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Copyright and Idea Submission Law for Writers (Literary Series 1)

  • Wednesday, January 12, 2011
  • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Moving Arts Theatre, 1822 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027


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With Marc S. Williams, Esq.

You may have heard that mere ideas can't be copyrighted—but what does this really mean?  If you pitch an idea for a TV show or film to a studio, do you have any protection for what you share in those discussions?  Should you require non-disclosure agreements from the studio, or sign pre-submission contracts?  This workshop will address the basics of copyright and idea submission law for an audience of writers.  While most examples we will cover come from motion picture cases—such as litigation regarding who contributed to the story and writing of the TV show Six Feet Under—the workshop is relevant to all writers, and to anyone who works with writers.  How do you obtain and enforce rights under copyright laws?  To what extent can ideas be protected?  What are the best practices for protecting your ideas, even if they are not protected under copyright laws?  And, what rights can you typically maintain if you are just one among many writers, involved anywhere in the process from story to final polish?  This workshop will help clarify questions many writers have about their contributions in cases where they are not the final or only writers on a project.


Marc S. Williams is an attorney and partner at One LLP in Santa Monica, California.  Marc specializes in intellectual property law with a focus on copyright, trademark, idea misappropriation, breach of contract, entertainment and business litigation.  Before joining One LLP, Marc worked as an attorney for more than 10 years at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and spent a year clerking for the Honorable Kim McLane Wardlaw of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Marc is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Law and did his undergraduate work at Tufts University in Boston.


Free parking is available on Hyperion Ave. after 8pm, on Griffith Park Blvd., and in the small lot directly across the street from the theatre.

This workshop was made possible, in part, by support provided by the California Arts Council, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and the California Community Foundation.



California Lawyers for the Arts is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law.  State Bar LRS Certificate #0021.

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The information provided on this website is not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your legal matters.

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