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Looked all over the internet...no answers. HELP!  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Thu Dec 19th, 2019 09:45 pm
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jenifer rene
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Mana: 
I was collaborating on a full-length play with a friend. We had a big falling out and we are not collaborating anymore. I took the play, gave it a new title, new character names, new setting, and went line for line writing new dialogue.
Here's my question---since the theme of the play is still the same, how do I still give her credit? I don't want to leave her out completely but all of her dialogue is out, so I do not want to give her writing credit. Should my title page read, "Concept by" or "Theme by".....and give both of us credit for this and only writing credit to myself?
I just don't know what to do.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 20th, 2019 09:39 am
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Paul Thain
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Mana: 
I'm not a lawyer but here's my view ...

You cannot use the work of someone else without their formal permission (usually written)

And you cannot separate concept/theme/plot from "writing"

If the concept/theme/plot is unoriginal - eg boy meets girl, boy loses girl etc - you shouldn't give her credit because she doesn't deserve it

But if she does deserve credit then you need her formal permission to exploit her work for your benefit

If this is refused unless you can entirely extricate her contribution (and be able to prove it) you should abandon the project

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 Posted: Fri Dec 20th, 2019 08:47 pm
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Paddy
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Mana: 
Yes, what Paul said. You might be shooting yourself in the foot giving her a story credit, as then she'd have to agree to any productions. This same thing happened to me. A screenplay. There wasn't even a concept, but the other guy wrote a Welsh-style poem. I wrote the screenplay bin six weeks - sent it to him to add or take away - and after six MONTHS he sent it back saying - I love it, no need to change anything, but I took out all those dots (ellipses). Sigh. He didn't do anything else. So I talked to him about giving him a story credit. He wanted more.

So - there it sits, gathering dust. I've been advised to write my own poem, and carry on. But I haven't yet - and it's been many many years.

It's hard - because it's really a good script.

Best of luck.

Paddy

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 Posted: Sat Dec 21st, 2019 12:59 am
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jenifer rene
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Mana: 
Paul and Paddy--Thank you so much for your quick response.

Paul--Our idea together was that it was about 4 women working in a bakery, each with their own problems. Think Steel Magnolias....
I changed it to a restaurant, cut a character that she created, and changed all the dialogue. Even if I thought she wrote a WORD, I cut that line.
Oh, and changed the title.
Still too risky?


Paddy--So sorry that happened to you. I should take it as a lesson learned for me as well.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 21st, 2019 02:57 am
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Paddy
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Mana: 
Jennifer. I have one - five women accidentally locked overnight in a mall washroom. All with their own problems.

It's not an uncommon theme.

Paddy

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 Posted: Sat Dec 21st, 2019 08:37 am
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Paul Thain
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Mana: 
Does she know you've re-written the script?

She should - better sooner rather than later and avoid the heartache of losing a big bag of money because the copyright is contested at the eleventh hour

Also, I find it difficult to believe she helped create one character but made zero contribution to the other three

And how are you going to prove she didn't?

My advice is to talk to her ...

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 Posted: Mon Dec 23rd, 2019 02:20 am
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in media res
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Mana: 
A saying:

"The shakiest ship that ever sailed the Seven Seas is a Partnership."


Here is your biggest problem:

"I was collaborating on a full-length play with a friend."

Without a contract?

Never do that again.

You can join the Dramatists Guild of America, and they can advise you. There are various levels of memberships.

Hope you learned something!!!!

One of my best friend's mothers, when I was in High School and early College, would yell at us every time we left her house for an evening out,
"DOOOONT BE STUUUUPID!!!" Best advice I ever received! About ANYTHING!

Best of luck.

Let us know how it turns out.

Best,

IMR


P.S. Heed Paul's advice.

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