Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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804.8 (C) Redacted Screenplay for a Motion Picture in Production

804.8 (C) Redacted Screenplay for a Motion Picture in Production

The Office may accept a redacted version of a screenplay for a motion picture (including screenplays for feature films, television programs, or other works of a similar nature), if the applicant requests special relief from the deposit requirements and confirms that the following conditions have been met:

• The motion picture must be in production (e.g., filming has commenced).

• Infringement must be anticipated.

• The applicant must file an online application and upload the redacted screenplay in Portable Document Format (PDF) or other electronic format approved by the Office.

• The applicant must specify the anticipated date of release for the motion picture.

For information concerning the procedure for requesting special relief, see Chapter 1500, Section 1508.8.

The redacted copy of the work must reveal at least half the work, and the redaction must be done in a manner that will allow the Office to compare and authenticate the redacted copy with an unredacted copy of the same work. If the work is approved for registration, the registration specialist will add an annotation to the record, such as: “Regarding deposit: Special relief granted under 37 CFR 202.20 (D).”

In all cases, the applicant must submit a complete unredacted copy of exactly the same screenplay within ten business days after the release of the motion picture. The Office will compare the redacted and unredacted copies to confirm that they match each other. The Office has the authority to cancel the registration for the screenplay if (I) the complete unredacted copy of the screenplay is not received in a timely manner, or (ii) the redacted and unredacted copies do not match. For information concerning this procedure, see Chapter 1800, Section 1807.4 (D).

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