Frequently asked questions

I have an idea for a book: how can I protect it?

There is no copyright in an idea, facts, or the bare bones of a plot. However, copyright exists in a work as soon as it is recorded (in writing or otherwise).

When sending out a typescript, you should include a copyright line: (c) [your name] 2006 (although copyright is not forfeited if you forget to do so).

Always send your proposal to a specific person by name (not just The Commissioning Editor), with a covering letter making clear that all rights in it are yours, you are showing it to them in confidence, and you would be pleased to discuss terms if they are interested in publishing it.

Always send a copy, not the original. It is quite common for TV producers to refuse to sign Non Disclosure Agreements – their argument being that they see so many of the same ideas in commissioning rounds and we recommend sending work in to TV companies that have signed up to the Code of Practice for Submission of Programme Proposals.

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