Plays, Performances and Power Struggles – Examining Copyright's ‘Integrity’ in the Field of Theatre

30 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2014

See all articles by Luke McDonagh

Luke McDonagh

City University London - The City Law School

Date Written: July 2014

Abstract

This article explores the notion of ‘integrity’ under copyright law by analysing examples of 'integrity‐based objections' in the field of theatre. These objections typically involve playwrights objecting to changes being made to their copyright works by other parties, such as directors and actors. This analysis is deepened by the use of two concepts from the field of art theory – ‘aura’, as put forward by Walter Benjamin, and ‘trajectory’, as outlined by Bruno Latour and Adam Lowe. Finally, to shed further light on the issues raised, the work of Pierre Bourdieu is used to present new empirical research recently undertaken by the author in the field of UK theatre. This research demonstrates that ‘power struggles’ are a common feature of theatrical collaboration; that copyright is deeply implicated in the way such power struggles are conceived; and moreover, that resolving these power struggles successfully – including taking account of ‘integrity‐based objections’ – is crucial to theatrical practice.

Keywords: Copyright, dramatic works, integrity, aura, trajectory, empirical

Suggested Citation

McDonagh, Luke, Plays, Performances and Power Struggles – Examining Copyright's ‘Integrity’ in the Field of Theatre (July 2014). The Modern Law Review, Vol. 77, Issue 4, pp. 533-562, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2462300 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12078

Luke McDonagh (Contact Author)

City University London - The City Law School ( email )

London, EC1V OHB
United Kingdom

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