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 Posted: Wed Dec 29th, 2010 02:56 am
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kimplay
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Location: New Hampshire USA
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Mana: 
Hi- I'm new here. I am a published children's book author/illustrator with over 40 books published. I retained my performance/play rights to my recently published book and it''s sequel. I am writing a musical based on these books. I have connected with a producer and a music team (lyricist & composer). I plan on joining the Dramatist Guild, but I have 2 questions:

1. I'm wondering if anyone knows of the standard royality splits for the playwright/music team/ producer (who is also consulting on this project and is well connected in NYC)

I should mention that we plan on handling the distribution to this play ourselves. It's debut will be at a local theater with a split of the house. This producer runs the community theater. The play will have about 20 musical numbers. After the debut- we will be trying to see it to other theaters.

2.  I will own the copyright to the Play. Will the music team hold a separate copyright to the music & lyrics? (I am the creator and currently own the copyright to the book version which is published by a major publisher.)

Do I have to get a trademark??

Any advice or guidance would be great.

Thanks so much.-Kimplay

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 Posted: Thu Dec 30th, 2010 05:10 pm
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in media res
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Mana: 
kimplay,

Welcome.

Don't just PLAN on joining the Dramatists Guild; JOIN the Dramatists GuiId. They can give advice on much of what you ask. They also have standardized contracts available that can be used as is or as a model.

If you have a literary agent for your books, they should know someone who could answer these questions for you.

No matter how nice of a person a producer is - even if it is your mother - always remember your producer does NOT represent you or your interests! You need someone who represents YOUR interests.

Get everything in writing is al I can advise.

Remember: "The shakiest ship that ever sailed the seven seas is a partnership." You need a contract that spells out everything for everybody. Assume nothing.

best,

in media res

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 Posted: Thu Dec 30th, 2010 07:45 pm
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kimplay
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Mana: 
Hi- Thanks so much. Yes- WILL join the Dramatist guild.

No- I do not have an agent for my books and I act as my own agent. I am very familiar with Publishers contracts, but this play is a bit different from books as there are more people involved and new to me.

I plan on using the contracts from DG. Thanks for your advice. I still need lots of answers regarding the copyright / trademark issues and who owns what when it comes to Play & music. If anyone has any comments- that would be great.

Maryann (kimplay)

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 Posted: Fri Dec 31st, 2010 04:57 pm
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Mana: 
Yes, then there are spin-offs like t-shirt sales with logos, and other possible products. Etc. Etc. Etc.

None of this is simple, but with an experienced attorney, who knows what is customary and usual, you can figure it all out.

Depending The DGA can not do it all for you if it gets into complexity. Eventually you may need a show business attorney.


best,

IMR

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 Posted: Fri Dec 31st, 2010 10:49 pm
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shirleyk
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Mana: 
Hello.

After music was written for a children's play of mine (the play was produced with music added) I got in touch with the DG and requested a collaboration agreement between playwright and composer so we could work on future projects together.

You do need to be a member.

Hope this helps.

Shirley

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