Understanding the Law of Spec Scripts and Derivative Works
Los Angeles Lawyer
May 2013

In the entertainment industry, spec scripts can be lucrative currency for the experienced writer or director, and just as often serve as calling cards for the novice writer trying to break into the business. The transmission of these scripts in pitch meetings and otherwise, however, can also give rise to claims of idea theft and copyright infringement. This article explores the types of claims that can arise out of the preparation and submission of a spec script, particularly for preexisting works such as established television series and movie franchises. The article also provides helpful advice as to how to avoid such claims, to the extent possible.