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The J. Michael Straczynski Message Archive

 

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 Message
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: Scripts
      To: CIS  
    Date: 8/14/1997 10:40:00 AM  

Message 1 in thread 

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Roseann M. Caputo <103510.1542@compuserve.com> asks:
> Are these legal?
> Are they being sold legally?
> Would appreciate any info you might have and if you or one of the
> cast is presented with one of these, would it get signed or would
> I get a smack in the head?

No, these scripts are *not* legitimate or legal. I know they
say they buy from "script dealers," but that translates out to "people
who stole scripts from studios." WB is aware of this one, and
preparing to go after them. The actual ownership of the physical
*script* itself is shared and/or alternated by the studio and the
writer, and it *cannot* be sold without the permission of the writer.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: Scripts
      To: CIS  
    Date: 8/15/1997 7:09:00 AM  

Message 2 in thread 

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Roseann M. Caputo <103510.1542@compuserve.com> asks:
> When you do the marketing thing, will you be making any of the
> scripts available, or is that one of those things that you
> haven't really been able to give a lot of time/attention to?

Selling B5 scripts is something I'd like to do, with the
difference that the writers involved -- David, Larry, Peter, everybody
-- would get a percentage, just as with a book publication. That's the
way it *should* be done. These guys who sell scripts through stores
and mail order don't give a penny to the creators or writers whose work
they are selling.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: Scripts
      To: CIS  
    Date: 8/16/1997 8:52:00 AM  

Message 3 in thread 

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{original post unavailable}

"Am I out of touch, but doesn't the Basic Agreement with the Guild
give the writer the exclusive to sell the physical copies of the work?
Or is that something that died with the Strike of '61?"

Yes and no. For instance...my script for "The Coming of
Shadows" is being published in the UK by Boxtree, and subsequently in
the US. There is no ancillary payment for this other than the general
licensing fee that goes against the overall merchandising revenue
stream. (Showbiz talk, folks, pay no attention.) So I don't get any
kind of royalty on the script book per se at all. I called the WGA,
and this is entirely within their purview. Also, Fox is selling
X-Files scripts by their writers, and I believe the arrangement is the
same, or close to it.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: Scripts
      To: CIS  
    Date: 8/17/1997 3:08:00 PM  

Message 4 in thread 

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{original post unavailable}

Oh...got it. Yes, the places that are under discussion, like
scriptshop.com, which sell scripts without the permission of the
writer, who does control the physical script, are ripping the writers
off. Yes, they are definitely in violation of the basic
agreement...but then, they aren't signatories, either. They're just
crooks.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: Scripts
      To: CIS  
    Date: 8/18/1997 8:45:00 AM  

Message 5 in thread 

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{original post unavailable}

Because we're siccing Warner Bros. on 'em instead...and letting
the other studios know about it. Let the big boys go in there and slug
it out with 'em.

jms
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Scripts
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 2/20/2000 11:57:00 AM  

Message 6 in thread 

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This is a question only Fiona can answer; you may want to send her a note via
the Scripts from the Lot page and inquire if she might work something out.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
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