Heretic: Copyright Law and Dramatic Works
Queensland University of Technology Law and Justice Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 131-149, May 2002
19 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2004
The production of the play Heretic in 1996 prompted a debate over copyright and the dramatic arts in Australia. The playwright David Williamson argued that the role of the writer was supreme. Although he was willing to acknowledge the contributions of other collaborators, the playwright did not believe that these interpreters deserved copyright protection. The director Wayne Harrison advocated a more collaborative vision of the performing arts. He believed that the role of the director and the position of the producer deserved greater legal recognition. Furthermore he was also willing to countenance limited rights for performers. This article argues that recognition should be accorded to all of the main collaborators in the performing arts. It contends that economic rights and moral rights should not be just limited to the writer, the director, and the producer, but they should extend to the performers and the designers.
Keywords: Copyright law, dramatic works, authorship, collaboration, directors, dramaturges, moral rights, performer's rights
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