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Business Affairs


The Guild's Department of Business Affairs is committed to educating members about business and legal standards in the theater industry while providing constructive comment to government and business leaders on balancing institutional tradition in the face of necessary innovation.  Towards this end, the lawyers at the Guild draft positions reflecting Council's position on issues of national import, track U.S. and worldwide theater business trends, and advise members on immediate business concerns. 


Should a member have an immediate concern, Business Affairs can provide comment on a wide range of matters, including options, commissions, royalties, copyright, collaboration, trademark, rights of privacy, rights of publicity, defamation, so-called "life-story rights," and agents.  It also provides guidance and follows up on complaints regarding theatres, producers, publishers, agents, attorneys, festivals, and contests. 

While the Guild's purpose is to advocate generally for playwrights, lyricists, librettists, and composers, it does NOT represent individual members.  With respect to this limitation,  Business Affairs aims to give each individual member the tools necessary for successfully managing the business end of being an author.  As such, the lawyers in Business Affairs will not contact any non-members on an individual member's behalf.  Nor will the lawyers analyze a contract that has already been signed or draft language for any member's agreement.

For an examination of your theater-related contract or to discuss principles of negotiation, please email Business Affairs at businessaffairs@dramatistsguild.com, fax them at 212-944-0420, or call our Hotline at (800) 289-9366.

Model Contracts, Sample Clauses, Term Sheets, Business Affairs Article Archive

The Guild offers a variety of model contracts that fit the most typical situations for a playwright.  Nevertheless, remember that every situation is different so these forms should be tailored to individual circumstances. Furthermore, members should be aware that the Guild does not provide legal representation, and these contracts are not a substitute for actual legal consultation and representation.  The currently available forms include contracts for productions, collaborations, underlying rights (a.k.a., adaptations or derivative works), and commissions. 


Model Contracts Business Affairs Article Archive  BizBlips & Statements


Guild Music Publishing

Dramatists Guild Publishing began in 2009 after member Irvin Graham bequeathed his portfolio of songs to the Dramatists Guild.  His most famous song, "I Believe," has been recorded and covered by many great singers over the last half century, from Elvis to LeAnn Rimes.  For information about honoring the Guild with an inheritance or to view what works are currently available in the Dramatists Guild Catalog, please click here.

Licensing Houses

To license the mechanical rights of a DGP property, please contact the Harry Fox Agency (http://www.harryfox.com/index.jsp).

To license the small performing rights, please contact ASCAP (http://www.ascap.com/index.aspx).

For grand performing, publishing, and synchronization rights, please contact musicpublishing@dramatistsguild.com.


Anti-Piracy for Composers & Lyricists

Click Here for Composers and Lyricists Anti-Piracy Page

DG Action (Updated July 07, 2014)