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Royalties paid - always, sometimes, or never?

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Forum Name: Polls
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Printed Date: 9/23/23 at 7:50pm
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Topic: Royalties paid - always, sometimes, or never?
Posted By: SpenceKenzer
Subject: Royalties paid - always, sometimes, or never?
Date Posted: 3/02/09 at 1:46pm
Our CT has consistently NEARLY always applied for permission to perform AND paid royalties to the publisher or directly to the playwright(s).

The only exception that I know of was:  we did the one-act comedy "The Valedictorian" by Charles Smiley.  There seems to be no way to contact the playwright.  Not sure if he's still alive or not.

That was the one and only case I'm aware of when our CT did not get permission and pay royalties to perform a published play.  Other than this our CT always arranges for permission to produce and pays royalties to do so.

Which is causing some annoyance, now that we'd like to perform a stage adaptation of "Clue" (based on the 1985 movie) ...

(SEE elsewhere in this Discussion Board for "Clue the play")

Saludos, my dahlinks, and you know who you are ... !

Posted By: imamember
Date Posted: 3/02/09 at 8:44pm
Well.....technically there are no rights available to even apply for right?

Posted By: SpenceKenzer
Date Posted: 3/03/09 at 4:02pm
Originally posted by imamember

Well.....technically there are no rights available to even apply for right?

Yes ... technically ... but ...

Hasbro officially holds the stage rights, particularly for any aspect of the "Clue" screenplay that is a direct aspect of their board game,

Paramount officially holds the rights for any aspect of the "Clue" screenplay that is NOT a direct aspect of the Hasbro board game.
... so technically I need some kind of permission from both Hasbro &  Paramount.
  • I have received direct email communication from Paramount Licensing saying "Paramount is not interested in licensing any of its rights in the Picture [CLUE] or the Screenplay at this time."
  • I have received communication from a rights-holder for the stage adaptation "Cluedo" that Hasbro is no longer granting permission to perform existing stage adaptations of their game, due to a recent deal with Universal to develop movies based on Hasbro products including "Clue".
So ... if my CT wants to produce "Clue the movie the play" I guess we'd be doing so without the direct permission of Hasbro & Paramount.

I guess that's why I posted this poll -- I want to know how common it is for CT's to perform plays without permission and/or without paying royalties to someone.

Saludos, my dahlinks, and you know who you are ... !

Posted By: John Luzaich
Date Posted: 4/10/09 at 11:56am
There are many plays that are older and out of the public domain and no royalties are paid to produce them.


Posted By: RobD
Date Posted: 6/03/10 at 2:20pm
Did you ever do this?
Would love to see what you did.
But I also wonder if you still would violate copyrights by performing anything based on Clue or Cluedo.

Posted By: Theatermama
Date Posted: 8/11/10 at 9:55pm
We do Shakespeare, local newly written plays where the playwright is just happy to see it get a staged performance and they are usually quite short or royalty free plays.  We have done a few where we paid royalties.

Posted By: falstaff29
Date Posted: 8/26/11 at 2:52am
Regarding Clue, there is a play called Clue: The Musical.  It's a pretty awful show (I was suckered into playing the lead in a production once as a favor to someone), but audiences seem to love it.

As far as royalties go, I think one of the more common mistakes is to forget that translations of works are not necessarily in the public domain when the originals are.  If you're performing Antigone in the original Greek, Sophocles is long dead; he's not looking to collect.  But if you're playing it in English, chances are you owe money to someone!  That and the notion that if you don't charge admission, you don't have to pay for rights tend to be the easiest ways where non-malicious producers go astray.

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