Copyright is not a passive act.

Copyright Advocacy

"Art is a joy, and art is something I do because I love it, but I also make a living from writing songs...when you share copies [of songs] that you have with other people, you're depriving people like me of our livelihood."- Mindi Dickstein


Copyright Advocacy Month may be over, but copyright is not a passive act. Download our curated list of materials, and watch our videos, and read our articles to learn exactly what copyright means, how it benefits theatrical writers, and what you can do to protect your copyright. Become an expert in copyright, and learn how it affects your career.


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Sep 30, 2020


    "Someone Wrote That Song" - music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Craig Carnelia

    "If a puppet tells you not to steal sheet music, we think you should listen. Especially if those puppets are voiced by Benj Pasek, Nick Blaemire, Kait Kerrigan and the inimitable Stephen Schwartz." - Kait Kerrigan & Brian Lowdermilk

    As destructive and unfair to composers, lyricists and publishers as the illegal photocopying of sheet music has been over the years, the spread of free sheet music sites on the internet is threatening the very existence of professional publishing. In response to this threat, the Dramatists Guild formed the Copyright Advocacy committee to combat the piracy of sheet music and scripts on the internet.



    "Someone Wrote That Song"

    Directed and Edited by Jeremy Levine, Transient Pictures

    Produced by Craig Carnelia, Jeremy Levine and Stephen Schwartz

    Music: Alan Menken

    Lyric: Craig Carnelia

    Music Produced, Arranged, and Recorded by: Curtis Moore

    Vocals: Nick Blaemire, Kait Kerrigan, Benj Pasek and Stephen Schwartz

    Backup Vocals: Curtis Moore

    Director of Photography: Eric Phillips-Horst

    Field Producer & Creative Consultant: Marina Fernandez Ferri

    Puppet Design & Construction: The Puppet Kitchen

    Set Design & Construction: The Puppet Kitchen

    Puppeteers: Heather Asch, Jake Basel, Ryan Dillon, Michael Schupbach, James Wojtal, Eric Wright

    Puppet Kitchen Staff: Kevin Abrams, Jake Basel, Emily DeCola, Aston Hollins McClanahan, Chloe Moser, Michael Schupbach, Eric Wright

    Consulting Producer: Landon Van Soest

    Production Assistant: JP Keenan

    Compositing & Color Grading: Begonia Colomar

    Additional footage from "The Legacy Project" Courtesy of the Dramatists Guild Foundation 

    Thanks: The Cornelia Connelly Center David Faux Amy VonMacek

    Special thanks to the many Dramatists Guild composers and lyricists who lent their time and support to this project.

Sep 29, 2020


    #DGuknow: Copyright 101 for Dramatists

    Copyright is at the center of what it means to be a working writer in theatre today. But what exactly does that mean? Amy VonMacek, Director of Council Programs, sat down with Deborah Murad, Executive Director of DG Copyright Management, to learn more about what copyright is, what it isn't, and what it means to you as a working professional.

    Watch Deborah explain why copyright is so important, what is protected under copyright, how to protect your copyright, and more!

    Executive Producer: Amy VonMacek

    Theme Composition: Ioana Preda Buburuzan

    Production and Design: Kristin Kapinos and Gabriel Drozdov


Sep 25, 2020

Sep 24, 2020


    Copyright Office Resources

    When you write a story, create a work of art, compose or record music, or take a picture, you engage with copyright. Perhaps you’re fueled to create by reading, observing, or listening to other artists’ works, or maybe you are starting an entirely new conversation." 

    In celebration of their 150th anniversary, the U.S. Copyright Office has compiled resources ranging from copyright basics to information on fees and registration. Learn how the Copyright Office can help you engage your creativity, via the link in bio.


    Awareness to Action: Innovate for a Green Future

    On April 29, 2020, in celebration of World Intellectual Property Day the U.S. Copyright Office hosted “Awareness to Action: Innovate for a Green Future.”

    The 2020 World Intellectual Property Day theme put innovation—and the IP rights that support it—at the heart of efforts to create a green future, because the choices we make each day shape our future. Through this event, we observed how creators—who through the copyright system can earn a living from their work—play a key role in creating a vision of a green future and its untold benefits.

    The event featured:

    • Meaghan Parker, executive director at the Society of Environmental Journalists; 
    • Roshan Patel, media producer at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute; and
    • Sean Fitzgerald, nature and conservation photographer.

    Copyright and Social Justice

    This event will explores how historically disadvantaged communities benefit from copyright law to the advantage of communities as a whole

    "Copyright and Social Justice,” a Copyright Matters event, focuses on the links between copyright protection and social justice. Public conversations surrounding copyright often presume that copyright primarily benefits owners of successful media properties to the disadvantage of those who aren’t part of large media groups. However, copyright law incentivizes the creative efforts of all authors. It applies to all types of creators, from established and sophisticated creators to individual artists not as familiar with the law. This event will explore how people from historically disadvantaged communities benefit from copyright law to the advantage of communities as a whole. 

    • The Hon. Hakeem Jeffries, U.S. representative from New York and member of the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, will give opening remarks, followed by a discussion featuring:
    • Lateef Mtima, professor of law at the Howard University School of Law and founder and director of the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice;
    • Robert Brauneis , professor of law and co-director of the Intellectual Property Law Program at the George Washington University Law School;
    • Kim Tignor, executive director of the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice and founder of Take Creative Control; and; and
    • Hollis Wong Wear, A Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, speaker, creative producer, and creators’ rights advocate.

Sep 22, 2020


    Fighting With Teenagers - A Copyright Story by Jason Robert Brown

    I have known for a while that there are websites where you can essentially download sheet music for free, and I am certainly aware that a lot of the sheet music being downloaded in that manner was written by me. While my wife Georgia Stitt has written extensively about this problem, I have tended to sit back, certain that anything I do would just be the tiniest drop in a very large bucket. But about a month ago, I was seized by the idea to try an experiment.

    I signed on to the website that is most offensive to me, got an account, and typed my name into the Search box. I got 4,000 hits. Four thousand copies of my music were being offered for "trade." (I put "trade" in quotes because of course it's not really a trade, since nobody's giving anything up in exchange for what they get. It's just making illegal unauthorized copies, and calling it "trade" legitimizes it in an utterly fraudulent way.) I clicked on the most recent addition, and I sent the user who was offering that music an email. This is what I wrote...