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Intellectual Property for Producing Theatres, by Matt Davis

A good composer does not imitate; he steals.
~ Igor Stravinsky

Theatre practitioners come from every possible background before joining the field. Artists with varying types of education, experience, and skill produce new works across the nation every day as actors, designers, technicians, and managers.

In today’s cultural atmosphere, new art increasingly borrows from preexisting work, references today’s popular culture, or incorporates fact or rumor. However, few artists or managers have ready access to a lawyer in their organization, or even know someone to turn to when questions arise.

Intellectual Property for Producing Theatres outlines the core principles of copyright (and other protections that are often mistaken for copyright) to give the reader an understanding of the terminology and basis for each protection.

This text aims to offer a strong basis of understanding to help the reader identify situations that require legal assistance, and prepare the reader with vocabulary and background knowledge so they can converse effectively with an expert. It traces the contours of what theatres absolutely can and cannot do, and offer examples and guidelines when operating in the grey area in between.

Sample Chapter – Music Licensing is available for free!

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