Aside from copyright advice above, I'll tell you what my Screenplay Analysis professor told me:
Sign, seal, and mail your screenplay to yourself and don't open it. It puts a identifiable mark and date by a third party (the Post Office) on your intellectual property that proves that it was already written before someone attempted to plagiarize your work. Tada.
Yeah, I've heard that before regarding music. Have you had any luck with this? I'm not sure if it qualifies as evidence is my only issue.
@Amerist I suspect this is similar to patenting. I've patented something before so it's not a total mystery. It is in the U.S.
I hear people say that about ideas, but everything i see on TV is shit. I can predict the outcome of whatever bullshit someone throws up too early. I can almost quote what the actors will say before they say it. I guess implementation must be the kicker, because it seems to outweigh the gravity of the story. And really, it's seems like distribution or exposure is the crux, which I guess is a branch of implementation. Went to a four year college for film, we'll see how it works out.
Thanks for the heads-up.
@Tim_the_Corsair That's a great suggestion. Outside of drafting the thing and having the said dude sign it, would you suggest further action? A notary for instance?
I'm writing a screenplay and I'm thinking about bring on someone to write with me. I'm a little worried about protecting my intellectual property, I've had some issues in the past with people helping themselves to my ideas. That's business though. Has anyone had to protect their writing? Perhaps someone is familiar with the process?