Typically this error occurs when you have su’d to another user within your session. Screen doesn’t now have full access to the initial users session so fails to start.
You have two options to get screen working.
1) Log in as the user you want to actually use screen as, this creates there own session and screen will work just fine.
2) If you need to use screen while changing users with the su command, you just need to run the following command prior to running screen.
Redirecting the script to /dev/null causes screen not to write to the controlling terminal (original user you logged in as), so it doesn’t get the permission problem.