The Amazon Studios Development Agreement is a contract that governs your and Amazon Studios' rights to the works you upload. If you want to upload anything to Amazon Studios, you'll want to make sure you read and understand it first. If you are comfortable with it, agree to it. If you're not comfortable with it or if you're not sure you understand it, we would not want you to agree to it.
If you upload your original script to Amazon Studios, it still belongs to you. But for the next 45 days, Amazon Studios will have the exclusive right to buy your script for $200,000 if it is a script for a feature film or $55,000 if it is a script for an episodic series. This is called an option. The 45-day option period restarts when you upload (or, if you submitted your script publicly, when anyone uploads) new content to your project, even if the initial 45-day option period has already ended. Amazon Studios can also pay you $10,000 to extend this option for 18 months, which we can do up to two times. If we extend the option, your script will be added to our Development Slate. It is true that by giving us an exclusive option you cannot sell your script to another producer during that period. However, if we don’t buy it in that period, then we lose our right to buy it from you and you can shop it around to other producers (unless and until the option period restarts, as described above).
If we do buy your original script, that money is on top of any awards that you may win for Amazon Studios contests. Award money is completely separate from rights payments.
If we release your original movie script as a full budget theatrical film, you (and your writing partner, if any) will get the $200,000 movie option payment. If we distribute a full-budget series on television or online based on your episodic series script, you (and your writing partner, if any) will get the $55,000 episodic series option payment, and additional payments for each episode when they first air (these payments will depend on the length of the episodes and where they are first distributed please see the Development Agreement for more details). As mentioned above, this is totally separate from any contest award money you may have received. If we pay you the $200,000 option payment or the $55,000 option payment, then we have purchased your original script from you.
If a movie based on your original script earns $60 million at the US box office in its initial release, you get a further bonus of $400,000. The normal approach in option agreements is to give the writer a small "net profit" participation in the movie, which guarantees nothing. The bonus in our agreement is large and clear. If you pick up Variety one day and it says that the movie we released based on your original script or movie made $60 million at the US box office, then you will get $400,000.
If someone creates a revised version of an original script, they may be eligible to receive a share of any contest winnings. But rights payments are not shared. If an original movie or episodic series movie is released from an original script on Amazon Studios, the creator of the original script or series gets 100% of the rights payments. People who are revising scripts or making video content (like trailers or video promos) based on scripts are going for award money and are helping someone else get their movie made. But they are not sharing in the rights money.
This is intended to be a helpful summary of some major points in the Development Agreement and contest rules but is not intended to replace reading them and is not a part of them. Please read them before submitting your content.