||Posted by: Todd Bernard (May 20, 2010 1:01am)
I was originally curious about this whole thing because if what was being said was actually true, and legally binding, this would be a way for creator's to protect their stuff.
But...I have been looking into Performing Arts Copyrights, and discovered some very interresting information.
First, the fee to register for a PA Copyright is $35.00, and it can be done via internet.
The PA Copyright from what I understand does not put protection on someone using the method/trick, and coming up with their own original routine and patter and performing it where ever they want. The PA Copyright is actually very limited it what it can protect.
Dramatic Arts/Performing Arts
In order for a work to be classified in this category, there needs to be a dramatic element to it. These works are created with the intention of being performed for an audience, either directly (live show) or indirectly (over the T.V). Some examples of these works include:
Screenplays are written with the intention of being produced or performed. These could include, but are not limited to scripts for: plays, radio shows, movies, television shows, comedy acts, etc.
• Musical Works
Musical Works are considered compositions or songs that may or may not include words. As long as the dramatic nature of the work has been put in a tangible form (paper, CD, hard drive, etc.) it is protected under copyright law.
Note: although confusing, ‘Sound Recordings’ is a separate copyright subject than Musical Works. It will be discussed below in greater detail.
• Audio-Visual Works (movies)
Audio-Visual works are often referred to as ‘cinematographs’. These works must have been expressed in some form of ‘moving photography’. Examples include: movies, television programs, home videos, news coverage, and improvised acts.
• Sound Tracks
These are protected under Dramatic Arts/Performing arts as long as they accompany the cinematograph (movie).
• Choreographic Works (dance routines)
Similar to stories, it’s not the individual steps or movements that are protected by copyright law, but the choreography sequences. Remember – to be eligible for copyright, the choreography must be recorded into a fixed form (paper, filmed).
3. Sound Recordings
Sound Recordings do not fall under ‘Musical Works’ because they protect the manner in which the sound is performed as well as the actual performance. They cover the actual fixed version of musical compositions or musical works (the actual sounds that were recorded). Sound recording copyrights are often owned by the performer, producer or, recording company.
Musical works intended to accompany a movie or other audiovisual work should be registered in the Dramatic/Performing arts category.
Examples of sound recordings include:
• recordings of music,
• recordings of drama
• recordings of lectures
• recordings of nature sounds
You can protect the choreography sequences, and maybe the actual routine that Scott Alexander uses when performing the illusion, but you can not protect it from someone who uses the trick, comes up with their own original routine and choreography and performs it where ever they want. Actually, if they do not use Scott's routine, they are free to perform it anywhere they want.
In regards to this written contract. I believe that a contract agreement must meet certain criteria's set out by the State or province it is written in, and then can only hold up within it's legal jurisdiction. In otherwords, it may not be a legal binding contract outside of the State or country.
I was reading about unreasonable demands or requests made in a contract that will not be upheld in court even though all parties signed to it. For example. A contract may state that one must stand on his head while performing the trick. This would be considered unreasonable, and would not be legally binding. Also, any written contract cannot over rule and other laws already in effect. One being, if a seller sells an item, the buyer may legally choose to do with it as they wish, including and not limited to resale.
I'm no lawyer, and I don't want to over do it in this thread with everything I found out, but anyone can do their own research if they want to find out more about PA Copyrights, and legally binding contracts. There is a wealth of info out there.
To sum it up, the only thing protected is the exact routine that Scott performs, not the trick, nor the method. Nor does it protect Scott from someone performing the trick with their own original routine on television, or on promo videos, or anywhere else.
If a PA Copyright was actually filed, a certificate of registration would of been issued. Any chance of seeing a copy of this certificate of registration? Does the buyer receive a copy of this certificate of registration?
Or, am I completely wrong, and have all my infomation wrong? Perhaps the US copyright office site I visited is full of crock.(lol)