Dramatist article

Copyright Advocacy: Between Never and Forever

The year 2019 was a windfall for dramatists skilled at adapting works, as a large number of classics finally enter the public domain. Some of you may want to adapt works from other genres, e.g., Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, or Agatha Christie’s ...
Dramatist article

Copyright Advocacy: Childress v. Taylor

There’s one thing that a writer learns very very quickly: everybody has an opinion about your work. It becomes part of the writer’s job to winnow through those various opinions to figure out which ones are actually helpful. But, by accepting someone’s suggestions about your script, are you actually making them your co-author? “Survey says”—and the Courts say—“No.” In 1985, actress Clarice...
Dramatist article

Copyright Advocacy: The Varied Copyrights of Theatre

IN THE THEATRE INDUSTRY, copyright law protects the contributions of authors, be they playwrights, librettists, composers, or lyricists. However, the highly collaborative nature of theatre brings many contributions to the production from non-authorial artists as well. A winning production is the perfect combination of these elements, some owned outright by their respective contributors, some owned only under certain circumstances, and some not proprietary at all. On one end of the spectrum...
Dramatist article

The WGA Script Registry Is No Substitute For Copyright Registration

The WGA Script Registry is costing writers’ money and is acting as a detriment, not an asset, to writers. As an entertainment litigator who is regularly asked to handle copyright infringement lawsuits against motion picture studios, one of the biggest problems I face is with writers registering...
Dramatist article

Copyright Advocacy Month: Playwrights and Copyright

BROADWAY, 1926 The Rialto is alive with drama. At the Mansfield Theater, a revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Beyond the Horizon is enjoying a healthy run. At the Imperial, George Gershwin’s prohibition romp Oh, Kay is a bona fide sell-out. At the Mayfair, an unexpected guest upstages the opening night of a searing marital tragedy entitled The Half-Naked Truth. In the words of critic Brooks...