Copyrights and Royalty
A. A fair contract, respectable remuneration as per Industry standards, freedom of speech (to be exercised in an accountable manner), due recognition and appropriate royalties are few of the basic rights which a writer possesses by default. Read about the intellectual property rights of writers, sanctioned by the Amended Copyright Act, here.
A. Foremost, do not pitch/disclose your work to anyone, including a friend/family member/relative before having it registered, either with MFTC or the Copyright Office.
Avoid pitching your work through personal meetings and/or on the phone. It is always advisable to have a paper trail in case of copyright theft or breach of confidentiality, and hence, email is a preferable mode of pitching your script to the producer and/or any other individual.
As far as possible, always insist on pitching the script to the official email ID of the person associated with a production house. Do not share your script without insisting on a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) even if it is with a trusted individual. A standard template of the NDA can be found here.
If you are unable to enter into a Non-Disclosure Agreement with the person you pitch your script to, at least ensure that you include a disclaimer of confidentiality in the email containing your script as an attachment. You may refer to the following sample disclaimer, modified as per your requirement:
DISCLAIMER: This email contains confidential and privileged information, being shared with the recipient in trust. The information is being shared with the recipient only for the purpose of pitching [the script/concept] to the recipient and in case the recipient does not want to proceed to work with the author on the same, he may not save and/or retain the information in any form and delete and/or discard the same upon reaching such decision. Further, the contents of this email are not to be shared with any third party without the explicit permission of the author of the [script/concept], and any such sharing of information otherwise than with the consent of the author shall amount to a breach of confidentiality and trust and the author reserves the right to pursue legal action against the recipient in the occurrence of such breach of confidentiality.”
If you pitch your work to the producer through a personal meeting and/or narrate your script to the producer in person, always maintain a record of such meeting by sending an email to the producer either before or immediately after such meeting, detailing the discussion you had or are scheduled to have at the meeting.