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Sunday, 4 September 2005

COPYRIGHT: NOTHING TO BE DONE

The IPKat confesses that he has been sleeping on the job. Reading an interview with Sir Peter Hall in this week’s ES Magazine he learnt about the dispute that has been rumbling on between Sir Peter and the Barbican Theatre London and the Gate Theatre, Dublin. In 1955 Sir Peter put on the first performance of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot at the Arts Theatre, London. This year, being the fiftieth anniversary of the premier, Sir Peter wanted to put on a revival of the play in the same venue. However, the Barbican and the Gate Theatre, which hold the rights to perform Waiting for Godot will not allow the Arts Theatre to put the play on because it is afraid that the Arts Theatre version will affect sales of the Barbican’s performance in Spring 2006.


The IPKat’s competition law tentacles are bristling thanks to this story. He understands that the author should be able to control who performs his play, but there seems to him to be something wrong with placing control of who can perform a play in the hands of theatres which have a great interest in eliminating their rivals, even though this may not guarantee that optimum licensing fees (as opposed to ticket sales) are obtained.

More on this story here

1 comment:

Guy said...

It seems to me a straight forward situation of copyright ownwership. If you are the legal owner of the copyright in a dramatic work you have the right to control when and where it is performed. If, as I suspect in the present case, the copyright has been purchased then it is reasonable to maximise the value of your asset by controlling its performance. I speak as a philistine. When I saw Waiting for Godot at the Criterion in 195? I went to sleep.

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