Copyright Advocacy Committee

Copyright Advocacy Committee

The Copyright Advocacy Committee was founded in 2010 after Dramatists Guild member Georgia Stitt brought sheet music piracy to the Dramatists Guild’s attention with a community-wide email entitled “What happens when I get angry about my sheet music being traded for free.”

What many had been aware of as a growing problem was suddenly given a community-wide platform. Since then, the committee has produced numerous resources to advocate on the behalf of writers and their copyright. A selection of the committee’s resources and past events can be found below.


    • In Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp v. WallStreet.Com, LLC (No. 15-571), the Court held that a copyright claimant cannot commence an infringement lawsuit before the Copyright Office acts on a copyright application and either registers or refuses the copyright. The Court rejected the Ninth Circuit’s approach, which permitted an infringement lawsuit upon the completion of a copyright application. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
    • In Rimini Street Inc. et al. v. Oracle USA Inc. (No. 17-1625), the Court concluded that “full costs” provided by the Copyright Act do not include costs for e-discovery vendors, experts, and other litigation expenses. The decision could affect the decision-making process for litigants deciding whether to take a copyright case to trial. This decision also reversed a ruling from the Ninth Circuit. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

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“Someone Wrote That Song”

In 2013, the Anti-Piracy Committee created an exciting music video, “Someone Wrote That Song,” with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Craig Carnelia.

The goal of the video is to inform the fans who are participating in the cultural trend of unlicensed downloads and fileshares that their behavior is robbing the artists they love of their ability to make a living from their work, and that their theft is not an abstraction. . . in fact, someone wrote that song. Ironically, we urge everyone to steal it…play it, pass it around, tweet it, text it. Get the message out!

Special thanks to The Dramatists Guild Foundation for use of footage from The Legacy Project.

Additional Resources

Click the links below for more information on how to combat piracy in the world of theater.

Guild Launches Link to Sink Piracy

Music Publishers Association: Copyright FAQ

Samuel French: Owning Their Words

Anti-Piracy Blast

In April of 2014, the committee held its first Anti-Piracy Blast to raise awareness of digital sheet music piracy. During the event, both established and up-and-coming musical theatre writers contacted users on sites that facilitate the illegal sharing and trading of sheet music to urge them to stop engaging in the practice.

Anti-Piracy Agreements

Under the Copyright Act, authors have the right to keep their work confidential during the various stages of completion. In order to prevent potential misuse of audition and rehearsal materials, we have developed two Anti-Piracy Agreements for authors, producers, or other theater professionals to distribute. Please click the links below to download and print the agreements for your own use.



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