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Twentieth Century Fox sues an aspiring screenwriter for leaking movie and television scripts

11.29.2010

Fox, why you mad?

I think it's safe to say that the majority of us have read a script online. I won't ask you where it was obtained since I don't want to subject anyone else to the wrath of Twentieth Century Fox.

The studio has filed a suit against Patricia McIlvaine, a middle-aged mother from New York. McIlvaine is an aspiring screenwriter who thought it would be okay to post scripts on her blog. Over a hundred scripts were posted over time in an effort to help other aspiring screenplay writers like herself.

Fox didn't see her actions as helpful so they have decided to sue her to the tune of $15 million dollars. But why exactly? This is why according to the studio, "McIlvaine's actions allegedly cause particular damage to films and TV shows that are still in development. The postings "interfere and trade off of the costly and carefully designed creative processes that produce finished works ready for public consumption. They harm the fans who do not want their enjoyment of a movie or television show to be spoiled by knowing the story ahead of actually being able to watch it." If a "fan" doesn't want a movie to be spoiled, they don't read the script. Some of the scripts that McIlvaine uploaded include: ALIENS, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, WALL STREET, GLEE, and the upcoming DEADPOOL.

McIlvaine has yet to respond, but friend Max Adams has come to her defense on her blog:

Supposed to be celebrating the baptism of a child, two strangers knocked on her door and informed her, in front of her children, 20th Century Fox was suing her for 15 million dollars. Two hours later, after grilling her with questions for two solid hours, they left her stunned and crying in her living room staring at a business card that stated they were “private investigators.”

This was the first contact PJ had from 20th Century Fox regarding a Media Fire online script library she created — and was the day 20th Century Fox filed a law suit against PJ in federal court for fifteen million dollars.

PJ is a struggling screenwriter who sells flowers over the phone by day and writes scripts by night. She has two produced credits. She is a recognizable presence on internet screenwriting bulletin boards ["Limama" on Done Deal]. She collected scripts she found [already] posted online and placed them in an online library on a Media Fire web page and made those scripts available to other screenwriters. Free of charge. As an educational tool.

•She doesn’t sell advertising.

•She doesn’t charge a membership fee.

•She doesn’t sell the material.

•She makes it available to other screenwriters for free.

•She posts scripts for educational purposes only.

•She only posts scripts already available on other sites online.

Extra Tidbit: Is this fair? Or should Fox cut the lady some slack?
Source: THR

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