Re: attn. JMS: A TV writing question...

 Posted on 7/2/2003 by to

>OK, so forgive an ignorant question on my part. Who owns the script of, for
>instance, "Value Judgements" (which was never produced) or "Grey 17 is
>Missing," (which, AFAIK, has never been published), or "Day of the Dead"
>(which has been published on its own) or "The Coming of Shadows" (which has
>been published in multiple books)? Do JMS or Neil Gaiman or Fiona Avery own
>the scripts they wrote for the show or does Warners?

Under the WGA Separation of Rights provision, the studio owns the characters
and the concept, but the writer owns the physical script and can do with it
whatever he/she wishes, so long as in doing so no copyrighted images are used
on the cover of, for instance, books containing those scripts.

>> Granted it would be better if the rest of the folk who worked on the
>> picture got a *share* of the actual copyright, rather than a diminishing
>> residual, but this is not exactly the same situation as an author's
>> relationship with a publisher.
>And who gets residuals? Producers? Writers? Star actors? Guest stars? Any of
>the production staff?

Residuals are not a part of ownership or copyright; they are deferred
compensation, if the film or tv series does well, they benefit, if not, they
lose. Everyone on your list gets residuals except production staff.


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