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9255Re: Copyright and the theater

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  • Mom IS my real name
    Jul 2, 2007
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      My question, discussed here a few weeks ago, is still a little
      different. I'll word it more specifically than before: what to do
      with a "designer", who is no longer affiliated with our non-profit
      and donated her time and talent, who now claims her "vision" is her
      property? She says we can't use costumes and sets she designed
      anymore. I say that's ridiculous, and I'm the one who could run out
      and copyright patterns I developed for costumes made after her
      renderings. Likewise, I say she can protect her drawings, but not
      her "vision", especially since half her vision isn't unique at all,
      and I can prove it. What a pain. If I made the same claim, the
      ballet company in question would be dancing naked, since they have
      hundreds of pieces that I both designed and built, and many that I
      even paid for so that I could realize my "vision"!

      Some of you have already commented on this, but it's still giving me
      stomach aches. This artist doesn't seem to realize what she's doing
      to her own reputation. Should we ask all contributors now to sign
      something allowing the company to use sets and costumes in
      perpetuity? Have any of you ever been asked to do such a thing, or
      do you assume your work belongs to theatre or company you designed it
      for?

      Based on the "Urinetown" case I understand the arguement that I can't
      design something for one production and then make an identical piece
      for another production unless I own the rights somehow. That's
      something else this designer needs to know. Affiliation with a new
      ballet company means she should develope a new "vision" for the
      ballets she's designed already. Yes?

      Janelle
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