When a work is commissionedwho owns the rights?
Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:42 PM
For instance, since Balanchine was hired to create Theme and Variations for ABT, does that mean ABT doesn't have to pay royalties for the right to dance it? What about other companies? How does that whole thing work?
Posted 08 September 2011 - 09:31 PM
Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:26 PM
Posted 09 September 2011 - 12:34 PM
A couple of other examples that I've seen recently.
1.) Company commissions choreographer to create work. Company has exclusive rights to perform that work for a period of time, and non-exclusive rights to perform that work in perpetuity after that time.
2.) Two companies co-commission choreographer to create work. Each company has the exclusive right to perform that work in a particular territory for a period of time.
As a side note @Tapfan - The word "hired" in this case isn't always exchangeable with the word "commissioned". For example, in the case of Martha Graham's works, it was determined that she had been hired by the Martha Graham school to perform tasks that included, among other things, creation of new choreography. Therefore, the school owned the works outright, as their creation was part of the job for which she had been hired to do. Conversely, there are some modern companies where the choreographer with whom the company is associated retains full ownership of the work, and actually licenses it back to their own company.
Posted 09 September 2011 - 12:42 PM
As you might imagine, there have been big changes in this area in the recent past -- the Graham case that TT refers to here was an incredible dividing line in the dance world when it comes to ownership. Between the legal wrangling surrounding Graham's work, the complex legacy of Joseph Pilates, and the significance of the Balanchine Foundation, the landscape has been almost totally transformed.
Posted 10 September 2011 - 05:54 PM
For added complexity, some countries, such as France, have the concept of the moral right of an artist to the integrity of the work - http://en.wikipedia....(copyright_law) - in United States, that is a much weaker right.
Posted 13 September 2011 - 04:52 PM
Anyone looking for a really fun rights mess should look to the 35 year reversion clause that's coming into play right now (which also doesn't apply to work for hire situations).
Posted 13 September 2011 - 05:53 PM
Moral rights are very weak in the U.S., especially compared to France, where they originated. They are only available to works of visual art, and works-for-hire are expressly excluded from moral rights protection.
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