. But usually doesn't.
There are ways to protect ideas by *express* contracts. That's a nondisclosure agreement. They're accepted in many industries. But Big Hollywood probably isn't going to sign yours.
Also, New York courts haven't adopted the implied contract theory for film pitches. So whether you have any chance of protection depends, in part, on where you make your pitch.
Copyright is almost always a non-starter in these script-stealing lawsuits. Copyright doesn't protect ideas. So ideas are free to take. That's how we get movies.

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More from @MarkJKings

23 Feb
1. A little bit about joint authorship in copyright. Part 1 in a series. About 35 tweets, which is not enough to discuss the issues and nuances. As always, assume asterisks everywhere.
2. Joint authorship is where more than person owns the same copyrighted work.
3. Joint authors own an equal share of the work. Each joint author can market and license the work, subject to paying the others their share. The property term is that they are “tenants in common” 17 U.S.C. § 201
Read 36 tweets
7 Dec 20
1. A brief bit about copyright termination rights. Specifically, when can you terminate and get your copyrights back?
15 tweets.
2. We say that 35 years after you’ve assigned a copyright, you can terminate the assignment and get your copyrights back. Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that.
3. First of all, the right applies where the “execution of the grant” (the assignment) was on or after 1978. If it was before that, a different set of rules and a different time frame (56 years) applies.
Read 15 tweets
30 Nov 20
Mike, I litigate and I can confirm that Rule of Evidence 404(b) has nothing to do with the point they're trying to make.
They're relying on an exception to a rule that would otherwise prohibit certain evidence from being used against a witness. But that rule doesn't even apply to the point they are trying to make.
In a very simplified explanation for non-lawyers: Rule 404(b) says you can't use prior "bad acts" of the witness for the purpose of saying "you did bad things before, so you must have done this bad thing we're accusing you of."
Read 11 tweets
18 Nov 20
1. I’m going to talk a little bit about the Instagram copyright infringement lawsuits. That is, not lawsuits vs. Instagram, but lawsuits by photographers against other people who embed their Instagram photos. A brief thread. About 22 tweets.
2. There have been numerous copyright infringement lawsuits against websites that embed photos from Instagram, including this one:
3. Although we’ve learned a few things from court decisions, there are no clear, bright lines. We probably won’t have any unless there’s a consensus in the federal courts or the Supreme Court takes them on.
Read 22 tweets
15 Apr 20
Thoughts on Sinclair v. Ziff Davis, which held that Mashable had a third-party license from Instagram to embed plaintiff's photograph on its website. #copyright

Read carefully.
The distinction between embedding a photograph or copying and pasting it comes into play, but for different reasons than Goldman v. Breitbart.

Goldman v. Breitbart isn't the decision to compare this to. Another one is.
The issue in Sinclair is whether, by uploading her photo to Instagram and agreeing to its terms of use, she granted a license to Instagram to sublicense it, and Instagram granted a sublicense for Mashable to embed a photograph.
Read 17 tweets
15 Jul 19
1. In light of this recent suggestion, I'm going to go over some basic principles about copyright law, "master" recordings, musical works, and recording contracts.

Note: assume ever tweet below has asterisks because there are almost always complications and exceptions.
2. When we talk about control of the "masters" we really mean two different things:

The tangible, physical master recordings, from which all later copies are made - and -

The copyright in the sound recordings, or the performance of those songs.
3. When we say a record label owns the "masters", we often mean both of those things. But industry people often blur the distinction.
Read 17 tweets

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