Before the formation of the Dramatists Guild, dramatists did not own or control their work; they were rarely even paid royalties. But beginning in 1926, the DG negotiated a contract with producers for licensing “First Class” (e.g., Broadway) production rights.

Originally called the “MBA” (the Minimum Basic Agreement), the contract is now called the “APC” (the Approved Production Contract) and DG members are required to use it as a condition of Guild membership. It ensures that the writer will have ownership of their copyright, as well as approval over changes in the work and over the hiring of all artistic personnel, and the rights to be billed, to be present, and to be paid reasonable options, advances, and royalties, none of which were guaranteed prior to the existence of the Guild. Members also reserve all the rights not specifically granted under the APC, including foreign territory productions, stock & amateur licensing, music publishing, and audio-visual adaptations. Any revisions to the APC that may be negotiated between the author and the producer must then be certified by the Guild. 

The APC is only available for purchase by Guild Members, Business Subscribers or Affiliates.

This document is part of suite of resources designed to help playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists. Visit Business Affairs Resources to learn more. Only active members of the Guild may view, download, or request sample contracts.

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