Re: selling an idea

From: John Marlow (
Date: Sun Jan 28 2001 - 04:28:35 MST

Wow. Uhmm--you can't copyright an idea--only the "expression" of an
idea. So basically anyone you send the "idea" to can say, "Gee, funny
thing--I had the same idea in the shower just this morning. Take a
hike." No credit, no money, no nothing.

Write it out in screenplay format and copyright it using form PA (NOT
form TX). Forms available online at:

That's $30 right there. Send it certified return receipt requested so
you'll know when they get it. After you get the card back, THEN you
might start contacting people. (Couldn't hurt to place a few copies
with persons of good reputation as well, signed and dated by them for
future reference.) If you don't send it certified, you'll have to
wait until you get the papers back from the Copyright Office before
you know if they ever received it. You're talking an 8-mo wait.
Effective date of rtegistration, however, is the day they open it.

Could be more effective to shoot it yourself, if that's possible--and
then show it for greater effect. Copyright it first, of course.

Basically, however, unless you know someone in the biz--you'd need a
CRAY to calculate the odds of success.
But, hey--don't let that stop you.
I never do.




On 27 Jan 2001, at 14:00, Spike Jones wrote:

> Im all in favor of freedom of information and transparency > and all that, but suddenly Im on the other side of the fence: > I have a cool idea for a TV ad that I think will sell a lotta > clothing. Its edgy, funny and simple. Now I want to sell > this idea to someone in the biz. I dont even care how much > I get for it, as that isnt my usual line of business, but I > would like to at least get a token amount just to prove > it was my idea. > > Somebody help me out here: how do I do it? Is there a > way to copyright a simple idea? Its a funny little skit sorta > that can be made into a commercial. Do I write it down > and send it to, say the Gap? Or find out what company > makes ads for the Gap and send it to them, and ask > for a few hundred bucks if they use it? Do I need to > make a hard copy, notarize it with a date and send it > to some reliable third party? Can I send it to several ad > companies and tell them the first one to send me 500 clams > may use the idea? Thanks in advance, spike >

John Marlow

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