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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Discussion of...     General Chat  ›  Coverfly scam? Moderators: bert
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Angry Bear
Posted: June 1st, 2018, 12:09pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks to CJ at Script Revolution, I came across this today. It might be of interest to anyone that has entered script competitions or hired coverage services.

Quite outrageous IMO.

https://coverfly-scam.blogspot.com/2018/05/unmasking-coverfly-network-i-recently.html

+++++++++++++++++++
Don's edit.  The original blogpost has been removed.  Here is Coverfly's response to it:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Screenwriting/comments/8o5yul/open_letter_from_coverfly_to_screenwriters/

and here is a paragraph by paragraph refutation of the claims of the original blog post

https://www.coverfly.com/an-open-letter-to-our-community-1/

++Additional Edit++

I trust and continue to trust MovieBytes.Com for information related to screenwriting contests where one can see crowd sourced feedback about various contests.

- Don



Revision History (7 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  June 5th, 2018, 11:05am
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Don
Posted: June 1st, 2018, 12:29pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Quoted from Angry Bear
Thanks to CJ at Script Revolution, I came across this today. It might be of interest to anyone that has entered script competitions or hired coverage services.

Quite outrageous IMO.

https://coverfly-scam.blogspot.com/2018/05/unmasking-coverfly-network-i-recently.html



I am still reading the information represented in the article.  I am not weighing in, yet.  I encourage anyone who has used the services of or entered a contest with Coverfly, Red Ampersand, WeScreenplay, Screencraft, or Script Lab network to read the article as well as the Reddit AMA with the Coverfly founder Scot Lawrie.

- Don


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Dustin
Posted: June 1st, 2018, 1:05pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
Don't let any more naive screenwriters fall victim to these predators!


I don't see what these guys are doing that's different to all the other businesses out there doing the same thing.

The bottom feeders too. Festivals charging small amounts of money on film freeway for entries. The majority do not exist and are simply taking your money. Half of them don't even bother with decent websites and have Lorem Ipsum everywhere. Even the free ones are set up to sell expensive tickets to 'VIP events'.

The business model they are all following is the one shown them by the original scammers, the big competitions. They all need sucker money to grow and maybe even one day, steal so much cash they can become legit - like the Mafia. That's why these big comps have no care who are reading your scripts. They really don't. Yes, good writers will have a better chance of winning, but the winners are not who the comps care about, it's the dreamers. The multitudes of dreamers.
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Angry Bear
Posted: June 1st, 2018, 1:45pm Report to Moderator
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Lots of outrageous things in this article. Going out of their way to cover up how they own other companies and competitions, stealing personal information, but also giving one of the Screencraft Fellowships, including $1000, to the owner is about as unethical as it gets, IMO.


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RJP
Posted: June 1st, 2018, 5:48pm Report to Moderator
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I don't know. Screencraft owns Coverfly, which is their business for reading scripts...woopity doo. They "stole" your identity? Why, because you gave it to them when you signed up for the Screencraft contest? What do you think Facebook does with your info? What do you think Google does with your Youtube video history? What do you think your web provider does with your search history? They use it to advertise to you!

This guys is really, REALLY, naive.

The only thing sketchy is the fellowship award that went to one of their own founders...and it's not that scandalous. They hand out multiple fellowships so it's not like the guy took home all the prizes. Not a smart move by Screencraft, but they probably didn't feel their were enough quality participants to get the award that year. All fellowships have the right to do that BTW. Nicholl could give 4 instead of 5 one year if they felt their weren't 5 worthy.

Oh, and companies don't need to be transparent about what they own. Come on. This dude been living under a rock? Welcome to the world. TV networks...BestBuy and Futureshop...lists go on.
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eldave1
Posted: June 1st, 2018, 6:00pm Report to Moderator
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Quite an article


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Mr. Ripley
Posted: June 1st, 2018, 6:33pm Report to Moderator
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I believe I entered a screen craft once and never received anything from coverfly. They apparently look for great scripts to abuse. Lol

Gabe



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MarkItZero
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I deleted my post. I'm 95% sure that email just showed up in my inbox. But there's a 5% chance I'm a complete idiot and signed up for the site out of curiosity, forgot about it completely, and that's just the confirmation email lol.


That rug really tied the room together.
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LC
Posted: June 1st, 2018, 7:40pm Report to Moderator
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Response at bottom of page:


Co-founder of Coverfly here. The claims made anonymously in this post (and some before) are blatantly false. We have evidence that suggests this misinformation is being spread maliciously by an organization incentivized to see us fail. We’re in talks with our legal team to address this defamation directly.

The one thing I'd be suss about is any employee of any organisation winning a prize etc. Terms and Conditions always state a blurb similar to: You are not eligible to enter a competition if You are a current employee or immediate family member ... etcetera. That's standard practice.

Anyway, we don't really know fact from fiction here, do we?


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RJP
Posted: June 1st, 2018, 9:21pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
Response at bottom of page:


Co-founder of Coverfly here. The claims made anonymously in this post (and some before) are blatantly false. We have evidence that suggests this misinformation is being spread maliciously by an organization incentivized to see us fail. We’re in talks with our legal team to address this defamation directly.

The one thing I'd be suss about is any employee of any organisation winning a prize etc. Terms and Conditions always state a blurb similar to: You are not eligible to enter a competition if You are a current employee or immediate family member ... etcetera. That's standard practice.

Anyway, we don't really know fact from fiction here, do we?


He also said this in regards to the fellowship win:

"Correct - he won the ScreenCraft Fellowship in the beginning of 2015. Mark's first encounter with ScreenCraft was when they called him to notify him that he had won the contest, and there's a back-and-forth email thread to prove it. Personally, I never met John or Cam from ScreenCraft until mid-2016, about a year and a half after Mark won their contest, to show them Coverfly.
In the beginning of 2017, about two years later, ScreenCraft partnered up with us under the Red Ampersand umbrella.
In other words, Red Ampersand came to be two years after Mark won the Fellowship. The only reason we came to know ScreenCraft is because of Mark's interactions with John and Cameron after he won. By the way, he also won Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope competition (in the same month!) with a different script, so he's a pretty talented writer."
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Angry Bear
Posted: June 1st, 2018, 9:44pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC


The one thing I'd be suss about is any employee of any organisation winning a prize etc. Terms and Conditions always state a blurb similar to: You are not eligible to enter a competition if You are a current employee or immediate family member ... etcetera. That's standard practice.

Agree. All competitions have strict rules.

Wether this is 100% true or not, it definitely leaves a sour taste in my mouth as far as some of those comps go. Especially Screencraft that I thought seemed pretty legit.


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Dustin
Posted: June 2nd, 2018, 2:39am Report to Moderator
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It has been established, and I also gathered this from the article, that he won the comp before setting up Coverfly.

Not that I'm suggesting they're not a bunch of scamming bastards, because they are. Well, they are if you don't need them. If they're all you have that help you cling to the dream of being a writer then it's probably worth paying for.
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RJP
Posted: June 2nd, 2018, 4:43pm Report to Moderator
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So I just read Coverfly's official response, and this shit gets crazier. They're pretty certain that one of their competitors (they won't say who) created the blog and a bunch of other fake accounts to tarnish their companies name.

Check this: Months prior they were given shit by this "competitor" who sent them an email with a screenshot...apparently this email had to do with something else. Turns out that you can get information about a computer screenshot such as the make and model of the computer monitor.

Anyways, in the blog that was created to spread the accusations, there were screenshots taken and posted. They so happen to be from the same and apparently rare and out-of-prodiction large-screen Apple display of the disgruntled "competitor".

Also, somehow they are able to track the IP of the blog to the base of operations of this "competitor".

So they're getting ready to react with their legal team. We might be witnessing a major law suit agains one of Coverfly's competitors... could be blacklist, withoutabox, film freeway...who knows.
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colkurtz8
Posted: June 3rd, 2018, 4:42am Report to Moderator
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Shit, this doesn't sound good at all right now but I'll keep track of the story to see how it shakes out.

I entered a competition recently who had hired Coverfly to do their reading. I barely remember signing up to them to be honest. I haven't paid any money so I'd no reason to be suspicious.

My script didn't progress and it was through Coverfly that I got see how it fared score-wise...then I get another email a few days later saying that my script's "Industry score" had increased. Which, from what I can gather, is seemingly arbitrary as they are at pains to make it clear that its not connected to the script's performance in the competition. Yet, that was the only competition to which I submitted this script. Its all a bit confusing.

Anyway, whatever about the timeline of when their CEO won Screencraft it does leave one with a bad taste. Yes, I'm resigned to the fact that my information has been sold a thousand times already online by various companies but the whole idea of a competition farming out its judging to a seperate company doesn't sit well with me either. Doesn't that totally call into question the validity of that competition? Don't they pride themselves on having the best readers, judges, etc.

I'm not naive, I know this is just a marketing ploy but how can they even pretend to say that if their reading and judging is been outsourced?

Yep, the whole thing smells more than a bit fishy but I'll reserve judgement until I see where the story goes.

Thanks for the heads up, Pia...but who do you work for? What's your angle in all this?


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Angry Bear
Posted: June 3rd, 2018, 7:08am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from colkurtz8

Thanks for the heads up, Pia...but who do you work for? What's your angle in all this?


Lol! I first came across this from CJ Walley when he listed a a bunch of comps, many of which are well known, that he no longer allow as being mentioned as award winners at Script Revolution. I figured he must have done extensive research to come to that conclusion, so I figured it was worth mentioning here and see what others thought. I usually never enter comps, but I did this year and that comp was mentioned in this mess. We'll see what happens with this. I'm sure it's not over yet.  


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