This post was first published on June 25th, 2014.
We reviewed the existing scenario in the entertainment industry with respect to the protection of ideas, in my previous post – how to protect ideas. Before we move on to discuss the tool that can be used to protect original ideas/concepts that are not expressed in a tangible form, let us take a look at the practices followed in the entertainment industry by both the generator and the receiver of ideas. Writers submitting concepts and scripts to producers, or setting up meetings with them, with hope of monetary benefits and production of their ideas/concepts, is a general practice in the entertainment industry. The burden is on the supplier of an idea (writer/author) to take necessary measures in order to claim legal rights over his original idea. A man who reveals his idea without having first made a bargain has no one to blame but himself for the loss of his bargaining power.
The law expects an express agreement to be formed before there could be any liability. Hence, the first thing the idea giver should do is to enter into a contract, binding himself and the receiving party. Having a contract protects both the writer and the party to which the idea/concept is disclosed. The contract which we are referring to here is the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).