Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is the General Approach to Copyright Changing?

Playwright Ian Thal ponders the navigation of copyright and ownership after getting an interesting response to an event posting for the latest reading of his play Total War.

"[Name Withheld]: sounds like a fine play to me, i'm searching the net for its script to read "

Which just struck me as an odd thing for someone to write when clearly the event is a staged reading of a work-in-progress, and anyway, still under copyright. I had posted an earlier draft to a seemingly now defunct website that was designed with the purpose of facilitating contact between playwrights and producers, so I had made the work digitally available in the past for a limited audience,

I responded:

"Ian Thal: I'm the author and the script shouldn't posted on the net, at least not in the form that will be presented on October 11th. "

"[Name Withheld]: thank you! i was unable to find it, but will continue to this winter, just in case you post it somewhere. the synopsis is quite interesting and itself well-written."

In other words, "I'm looking for a free version of your work-in-progress."


Ian Thal said...

Thanks for the link, Art.

The problem is that I'm not sure whether this represents a real change, or whether this is part of the continuing attitude of "artists should consider it a complement that people want to exploit them."

This is quite outside of the general tendency of artists to give each other a helping hand, donating, or trading their talents because we're all in the same boat and what's good for the boat is good for both crew and passengers.

Ian Thal said...

Having has a few days to mull this over, it seems I over-reacted just a wee bit.