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)