How to Word a Copyright Notice for a Screenplay

By Robin Elizabeth Margolis

A screenplay is the written script of a film and it is automatically protected by copyright from the moment you write it down. You are no longer required to place a copyright notice on your work to gain this protection; nevertheless, a properly formatted copyright notice on your screenplay identifies you as the creator of the work and notifies the public that you are actively protecting your work. If anyone tries to publish your screenplay without your permission or claims it as his own, a copyright notice will make it difficult for that person to argue in court that your copyright was infringed unintentionally.

Step 1

Begin your copyright notice with the letter "c" in lower case. Enclose the letter in parentheses as follows: (c). Alternately, you can spell out the world "Copyright" or write the letter "c" with a circle around it.

Step 2

Put a blank space after the copyright symbol or word. Following the blank space, add the current year in numerals, such as "2012."

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now

Step 3

Add a space after the year and then type your legal name or the name of the entity claiming the copyright. Your final copyright notice should appear similar to the following: (c) 2012 Richard Jones

Step 4

Add a co-author's name in your copyright notice, if you collaborated on the work with another person. Your co-author's name should follow your name with the word “and” inserted in between. For example: "Richard Jones and Janice Smith."

Step 5

Append the words "All Rights Reserved" to the copyright notice, if desired. This phrase is no longer required by law and holds no legal weight, but it is still used in many modern copyright notices. Your copyright notice will read: (c) 2012 Richard Jones. All rights reserved.

Step 6

Place the copyright notice on your screenplay at the bottom of the title page. The notice may be placed in other locations within your script, but many sample screenplays show the preferred location of the copyright notice is the bottom of the title page.

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now
How Do I Correctly Format a Copyright?
 

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Publish and Copyright a Poem

If you are a poet, you establish copyright protection for your poem as soon as you write it down. This protection gives you the exclusive right to publish, distribute and copy your poetry. For extra protection, including the right to sue and collect damages from someone who infringes your copyright, you can formally register your copyright with the United States Copyright Office. This can be done before or after you publish your poem.

How to Copyright Your Entire Blog

Although your blog is protected by copyright the moment you publish it to the Web, you should consider registering your blog with the United States Copyright Office. Doing so will give you additional protection, including the right to sue and collect damages if someone infringes your content. You can copyright your entire blog as it exists on the date of registration, but subsequent updates will require additional filings. In addition to registering your copyright, placing a copyright notice on your blog will let visitors know that you are serious about protecting your rights.

How to Copyright Choreography

A copyright affords protection to creators and owners of unique intellectual property that is fixed in some permanent, tangible form such as a written notation, book, video, sound recording, or drawing. To be eligible for copyright protection, your choreography must be original. Under U.S. copyright law, as soon as an original work of authorship, such as choreography, has been created in fixed form, then copyright protection exists from that time. This gives the author or his agent to rightfully claim copyright. However, it is much better to register the copyright, because it creates a public notice that you own the rights and enables you to sue in federal court if someone uses your choreography without your permission. It is important to note that choreography that has not been made into a fixed form is not eligible for copyright protection.

Related articles

How to Make a Copyright Page

The copyright page is where the publisher places all the legal notices and information related to a book. If you are ...

How to Prevent Others From Infringing on Your Copyright

Copyright is the scheme of legal protection for people who develop original creative works including art, literature, ...

How Do I Apply for Copyrights in Nevada?

Federal copyright law applies to all 50 states, and the process of registering a copyright is the same for Nevada ...

How to Write a Copyright Statement

Copyright protects the economic value of creative works by ensuring that only the person who created it can reproduce ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED