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TeleCourse Raw Notes


Negotiating Author Agreements
Dana Singer
Feb. 10, 1998

These "Raw Notes" taken by Tara Greenway

Thank you Tara!

Agreements must meet:

*Producerís needs: including enough time to raise money, some security for his investment of time, flexibility to explore different avenues, need to make money

*Authorís needs: including desire to know where producer is headed with their work, which theyíve invested much time and effort in

*Producer has rights for option period and while play is running

*itís like a bundle of rights, or a bundle of twigs, you could divide up or (more typically) keep together

Copyrighting

* in theater (as opposed to film or TV), author owns copyright and is "renting" it to producer for a certain period of time, then author gets the rights back

* the copyright is a monopoly: author monopolizes rights for performances, making copies, distribution, turning it into other media

* making changes in script:

Option payment - an advance paid to author against future royalties - typically not a lot of money in theater (film and TV are different)

* most authors are members of Dramatistí Guild and are working under minimum payments an other rules

* LORT theaters like Seattle Rep, Goodman, Mark Taper Forum, usually will option around $1,000-2,000

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