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DG Advocacy Update: Our Legislative Agenda

Sometimes, what goes on in Washington D.C. can feel worlds apart from what happens on our stages but that couldn't be further from the truth. When you vote, you have the power to help elect officials who will prioritize issues that matter to writers like you.  Here are some of the policy and legislative relative issues the we've been working on in our advocacy efforts on behalf of playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists. Discover our...
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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...
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When Should I Give Someone a Co-Writing Credit?

With our members hard at work writing and revising pieces for End of Play.®, the Guild has received a number of inquiries asking when it is appropriate to give someone a co-writing credit. To answer that question, first it is important to understand one of the basic fundamentals of copyright law: the idea/expression dichotomy. Under copyright law, only an author’s original expressions that are fixed in a tangible medium (i.e. written down or...
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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...
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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...
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February Career Training Events: Bill of Rights Workshop, Contract Coaching and Copyright Clinic

This month, join us for three career training webinars that will inform and empower you in your career as a dramatist. Find out how to register and manage your copyright with Deborah Murad, participate in a contract coaching seminar with Ralph Sevush, and make sure that you are aware of your rights as a dramatist. Discover more below!   Do You Know Your Rights?: An Introduction to the Dramatists Bill of Rights Tuesday...
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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...
Member Newsroom

How Does The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (The CASE Act) Help Writers?

The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (the CASE Act) was signed into law in 2020, with the support of the Dramatists Guild. It establishes a small claims court-type tribunal within the United States Copyright Office that allows copyright owners (like dramatists) to bring claims in a less expensive and more efficient way.  The Case Act allows the Copyright Office to establish a Copyright Claims Board (the “CCB”) that can hear infringement claims up to $30,...