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If You Have A Screenplay Worth Millions, Shouldn't You Back It Up?

from the courts-think-so dept

Here's a fun story for a Friday. It appears that a guy who had written three screenplays (creatively titled: "Color of Tulip," "Blood on Ice," and "Blood on Seven Hills") saved them all to his desktop and didn't bother backing them up. At one point, he had entered into negotiations to sell the screenplays for $2.7 million, but those talks never went anywhere. However, sometime after this, he signed up for DSL from SBC (now AT&T). When the technician came to his house to install the DSL, he tried to "help" by cleaning up the "unused" items on the guy's desktop -- which, of course, included the screenplays. Eventually, SBC paid for data recovery (and fired the technician), which seems fair. The data recovery process didn't fully work, since it wasn't done until quite some time after the files were deleted, by which point the data had been overwritten. However, the guy wanted more, claiming that the screenplays were worth the millions he never actually got in a signed deal. The courts, however, appear to disagree, with a jury noting that he was also at fault for not making a backup of such "valuable" files. While it's true that the tech never should have deleted the files, it's a bit of a stretch to believe that they're worth millions without any deal in place. The lack of a backup suggests that the guy didn't even value the content enough to do the most basic of backups.

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  1. identicon
    Chad, 10 Jul 2006 @ 3:30pm

    I do in home repairs on computers as part of my job as a tachnician, and I would say almost every computer that I work on has the desktop filled with useless garbage. But, there's no reason that anything on the desktop could have been interfering with his DSL connection.

    When I, or anyone working in my department is on someones comnputer you delete nothing without asking. Although my understanding on the way unions work with screenwriting there shouldnt be anyway that another copy of his workn shoulnt exist, and the lawsuit is riduculous. (Not to mention any data revovery software could bring these files back) the AT&T was still an idiot.

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