Friday, April 3, 2015

That one time when the internet wasn't forever

Online screenwriting program Scripped has crashed and burned in a way that I'm sure no one saw coming. This is the biggest data loss I've ever heard of. What are the odds that you lose both your primary and backup data at the same time?

This morning they sent out this email:

Dear Scripped Community, 
In light of many of emails, both kind and angry, inquiring about the state of our recovery process from this disastrous loss of data, I want to extend a more personal message to the users that have relied on our service. I feel deeply for the writers who lost entire screenplays and are disappointed and angry that their data was inadvertently erased.  I have been so impressed by the love that people have for the Scripped community and brand.  There has been so much genuine affection for this community and the team that built it. This is not the way an organization or service should have ended.  You deserve a more personal and comprehensive email regarding this event. 
I want to share a few answers to questions and some news. 
Who owns Scripped? 
ScreenCraft Media recently acquired the Scripped community as the sole owner from Scripted. (The service had previously gone by the name of Zhura, which you'll still find named in the Terms and Conditions.)
How did this loss happen? 
During the recent transfer of ownership, all backups were deleted by the previous owners. Unfortunately the continuous backup process referenced a no longer accessible server data image. A routine server reboot caused a previously unknown rebuilding task in queue to re-image the server and delete all current data. The backup images that should have been used during the triggered rebuild were blank. This resulted in a total loss of data on the server with no backup. 
Are any screenplays recoverable? 
The previous owners have been very helpful in exploring the cause of this loss and they have recovered a server image from November 2010. If you have an account dating back five years to that time (or before), please email me with your name and email associated with your account and we can recover your files. No backup files exist from 2011 forward. 
This event has led to the prompt closure of Scripped as a community. We had high hopes to breathe new life and development into the waning Scripped forum and unstable software, but I never once imagined that it would become a cautionary tale of cloud data instability and crash under my watch. This sudden loss of data has left us no choice but to close the community. 
This has been a heavy few days for me and the Scripped team. I feel the bitterness of loss for the dozens of writers who have emailed us about lost screenplays and notes. 
Please reach out with any questions and comments. I'll continue to respond to every single email personally and promptly. 
John Rhodes and ScreenCraft Media 
Please direct all questions to 

I didn't have anything with them, so I'm not sure how I got on their mailing list. Probably signed up a couple years ago when Final Draft decided to be a bitch and suddenly stopped saving changes. Luckily I ended up using Screenwriting Pro instead of Scripped.

From their website:

Open letter to our users
Dear Scripped community, 
As you may be aware, has been dealing with mounting technical problems and outdated technology. We have been planning to shut down for some time, but we had envisioned a much more graceful transition than what has occurred.  Due to a serious technical failure Scripped has little choice but to shut its doors effective immediately. We want to thank our loyal writers who have used the service. 
Due to a simultaneous malfunction in our backup services and primary servers, the unthinkable has happened and all recent script content has been lost. We sincerely apologize for this. If you did not download a backup copy of your screenplay, then we regret to inform you that it no longer exists.
In order to honor our users, we've partnered with WriterDuet, the industry's most powerful screenwriting software. WriterDuet is a web or desktop app that features real-time collaboration and infinite revision tracking. It offers automatic backups to its cloud storage, Google Drive, Dropbox, and your hard drive. WriterDuet is used by Hollywood professionals and it has industry-standard pagination and formatting. It's able to import files from PDF, text, Celtx, and Final Draft formats, so Scripped users can upload any backup documents they've saved. If you choose WriterDuet, you're in good hands.
The basic version of WriterDuet is completely FREE. Sign up here.
Thank you for your support and we wish you continued success in your future writing endeavors. 
Team Scripped
Please direct all questions to 

The big mistake they made IMO was shutting down their social media accounts. I'm sure they were getting a shit storm from users, but in this day and age it's the logical outlet for voicing complaints and they should have at least left their Facebook and Twitter accounts open so users could vent.

I was advised years ago to keep multiple backups of my work, so hopefully Scripped users did the same and most of the work that was lost exists elsewhere.

I also wonder how many people actually used Scripped. Based on both the email and site statement, it doesn't sound like the service was long for this world anyway. Not to mention this Twitter snark:

People, backup your work! 

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