How Can You Protect Your Movie Pitch and Intellectual Property in the Film Industry?

Safeguard your film ideas - protect your movie pitch and intellectual property in the industry. Learn how to safeguard creative ideas!

How Can You Protect Your Movie Pitch and Intellectual Property in the Film Industry?
Photo by Andrea De Santis / Unsplash

As a former TV writer who pitched to major TV companies like Adult Swim, Disney, and Comedy Central between 2008 and 2018, one question that often crops up is, 'What stops them from just using my idea and not crediting me?' It's a valid concern, and one that has faced creators and innovators through the ages.

The heart of the matter is that when you pitch a movie or TV show concept to a company, it's natural to be worried about your ideas being taken and run with.

The Safeguard: Signed Agreements

In the case of this TV writer, signed agreements acknowledging the general meeting/pitch were the norm.

These documents acted as a safeguard for both parties involved, mitigating the risk of future disputes over intellectual property.

However, it's essential to note that this practice may not be standard across the industry.

Writing It Down: Show Bibles and Outlines

Another layer of protection came from the writer's meticulous documentation of their pitches in the form of outlines, show bibles, or decks, all bearing distinct dates.

By having a paper trail and timestamped records of their ideas, they could establish a trail of creation for their concepts.

Despite precautionary measures, the reality is that nothing is foolproof.

As the writer points out, there's always the risk of nefarious individuals with ulterior motives finding legal loopholes and stealing ideas.

However, for the most part, reputed studios and production companies avoid engaging in such practices due to the legal and financial implications.

A single lawsuit has the potential to bring down even the most prominent players in the industry.

In summary, while there are measures in place to safeguard creators and their ideas, the underlying risk of idea theft persists.

It's a delicate balance of trust, legal protection, and the inescapable uncertainty that hovers over the creative landscape.