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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12076
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My question is about copyright. I wrote a script based on a

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Hi there.
My question is about copyright.
I wrote a script based on a friends autobiography. Its had quite a lot of interest.
It was unpaid and on a trust bases, that it would be joint copyright. It was initially on the title page, but he has taken me off and made changes without consulting me, now saying because its about him he owns all the copyright. . But if I created it and he hasn't paid me then don't I own it, I know he owns his story, as it is his story, but I created many events that didn't happen to tell the story, so aren't the words mine?. Now he's saying I don't have a say in what happens to it at all and its very distressing to say the least.

He doesn't own his story as you can only own a "work". He has copyright in his autobiography. You have the copyright in your script, irrespective of what it is about. You have agreed that it will be joint copyright so he can't just change a bit and then say he owns the copyright. It is still joint if that is what the agreement is. If the script is exploited then you would both fall to be paid. However, if there is no written agreement as to joint copyright you might want to take the stance that you own the copyright in the whole thing in that the agreement for it to be joint was never finally agreed. Happy to discuss. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am creditd for my time. Also read part 1 of the Copyrights Designs and Patents Act 1988 which will tell you all about copyright ownership.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great, thank you. We had no written agreement, but there is hardcopy of the script going out to be read with joint copyright on the title page, prior to him taking it off and deciding that he owned sole copyright, and that I no longer have a part in it, so I'm either in on his terms or out. So its fab hearing that I could actually have a case to copyright the whole thing as mine due to there being no agreement. He said he has researched it all and he definately has sole copyright. I look forward to telling him, thanks :)

He can't claim sole copyright under any circumstances unless he has been given an assignation or licence from you. Happy to have been of help. Don't forget to leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.

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