Separated Rights
 
Understanding Separated Rights
Answers to your questions, and then some.
Writers Guild of America, West ©2000

Separated Rights is one of the most important, and perhaps least understood, areas of the WGA Basic Agreement. Due to the importance of Separated Rights, it is imperative that writers know and understand what these rights are and how they are obtained. As these are complex provisions, please read the entire guide and consult your own attorney or representative regarding Separated Rights and related issues. This guide is intended to provide writers with a clear, concise and easy to understand explanation of Separated Rights. This guide is not a substitute for the Guild's Basic Agreement or the applicable Credits Manuals. If you have questions, contact the Contracts Department at (323) 782-4501.

To print the entire pamphlet, open and print each section separately.

The Guild has published an addendum to this pamphlet. Read it here.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction

What are Separated Rights?

Theatrical Separated Rights
1. Who is entitled to Theatrical Separated Rights?
Initial Qualification
Final Qualification
2. What are the Theatrical Separated Rights?
Publication Rights
Dramatic Stage Rights
Sequel Payments
Mandatory Rewrite
Meeting With a Production Executive
Reacquisition
3. What about Remakes and Merchandising
4. How do pre-existing characters affect these rights?
5. Are there separated rights in a true-life story?
6. What happens when writers share separated rights?
7. What is a Preliminary Determination for Theatrical Separation of Rights

Television Separated Rights
1. Who is entitled to television separated rights?
2. What are the television separated rights?
a. Television Rights
b. Reserved Rights
3. What happens when writers share separated rights?
4. What happens when there are no separated rights?
5. Are there separated rights in a true-life story?

Determining Separated Rights on a Television Series
1. "Created by" Credit Determination
2. What happens on Spin-Offs?
3. "Developed by" Credit Determination

Conclusion

Addendum