Copyright Law and Compensation at Center of Theater Production Lawsuit
Jul 28, 2011
Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) July 27, 2011 – “Point Break” is a cult movie classic involving an undercover FBI agent who pretends to be a surfer in order to mix in with a group of surfers who have robbed more than 25 banks, all with ex-president masks on. The movie has been successfully parodied in a theater production, “Point Break LIVE!” that has been seen by many in the Los Angeles area since 2007. But now the writer behind the parody, Jaime Keeling, feels she’s being robbed and is suing New Rock Theater Productions for using her script without permission and compensation.
Keeling and New Rock Theater Productions originally had a production agreement for two months in 2007, but ended their relationship after that. Keeling says that New Rock continued to run the play in Los Angeles and beyond. New Rock says that because her work is a derivative parody it enjoys no copyright protection, and thus she deserves no compensation. In the complaint, the playwright says her work is within the bounds of fair use and adds sufficient originality to give her copyright protection, and she should be paid for the play’s multi-year success.
“Copyright law does show that when a person takes an original work, they must make it different and new enough to obtain a new copyright,” said Los Angeles copyright attorney Anthony Spotora. “They will have no rights to the preexisting work.”
From playwrights to screenwriters, and musicians to artists, creators obtain copyrights to protect their work. Oftentimes, disputes occur due to the original creator finding a derivative that is not unique enough. The original creator wants control to create his or her own derivative works to build their body of work and brand. But in the example of “Point Break Live!” and a play that has made money for years for many actors, theater companies, and venues, the case will be interesting to watch as Keeling goes after royalties she claims she is rightfully due.
In California, Los Angeles copyright lawyer Anthony Spotora protects the rights of diverse types of creators, from writers and playwrights to musicians and more. For more than a decade, the Law Offices of Spotora & Associates has counseled clients on all of their intellectual property matters. They are known for avidly defending their clients’ rights throughout California, the United States, and abroad.
Law Offices of Spotora & Associates, P.C.
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Los Angeles, California 90067-2302
Call: (310) 556.9641