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eddiebrown
03-16-2013, 02:55 PM
I'm looking to write a feature script based on a 2006 movie and I want to know if somebody can tell me if its legal to do so.

I will of course be changing the dialogue and character names but I plan on following exactly how the film played out

Thanks

Nick Soares
03-16-2013, 03:12 PM
No it is not illegal

eddiebrown
03-16-2013, 03:19 PM
OK Thank You. I'm in the process of writing a script based on The Omen. I'm pretty much using the same story but I will be using different dialogue.

Troy
03-16-2013, 03:23 PM
No it is not illegal

Really? Mind if i ask where is the line in this sort of scenario?

Nick Soares
03-16-2013, 03:57 PM
Really? Mind if i ask where is the line in this sort of scenario?

Sure,

Same story line, same characters, same title - That = crossing the line.

One of my films was almost a replica of another large film, but you would never know... And no, its not my found footage film

2001 Productions
03-16-2013, 05:18 PM
There are only a handful of plots anyway, so almost every movie is a re-imagining of earlier work. Shakespeare stole most of his plots from previous works, but he was able to improve upon them to such an extent that his became the definitive version.

BTW, I'm trying to be a good sport about the fact that you consider The Omen to be a 2006 movie, when I clearly remember seeing it in 1976...

NHummel
03-16-2013, 05:35 PM
There are only a handful of plots anyway, so almost every movie is a re-imagining of earlier work. Shakespeare stole most of his plots from previous works, but he was able to improve upon them to such an extent that his became the definitive version.

BTW, I'm trying to be a good sport about the fact that you consider The Omen to be a 2006 movie, when I clearly remember seeing it in 1976...


Wait, it wasn't a 2006 movie? Next you are going to tell me that Psycho wasn't a 1998 movie.

Jokes of course. :-)

Nick Soares
03-16-2013, 05:45 PM
Wasn't there a Omen that was made around 06 with Nicole Kidman?

eddiebrown
03-16-2013, 05:49 PM
Julia Stiles and Liev Schreiber

NHummel
03-16-2013, 05:50 PM
Wasn't there a Omen that was made around 06 with Nicole Kidman?

Kidman hasn't been in an Omen movie as far as I know, nor one that shows up on her filmography.

Nick Soares
03-16-2013, 06:21 PM
Oh you are right, I was thinking of the movie Birth (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337876/)

khathawayart
03-17-2013, 01:23 AM
I don't see see any value in making the "same movie" but with different dialogue.

Unless it's a class project or private project, I guess.

Even Nick's example resulted in a movie that no one would realize was based on another--so it's a different story in at least some respects...not just new dialogue.

If you're attracted to the themes or the characters of your source material, you can keep that intact while still making something original.

And while it may be legal to do what you plan [frankly, I'm suspicious about that]--producers would shy away from what is essentially a remake only 7 years later. Plus, legal or not--you can expect a lawsuit from the Omen people.


Kurt Hathaway
-------------------
VikingDream7 Productions
Video Production & Editing

khathawayart[at]gmail.com

mara
03-17-2013, 05:23 AM
I'm looking to write a feature script based on a 2006 movie and I want to know if somebody can tell me if its legal to do so.

Just to be clear: it's not illegal in the sense that you'll be arrested for doing it.
It IS a violation of copyright law, and you're very likely to be sued for it.

Nick Soares
03-17-2013, 06:53 AM
I'm looking to write a feature script based on a 2006 movie and I want to know if somebody can tell me if its legal to do so.

Just to be clear: it's not illegal in the sense that you'll be arrested for doing it.
It IS a violation of copyright law, and you're very likely to be sued for it.

Maybe I am not clear on what he is trying to do here, For instance, CULT was an original idea there was written. We just watched lots of movies that were similar and it gave us our ideas. Ohhhhhhhhh.......

Stand by....

Ok, are you going to try and rewrite a script like "The Omen" and try and sell it? Or are you trying to do something for a personal project?

Nick Soares
03-17-2013, 07:04 AM
What an great topic actually. Ok so I thought I read the script correctly, but yet I didn't really process it. As you can see I write as I think ^

It is not illegal to rewrite a script in your own words. According to the OP that is what he is going to do.

It is illegal to get someone elses script and change a few things and call it your own.

Assuming the Audience would no notice that it is a replica (because the dialog, shots/angles, music are different) then there is no reason to get sued.


Is it legal to - This is more of a moral situation, as people know that I am 100% against piracy and other illegal activities that hurt the film economy I cannot see that a fresh rewrite of a script is bad, all you are doing is taking the Idea of it - But the confusing part for me is you use the work "exact" and that make me confused a bit on what to think. Because the script has been produced so many years ago, and produced again, it is less worrying. But lets say someone on this forum sends you a script for purchase, but instead you just take the idea and rewrite it - That is Bad, Bad, Bad - But currently that is not the situation, it is an old script produced twice, its something where I have had the physical script "The Shining" and I studied it, I read what makes a good script, but I didn't "copy" it, not 1% -

So those are some more detailed thought of mine, anyone else?

EricTheMan
03-17-2013, 02:30 PM
Yea it kind of a hard one here, it all depends on what he means?

eddiebrown
03-17-2013, 03:02 PM
The plan is to take the general idea and making some tweaks that will fit my budget (I'll be producing this script) Some of the shots might look the same but the dialogue will be different a long with the music.

AlphaFilms
03-17-2013, 03:09 PM
Never really thought of this. interesting

khathawayart
03-17-2013, 10:19 PM
Well, using the general idea--and telling it exactly the same with different dialogue are two different things.

I'm at least somewhat at ease that your plan isn't to rip off another movie at its roots. That would be a colossal waste of your time--again, though--unless it's a private project.

I seem to always have to cover both bases with questions of this nature. Is the poster asking about a private project or planning to navigate thru the Hollywood system?

Being that there are total newbies here as well as industry pros, I'm never sure what the intention is.

At any rate, it sounds like you've been informed to some degree whatever your intentions.

Good luck, too.



Kurt Hathaway
-------------------
VikingDream7 Productions
Video Production & Editing

khathawayart[at]gmail.com

eddiebrown
04-12-2013, 08:59 PM
I will be looking to attach a mid level star and selling the film once it's completed. I pretty much want to try and do what the company The Asylum does. They make their own films based on Hollywood blockbusters or known Hollywood films.

Nick Soares
04-12-2013, 09:25 PM
I will be looking to attach a mid level star and selling the film once it's completed. I pretty much want to try and do what the company The Asylum does. They make their own films based on Hollywood blockbusters or known Hollywood films.

If you checked everything out and its legal then go for it. Just make sure that it is still your original work (writing) and do your best to have as good of a production value as you can

EuropeanDistributor
04-12-2013, 09:51 PM
I guess in a sense there are only a few basic story structures out there, not to mention that most scripts follow the basic "rules" of screenwriting, so this would be a grey area for sure.

That being said, if you are going to go through all that trouble, financing the movie, attaching name actors, producing it, selling it etc. why not make it your own, instead of copying another movie and barely making enough changes so you can call it your own?

As far as The Asylum goes, they don't make as many "mockbusters" as they used to.
And the ones they do make, you have to realise, that often their movies are quite different from the movies they are "ripping off", only the name and possibly poster art is similar in most cases.
Quite often the source material is in the public domain, so when they make their own Jack and the Beanstalk, or Hansel and Gretel, or War of the Worlds, they aren't ripping off anyone, they're just conveniently releasing their own version based on the same source material at the same times as the big studio pictures.

Also, making a mockbuster of a 2006 film would be pointless in that sense, if you are going to try to cash-in on another movie's success, you have to pick a new movie, something that hasn't even been released yet.

It happened with the recent Hansel and Gretel movie, in addition to the big budget flick there were a few different Hansel and Gretel movies out there, including one by The Asylum.

Next year they are going to release two big budget Hercules movies, and since the Hercules mythology is obviously in the public domain, I bet come next year you will see countless of cheap Hercules movies going around.

It's one thing to capitalize on the success of a bigger movie by making a "similar" lower budget movie that may share the same themes, imagery, feel, idea etc.
But it's another thing to lift a whole script and change it slightly.

Again, why not just make it your own?

I'm sure you have some kickass ideas of your own. And if you don't, there are literally thousands of starving writers out there who each have that "million dollar idea" in their head, heck, most of them have several.

Jimmy
04-19-2013, 01:20 PM
Just got done reading this. I will have to agree with Nick, not because he is the Owner, but because he answered the question is it Legal, not is it Moral.

Director
04-19-2013, 01:31 PM
Just got done reading this. I will have to agree with Nick, not because he is the Owner, but because he answered the question is it Legal, not is it Moral.

Jimmy, I think you mean ethical, and not moral.