Sections Development

Submission Release Forms

A submission release form is a document that ensures that the creator of a work waives any right to sue for issues such as copyright infringement, breach of implied contract, or breach of a confidential relationship.

Close-up of a marked-up script

We understand that receiving unsolicited submissions—from both agents and unrepresented writers—can expose your company to liability, especially if the company ends up developing a project similar to one that has been submitted. A best practice is to ask for a signed submission release form to protect the company from legal action and claims of theft, while still allowing for review of material from unrepresented talent.

Submission Release

Without an agent, and sometimes even with one, submission release forms are a cost of doing business for writers. However, you can work with your legal team to create a release form that isn’t intentionally harmful to unrepresented (which often correlates to underrepresented) talent. For example, if the Submission Release states that the parties are willing to resolve a dispute by arbitration – which is private, generally quicker and less costly than litigation (in most cases) – this can be less prohibitive for a writer to enter into.

Additionally, we encourage you to advise any unrepresented writers that it is strongly recommended to register their project through the WGA’s Registry service and/or copyright their material through the U.S. Copyright website.

Policy & Form example
Stamping a completed screenplay

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