Is it legal to publish screenplays of popular movies online? I've seen other websites doing it, but I am not sure if it is illegal or not.

  • 2
    In general it's illegal to publish anything without the copyright holder's permission. Is there a reason for thinking that screenplays might be treated differently?
    – phoog
    Dec 4, 2023 at 0:17

1 Answer 1


It is absolutely illegal, unless the movie is really old and out of copyright. Copyright protects all forms of creative expression, including novels, movie scripts, actual movies, translations of movies.

  • "unless the movie is really old and out of copyright": it's possible for the screenplay to be out of copyright while the movie is still protected by copyright. Also the question implies that the screenplay is still in copyright because it presupposes the existence of a copyright holder.
    – phoog
    Dec 4, 2023 at 0:20
  • I think the question is about someone writing a screenplay now and publishing it, not taking the 71 year old screenplay for a 69 year old movie.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 6, 2023 at 17:52

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