Basing concept of a short story into a film script

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Basing concept of a short story into a film script

Post by thorpe » Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:05 pm

Hello there.

I have a question about basing a film script on a story that already exists.

I am writing a script for a short film I would like to make, that is loosely based on a short story that has been published. In the script i've been writing, the characters are of a different age and sex from the story, the setting is different, though the concept remains the same- that is, that a 'guardian angel' is protecting the character from comitting suicide.
My question is: am I infringing the authors/publishers copyright law if I go ahead with this?

Can anyone offer advice on this?

Many thank's in advance


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Post by CopyrightAid » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:32 am

If someone else wrote the story they will be the copyright owner to that story. Unless of course copyright has expired - i.e. the author died over 70 years ago.
You should also be aware that the act of adapting someone else's work is itself a restricted act and (excluding fair dealing exclusions) constitutes an infringement if carried out without permission.

It is important to differentiate between being inspired by someone else's work and adapting their work.

If the script is based on an existing story (i.e. you are adapting a story someone else has written) then you should get their permission before publication/production.

Hope that helps.

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