Wednesday, June 25, 2008

IT LIVES

For five glorious weeks in May and June, Sheridan Cleland ran one of the finest script resources ever hatched by the internet: pdfscreenplays.net.

Hosting only scans or original digital copies of movie and TV scripts, it quickly became an essential daily stop known only to a few, until one particular script turned it into a cause celebre.

If you’ve read the Darabont draft for Indy 4 (Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods) in the last week or so, pdfscreenplays is the site that put it out there. And suffered for it.

Happily flying under the wire, building up an incredible screenplay library, Sheridan’s house was ultimately blown down by a link on AICN. How’s that for a mix of metaphors? Alerted by a huge spike in traffic to the City of the Gods script, within no time at all, his hosting company decided he was violating intellectual copyright and shut the site down.

So, the hosting company has taken the site offline because the Darabont draft of Indy IV "was found to be consuming an inordinate amount of processor time, to the point of degrading overall system performance".

But here's the good news:

"In addition to the technical issues surrounding the site causing high load, there is the legal issues around redistributing other peoples work. Screenplays are a form of expression and protected by copyright law. Fanfiction is a fairly clear area - while it is a copyright violation, most copyright holders do not care to enforce their copyrights regarding fan-fiction. However, for the actual screenplays for major Hollywood movies that have been produced, the story differs considerably. Even without a complaint, we can't allow you to host or link to unauthorized copies of such works.

I'm aware that this information is freely available on the internet, but I can also easily download the movies that these scripts are for from other sites on the internet. This does not affect the legality of the situation.

I'm sorry, but we won't be able to continue hosting the pdfscreenplays.net."


Good thing they shut it down; imagine if copies of the script had broken lose and reproduced themselves all over the internet. Thank heavens they stopped that happening, and made the script impossible to find.

Will these fools never learn?

Anyway, a quick look at the site today no longer reveals the hosting company’s brush-off, but rather something far more interesting:
 

 
 
Great news for script freaks.
 
Finally, old hand at this sort of thing as I am, I can pat myself on the back for having the sense to download the whole site before it went away, including the exclusive, members only, in-production section. Caprica, Nottingham, State of Play, Shutter Island, Burn After Reading, World War Z, The Changeling, Infiltrator, I Want to _ Your Sister, Jennifer’s Body – all great reads. Hancock was shit though, looks like that’s been through a lot of changes.

Friends, send me your want lists and I’ll see what I can do (sorry, Bill, no Green Hornet. John Carter of Mars, though, and At the Mountains of Madness)

9 comments:

  1. JOHN CARTER!

    NOW or feel the edge of my steel across your throat you THOAT!

    I want all the Jekyll's too...seriously.

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  2. Do you by chance have the TV pilot script for FRINGE? Have been looking for it everywhere. Thanks!

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  3. email me - lee at leethomson dot com, and I'll send it to you.

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  4. By the twin moons of Barsoom!

    Yesssss!

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  5. Wow. I have a blog post dedicated to me. I feel special. Haha.

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  6. What are you doing out of your lab? Get back inside and keep uploading those scripts!

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  7. I would if traffic wasn't killing the new server. That stats are through the roof.

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  8. The bastards got to me:

    Dear Mr Lee Thomson,

    We have received a Take Down notice from an organisation or individual which states they are the rights holder, or represent the rights holder, for the following material:

    -------------

    They have informed us that a host on your network is being used for the distribution of the material named above without authorisation. The information below shows the host IP address and method by which the material is apparently being distributed:

    The associated Zen Username is: --------

    As a result the associated user webspace has been suspended as per the terms and conditions you have agreed to.

    http://leethomson.myzen.co.uk/

    If you are authorised to distribute the material then please complete the attached Counter Notice with all details relating to your rights to distribute the named material and return it by fax to:

    For Attention of: Zen Abuse Department
    Fax: 0845 058 9005

    This will be forwarded to the complainant so they may use this to confirm your rights to this material. Submission of this Counter Notice will avoid suspension of your account however, you should be aware that if the complainant later determines you do not have distribution rights you may be liable to legal action by the complainant.

    Damn their eyes.

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  9. pdfscreenplays.com is a new forum that is up and coming and hopefully will fill the void that pdfscreenplays.net left when it went away.

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