SEARCH

News: Copyright

Member Newsroom

A Time of Indecency: The Dramatists Guild Speaks Out Against Recent School Cancellations of "Indecent" and "Spelling Bee"

The Dramatists Guild of America vehemently objects to and is appalled by the recent cancellations of the play Indecent, originally scheduled for production at Douglas Anderson School of Performing Arts in Jacksonville, Florida, and the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which was just cancelled by Cardinal High School administrators in Middlefield, Ohio. The Dramatists Legal...
Member Newsroom

New Works Enter The Public Domain in 2023 by Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Virginia Woolf, and More!

January 1, 2023 was Public Domain Day, the day each year when copyrights expire and new works enter the public domain. The “Progress Clause” of the U.S. Constitution established the legal basis for federal copyright law, and it did so in order to encourage the progress of our society, to incentivize the creation of new works that would eventually enrich the public ​domain and be accessible to everyone. So each work entering the public domain is an example of...
Member Newsroom

New Resource for Dramatists: An Update from the Copyright Claims Board

Recently, the Copyright Claims Board (“CCB”) made a new resource available that may be beneficial to any playwrights, composers, lyricists, or librettists who are looking to bring copyright claims before the CCB. This new resource is a directory of both clinics and organizations who work with law students to represent parties in a dispute before the CCB. It also includes a list of organizations that provide a range of pro bono assistance. While having legal representation is...
Member Newsroom

What should I do if someone performs or changes a play, musical, or devised work without permission?

Your work cannot be performed without your permission. And it is never okay for someone to change your words, lyrics, or notes, without your approval.  This rule applies whether the desired alteration is a significant change to the text, such as rearranging scenes, adding lines, cutting an entire monologue, or removing an explicit word. It also applies to changing the setting or casting requirements. Casting requirements and settings are a part of an author’s work; if any defining...
Member Newsroom

Pirated Scripts on Ebay - How DG Defended Your Copyright

Back in April, a Guild member contacted the BA HelpDesk to alert us to what appeared to be pirated libretti and scripts (many of which were written by DG members) that were being sold on eBay by a highly rated seller. The Guild's Business Affairs team investigated the matter; it was determined that many (if not all) of these scripts and libretti were likely being sold without the author's permission,  potentially infringing upon the...
Member Newsroom

Where Should I File My Copyright Claim?

If you have a claim under copyright law, you may want to consider filing it with the Copyright Claims Board rather than in federal court. The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2020 is a recent federal law that established the Copyright Claims Board (“CCB”). The CCB is a voluntary arbitration procedure within the Copyright Office that offers copyright owners an alternative to bringing a claim in federal court.  Before the establishment of the CCB...
Member Newsroom

How To Resolve Copyright Disputes: A Q&A on the new Copyright Claims Board and The CASE Act

Discover how to bring your copyright claims to the new Copyright Claims Board, established by The CASE Act!  Wednesday, May 18 Atlantic Time: 2pm Eastern Time: 1pm Central Time: 12pm Mountain Time: 11am Pacific Time: 10am In 2020, Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act, otherwise known as the CASE Act. It established a small claims court-type tribunal within the U.S. Copyright Office - known...
Member Newsroom

Copyright Awareness Week April 25-April 29

The Copyright Advocacy Committee is gearing up for Copyright Awareness Week 2022, which kicks off on Monday, April 25. What is Copyright? Copyright is to writers what patents are to inventors. When you create original written material, whether it’s a play, musical, libretto, lyric, or song, you automatically own that copyright. Your work is protected by your copyright, which is what gives you the ability to negotiate...
Member Newsroom

How the New Supreme Court Ruling on Copyright Benefits Dramatists

What Happens if I Make a Mistake When Registering My Copyright? On February 24th, the Supreme Court issued a decision in the Unicolors v. H&M case which will help allay one of the fears many of our members have when submitting an application for copyright registration: making a mistake! For a little background, Unicolors sued H&M for copyright infringement. H&M sought to invalidate Unicolors’ copyright...
Member Newsroom

New Works Now In The Public Domain By Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker, and More

January 1, 2022 was Public Domain Day, the day each year when copyrights expire and new works enter the public domain. The “Progress Clause” of the U.S. Constitution established the legal basis for federal copyright law, and it did so in order to encourage the progress of our society, to incentivize the creation of new works that would eventually enrich the public ​domain and be accessible to everyone. So each work entering the public domain is an example of...