Copyright and Performance
April 17, 2009 6:37 AM Subscribe
What sort of copyright protection do performers (burlesque, specifically, but any stage performance works) have? What about tribute acts?
posted by divabat to law & government (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm a member of a prominent burlesque messageboard based in the UK and there was some recent chat over Britain's Got Talent. One point of debate was over a contestant that performed a Dita von Teese tribute act, basically performing Dita's well-known routines (such as the giant martini glass).
Some of the posters, who are established British burlesque performers, cried foul as they felt that she was ripping off Dita. There were many questions about whether the Dita tribute was running afoul of Dita's copyright, which then led to questions about whether Dita had registered her performance routines.
As far as I understand, at least in the US, copyright is automatically assigned to the creator upon the creation of the work. Does this apply worldwide or are there significant differences in law?
Is the Dita tribute infringing Dita von Teese's copyright? Some people who knew the tribute artist came by and said that she came from the tribute artist industry, which functioned very differently from the burlesque industry (which has strong ethics about not copying other people's work). Does she need to get express permission from Dita to perform? As she is British, whose copyright law does she fall under?
What are some good resources for copyright law as it relates to performance? When can you say that someone's ripped you off and possibly take legal action? I've been seeing quite a bit of misinformation left and right, so I thought it'd be helpful to get some better information in the one spot.