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Asked & Answered: How do I protect myself when I submit my idea?

Q: I have written and produced a webseries and I would like to submit it to different companies PR and Advertising departments to see if I could possibly sell the idea.
How do I protect my footage and idea, and still try to push this webseries to as many companies as possible.

A: Protecting your work (whether a web-series, screenplay, treatment, or whatever) is a multi-faceted aproach. Here are my suggestions:

1. Register your copyright for the scripts, episodes, etc. (note that copyright law doesn't protect “ideas”, only particular expression of ideas. What this means is that nobody can protect the ‘idea' for a show, only the specific way they have expressed that idea.

2. Keep good ideas to yourself until/unless you have an agreement from those you share it with that you'll be PAID if they wish to proceed with it. The agreement doesn't need to be very formal, it can even be oral, as long as there's a way to prove it existed.

3. Only share your material with people you know and trust.

4. Keep good records about who sees the material, and under what circumstances.

Of course once the show is up on the web, it's available for people to see fairly freely. If you ARE copied, consult a lawyer.

This is intended as general information only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It is not a substitute for a private, independent consultation with an attorney selected to advise you after a full investigation of the facts and law relevant to your matter. We will not be responsible for readers’ detrimental reliance upon the information appearing in this feature.

Thinking of Producing it yourself? subscribe to my FREE e-course “6 ways to Finance A Feature Film” by visiting

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