It is common in the industry to pay writers a “passive payment” on behalf of sequels and remakes based on their original scripts. A “passive payment” is compensation paid to the author when the producer exploits derivative works based on the author`s original script. In other words, the author receives the equivalent of a royalty for future uses of the script that their writing services do not require. Authors can not write the sequel and also earn the passive payment – it is one or the other. The industry standard passive payment is 50% of the initial purchase price and profit share for sequels and 33 1/3% of the initial purchase price and profit sharing for remakes. Notwithstanding this, WGA authors who qualify for separate rights cannot receive less than the WGA minimum for sequels. WGA authors are eligible for passive payments for remakes, but the amount of the payment depends on the credit they receive for the remake as part of the WGA credit arbitration, e.B “Story By” credit. WGA members who are entitled to separate rights receive passive payments on behalf of a television series based on their script. For more information about passive payments, see the WGA Basic Agreement. The following points should be addressed with a screenwriter contract: The employment contract for a fee is one of the most important agreements you will make as a producer, as the entire production and your ability to distribute the finished image depends on the title chain of the script. Hire a lawyer to negotiate and draft the employment contract for a fee for you.

No matter how tempted you are, don`t let the author begin the writing process until you`ve signed the employment contract for hire or reward. There`s no single basic contract you should use, and many customers have one on loan for everyone they hire. As with all contracts, be sure to read it carefully, and if you create your own, make sure it`s complete. If a freelancer submits an article that is not solicited, the work is by definition not considered a “commissioned work” under copyright law. Any agreement after submission cannot change this fact. However, a post-submission agreement can be considered a transfer of the author`s copyright in the article to publication. Using this agreement can and will make your life easier, both at the time of negotiating the agreement and in unfortunate cases where a dispute arises at a later date. We believe that this contract can help pay authors earlier, reduce disputes over the wording of the contract, and eliminate the inclusion of unexpected and undesirable provisions that are too often discovered after a contract is signed. Currently, the guild`s standard contract is intended for use in feature films, but other forms will be available in the future. Hiring work writers who want credit for their work should ask the sponsoring party to give you credit.

Otherwise, the customer is not obliged to give you a credit rating. If you want to work with a more experienced writer and can afford it, hire a WGA member. Offer to pay him the small budget compared to the higher budget reserve price, as you can make an argument for not knowing the production budget before the script is written. Keep in mind that on behalf of the author of the WGA, you must pay a pension and health contribution of 17% that goes beyond the remuneration you pay under the employment contract for remuneration. Authors are usually allocated 5% of the net profit of the image or producer. Note that there is a difference between the net profit of the image and that of the producer. The contract is intended to facilitate the negotiation process between an editor or his representative and a company that employs that writer. Companies, writers and their representatives can use these forms to store employment contracts before filing a “long” agreement. An author who is not a member of the WGA is likely to be one who has little or no experience or who has sold to companies and/or worked for companies that are not signatories to the WGA.

You are not bound by WGA rules if you use the services of a non-member, as long as you are not a signatory to the WGA. You can pay a non-member as little as they accept because they are not bound by WGA rules and regulations. If hiring a WGA author is beyond your financial means, hire a non-WGA member and pay what you can afford. Just be reasonable. There`s no point in paying the writer less than they need to deliver a high-quality script on time. An author willing to work for less than $10,000 in advance probably isn`t worth your time and money. A side note on California is that the laws consider someone who orders a “job to hire” as an employer and the freelancer as an employee. The purpose of the law is to require California companies to offer benefits such as workers` compensation, unemployment, and disability insurance. The unintended implication from a copyright perspective is that California companies may not want to sign a “work done for rental” agreement. Instead, they can ask the freelancer to assign certain copyright rights required for the project.

If a copyrighted work is created on behalf of a person, whether it is an employer or a third party, it is a “commissioned work”. Under the “commissioned work” exception, the person (or entity) for whom the work was created is considered the copyright owner of the work, not the author himself. E`ville Eye LLC`s Independent Contributor Agreement by Rob Arias The WGA may determine that the author is entitled to “separate rights” if you paid the author to write an original screenplay based on the author`s pitch. “Separate rights” are a set of rights that the WGA has determined belong to the authors of original screenplays.15 Both dramatic stage and publishing rights are included in separate rights, as is the first mandatory overhaul of the author`s original script and the WGA`s minimum remuneration for it; the right to meet with a senior production manager if the producer wishes to replace the author; the right to redeem the scenario if it has not been produced within five years; and the WGA minimum payment for sequels, TV movies and TV series. Anyone who is willing to work “for free” or on “spec” (getting paid if and when you sell the script) is someone you probably shouldn`t hire. Only the inexperienced and unproduced writer will invest and play his time to write a script that he will not own and control. All around, it`s best that you don`t waste your time and creative energy hiring laymen. Hire an experienced screenwriter who knows how to deliver a script worthy of a production.

Hiring an author if you have limited resources is doable if you`re creative. If the work created does not correspond to your work, or if there is no contract of “work for hire for others”, or if the work does not fall into one of the nine legal categories mentioned above, the author of the article owns the copyright. But be aware that if someone pays you to write an article but no agreement has been signed, the person paying you has a non-exclusive license to use the article as intended, that is, they can publish it. This does not prevent you, as an author, from publishing or selling it elsewhere. Many freelance writers will not sign “Work Made for Hire” agreements, or if they do, they will demand significant compensation. .