The producer has a number of legal obligations to the collaborators and authors who contributed to the screenplay. In addition to copyrighting the screenplay, they must obtain limited rights for the story, characters and dialogue for the purposes of merchandising and for a film. If a person is not prepared to enter a contractual relationship with the producer, the producer cannot secure the rights to that person's contribution. The screenplay must be registered in the U.S. Copyright Office for the purposes of copyrighting, but the producer does not need to register the screenplay in any other country. The producer must also obtain a release from the author of the screenplay for use of the screenplay in the project.
A script can be in various states of development. A script that has been approved by a studio for a certain amount of money is referred to as a term sale. This means that the producer has an option of buying the rights to the screenplay if they are willing to pay the agreed upon price. If the producer's option is not exercised, the rights to the screenplay lapses and reverts back to the author.
Written by Shane Black, this spec script is one of the most well-written screenplays you will ever read. Black was inspired to write after reading King's Dark Tower series. When Black read the first book, he was hooked and decided to write his own adaptation of the dark fantasy series. It was then that he realised he had a love of literary fantasy as well as literary horror.