Thursday, June 15, 2006

Opening, Opinion, Immortality

On Jun 15 A wrote: - if you don't have the rights, you don't perform/produce the play. This is not about a technicality - this is the reality of copyright law.
My reply:
I just want to say--briefly, this is Opening Night for a short one act of mine, "Christmas at Grandma's" in the Playwrights Platform Festival at Boston (University) Playwrights Theatre and I haven't time for a long rant-- that this is Wrong. Copyright law should serve the Art and authors, and when it fails to do so breaching it is the ethical thing to do.
Under the "strict interpretation", a dictator can assume control of the state's publishing facilities and copyrights and forbid any production or publication of works found objectionable. This is not fantasy-- it has happened-- remember the Soviet Union? and it is happening now! In censoring regimes all over the world! In capitalist countries, a publisher can decide that an author's work is just not lucrative enough to bother with, and cease licensing productions. This, too, is a form of censorship. In this instance the work should revert to the author, or to the Public Domain-- but publishers are opposed to the Public Domain, b/c work freely available there is in competition with the work they control that earns them income. This does not serve the Art, or the Author, and civil disobedience is a Good Thing.
The characters and situations that come to life through a writer and collaborators are not commodities-- they are creations, things of the spirit. If true and beautiful they should flower across cultures and through the ages, and bestow on their author the reward all poets desire above wealth or power or even love-- Literary Immortality. Copyright law is at best a crutch to prop the writer up while s/he is doing the invaluable work-- it should never become a cage!

Opening for "Christmas" at the Platform was lovely. Friends in attendance, a couple who are great laughers. Their laughter lifted the actors and the stage was awash in delight. Things should always go so well.

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12:11 PM  

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