Screenwriters Association (Singapore) Launches Asia’s First Script Registry Service

2 May 2003 – In a much-welcomed move, the Screenwriters Association (Singapore) (SAS) has launched Asia’s first script registry service.

Known as Asian Script Repository, this new service caters to the needs of Asian writers and filmmakers wanting to protect their intellectual property rights in the growing Asian film market. By providing date-time stamp protection for their creative works, the Asian Script Repository gives an additional layer of safeguard that augments the pre-existing copyright protection of their works.

“Many scriptwriters are afraid of people stealing their story ideas. So they never write their masterpieces — the stories from their hearts — that we’re all dying to see made into good movies,” says Ms Wong Wai Leng, President of the SAS. “We want the Asian Script Repository to help boost the confidence of writers, and provide them the safety to write their screenplays without any more needless worries about plagiarism.”

“Our partnership with the SAS to establish a registration service for creative works is one of our many endeavours to provide support to the burgeoning film industry in Singapore,” says Mr David Chong, Director of the Portcullis Group. “The phenomenal growth of creative writing here and in Asia gives rise to an increasing need for writers to take appropriate steps to adequately protect their works. Being experienced in the area of Intellectual Property, the Portcullis Group is well-positioned to provide this service to the writing community,” he adds.

Indeed, creators submitting their works to Asian Script Repository can certainly enjoy the most important benefit of registration-peace of mind-while being assured of the highest levels of competence and commitment to the safe handling and storage of their works.

Another important benefit is this: in the case of a legal dispute, registered works can be produced by an independent law firm and used as evidence to prove priority of ownership of a piece of work, something that would have been very hard to do without a service like this.

“The registration of a script or other related material has previously been difficult in Singapore as there was no registration facility available. From personal experience, registration in the USA is very expensive and can be daunting, particularly for a young and cash-strapped writer,” says Mr Geoff Malone, Founder and Chairman of the Singapore International Film Festival. “By the introduction of a quick, cheap and simple registration process, I believe SAS and Portcullis have done a great service for the writing fraternity of Singapore,” he says.

Many members of Singapore’s filmmaking industry echo this sentiment. Mr Juan Foo, an independent producer, says: “It’s something we’ve been meaning to address for a long time. It’s great that the SAS is pioneering this effort-this is really what the industry needs. With the registry in place, writers can’t use the fear of plagiarism as an excuse anymore. Now it’s time to sit down and write those films!”

With Asian Script Repository, scripts are not the only form of creative media poised to proliferate from the benefits of protection that registration brings. Creators-who can either be members of the public or members of the SAS-can also register other intellectual properties like novels, art works, poems, short stories, commercials, lyrics, interactive and non-interactive media.

The launch of Asian Script Repository is the SAS’s latest effort to uplift Singapore’s fledging scriptwriting industry. In January, the association flew in Robert McKee, the world-renowned screenwriting guru, to conduct his famous Story Seminar in Singapore. The seminar attracted a huge turnout, and was well-attended by local media practitioners, making it a truly unqualified success-and a major achievement for the SAS.

The SAS offers continuing education for members, conducting regular workshops as well as creative outreach programmes to schools, in line with the association’s ongoing initiatives to promote the ongoing development of creative talent for the film industry in Singapore and Asia, and most importantly to promote the craft of screenwriting as an important aspect of the screen production process.

The Screenwriters Association (Singapore) would like to express our deepest gratitude to Mr Geoff Malone for his generosity and support in providing us much needed help and assistance in launching the Asian Script Repository at the 16th Singapore International Film Festival.

Download your Asian Script Repository form now and protect your creative endeavours