Posted 14 August 2001 - 10:28 PM
There is very little case law on this subject, as far as I know. In 1996 I wrote my law school paper on the copyright validity of Balanchine's derivative ballets, i.e., the Petipa and Ivanov (etc.) ballets that he staged during his career over which the Balanchine Trust now asserts copyright. The only case at the time was the Trust's case re use of photos of Balanchine's NUTCRACKER in a book about the ballet. Because there is little case law, the standards have not been set with any clarity, although the Balanchine Trust case suggests ways in which standards could be set. I found this opinion to be pretty convincing and fair, with the court appearing to respect the delicacies of preserving choreography and acknowledging the difficulties of asserting choreographic copyright, even in theoretical form.