Script copyright: * n * options, how to assign script rights

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Script copyright

There are a lot of questions regarding the copyright for the script. There is an opinion among screenwriters that the script is not subject to copyright, as it is an idea. However, it should be remembered that, according to Ukrainian legislation, an idea may be subject to copyright if it is expressed in any material form (for example, as a script).

So, how to copyright a script ? And how can these rights be protected? Let’s discuss in this article.

Every screenwriter wants to protect their work from illegal use. However, many difficulties arise when an author intends to officially register his copyright for a script. This is due to the fact that not always a given object can be classified under a certain category of intellectual property. It is for this reason that its registration becomes impossible.

Авторское право на сценарий

How to prove script authorship?

So, one of the important questions is how to prove the copyright of the script ? Many people know that patenting an intellectual property object gives the author full recognition and copyright. According to Ukrainian legislation, a patent can be obtained for an invention, utility model or industrial design. Unfortunately, the script doesn’t fit into any of these categories.

How to deal with this situation? In fact, the authorship of the script arises from the moment of its creation, and the person indicated in it is the author. This does not require any registration procedures.

Does this mean that you don’t have to worry about copyright protection? Not at all. Copyright protection for the script implies a set of specific actions that can protect the author from illegal use and unfair competition. If you neglect them, then there is a possibility of losing your developments and being left without the corresponding rights to them.

What is evidence and where can I get it?

Evidence is certain facts, arguments that indicate the truth of any statement (action). In our case, the evidence relates to the copyright for the script.

Where can I get them? Today, there are certain ways in which a screenwriter provides himself with proof of his authorship.

When resorting to obtaining such facts and arguments, it is necessary to adhere to the principle of legality. In the event that your evidence is obtained in violation of national law, it will not have legal force, and accordingly it will not be possible to use it.

How do I copyright a script?

How can a screenwriter protect their copyrights ? Today, there are several ways in which a screenwriter can obtain proof of his authorship, thereby ensuring his copyright protection. These methods are:

  • Deposit.
  • Notarization.
  • Copyright registration.
  • A letter addressed to your own name.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the methods.


Each script can be deposited. What does it mean? Deposit is the transfer of an object for temporary storage by a special authority. This method can make it easier for you to prove your rights. However, this method alone cannot be considered proof.

Today there are both a national escrow agency and private companies.


The script writer can also ask a notary for help. Experts indicate the presence of a certain object in a particular person, be sure to indicate the date of fixation. This method will be cheaper than escrow, and the certified document will be legally binding and can be used in court.

However, this method also has its drawback – not every notary will agree to carry out this procedure. They argue that the script is an object of intellectual property and cannot be a document. Therefore, in order to carry out notarization, you will need to find an appropriate specialist.

Copyright Registration

This method is interesting in that it does not involve national registration, but foreign one. You can find a country where scripts are legally copyrighted and where registration procedures are carried out.

In addition, do not be surprised if this method abroad is cheaper than depositing in our country.

Most often, this method is used by those scriptwriters who wish to use their developments in some specific foreign countries.

Send email to your name

As strange as it may sound, this method is very effective and simple. What’s the point? The author sends a copy of the script in his own name. Upon receipt, the screenwriter does not open the letter, but simply stores it until the desired occasion. If there is a dispute about the copyright for this object. The author takes out a letter, where the date of sending is indicated, and opens it at the notary. This testimony is good evidence in court.

In the modern world, letters have begun to be used not only in paper format, but also in electronic format.

The most correct way to protect your rights to the script is to register copyright with Ukrpatent and obtain the corresponding title of protection. Indeed, in the event of illegal use or theft of your developments, you can always prove the authenticity of the authorship.

The Wise Group team is ready to help you protect intellectual property rights and objects. Don’t waste your time! Leave a request on our official website, and an expert on intellectual property issues will contact you shortly.

Interesting? Find out more! For example, what is copyright for an online course and how to protect it.

Марина Ижевская.

Position: Lawyer in the field of intellectual property
Work experience: 8 years. Candidate of Legal Sciences.
Specialization: Deals with the protection and registration of intellectual property objects, writing claims and statements of claim. Registers objects in the customs register.

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