Deleted Cases

We all know that a playwright's finished product is copyrightable. But are there things that a theatre director does that are or should be copyrightable? This is a fairly new controversy in the law. In one often-cited dispute, director Joseph Mantello, who had staged Terrence McNally's play, Love! Valor! Compassion! in New York, claimed that a production in South Florida had usurped over 95% of his work-specific visuals, even choice of music. Even the opening scene, a tableau in which all the actors were posed in front of a doll house that represented the beach house where the play's action takes place, was used in the later production. The case was settled out of court. See Jesse Green, "Exit, Pursued by a Lawyer," New York Times, January 29, 2006. [These two images were not "high resolution" enough to make it into the textbook].


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