How and Why to Register Your Script
Script registration is one of the most popular services offered by the Writers Guild of America, East. We register the creative material of thousands of writers each year. The goal of the Guild East Script Registration Service is to protect your claim of priority of ownership. Before you start sending your work to agents, producers and actors, make sure to register your material with the WGAE Online Script Registration Service.
The Script Registration Service protects members and non-members of the Guild by establishing the completion date and the identity of their literary property. For as little as $10, the Guild East registration service will protect your script, your screenplay, or simply a great idea, for ten years. That's twice the protection of any other script registration service. If you have additional questions contact 212-767-7801.
How much will it cost me?
Online Script Registration is a great deal for ten years of protection.
The cost of registration is:
|Fees for Script Registration||WGAE, WGAW, and IAWG Members||Students and Associates||Non-Members|
|Mail and In-Person|
|over 350 pages||$47.00||$52.00||$60.00|
|Check, Money Order, MasterCard, Visa or Amex.||Money Order, MasterCard, Visa or Amex|
The renewal fee is the same amount as the current registration fee applicable at time of renewal.
Your fee must accompany the manuscript.
A separate fee is payable for each property registered.
Visa, Mastercard, Amex and money orders (issued payable to the Writers Guild of America, East) are accepted.
Cash and checks are not accepted.
Credit Card Authorization Form (in Adobe Acrobat - .PDF format) should accompany all mail-in registrations.
What can I register?
The WGAE accepts for registration manuscripts as well as material which is not in full script form, i.e. synopses, outlines, ideas, treatments, scenarios.
How does it work?
Registration does not confer any statutory protection. It merely provides evidence of the author's prior claim to authorship of the literary material involved and of the date of its completion. An author has certain rights under the law the moment his/her work is completed. It is therefore important that the date of completion be legally established. Registration with the Guild does not protect titles. If all the parties cannot be present for the registration, a letter signed by the absent person(s) designating the remaining registrant(s) to act in their behalf will suffice. This is done with the understanding that the person holding the receipt is the only person who can remove the registration: exception (see below, withdrawal procedure, and rules governing examination of manuscript on file).
A registration is valid for ten years. A registration may be renewed before the end of the ten year period by application to the Guild and payment of the then current renewal fee. In registering a property you authorize the Guild, unless the registration is renewed at the end of the ten year period, to destroy any unclaimed literary property without notice.
The registered copy of material left on deposit cannot be returned to the writer without defeating the purpose of registration, the point being that evidence should be available, if necessary, that material has been in the Guild's charge since the date of deposit and that the seal is unbroken.
However, if the writer finds it necessary to have the copy returned to him or her (s)he may have it back at any time upon notice of two weeks, and the payment of the then current withdrawal fee.
A registered envelope will be surrendered only to the writer upon presentation of original registration receipt and proper identification, or to another bearing a written authorization signed by the author.
Where there are co-writers, written consent of all parties must be provided. When the writer is deceased, proof of death and consent of heirs must be obtained.
Rules governing examination of manuscripts on file
Any person designated as a writer by virtue of any registration of a property with the Guild hereunder may have access to the registration envelope and the material itself upon proof that (s)he is the person designated as writer in the original registration.
If (s)he shall require the material, for either withdrawal or examination, (s)he terminates the registration. An entirely new registration envelope must be completed and registered.
In no event, except under the provisions of the paragraph on the procedure for withdrawal, shall any of the material be allowed to be taken from the Guild office unless a court order has been acquired. If any person other than the writer named in the registration shall request to see either the manuscript, the registration receipt, the registration envelope or any other material, such request shall be denied unless a court order is presented in connection therewith.