Concerning MediaFire and the Current Lack of Scripts…

So, you may have noticed a serious lack of scripts on the site recently. In fact, there are none currently. Don’t worry, though, that will change very soon… but probably in a way that will greatly disappoint many of you.

First, let’s tackle what happened with MediaFire and all the scripts. In short, it’s all my fault. Yes, I’m owning up to my own mistake here. I fucked up. The short version is when the Twentieth Century Fox DMCA notice hit my inbox, I decided that rather than change the text of each script entry on the site to read something like “Script removed at the request of Twentieth Century Fox,” that I would instead just delete the entire script page. Some people were getting a little frustrated when loading a page in hopes of finding a script only to find a “removed” message instead. Understandable. It would piss me off, too, so I just deleted all of the offending script pages and their respective download links. Meaning, I changed my usual routine for removing scripts, so what I didn’t do because of that was delete them from the MediaFire account as well. At least, not all of them, I think. You can already see the problem here, I’m sure…

So, one morning last month, MediaFire sent me a DMCA notice regarding one script. I didn’t react immediately because that wasn’t out of the ordinary. I routinely received notices from them. Most of the time, their DMCA notices were from the RIAA thinking our PDF files were actually mp3 files masquerading with alternate file extensions. I’ve had to contest the removal of files like “Freebird.pdf” and “Fury.pdf” more than once, especially considering those are Amateur Scripts and I’ve been given explicit permission by their authors to post them. Annoying? Yes. Anyway, a little later that day, I received another DMCA notice from MediaFire. Then another. Then a list. At that point I realized what I had done, but it was too late. I tried to login to my account only to be greeted by this wonderful screen:

Part of me wanted to contest it with MediaFire, to get them to allow me to log in to my account, so I could prove that no one had downloaded those scripts since I had removed them from the site, but then another part (the really pissed off part that knew I would inevitably make a mistake like this) decided to hell with it. Contesting wouldn’t have mattered anyway, the scripts were there in my MediaFire account among all of the other scripts and, in the end, that was all that did matter. So, I’m an idiot, and it was my fault and mine alone.

I will now pause briefly and allow you to curse my name and hurl vile obscenities in my general direction. It’s okay, I deserve it, I can take it…

You good?


Okay, keep ‘em coming…

So, how am I choosing to move forward with scripts on the site? Excellent question.

With all of the DMCA notices from the studios and their e-mails and the legal brouhaha surrounding screenplays and scripts at the moment and my increasingly busy schedule, I think it’s time for a change of pace, a different approach, a new direction. I’ve done some serious soul-searching and I’ve come to a conclusion. But before I tell you that conclusion, let me explain how it is that I came to it.

You see, I love this site. I created it for a reason, because I love screenplays. I love writing and reading scripts. I love helping people find screenplays that they’ve desperately been searching for. I love to talk about the process of screenwriting with other writers. Simply, I love all things screenwriting. I do. I spent two-and-a-half years working really, really hard to post all of the scripts that were here and molding this site into what it has become today. Well… what it was a couple months ago… So, what I don’t like is spending hours upon hours upon hours posting screenplays only to be told to remove them days, weeks, or months later. I don’t like receiving DMCA notices. I don’t like receiving e-mails from individual writers who ask to have their scripts removed. I don’t like feeling like a “bad guy.” I don’t like silly producers who call me a “clown” and threaten legal action. I don’t like the ring-around-the-rosie that I get from studio legal departments and their lawyers. Most importantly, I don’t like to be bullied, so why would I choose to continue to do something that ultimately leads down a path that intersects with all of those things that I don’t like? Doesn’t make much sense does it?

Every week I spend my hard-earned money on some film-related media, whether it’s going to a theater or purchasing a DVD, Blu-ray, screenplay, book, what have you. But I’ve realized something: why should I support a studio that’s more concerned about the online availability of a forty-three-year-old script than they are about releasing a good movie today? Does it matter if the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid screenplay is freely available online? I mean, does it really, really matter in the greater scheme of things? The movie is sitting here on the shelf next to me, and it’s my third copy. I owned it on VHS, then I bought the very first version of the DVD, before upgrading to the latest DVD release. Twentieth Century Fox has gotten money out of me for that single film not once, but three times! I would buy the Blu-ray to make it a fourth, but you know what, I’m not going to. I wanted to, and had planned to, but dealing with Fox has left such a sour taste in my mouth that I don’t want to buy it. F**k them. There’s protecting copyright and then there’s just being ridiculous. Currently in production scripts are understandable, I get it, that makes sense. What I don’t get, and what doesn’t even remotely make an ounce of sense, is being asked to remove How Green Was My Valley. I mean, c’mon, really? And guess what, I’m not stopping with Fox or Butch Cassidy. No, sir. There’s a whole list of movies here on The myPDFscripts No-Post Script Index that won’t see a single red cent from me ever, or ever again.

That said, I’d much rather support writers and artists who “get it.” Sometimes I’ve spent my hard-earned cash because of people I’ve interviewed or made contact with in some form, either through or because of this site. These purchases I do not regret in the least (except The Thing, which Fox made me remove):

Why did I purchase Faintheart? Because David Lemon is a cool guy. Why did I purchase Brick and The Brothers Bloom? Because Rian Johnson is a cool guy. Why did I purchase Harry Brown and Madam Samurai? Because Gary Young is a cool guy. Why did I purchase The Losers? Because Andy Diggle is a cool guy. Why did I purchase 3:10 To Yuma? Because Derek Haas is a cool guy. Why did I purchase The Thing? Because Eric Heisserer is a cool guy. Why did I purchase X Films? Because Alex Cox is an amazing guy (for reasons I will soon illustrate). They all took time out of their day to share their thoughts and their work, and I don’t mind repaying that gratitude by purchasing their products. I’m happy to support writers and artists who “get it.” And you can bet for damn sure that I’ll be purchasing Grabbers the moment it hits DVD/Blu-ray. Why? Because Kevin Lehane is a cool guy! Add to that list the film Deviation because writer/director J.K. Amalou and producer Lara Greenway personally sent me their script for inclusion on this site. They get it!

And that’s the conclusion that I’ve come to: I want to support the people — and only the people — who get it.

Thing is, it may not work in every instance, which brings me back to Alex Cox. After the Universal DMCA notice and subsequent removal of scripts, Mr. Cox contacted me and had this to say:

I am the author of the screenplay REPO MAN. I believe you have received a ‘takedown’ notice from Universal to remove the script. I do not agree with this. I’m very pleased you have my script on your site and would like to see it remain. If you would like to add any other of my scripts, get in touch. You are welcome to post them.

Did I want to immediately repost the script? You bet I did, but what kind of legal ramifications would that cause? I decided to check with Universal. Their response?

Mr. Cox is the author of the Repo Man screenplay; however, his rights to and interests in the screenplay for the film were granted to Universal Pictures, which is the exclusive owner of Repo Man throughout the world in perpetuity, including, without limitation, all copyrights in the film and in the underlying screenplay. Accordingly, Universal stands by its request that you take-down the Repo Man screenplay from your website.

Fair enough, I suppose. The more adept of you might point out that the script is actually available on Alex’s personal website, which is where I’d actually gotten it to begin with. I decided to mention this to Universal and ask if it would be okay to link to the script on Alex’s site, knowing full well what their response would be, but wanting to actually see it in print.

Sure enough, they responded.

Ready for this?

You sure?

It’s disgusting…

Please don’t post the links. I don’t believe Mr. Cox is authorized to post the script on his personal website either.

It’s a sad, sad state of affairs when a screenwriter asks me, nay gives me FULL PERMISSION, to post their script and I can’t because if I did I would get sued by a studio. It’s an even worse state of affairs when you’re told a screenwriter can’t even post their own script on their own website because some legal “expert” somewhere thinks that the screenwriter doesn’t own it.

Why is it again that we want to be a part of this industry?

This correspondence with Universal absolutely disgusted me. It made me physically ill. The only — with a very strong emphasis on the word “only” — thing that gave me any hope afterward was Alex’s response to it:

Your site is extremely valuable – yesterday I downloaded several scripts including BONNIE AND CLYDE which I’ll use next semester in my screenwriting class (unable to make a living as an independent filmmaker I’m also teaching film at Boulder, CO). You are welcome to download any and all my scripts at

and re-post them. Since you’re doing this for no money as far as I’m concerned it’s obviously FAIR USE and very beneficial to film enthusiasts, students and academics.

The studios, including Universal, are pretty clearly a criminal enterprise, operating an illegal blacklist and functioning as a price-fixing cartel. They actually have legislation which permits them to operate as a cartel abroad (the law is called Webb-Pomerene) but absolutely no right to operate as a cartel domestically. They do so because they’re powerful and have politicians in their pockets. If the cops ever went after them using the RICO statutes the whole studio cartel would collapse like a pack of cards, and individuals like their “litigation counsel” would have to look for honest work.

It’s unlikely that this will happen, but we can dream.

See what I mean about Alex being an amazing guy? After that e-mail I’m an Alex Cox fan for life… and I’m seriously considering moving to Boulder for some film classes.

A couple e-mails later and Alex had this to add:

Univesal are both right and wrong. Right because in many cases writers do cede all their rights to a purchaser, and lose them. Wrong because REPO MAN wasn’t a work for hire, and in three years time all rights to the script will revert to me under an obscure provision of US copyright law. This may be why they haven’t sent me a takedown notice: but it’s disgraceful that your site has been kneecapped in this way. Have you thought about transferring all the material to a server outside the US — in Brazil, perhaps? I know of others who have done this to keep valuable sites alive.

Good luck, and think about a server south of the border. As an academic (!) I found your site very useful and have shared several of those scripts with my students — fair use!

Many thanks,

See, Alex gets it.

The only reason you’re reading this right now is because of Alex and those few other writers that get it. Otherwise, I would have already pulled the plug on this site, but because of those writers out there that are willing to share their work and their time with us, the aspiring lot, I’m choosing to continue on and persevere and only support the writers/artists/companies that truly deserve my support, and in a way that won’t absolutely disgust or disappoint me any further.

Again, there will be scripts on this site soon, but they will only be scripts that I’ve been given explicit permission to post by the writers themselves.

Yes, that means that there’s going to be far less scripts, but it also means far less headaches for me and, most importantly, no more DMCA notices or lawyers or e-mails or studio cartel stupidity.

If this decision disappoints you, then I apologize. I’m not saying it without a certain degree of disappointment myself. There are still other script sites out there where you might be able to find the script you’re looking for. They’re quickly dwindling, but they’re out there.

On the other hand, if you approve of this decision, then maybe you can help me and this site. Maybe you could show a fellow writer this post. Maybe they’ll want to share their scripts. Then maybe other writers will want to share their scripts, too. And maybe before long, this site will be populated with scripts like it once was, but with legitimate scripts, shared by writers, for writers, without any studio interference. That’s my new dream for this site. Will it happen? I really can’t say. It seems like the writers that “get it” are few and far between these days, but that won’t stop me from hoping for the best.

If it doesn’t happen, then I’m still proud to share the scripts of Alex Cox, Rian Johnson, David Lemon, Matthew Grainger, Craig Mazin, Jeff Lowell, Andy Diggle, Bob DeRosa, Derek Haas, Brian Bird, Gary Young, Kevin Lehane, Matt Manfredi, Dan Fogelman, Brian Koppelman, and J.K. Amalou.

You know… the guys that get it.

Related Posts:

  • MNM74

    Somebody educate me here. How, exactly, is it a threat to Universal or any other company for scripts to be posted online? Is it that they are afraid of people simply ripping off story ideas? If that’s the case, how is it any more of a threat than me going out and BUYING A DVD of any movie I am interested in stealing ideas from??


  • That One Dude Says…

    Its a combination of three things, MNM74. 

    First and most importantly, studios don’t understand how the internet works and don’t believe in Fair Use. To them, every person on the internet is automatically guilty of piracy. 
    Secondly, they believe that because they are in the business of sell intellectual properties, they should charge the consumer money for any and all of them. Even properties that are forty years old, out of print and nearly forgotten, and that have no commercial value to them whatsoever. Lawsuits are one of the ways they do this.And finally studios justify their actions by saying that the law requires them to challenge every instance of copyright violation. If they don’t, then they argue that technically they have forfeited that copyright.

    • myPDFscripts

      “And finally studios justify their actions by saying that the law requires them to challenge every instance of copyright violation. If they don’t, then they argue that technically they have forfeited that copyright.”

      You’re exactly right, and in my opinion allowing screenplays like Die Hard, etc. to remain on the internet in various forms unchallenged for 15+ years means they have already forfeited their copyright. A mad legal scramble at the one-yard line doesn’t change that.

  • Dr. 13

    Does this mean there will be like hardly any Unproduced Scripts? I frequent this site because I am a fan of unproduced scripts that I read just for entertainment and curiosity. I wonder how the legal demands affect these acquisitions because it doesn’t seem like many of these scripts were removed from the listings for the last script removal. I think a lot of people on the web seek out unproduced screenplays, and I hope you continue posting them, as this is one of the only places on the web where they can be found in abundance.

    • myPDFscripts

      If I receive permission to post an unproduced script from the screenwriter, then, yes, I’ll be happy to post it. Otherwise, no.

      • Brian Todd

        It must be a lot of work to contact so many screenwriters for hundreds of scripts.

  • V. Lee Goodfellow

    Thanks for the heads up. Was wondering…You really brought some great scripts to my shores over the past year I’ve been keepin’ up. It’s very much appreciated. I mean the Coen Bros. scripts!?!?! I thought I’d never see those things. ‘No more scripts’ is a sad occasion but you’ve provided a great service. Keep up the good work…in whatever its forms!!

  • Adam

    A fair conclusion Sheridan. I am disappointed but understand totally, and for that I remain a fan of you and this site. Keep the faith brother!

  • Jonathan Peace

    It was thanks to this great site that I was able to read many great and inspiring screenplays from the days when good films were made (Bonnie and Clyde, Basic Instinct, Deliverance, Hard Times, Wild Bunch….). Thanks to that education I have been able to get, if not my foot, then at least a toe on the ladder with a produced credit coming up soon (The Rift) plus another shortly. 

    Not only that but I have been able to work with several independent studios on other scripts of mine, all thanks to learning the craft from the scripts you so generously posted – for this very reason!

    I look forward to seeing your new direction, and wish you all the best.


    You have my sympathies, but at least you got a DMCA notice.

  • Lee_Thomson

    Sheridan, I’ve been in the same situation with where a writer has e-mailed me their own scripts, with permission to post them, only for the studio to come along with a take down notice. Being outside the US is no guarantee of immunity, either. 

    And you know what? I totally support your choice to restrict the scripts available to those you’ve been given permission to post, rather than continuing to allow yourself to be – let’s face it – bullied. Who the hell can be bothered with that s**t?

    I hope that with this new approach, you can start to once again actually enjoy running this site, which has always been an enormously valuable resource.

  • CFredericks

    I’ve been following the site since within a few days of the original launch.  Every iteration of a pdf script site has seemed a little bit like rodeo bullriding.  How long can you stay up?  Every time I clicked the bookmark, I’d wonder if today would be the day when we were all collectively thrown off.

    Kudos to you for staying astride that mother-effer for as long as you have.  Respect. 

    Even if the site just went dark today, you’ve already done a great service to screenwriters and other interested parties by making sure that most of these scripts have been distributed.  Although it’s not nearly as convenient as having everything under one roof, anybody with enough determination and ingenuity should be able to find a copy of any script that was on here somewhere out there. 

    As it stands, I certainly understand and respect your new policies moving forward.  It may seem like tilting at windmills to shake your fist and say “They’re not getting any more of my money!”, but hey, it has to start somewhere.  Voting with our wallets is about the only recourse we have left.

    • myPDFscripts

      “Every iteration of a pdf script site has seemed a little bit like rodeo bullriding.  How long can you stay up?  Every time I clicked the bookmark, I’d wonder if today would be the day when we were all collectively thrown off.”

      Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • Sal

    Don’t worry mate. thank you so much for the opportunity you gave us wannabe writers to read some great scripts so that one day we can be able to write great stories ourselves for these producing companies to buy and sell. I really don’t understand why they’re doing this. Especially with old movies. It’s not like I’m gonna “steal” the script and make the movie myself. Shame

  • Patrickmichaelgillespie

    I love brick but I have one thing to say. You Sir are a good guy, with all that has happened I would expect anyone to give up but you’re powering through. Your travelling in a new direction now but I hope you continue to make this site great, a place for educational purposes and inspiration to all the budding writers out there.

  • worldwidewebster

    While I don’t believe in posting unproduced scripts due to the harm it honestly does do to projects that are in development and to screenwriters’ careers (I’m not going to debate this with anyone here, but it really is the case), I don’t understand the harm in posting scripts that have ALREADY been produced — if anything, it encourages people to rent or buy the movie so they can do a comparison.  Now, studios retain the rights to work for hire projects, but projects that began as spec scripts are usually protected by separation of rights clauses, so their stance on such scripts is stupid.  Talk about focusing their energies on the wrong battle, when they should be more worried about actual piracy of films.
    However, as to your decision that projects on the no-post list will get no more money from you, please do keep in mind that even though the studio gets money for your rental/purchase, boycotting a movie would also be punishing all the above-the-line people (including the writers) who fought so hard for their meager residuals, and also all the crew members whose health fund will inevitably be going bankrupt due to decreasing residuals from reruns, rentals, DVD purchases, and such.  Just wanted to throw that out there because I often see anger at the studios used by people as a justification for piracy — not that you were doing that — and I wanted to remind people that punishing the “big guys” also hurts the “little guys” who can’t least afford it.

    • worldwidewebster

      Err… “CAN” least afford it.  (Curse you, lack of edit button.)

  • davidlemon

    Hi Sheridan
    Both myself and Vertigo films are happy for you to re-post the script for ‘Faintheart’. Keep up the good work, Sir!

    • myPDFscripts

      Thank you, David! I really hope there are more studios and screenwriters like you out there!

  • JMF

    dude… I’m once again seriously sorry that you got screwed like that.  I’m really glad that you’re sticking with it.  Truly, yours was my favourite site on the net.

    As per your request, I’ll contact some of my buddies to see if they have rights to their works and are willing to have you post them.

    Hang in there… 

  • Yippee

    Wait, you’re generating ad revenue from site traffic that you probably wouldn’t have if you weren’t posting/hosting others’ property. You really don’t see the problem here?

    • myPDFscripts

      Wait, I’m generating ad revenue? That means I’m supposed to be receiving money from Google, right? How long should I hold my breath on that one, exactly?

      • Yippee

        Apologies if you’re not seeing ad revenue. I saw ads on the blog and assumed you were seeing money from then. Larger point being that ad revenue is being generated for someone by the ads on this blog, and it isn’t the owners of the screenplays. Hence the issue. You guys/gals do get that, right?

  • MPrince

    How come nobody’s gone after simply scripts, drew’s script-o-rama and daily script?

    • Sean211

      They have. 

  • Sean211

    Here’s another place where scripts used to be readily available, blasted into the ether …

  • Rob

    I wonder if it would be rude of you to post a list of the scripts you have available and e-mail them to someone by request rather than post them for download.  Then it’s just among friends, so to speak.

  • wacko42

    Any script produced as a film by a major studio or any WGA signatory allows the credited writer to retain separated rights which includes the right of publication and so no studio should be able to demand that a script is taken down. (All learned thanks to John August and Craig Mazin.)

  • l33t72b

    Upload it into your own server and use domain masking or domain changing to avoid domain ban… MediaFire only want to protect their site from being banned by authority and 500 fortune company who always prosper and wealth by protecting each other and never care about other people and their concept is the profit and prosper must come first. There are several people who upload particular and illegal file and nobody ban it..there are political  games in web, so don’t be so upset ok? You will be not banned unless someone report the file to mediafire or impersonate as highly authority company who owns the copyright. There are some people from big company and an individual who like to ban anyone and assume all copyright is theirs…ALL PROBLEM HAVE SOLUTION ! HACKER NEVER EXISTS IF IN THE WORLD NO OR WITHOUT SOLUTIONS.

  • Brian Todd

    I have visited other script sites like Simply Scripts and others and they have lots of stuff in plain text and I was wondering why they haven’t been hit with legal demands from studios to take down stuff and this site has been singled out.

  • Shadesofhades

    Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t understand why the studios have to make money from every little part of the film-making process.  Even if I did, most of the scripts on this excellent site are NOT commercially available.  I have bought many scripts in book form, covered them in notes, etc, etc, so I can see how offering these for free might upset some lawyer somewhere.  But most scripts – even for blockbusters – are not commercially available. 

    This site has been a good friend to me for the last couple of years.  Thanks, Sheridan.

    Thanks also to Lee Thomson for the ‘Breaking Bad’ scripts (and many others).

    If I post again I hope to be less angry and so make more sense.

  • guyjones

    I sympathize with the site operator (Sheridan?) completely. He’s in a very tough spot. The studios are obviously intent on playing bad cop with script distribution, because they see it as part and parcel of the larger fight against piracy of their produced media. So, the trend is that they are flexing their muscle in all areas of copyright, just to make a statement and be consistent in terms of asserting their ownership. It plainly sucks, but that’s the reality of the situation. I’ve been downloading scripts for a while from various websites because I foresaw that this situation would arise, but it’s unfortunate that it’s come to this.

    In a perfect world, it would be nice if a sympathetic producer or studio made produced scripts available for viewing on their website for a nominal fee, or none at all — they could simply allow access to users who provided certain personal information and agreed to an electronic statement of terms and conditions of use.

    I’d like to extend a personal thanks to Sheridan for the service he provided to all of us fans of the screenplay form, as a labor of love. Your passion and work is appreciated.

  • Rckhester

    Look, I love your site, and I have loved the access to the scripts. But any writer knows when you sell your rights to Universal or Warner or whomever, you SELL YOUR RIGHTS. It’s very, very simple. You no longer own your material, whether created as writer for hire or on spec. The Universal lawyer is absolutely correct. 

  • Roger Hodge

    I posted this on my facebook page. I hope you approve… :)

  • kal

    STUDIOS are wankers. I hope more megauploads come along and put movies all over the net. They disgust me those fat cats at the top with their lawyers who toss their salads every monday

  • Lon Turner

    Several years ago I made my first script sale to a small prodco in Brentwood.  They purchased the script after seeing it on, a site which gives aspiring writers the opportunity to have their work posted for others to read and critique.  Once the contract had been signed, the first thing the prodco did was demand I contact the simplyscripts site admin and ask him to remove the screenplay.  Their reason?
    Because it was no longer mine.Legally, it was their right.  Afterall, once you sell a screenplay it belongs to the studio/prodco who bought it from you.  But after two months and several rewrites with the director who signed on, the script no longer resembled the one they had purchased.  I didn’t see the harm in leaving the original screenplay available to others; it’s not like I could have sold that original script AGAIN.  And as it turns out, the film was never made.  It was back-burnered and later dropped altogether as the prodco changed directions and stopped producing films in order to focus on providing material for television.  The project is dead, and the script will never be produced.Which begs the question, what’s the harm of leaving it available for others to view?  The answer is that there is no harm.  But it’s not about harm or a lack of it.  As you experienced with Fox, studios are like spoiled kids who refuse to share their toy with the other kids for no other reason than because it’s THEIRS.  There’s no big mystery to it.  No conspiracy.  No spite or hatefulness or malice.  It’s just good old fashioned corporate greed, and absolutely nothing else.Welcome to Hollywood, folks.

  • Dr Shade

    Is there no way you can reconsider your decision? I used to come to your site EVERY DAY to read scripts and let me tell you, I speak for a lot of people in saying I’m devastated.

    Couldn’t you post the scripts on some sort of offshore filehosting site? Or use your own server (storage is cheap these days)? Or maybe you could announce a grab bag week where you give everyone a chance to copy all your scripts for one week and then take them down? Then you could post new ones for a couple of weeks so your loyal followers would have time to keep up with what you get. Or you could email new ones to your fanbase.

    You are sitting on a motherlode that is nothing short of the world’s CINEMATIC HISTORY. I know they spooked you but there has got to be a way to keep doing what you were doing. Maybe the folks at script-o-rama, simplyscripts, IMSDB, etc. can tell you how they are staying up and out of the studios’ reach??

    Aspiring screenwriters really need you dude. Please consider coming back into the fold.

    • Ryan Stratton

      I’m gonna have to agree. This website is the reason I’ve become the writer I am. I have multiple screenplays from this sight that I read and reference to this day.

  • FizzenBarber

    Why don’t you just “review” unproduced scripts, comparing and contrasting the finished movie with the different drafts?

    No other website or blog is doing this, to my knowledge. It would certainly gain attention and more traffic.

    An example would be reviewing Michael France’s original FANTASTIC FOUR script to the past two movies.

    Is it illegal to review a script draft for a movie that has already been released?