Freedom to perform & Copyright
Posted 30 July 2002 - 06:23 AM
I assume that choreography cannot be covered by copyright, but what about a new prodution that has a new musical score? Just what does a ballet company have to consider with regard to copyright law. Do they need to be concerned about ANYTHING?
And maybe in the same context... Are there unspoken taboos about copying something that another company does? Are there any traditional kind of rules that apply to one ballet company copying the performance of another.
This last part of the question is a puzzle to me since I would think it is not so good to copy, but in the case of wanting to copy something that was done a hundred years ago... to some that may be considered admirable! So what do you think about this issue of doing something that another company has already done? What are your feelings on it?
Posted 30 July 2002 - 06:29 AM
Older works are in the public domain (for example Petipa's choreographies), so I think "copying" is not a problem in that case, but for more recent ballets it would definitely be a problem.
Posted 30 July 2002 - 07:43 AM
Copyright for choreography is basically equivalent to copyright for written material, although method of recording and proof of authorship is necessarily different. But like the written word, it is considered intellectual property. As Estelle says, there are many legal rights a ballet company must be concerned about, unless it chooses to work with chorography and music, et al in the public domain.
Here's one very in-depth article on the subject: http://www.csulb.edu...p/copyrigh.html
Posted 30 July 2002 - 07:49 AM
Posted 30 July 2002 - 11:14 AM
How far back do you have to go for public domain? For example what about the music of Prokofiev.... is that still protected by copyright?
Posted 30 July 2002 - 01:21 PM
Ronny, I realize the foregoing may sound unreasonable vs. what you call "the freedom to perform." But as a longtime member of the Authors Guild, I am a big fan of copyrights. If not for them, the "creative types" would get screwed by the business types every day of the week.
Posted 30 July 2002 - 01:55 PM
and a very useful guide to copyright issues and the Internet:
Posted 30 July 2002 - 03:01 PM
"choreographic works that have not been notated or recorded".
I wonder if it ever lead to some abuse...
If I remember correctly, the copyright system in France also has a duration of 70 years after the death of the author of the work, but there are some special cases, for example the years of war don't count (so for example for someone who died in 1942 the count would start in 1945 only) and there might be a longer duration for the people who "died for France" (as soldiers, or in deportation). But for example, as far as a know, Ravel's "Bolero" still isn't in the public domain, and the copyright holders (some relatives of the nurse who took care of Ravel at the end of his life) earn huge sums thanks to it every year. It even caused some problems to choreographers interested in choreographing it, because the copyright holders asked for so much money that there would be about nothing for the choreographic copyrights...
A difference between the US and the French law, as far as I know, is that in France there are two sorts of rights ("droits d'auteur"): the usual copyright ("droits patrimoniaux"), dealing with financial matters, and also the "moral right" (droit moral) which has no limitation in time, can't be sold or given while the author is alive, might be donated to someone else than the usual copyright, and deals with the integrity of the work, and some other rights (for example, for a painting or sculpture, the right to refuse its reproduction on postcards). A recent example when it was the will of the late writer Marguerite Duras: she gave the copyright to her son, and the "moral right" to her lover Yann Andrea. And some time after, Yann Andrea protested against some plans of Duras's son to include some of her texts in a book he disapproved as not representative of her works (I don't remember the details) and won.
Posted 30 July 2002 - 05:28 PM
OOps, I better check copyright on that quote!
Posted 31 July 2002 - 09:20 PM
Choreography that has been recorded is protected by copyright law. This can be by way of notation or a video recording of the work.
Copyrights expire, and the copyrighted work then passes into the public domain.
One can perform a work that is not protected by copyright (say a Shakespeare play), record that performance, and the recording of the performance will be protected by copyright because it represents the original expression of that play by the performers thereof. This means that others may not make copies of the recording without the permission of the owner of the copyright. It does not prevent others from staging their own Shakespeare play.
The owner of a copyright can control access to the work. This is what allows the Balanchine Trust, for example, (which controls many copyrights to various Balanchine works), to decide which companies get to perform which pieces. Conditions can be placed on the use of a copyrighted work; in the case of the Trust, it frequently conditions its permission to perform a Balanchine ballet on having an approved repetiteur (one who knows the dance) go on site to teach the dance to the company.
So, yes, a ballet company should pay close attention to copyrights, both for the music it uses and for the choreography it performs. Failure to do so does a disservice to the artists who created the works, and is illegal to boot.
Posted 13 July 2012 - 06:24 AM
Trying to figure what is eligible is confusing because the copyright date is not the premiere but rather the date it was recorded, I believe...
I found a nice cheat sheat on the web...
http://www.scribd.co...Domain#page=341 Page 327
The renewal is confusing and I wonder about copyrights held by a corporation such as the Balanchine Trust...
For instance, when will Balanchine's Apollo enter the public donain? How about Fokine's Les Sylphides?
Posted 13 July 2012 - 06:38 AM
What Is Not Protected by Copyright?
Several categories of material are generally not eligible for
federal copyright protection. These include among others:
• works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of
expression (for example, choreographic works that have
not been notated or recorded, or improvisational speechesor performances that have not been written or recorded)
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