Coincidence or theft?

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 11:05 AM

Yesterday, Khamanna posted a link to a FB page for a short film called Vibrations. I checked it out. It sound to me EXTREMELY similar to Travis DeStein's Tacet.

I have emailed Travis, but have not heard back yet. He's in Korea (I think) so maybe he doesn't check emails often. Anyway, the film is to start shooting soon and if there's a problem with the script being taken from here, it's probably better for everyone if it's taken care of before shooting starts.

Am I being paranoid and just seeing things? What do you guys think?

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/14/2012 11:15 AM

This is the guy who wrote it, apparently.

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/14/2012 11:20 AM

Travis emailed me about it, but I'm not sure how to respond. I have not read the script for this movie and so I have no way of knowing if it is just a coincidence or theft.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/14/2012 11:20 AM

This is the director - based in Manchester (UK)

Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 2/14/2012 11:20 AM

The writer's 20 and has been writing since he was ten.

Nothing to work with except the logline for "Vibrations", but the length of the script and premise are really too close to "Tacet" to NOT have a fishy feeling.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/14/2012 11:22 AM

I guess Travis could contact the director himself, in the first instance?

Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 2/14/2012 11:27 AM

Here's the director's/production company's official website:

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/14/2012 11:30 AM

...or, seeing as he's a Brit, I would be happy to do it.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 11:32 AM

I know this guy (as well as you know anyone through the internet) and this isn't about a blind guy that plays the piano. At least that's what he told me. How did you find out that it was anything like Tacet?

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/14/2012 11:33 AM

Tacet's not about a blind guy - but a deaf child!

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 12:08 PM

If I was the filmmaker and I was about to shoot this film and it turns out there's a problem with the script, I definitely would want to know about it before I use that fabulous cast and those 100 extras.

I read through all the info and somewhere it said something that lead to believe the boy is deaf. That's what did it for me.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/14/2012 12:11 PM

Calling it Vibrations is maybe a bit of a clue?

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 12:15 PM

Maybe the director could read Tacet and see for himself how close it is?

MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 1:17 PM

This is the 2nd time this has happened with Travis' script Tacet.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 2:02 PM

I don't think this happened to Travis's script. I don't think this is a revolutionary concept that could only be created by one person. It's just a concept people, get over it. I've asked to read his script and I'll compare it to Travis's if it appears the writer did rip him off I'll advise against producing it (because that would be in bad form). If it is just sharing the concept then I would say go for it because again it is just a concept, it's the execution that matters.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 2:04 PM

If folks are afraid of having their concepts ripped (which, for the moment, I don't believe happened) then you shouldn't post to these websites that put your stuff out to everyone and their grandmother. Then watch as somehow these same concepts are used anyway. It happens all the time. There are no unique stories, but only unique ways of telling them.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 2:05 PM

But you will see that I don't put my truly revolutionary loglines on MoviePoet. ;) Just hedging my bets.

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 2:10 PM

"I'll compare it to Travis's if it appears the writer did rip him off I'll advise against producing it (because that would be in bad form)"
That's what I meant. If there's an issue, then hopefully they can stop it before they spend money and time on shooting it and end up with a bunch of footage they can't use. That was all. I'm not out to hang anyone.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 3:38 PM

Yes you are Pia! You've roused the hounds of Movie Poet and they bray for blood!!!

How's that for over dramatic. :)

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/14/2012 3:41 PM

Everyone lower the pitchforks. :)

I agree with Keaton. There is a much better chance that this is a coincidence rather than theft. Certainly, Travis might want to follow up with some questions. But until someone has read the script or seen the film, it is best to presume their innocence and proceed with caution.

T. James DeStein (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 4:13 PM

Geez, people (Keaton)... relax. I emailed the director. I don't see any need to go blowing this up.

Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 2/14/2012 4:39 PM

I already chopped off my hand and attached a chainsaw to it, now what do I do?

Klaatu Barada Nikto!

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 4:43 PM

I know you weren't freaking out Travis. I was just trying to talk the mob down. Except for Rustom I secretly like seeing his war face.

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/14/2012 5:16 PM

I think everyone is calm - we just like to protect our own.

I got an email from Travis and it sounds like things are moving in the right direction.

T. James DeStein (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 6:16 PM

The director has been very cool and open about everything. He showed me the script and it's almost word-for-word identical to my script. It's a bizarre and disgusting feeling to see someone so blatantly steal something you created. Whatever. The director is going to remove the thief, Oz Rudd, and credit me as the writer.

Thanks to Pia and Khamanna for all their help. This joker would've gotten away with this if not for them.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 6:44 PM

Congrats on the production then, Travis! :)

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 6:56 PM

Wow...nice detective work Khamanna and Pia! Hopefully the disgusting feeling you have Travis can somehow be soothed by knowing that these people at Movie Poet totally had your back.

I'm really proud to be a member of this group.

Dave Kunz (Level 4) ~ 2/14/2012 6:58 PM

I've never been prouder to be an MPer. Hats off to everyone for discovering the theft, not over-reacting ("Everyone lower the pitchforks") and then making sure it was in fact plagiarism before taking any action.

Word to the worldwide web, don't mess with the MP.

A hate to be a hater but I do hope the thief suffers some level of consequence for stealing another writers work.

Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/14/2012 7:01 PM

Looks like the Facebook page for the film is down.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 7:06 PM

This guy Oz's current projects could easily be from screenplays he stole from MP. One is a 4 pager with no dialog. We had a no dialog month. Problem is this is just one guy. For every one guy caught there are 4-5-6?? or more who haven't been.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 7:13 PM

Nice Travis. Stephen will make it sing. It's disgusting that this is how it went down. With the internet it is easy to find material to steal, but harder and harder for people to get away with it.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/14/2012 7:28 PM

Wow, are you serious? This guy was SERIOUSLY about to just take a screenplay he didn't write and tag his name on it?! I thought it was something everyone worried about but never really happened. But oh my gosh! This guy is an asshole! AND he's on stage32?! Let me go look at this fools profile. I'll be back.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/14/2012 7:34 PM

I wrote a long message on his wall, but decided to delete it. I'm really pissed. Ugh... that makes me so mad. Some people are just...


Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 7:36 PM

Glad that got sorted. Congrats Travis!! I remember that script clearly. One of my favorite MP scripts. It looks like they are serious about the production and I hope we will get to see it someday.

As far as stealing scripts go, my Power Plays was made in Romania without my knowledge. That turned out okay in the end, but I know the feeling of finding out after it's already finished.

The most blatant script theft I can think of was a young guy who entered a short film to the TV show The Lot, if you remember that one. He even had a video of himself where he sat and talked about how he wrote the script!!!!! Well, turns out that script was written by Martin Lancaster and he had given the rights to that script to another filmmaker who also entered his film to The Lot. The thief had used the script word for word!!!! He got booted out of there, but I remember being blown away by the audacity.

Amir Saeed (Level 1) ~ 2/14/2012 8:53 PM

Let me toss in my 2 cents, if a person is attempting to make a career, or whatever the case maybe, by stealing other people's creative works its absolutely pathetic, illegal and just sad. Please note, this is a general comment. I am not referring to the above situation(whether theft or coincidence), it simple brought the occasion for me to make this comment.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 9:42 PM

Just proves that it never hurts to check. When I posted the link I thought it could have been a theft but didn't want to start all this. It's good Pia had the guts to do so.
If it was the other way around the guy wouldn't be too bitter - I think every writer should understand, seeing what we are dealing with here. Marnie, that's what I thought - where did his other productions come from! --Although an assumption but all these on Vibration were an assumption just as well at the beginning.

T. James DeStein (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 9:48 PM

How did you originally find it?

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 9:58 PM

From stage32. Stephen Melting is in my network and he posted about the movie...

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/14/2012 10:11 PM

It's a great community here, all starting with Chris Messineo. Great job Khamanna and Pia.

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 10:28 PM

I feel very strongly about this sort of thing. I emailed Stage32 and asked them what their policy is towards this type of "crime".

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/14/2012 10:47 PM

Good for you, Pia. Keep us updated.

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/14/2012 10:48 PM

First, a big thank you to the MP community and to Pia and Khamanna for staying alert and watching out for nonsense like this!

Unfortunately, there are people out there who will try to steal the work of others, but in the end if we look out for each other we can help make a difference. And in this case, it looks like the director is a great guy who was simply lied to and he is doing everything he can to make the situation right. He is going to produce Travis's script and I wish him and Travis the best.

Second, we believe that Oz Rudd is trying to pass off other scripts he has not written as his own - we are unaware of any actual productions that have begun. We will be following up with Mr. Rudd and with Stage32. We will also be contacting the writers who are affected.

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 11:03 PM


Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/14/2012 11:05 PM

One word for Mr. Oz Rudd (aka SCUMBAG).

The word? DENIED !

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/14/2012 11:20 PM

As I continue to research this, I'm beginning to think he found these scripts on not MP. Not that, that doesn't make it our problem too, it does. I just want people to realize that this problem is a bit more global and pervasive. I will reach out to SS, to see if we can't work on this together.

David M Troop (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 11:30 PM

A big thumbs up to everyone involved in exposing this (you said it best Tim) scumbag.
Pia and Khamanna you rock! You are the Cagney and Lacey of MP.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 11:45 PM

Holy this Matias' "Black Rose Garden"?????

"Black Whiteness" - A guy is trying to save a girl who wants to kill herself. He tells her about the garden of black roses, place where all who commit suicide go after their misdeed. At this place, roses represent all suicidal people and every single one of them has to make an amend before their roses fade from black to white and then - non existant and return the Gardener what they awe him, one rose ...

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/14/2012 11:50 PM

Yes it is. Unfortunately, there are others as well. We are working to track them all down.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/14/2012 11:54 PM

He's got good taste.

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/14/2012 11:59 PM

Another one we were able to identify is "Tricky" by JeanPierre. There are others confirmed as well, but they are only found on At this point, I am beginning to doubt whether Oz Rudd has ever written an original work.

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 12:08 AM

Absolutely disgraceful. Good work, everyone.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 12:12 AM

Hope he gets more than a slap on the wrist for this.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/15/2012 12:27 AM

... where are you guys seeing "his" other scripts? i only see 3.

...un-freaking believable...

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/15/2012 12:31 AM

He sent over half a dozen scripts to the director who got caught up in this mess. When the director found out what Oz was doing he sent me the scripts to see if I could identify any of them. Caroline began doing that and recognized yours right away. I then forwarded the scripts on to SS and they recognized another one. The gig is up for Oz.

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 12:35 AM

But he's a genius!! He's been writing since he was 10!!!!!!!!!!!!!.................

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 12:37 AM

The Great and powerful no attention to the man behind the curtain...fraud.

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 12:43 AM

despite all this,I feel good that we are working together and sticking up for each other. :)

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/15/2012 12:47 AM

"despite all this,I feel good that we are working together and sticking up for each other. :)"

I do too.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/15/2012 12:51 AM

Yeah, I was on his twitter account and he was advertising that he wrote this feature length about Griselda Blanco. So all I did was google: "Griselda Blanco simplyscripts" And sure enough, a feature popped up that was recently submitted by someone who is not Oz.

What a guy. I hope he responds to someone. I would really like to know how a mind like that works.

Bill Sarre (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 4:47 AM

Thats really impressive work everybody.

I hope you make a decent noise about this, you never know it may stop a few others and lead to more enquiries.

Otherwise, well done.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 4:55 AM

Here's more about The Black Rose garden. It's in Croatian so you'll have to translate it to read it. It's translates well.

Ayal Pinkus (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 5:31 AM

Quoting Edward Burke: "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

Good job everyone! Congrats on catching this.

Ayal Pinkus (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 5:34 AM

(ehm oops, it was EdMUND Burke).

Ayal Pinkus (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 5:40 AM

And no one knows who said this one first, but still true: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Nowadays it would be "good people" rather than "good men" though ;-)

Well done!

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 6:38 AM

So... who is going to write the screenplay about all this fine detective work?

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 6:41 AM

I have just informed Raoul Tawadey (CEO of Circalit) too. It's another site where this sort of thing may happen.

MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 6:41 AM

Wow, can't believe I was tucked up in bed while all this was going on.

Way to go Movie Poets!

What a numpty arse the Oz weiner is, honestly.

Good catch Khamanna and Pia.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 7:35 AM

Glad it wasn't Movie Poet, but it could've easily been. SS has been a source for this kind of thing on numerous occasions. I wonder if he has a FaceBook page and we can see who else he may have been dealing with and warn them. It's unfair to anyone who worked on one of these as well as the writer who's been ripped off.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 7:44 AM

He has a MySpace page but I forgot my Log In details! Just waiting for an e-mail...

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 7:48 AM

Bizarre - his Stage 32 page has changed name to Bill Jong...but everyone's posts are still there.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 7:54 AM

Interestingly, his profile picture is entitled Thief!

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 7:59 AM

I checked his MySpace last night and there was only "his"?? music on there.

Did Stage 32 change his name and avatar? Now he's an animator? All the music and projects have been removed.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 8:00 AM

Maybe Chris M will have heard from Stage 32?

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 8:02 AM

Bill Jong from North Korea? LOL. Wonder if he's related to the late and insane Kim Jong.

T. James DeStein (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 8:13 AM

Kim Jong-il's family name is actually Kim. Jong-il would be his given name.

Just so ya know!

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 8:13 AM

I translated that page about Matias's script - I'm so good at Croatian! (Except it's Serbian!)

(I tried to provide the link but it doesn't seem to work. If you're no good at Serbian, try pressing translate this page on Google!)

It gives an e-mail address and phone number at the end.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 8:34 AM

Presumably Matias doesn't know about the proposed production in Serbia?

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/15/2012 9:03 AM

I have not heard back from Stage32 yet. Hopefully soon.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 9:15 AM

He's now deleted his MySpace Account...

"Invalid Friend ID ...

This user has either cancelled their membership, or their account has been deleted."

Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/15/2012 9:26 AM

From Judy Garland, I believe:

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."

This is apt, right?

This makes the whole "The Melting" poster incredibly tame. (Deep apologies for my part in that ruckus.) At least we can band together against the type of depravity Oz Rudd/Bill Jong has practiced here.

How many scripts is it now?

Ayal Pinkus (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 9:32 AM

My deepest apologies too to every one involved for my posts relating to the "The Melting" poster.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 9:39 AM

Ayal, your heartfelt personal apology to me by e-mail a while ago was gratefully accepted as you know. It took courage to do that and I'm very happy that you're back in action on MoviePoet.

Zach - thank you too. It's water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned.

Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 2/15/2012 9:41 AM

My deepest apologies for loosing the bread in the melted cheese fondue.

It's hard to eat fondue with a chainsaw for a hand.

Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/15/2012 9:47 AM

I know a guy who can slap together an adapter for you, Rusty. Do want it all to be fondue forks or would some variety in utensils better suit your needs?

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 9:52 AM

Oh - the Serbian link has now been taken down...

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 10:04 AM

Ayal, I have no clue what you were talking about, but whenever someone apologizes, I always accept.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 10:45 AM

I'm curious if any of these were payed productions.

Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 2/15/2012 11:14 AM

Oh, he'll get paid once Zach's friend get's me the barbed wire proctoscope attachment.

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/15/2012 11:15 AM

The latest news:

Don Boose who runs SimplyScripts was able to identify at least 8 scripts from different writers that this impostor has taken credit for. Don is notifying the writers who are effected.

It does appear like he found the scripts in question through SS. One of the things we do on MP to try and protect us a bit, is the only way you can read a script here is if you are a member. We also track who reads each script and we have a valid email address for each member, for whatever that is worth.

Honestly, this is the worst case of plagiarism I have ever seen/heard of in the screenwriting community. Luckily our community is small enough that we can still look out for each other.

Bill Clar (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 11:48 AM

In such a case as this, regarding short films, how do you establish ownership of a creative work? Do you register your shorts with the WGA?

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/15/2012 11:52 AM

Travis was able to prove the script was his, simply be sending the director to the MP web site where his script was clearly dated.

Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/15/2012 12:20 PM

A lesson for everyone: Make sure you have dated records of your work, be it WGA registration, Copyright, or a posting on a website.

I agree with Chris on this: This is easily the worst case I've seen -- and I've had a script stolen in the past -- and I hope this guy gets his comeuppance.

@Rusty: My guy's out of barbed wire. Will razor wire work?

Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 12:22 PM

What a great group effort to sort this out. Not to throw gas on the fire, but Chris, do you think it's possible that Rudd/Jong could also be a member of MP under a different name? I was surprised to see how fast things were changing on his other social network sites as the discussion was progressing on here. If you're able to track who reads what scripts, maybe you're able to track who reads the forum threads?

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/15/2012 12:30 PM

Without going into more detail than is necessary, rest assured that we are doing all we can to identify the individual and to take appropriate action with any sites he is involved with.

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 12:43 PM

I'm glad to see this piece of shit get nailed!

On the sunny side of things.... Travis, people really seem to love Tacet! It's well on it's way to becoming the internet's most pirated screenplay!

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 12:45 PM

Get your own copy at Pirate Bay? :p

Philip Whitcroft (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 1:00 PM

That's shocking. Can I suggest that someone should contact the WGA with the details of this case since they have a role in protecting writers and may have legal resources that they can use.

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/15/2012 1:02 PM

"Can I suggest that someone should contact the WGA with the details of this case since they have a role in protecting writers and may have legal resources that they can use."

Someone can certainly try, but considering these are short scripts, written by non-union members, and the offender is probably in Serbia - I wouldn't expect too much.

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/15/2012 2:06 PM

Another update, I have heard back from Derrick and Richard (who run Stage32) and they are definitely on the case.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 2:32 PM

The account has been suspended...

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 3:29 PM

It's really cool how all these different websites are working together to get rid of this chump. It sends a pretty clear message to anyone else who might be thinking of ripping off someone's work.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 3:52 PM

I think it's great too but unless the sites make some sort of public announcement saying what has happened and, better still, naming the guy then I don't see how anyone apart from us would ever know, if all that happens is that the accounts are suspended and he is banned.

I'm very happy to be proved very wrong!

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 3:58 PM

I'm all for setting the record straight and the proper writer get credit. However, I'm a little leery about getting into some sort of witch hunt. I think he will get the message if he's banned from a few places. That's probably enough. It's a fine line to out someone and cyber bullying. Just my $.02. :-)

Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 4:05 PM


The problem is I've seen his type before. (Not as blatant as this guy.) They get caught, shed their skin and their user name, slither off and come back with another name and start doing the same thing all over again.

They're thieves, plain and simple. If they've got the goods on this guy, he should be exposed.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 4:05 PM

Yes, I didn't mean to sound so vindictive, I just meant that HE will surely get the message but that it won't deter anyone else because no one else will know.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 4:28 PM

I put a notice out to every screenwriter I know via all the forms of social media I post to and told them to tell their friends. Caroline is correct, awareness of this behaviour is the key to stopping it.

I stopped short of notifying SS or making a formal announcement there. It will have more impact coming from Don and I'm sure he will post about it once there is some kind of resolution.

Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 2/15/2012 4:37 PM

Also, sad but true, the only time we'd actually be aware of this kind of blatant theft is when the thief is in it for recognition and profit.

The usual avenues of competitions and budget productions, so to speak.

However, there are instances wherein our work is probably being used in obscure locations all over the world in student projects, indie films and even offline writing schools, without us being aware of it.

This guy mentioned he was 20, maybe true maybe not.

I personally have seen a lot of youngsters in internet cafes, blatantly lift homework assignments from the web and curiously enough when they're confronted their argument is the same "It's online, it's free and nobody warned us."

This is just a suggestion but we could try a scare-crow of sorts, a strong disclaimer stating that the scripts here belong to their authors and are constantly monitored for any duplication or use outside of MP without the author's consent.

This will make our case stronger to really punish any future mischief-makers who have no excuse saying that, they didn't realise it was wrong etc.

Plus, I've seen such placebo disclaimers actually scare off people from trying to even take screenshots or download files.

Just a thought.

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 4:38 PM

I didn't mean you sounded vindictive Caroline. :-)

I just remember when something similar happened about 5 or 6 years ago were some of the younger people especially. Went after this one guy. It got really ugly. They sort of fed off each other and really wanted to do this guy in. Personally destroy him. My comment was not intended to anyone here at movie poet.

Michael, I also thought about mentioning it that simply scripts, But I decided not to. Just like you I decided it was better for Don to post something about it instead.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 4:45 PM

Thanks, Pia and good idea, Rusty. You remember that trouble we had with the British college and one of Ste Brown's scripts? Well, they used exactly the same argument - that it didn't say on the scripts or on the site anywhere that the work was copyright.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 4:58 PM

Always put a copyright statement on any script you post on the internet. You can take it off if you send the script to an agent or filmmaker, but you are inviting trouble if you post it publicly without the copyright.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 4:58 PM

Right Pia, and all that kid did was subconsciously lift the concept. What this guy did was deliberate.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 5:00 PM

Pia's talking about some other ugly business 5 or 6 years ago where a partnership turned ugly.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 5:02 PM

Oh, ok. I still feel sorry for the other 'Tacit' guy. His act was in no way intentional and he scrubbed the film from existence as soon as he realized the similarities. I know he was unhappy that this happened even if it was subconscious.

Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 5:06 PM

Wow! You are all amazing! The pack energy here is almost palpable!

The alarm was sounded.

Everyone became alert to possible danger.

Some were ready to attack.

Others were trying to calm the situation down, but staying alert at the same time.

The danger was identified.

Action was taken by the leaders.

The danger was confronted and driven off for the time being.

Neighboring packs were warned...

It's really good to be part of a community like this, and to know that people here are not only watching each other's backs, but are willing to go to the wall to cover them.

You are amazing.

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 6:06 PM

I agree with Caroline on this - while I think it's pointless to crucify this individual (I doubt he would care and is probably long gone) I do think that each site should send an email to its members stating what happened with a message of the importance of ownership and copyright.

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 6:30 PM

I have most of my scripts posted on my website. I used to follow their website closely and I always kept track on who visited the site and which scripts were downloaded. There were lots of downloads from all over the world. Mostly from Eastern Europe, India and the Middle East. I don't check anymore, but it makes you wonder what people do with the scripts. I used to especially wonder when for example there would be 2 people downloaded one particular script let's say in South Africa and they were both from the same town. Why would there be to downloads from the same town in a faraway country? I always assumed that perhaps they would film the script. But there is no way to check and find out.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/15/2012 6:55 PM

My script 'Tricky' was renamed 'Calvin the Clown'. Just something I thought was kind of humorous.

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 7:01 PM

Okay, thanks to some nice to take the work by Don we now know Oz Rudd's real name is Stefan Simonovic !!!!!

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 7:02 PM

Detective work I meant..... I'm training Dragon here. a speech recognition software. :D

Richard Botto (Level 0) ~ 2/15/2012 7:08 PM

Big thanks to Michael (and all the rest of you) who brought this to our attention. As a screenwriter myself, I am super sensitive to situations such as this. Further still, Stage 32 has a very clear, very detailed, and very available set of terms and conditions. In this case, there were multiple violations. Therefore the account was suspended.

As a peer, I cannot stress enough the importance of protecting your work. There have been some terrific suggestions in this thread regarding how to take the extra step as well.

As for Stage 32, in our 5 short months, over 40,000 creatives from 175 countries have joined the site. We've literally suspended 3. Two were for spam, and this one for violating our T&C. We do everything possible to protect not only our members, but the integrity of the community.

Again, I appreciate the communication. I'm awed by the passion and the spirit of the MoviePoet members. It's always a thrill, especially in such a competitive field, to watch creatives look out for one another.



Richard Botto
Stage 32

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/15/2012 7:10 PM

That fits with his e-mail address which if I recall started stesim...

Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 7:49 PM

Notice posted at Simply Scripts, Home Page:

"Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Alert! Stefan Simonovic aka Oz Rudd steals scripts

Stefan Simonovic aka Oz Rudd has been caught trying to pass off a number of scripts from the SimplyScripts Unproduced section of the site as his own. If anyone reading this is working with the above named individual on a script or a production, please be aware that you could be working with someone who has plagiarized the script from SimplyScripts.

To be clear, Stefan Simonovic aka Oz Rudd stole the scripts and merelyl replaced the writer’s name with his own. He is passing them off as his own work, typos and all.

Unless you are working with a Stefan Simonovic in a screenwriting capacity, please don’t assume that ALL individuals named Stefan Simonovic are thieves. Don’t go crazy here.


Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 8:03 PM

Should I be offended because this scumbag steals scripts or be offended because he didn't steal any of mine?

Stephen Melling (Level 0) ~ 2/15/2012 8:04 PM

Hi everyone. I just wanted to say thanks to all the people who brought this to light. As the producer and director of the film in question it would have been a complete disaster if it had gone ahead under the wrong name - as you can imagine.

I've been discussing the issue with Travis DeStein, Chris Messineo and Richard Botto from Stage 32 and have also exchanged some emails with Don from SS - I'm glad the other scripts he sent me have also been identified through this exchange and hope this prevents other film makers from going ahead with a production with this guy - as I almost did.

I'm very thankful to Travis most of all - for keeping a cool head about it all and letting me carry on with the production. Travis will now be fully credited for writing the script and we will be entering a brilliant film festival together with a strong hope of some success.

Hats off to you all, you did a great job. This has all been a huge learning process for me to check writers credentials before taking a script off them. If you would like to follow the project the Facebook page is now back up with the changes made.


Stephen Richard Melling
Stake Productions

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/15/2012 8:15 PM

Hey Stephen,

thanks for chiming in. Funny thing is that recently I was joking about the producer/director who is filming a short of mine because he wanted one piece of paper signed and notarized just so he would know for sure that I was twice that I was. I thought it was excessive especially for short, but maybe he had had some bad experience in the past with writers not being who they said they are. I will never again question or joke about this practice. In the wake of what has happened here it makes total sense to me.

Good luck with the film. It is one of the most memorable ones at movie poet to me at least. It would be nice if this small community will get to see the film one day. :-)

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/16/2012 6:00 AM

Stephen, this film sure has LOADS of free publicity! :)

All the very best with it.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 2/16/2012 10:47 AM

This was all an eloborate scheme Steven thought of to create publicity for his film...

I know its not true. But would be a clever twist to his whole story.

Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/16/2012 12:52 PM

I mentioned this to my brother and he came here and looked at this thread.

His comment was: "This Oz Rudd missed his calling, he's a hustler that can sell other people's scripts. He needs to be an agent."

David Birch (Level 5) ~ 2/16/2012 1:04 PM

is it possible that "Oz Rudd" might be a version of "Randall Stevens"...?

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/16/2012 1:10 PM

Please explain, db!

David Birch (Level 5) ~ 2/16/2012 2:16 PM

shawshank redemption...

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/16/2012 2:27 PM

I'd forgotten that name.

Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 2/16/2012 2:33 PM

wowzers! I just read this whole thread and I'm amazed at people like this Oz Rudd or whatever his name is, can just blatantly steal a script and put his name on it.

What I can't understand is where is the joy in stealing other's work? I mean, there's nothing like the thrill of seeing your work made into a film. What does he get (maybe money?) for stealing someone's work?

Being an imposter has to be a very uncomfortable feeling.

I'm so glad the MP folks rose to the challenge and rescued Tacet and now Travis will be named the rightful writer.

Wow, what a sad person, this man must be. I don't feel sorry for him, I just don't get what he possibly could gain by doing this.

I'm going to follow the short of facebook.

Well done everyone!!!

David Birch (Level 5) ~ 2/16/2012 2:48 PM

@CC...i have to admit that i looked it up, so i'm relying on wikipedia...according to SimplyScripts he IS a Randall Stevens...the culprit's name is Stefan Simonovic...but, then again...

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/16/2012 3:16 PM

Script laundering!

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 2/16/2012 3:54 PM

I'm really glad to see Richard (stage32) and Don (SS) have no tolerance for this sorta shit either.

Stephen, it seems like you have handled the crappy hand you were dealt (through absolutely no fault of your own) as professionally as possible. I'm glad you were able to get ahold of Travis and work this out without losing all of your pre-production work. Good luck on the film. I can't wait to check it out.

Dan Delgado (Level 5) ~ 2/16/2012 5:30 PM

"Wow, what a sad person, this man must be. I don't feel sorry for him, I just don't get what he possibly could gain by doing this."

The sad part, is before he started scrambling to remove all the information about himself on the Internet, is that it's possible he actually does create music. (Unless he's stealing that too.)

If he does write music, and he was just looking for short scripts to showcase his music, probably most short script writers would have said: "Sure if you want to use my script, write some music for it and get a producer to film it, go ahead."

Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 2/16/2012 6:15 PM

Couldn't be more right, Dan.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/16/2012 6:30 PM

"Cslvin the Clown...the Musical"

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 2/16/2012 7:17 PM

is there a "like" button somewhere? :D

Stephen Melling (Level 0) ~ 2/17/2012 4:28 AM

It was amazing to see this thread evolve to what it has now become. Its a story within itself it seems.

I wish I was clever enough to come up with this as an elaborate master plan to promote my film but I'm afaid its not the case. Ironically I probably would never have found Travis or his script if all of this didn't happen.

JeanPierre Chapoteau - Your script 'Tricky' could have easily been the one this all happened too, as out of the ones he sent me it was between the one I chose and 'Calvin the Clown' as he named it. Maybe there is a future project there...

Thanks again to all the support. It turns out it is a small world after all.

Filming takes place on the 2nd and 3rd of March so keep an eye out for news and production stills until the film is released. :)

Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 2/17/2012 5:17 AM

Of coure we even look forward to seeing it in our own short film contest here. :)

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/17/2012 6:22 AM

Just FYI, I posted about this on Shooting People - the screenwriters' forum.

Stephen Melling (Level 0) ~ 2/17/2012 7:56 AM

Thanks Rustom. I believe festivals would want exclusivity to it at least at the beginning. But theres no reason why it couldn't in the future sure.

Caroline, do I have to be a member to see the posts about it on Shooting People?


Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/17/2012 8:28 AM

@ Stephen - I think so but I'll post them here as well if you like. There won't be responses until tomorrow at the earliest - you can't respond in real time, just post on the following daily posting.

Sorry, lots of post words there. (Brain fried trying to finish work before holiday - so HOPE can get internet access to post responses but I'm sure others could help out if I can't)

Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 2/17/2012 11:49 AM

I'm still amazed at how diligently so many of you worked on outing this turd. Kudos. And Kudos again.

Stephen Melling (Level 0) ~ 2/17/2012 5:18 PM

Thanks Caroline that would be good if you could keep me up to date via here (or the facebook page I guess).

And Margaret yes, I'm happily amazed as well! I didn't realise just how strong the industry was until all of this came about. Everyone has been very cool indeed.

Don Boose (Level 1) ~ 2/17/2012 6:09 PM

Hi all,

Glad this all worked out. I've had to remove Oz Rudd's real name from my posting because a moronic internet 'sleuth' has emailed someone by Oz Rudd's real name who had nothing to do with this incident. I strongly caution folks before they light after "Oz Rudd" to be sure you have the right person.


Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 2/19/2012 2:01 AM

Congrats to Travis and JP for the newfound recognition. So no longer is it just about who you know in this business (aside from the great writing of the MP members), but who you don't know who steals your work and gets you known! That's not something i've come across in any class.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 2/19/2012 1:45 PM

That would make a good toast: "Let's drink to thieves who get us produced!" :)
Dan, I agree with your brother - he missed his calling.

Stephen Melling (Level 0) ~ 3/15/2012 7:13 AM

Hello again, I apologise in advance for the shameful and needy plug here. However I hope you understand the cause.

I am looking for as many extras as possible to come along to my shoot on the 25th (thats for the script in this topic that is being made). Its in Manchester at the Royal Northern College of Music at 7:30pm. If you could help out my spreading the link around your facebook pages that would be very helpful - even if you are half way around the world.

Many thanks for your help.

MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 3/15/2012 8:58 AM

Done Stephen, sent it to a very dear friend who came back with the comment - 'How dare you, I'm a trained actor!!' Ha!

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/15/2012 9:23 AM

I posted it on Circalit, on the page of a screenwriter from Manchester.

Scott Merrow (Level 5) ~ 3/15/2012 10:36 AM

Holy Cow! I just read through this thread for the first time. Yikes! Unbelievable! Good work Movie Poets. (And congrats to Travis!)

Olga Tremaine (Level 5) ~ 3/15/2012 6:34 PM

Wow! So much drama. Good job, Khamanna and Pia.
Congrats to Travis!

T. James DeStein (Level 5) ~ 3/15/2012 6:40 PM

How convenient, I'll be finishing up my daily kayak trip across the Pacific Ocean right when the shoot starts. I'll see ya there.

Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 3/15/2012 6:49 PM

I so wish I could be there. Good luck with the shoot.

Stephen Melling (Level 0) ~ 6/4/2012 8:58 AM

So its finally finished. Check the film out on the Virgin Media Shorts Festival website. If you like it, please share it using the buttons below the video.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone on here that helped this get made by the correct writer. Travis did a great job and I hope the film lives up to the brilliant script!


Ayal Pinkus (Level 5) ~ 6/4/2012 9:06 AM


Scott Merrow (Level 5) ~ 6/4/2012 9:55 AM

Well done!!! (Good little actor, too.)

Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 6/4/2012 10:08 AM

Stephen, I'm sure most of us would agree, this link deserves a brand new thread, just so it won't be overshadowed by the negative aura of all that precedes it?

Really glad to see it get a well deserved and happy result. Hopefully, more MP collaborations, as well.

Congratulations to you and Travis!

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 6/4/2012 10:37 AM

"Stephen, I'm sure most of us would agree, this link deserves a brand new thread, just so it won't be overshadowed by the negative aura of all that precedes it?"

I agree. The film is amazing! Please start a new thread and share this awesome little movie.

MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 6/4/2012 11:01 AM

It is lovely, so very well done. The shot along the corridor with all the other competitors is fabulous. very well done.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 6/4/2012 12:17 PM

Beautiful. Excellent work! Congrats!

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 6/4/2012 1:01 PM

Congratulation on a Great film!! Good luck in the competition!!