Tips & Advice

Copyright for Choreography: What you need to know

Copyright for choreography.

When we hear the word “copyright”, most of us tend to just pass over the word without thinking too much about it. On those occasions when we do think about it, we often shorten the word to simply “rights”, and more times than not, we will be talking about it in the context of music. Or printed publications. Movie rights, theater rights, screenplay rights.

We’ve heard the word a thousand times, but it is with a curious wonder that copyright with respect to dance choreography has not been such a big topic until very recently. It certainly has been a topic of public discussion in the past, make no mistake. But it has only been a rapidly increasingly important subject of debate over the last couple of years.

A talk with the experts

I have spoken with four representatives knowledgeable in the subject of copyright with respect to dance, from four different countries: Eileen Camilleri, CEO, Australian Copyright Council; Elise Orenstein, Juris Doctor, Canada; Natasha Gerson, British Equity Collecting Society (BECS), United Kingdom; and Terrica Carrington, VP, Legal Policy and Copyright Counsel at Copyright Alliance, United States.

Without a doubt, these were four very interesting and enlightening conversations that not only help clear up a lot of myths floating around in the dance community about copyright and copyright protection but that also show just how much of a grey area the topic of copyright can be. I think some of the information they had to give may surprise you.

Copyright defined

What, in fact, is copyright anyway? Confusion about the subject often stems from a misunderstanding of what it is in the first place.

“A lot of times, people think of copyright as being like a singular right,” says Terrica Carrington. “But it’s actually a bundle of rights. It includes several exclusive rights to the creator or the copyright owner that basically allow them to use their work in the ways that they want to — also exclude others from using their work in ways that they don’t give permission for.”

This bundle of rights that she is speaking about can be basically divided into two categories: moral rights and economic rights.

According to Eileen Camilleri, moral rights are “non-economic rights which a creator of a work has. They can’t be transferred like copyright can, and so while you may assign copyright in your choreographic piece, you will always retain the moral right to be attributed, the moral right to not be falsely attributed and the right of integrity, so that it’s not denigrated in any way.”

Economic rights are the rights that are transferable, and include the sole right to reproduce, publicly perform, communicate the work to the public (for example, online), publish, and adapt or translate a work.

Elise Orenstein is a recently retired Canadian lawyer who was an expert in intellectual property law and commercial law. She played an integral role in the amendment of the Canadian Copyright Act in 1988, which included, among other things, redefining choreography within the act.

“I did a paper when I was in law school in the ’70s,” explains Orenstein, “on choreography and copyright. That became the basis for a presentation to a standing committee on parliament to change the copyright act that year. At that point in Canada, choreographic works were a subset of dramatic works. And that raised the question, to attract copyright protection, whether choreographic works needed to have a storyline because they were dramatic works. And so we successfully changed the act so that choreographic works do not require a storyline. So any of the tests applying to dramatic works and any of the rights include choreographic works.”

Not so cut and dried

This all seems simple enough, but, as you may have guessed, there is much more to it. To start with, a lot of copyright protection is not internationally universal. Although there are some international treaties and conventions that protect and recognize intellectual property rights in treaty countries (i.e. Berne Convention, WTO, Universal Copyright Convention), copyright is mainly governed by each individual country’s copyright laws. This alone can make governing copyright a bit complex, especially in today’s world of the internet, which has almost no boundaries.

Then there are adaptations and derivatives that may come out of a choreographic work, as well as the fact that the appearance of the choreography in some recorded format can involve several separate rights from the copyright bundle.

“Choreographers are in that difficult artistic endeavor in so far as copyright is concerned because of that requirement that you must reduce it to material form,” says Camilleri. “If you are performing it on stage, it’s not in material form yet. It may be, however, that you’ve either notated it in some way or you filmed it. And then that satisfies those two things. If you filmed it, you’ve got the underlying work in the film, which is the choreographic work. That is protected as a dramatic work. You’ve also got the copyright in the film itself, the actual recording of that. And if you’ve notated the choreography; the pattern is protected as a choreographic dramatic work, but the writing of it is protected as a literary work. So you can see it becomes really esoteric here.”

There is also the question of at what point does a dance piece become defined as a dramatic work, or otherwise become copyrightable material and thus protected by applicable law. It is not just a simple question of how long a piece is, or how difficult or professional. And, as previously mentioned, any judicial ruling on the matter would be subject to the laws of the country in which the choreography is copyrighted.

“I think there’s a lot of confusion about where the line is,” says Carrington, “or if there’s a line between something being too short or too simple, and being able to be protected. There were those cases a year or two ago with dance moves being incorporated into games and things like that. I remember there were a lot of questions surrounding that. And so I would say, at least from the questions that I’ve heard from the public, from choreographers, that there seems to be a little bit of a grey area for them as far as understanding.”

As you read on, you will see that this grey area, in many aspects of copyright, does not necessarily get any less grey.

Who and what is protected

In general, copyright goes to the creator (although there are exceptions, as mentioned later on in the section, “The myths about copyright”).

“The creator or owner of the work is protected by the laws under copyright,” states Carrington. “Initially, when a work is first created, whoever is the author/creator of that work has ownership of that work. But somewhere down the line, they may license rights to others or completely transfer the copyright on to someone else, in which case the rights would vest with the copyright owner at that time, no longer with the original author.”

She continues, “The minimum qualifications for choreography are pretty much the same as for any kind of work. The work has to be original, so it can’t be copied. It has to have some minimal amount of creativity, but importantly, in the concept of choreography, it does have to be fixed. It can’t just be choreography that’s in your head and you’ve taught it to people but not recorded anywhere.”

Camilleri explains that in Australia, copyright is automatic. “There’s no system of registration. So if you create a work, copyright exists in it automatically, provided that it satisfies a couple of elements. In Australia, they are: that it’s sufficiently original (and it’s a pretty low bar for originality), and that it has a connection to Australia, that it wasn’t merely copied from something else and that it’s reduced to what we call material form. That means it’s recorded in some way, whether it be on film, video, in writing or sound recording.”

She adds, “And the rights that attach to those include the right of reproduction, which is copying, the right to communicate to the public, which is in current parlance to send something by email or put it on a website, the right to make an adaptation of it. To perform it in public — and ‘in public’ means something outside the realm of the private and domestic space.”

Copyrightable minimum

So when does a piece of choreography fulfill the requirements of a work that can be protected as such by copyright law? How long does it have to be? How complex does it have to be?

There is a current popular trend of people putting their dancing on TikTok, Instagram and other social platforms — often not full dramatic works but very often excerpts from dance class or short 20- to 40-second combinations. The question this brings up is whether or not these sequences are in actuality copyrightable. Although many of the creators of these short sequences may argue that they’re distinct and original, the point is debatable and may be even moot.

“There are a lot of people today who are calling themselves choreographers who, five and 10 years ago, wouldn’t have been calling themselves that,” says Carrington. ”It’s very easy to make up a dance and put it online. So people are wanting to know what’s the distinction between, ‘I made a 30-second video and put it on Instagram’ versus a choreographer who is actually choreographing for the stage or choreographing for a video or something like that?”

She adds, “There’s no, ‘Oh, once you get past one minute, then it’s long enough,’ or, ‘It has to be this level of difficulty.’ There are no bright line rules like that. The general thing to keep in mind is that we’re talking about things that are designed to be performed for an audience, things that are designed to be performed by skilled dancers, things that are not designed to be for social settings at a party or a line dance and things like that.”

But then, is the skilled dancer part an important part of the definition, at least in the United States?

“I would say so,” responds Carrington. “Yeah, definitely.”

Which is an interesting contrast to the perspective coming from Australia and Canada. A lot of what we see coming from online communities like TikTok are created by people who do not even consider themselves artists. But Orenstein states that for anybody who creates a piece in Canada, the copyright will arise.

Camilleri in Australia states similarly that “it doesn’t matter that they’re artists; it doesn’t matter if they’re children. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mom while she’s making dinner; it is not a requirement that the person be a dancer or a choreographer.” It’s more about the actual thing itself.

But with respect to the specific example of a 15- to 30-second TikTok dance, Camilleri continues, “I do wonder, you know, somebody made that up and has gone to the effort of putting that together. Whether that is enough to satisfy the copyright thresholds, I really don’t know. It would be an expensive exercise to argue, and, as I said, the length of time is only one factor that we look at.”

Class combinations, social dances and individual moves

What about individual dance movements or dance exercises?

“They are unlikely to be protected by copyright because of that originality requirement,” says Camilleri. “One of the things that a court would look to is the amount of human endeavor, amount of skill and effort to put together a particular routine. And it may be that a few dance steps for a dance class are insufficient to satisfy originality or a particular exercise. So a single step, for example, a kick ball change — well, copyright’s unlikely to subsist in that. Even the moonwalk— unlikely.”

Carrington confirms that “dance moves like single moves or very short routines or simple steps are not protected by copyright. Copyright is supposed to encourage and incentivize creative expression. It’s not supposed to be something that basically eliminates what are thought of as building blocks of creativity.”

Natasha Gerson in the United Kingdom says, “You can’t patent an arabesque, whether it’s turned in, turned out, with bent knees, with a new slant; that’s where it becomes very difficult. I think it has to be a piece, more than just a single movement. I know people do street dance routines and stuff like that, but it has to be something substantial. It doesn’t mean it has to be very long. But it has to be a chunk, not just one movement; that, I think would be extremely difficult.”

She continues, “I would say, if I had performed an original movement and I saw it in someone else’s performance, I would take that as a compliment. Some people imitate movements as a form of flattery. You’re always going to get that. You’re always going to get someone trying to copy your style. But I think if somebody who’s doing street dance said so-and-so has nicked my movement, it would be very difficult to prove that in court, wouldn’t it?”

A publication of the United States Copyright Office entitled “Copyright Registration of Choreography and Pantomime, Circular 52”, states:

“The U.S. Copyright Office cannot register short dance routines consisting of only a few movements or steps with minor linear or spatial variations, even if a routine is novel or distinctive.”

What’s most interesting about this statement is that it challenges some currently popular beliefs in the dance industry about what is actual copyrightable choreographic material. 

But Camilleri is not so comfortable with such an absolute statement.

“It would really depend on the circumstances,” she says. “A court would have to decide. I mean, there would be nothing to prevent you from arguing that a particularly distinctive routine had copyright in it. However, if you’d look at a particular routine, you could say copyright is unlikely to subsist because it’s not substantial or long enough or it might be derivative or not original, for example.”


So let’s say you have a piece of choreography that has improvised sections in it. We understand that the piece would be copyright protected, but because of the improvisation element, there are certain parts that would change with every performance. What are the implications of this?

Carrington’s take: “It could definitely still be protected. If someone is performing that piece and it’s being recorded, their performance of it can suffice to be the fixation that actually could even protect the part that was improv in that moment.  But now it’s fixed.”


I asked Carrington about the rules regarding copyright protection with respect to a third-party using just a section of someone else’s piece.

She answered, “I’m going to draw a parallel to that scenario with music sampling.  Even though it’s a small excerpt or a small part of the whole work, there still is a property right in that.  So even though it’s just an excerpt, the third party user would still need to get permission for using that, unless it falls into some exception in the law such as fair use.”

The Question of Originality

With the concept of originality being a recurring theme in the question of copyright, I asked Orenstein about this specific aspect.  

“There are lots of theories about originality, but they go back to the labor that goes into making something original,” she says.  “There’s very little case law.”

“The fact is there will be, underlying all this, some kind of qualitative (meaning distinctiveness, not quality of the work) and quantitative assessment. I think if it went to a court, subconsciously you would have to look at both, because the qualitative part would go back to originality.”

“Is it original?  And so when you take a slice of something, are you looking at steps— which are essentially vocabulary that everybody uses— or are you looking at an original work?  Like in music, it’s very tough as well, because you can have a signature riff and everyone knows it.  And if you take it and sample it, what are the issues there reproducing it, and how much?”

“So it’s the same kind of question. I can’t give you a broad answer, only to say that in Canada, the test is ‘original work’.  So it’s a combination of time and movement.  And where that falls, is difficult to predict.”

Not the black-and-white answer we would all be comfortable with, but we are, after all, dealing with artistic works, so I guess some ambiguity is to be expected.  Could we perhaps argue that originality has something to do with how easily identifiable it is?

Original,” answers Elise.  “You have to go back to the wording of the [copyright] act.  If it’s not original, i.e., steps that everybody uses or combinations that have been used before, then there’s a question of whether it attracts copyright to begin with.”

Protecting Your Work

The resources available for the protection of your work from copyright infringement vary from country to country.  There are preemptive measures one can take that span the range from official to unofficial, but the various measures available have varying levels of weight, depending on the country and each particular situation.

These measures also range from the very simple to the more complex, but the most important thing to keep in mind— is to simply always keep it in mind.  Preventative measures are much easier than litigating infringement, and in most cases much less costly.

The most official way to protect one’s work is to register it with an organization (often governmental) that stores official records of artistic creations and pertinent information related to them.  In the United States, one must register their work with the U.S. Copyright Office before one can even file a copyright infringement lawsuit.

“In order to actually enforce the right, you do have to register in the first place,” says Carrington.  “But you know, sometimes I hear people asking questions about somehow documenting what they have created.  So maybe recording it and having a timestamp on it or something.  If we’re talking about litigation, obviously anything that you can point to to help prove your case is going to be helpful.”

“Basically when you have that registration, the courts give it a presumption of validity. They presume that whatever is in that registration is factual, and it’s up to the other party to actually disprove it.”

In Canada, one would register their work with the Intellectual Property Office.  The application processes in the U.S. and Canada are similar, the big difference being that registration in the U.S. requires submitting a fixed copy of the work with the registration application, whereas in Canada a fixed copy submission is not required.

Another advantage to official registration is that it allows people interested in using a work to easily find out who the copyright owner is, so that they can request permission to use the work, or to purchase a usage license.

In Australia, though, this option does not exist. 

“There’s no central collecting agency or registration agency for dance,” says Camilleri. “So it would be a case-by-case basis. You would need to find out who the copyright owner is and seek permission from them directly.”

So what if registration of your work is not available to you, and if your financial situation does not allow you to go an official route?

“I remember talking to a television writer when I was first starting to write,” recounts Gerson, “and I said, ‘What’s the best way to copyright?’ and he said, ‘Send your work to yourself.’ The ‘poor man’s copyright.’ But it’s quite effective. Make sure you have a copy.”

“So whatever’s in there has been postmarked with an official date stamped by a third party that’s reliable, like the post office,” says Orenstein. “And then you hold that as your evidence.”

Of course, it is then extremely important to never open the envelope; otherwise, the protection is void. Today, we tend to record our works in an electronic format, and we have storage options like Dropbox and Google Drive, or other online catalogs to upload our electronic files to, with officially accepted date stamps. But the purpose and outcome is the same.

When one is in the situation of creating commissioned work, the contractual agreement between employer and creator is key.

Camilleri states, “Make sure you sign an agreement. It doesn’t have to be a long, complicated thing. It’s just so that everyone is clear from the get-go.”

Fair use

You may have heard the term “fair use.” What is this exactly, and what kind of use does it allow?

Carrington explains, “Fair use is one of the most misunderstood aspects of copyright law. I’ve heard things like, that there’s some magic amount of time. Like if I use less than 30 seconds of a work, it’s fair use, or if I use a few lines from a book or less, it’s fair use. There are no rules like that in fair use. So to explain what fair use is: it’s an exception in the law that basically allows for certain kinds of uses without the permission of the copyright owner. Outside of this exception, you generally do need permission from a copyright owner to use any amount of the work.”

Carrington continues, “Sometimes, people say, ‘I didn’t make any money from it, so it’s fair use. There’s no one simple question and answer to arrive at whether or not something is fair use. Under U.S. law, it’s a four factor test that courts look at. If you’re using any amount of someone’s work, you’re going to want to at least have a baseline understanding of fair use and a baseline understanding of those factors. The first factor looks at the purpose and character of the use. The second factor, they’re looking at the nature of the copyrighted work. Is it more of a fictional type of a work versus more of a factual work? Is the work published or is it unpublished? The third factor they look at is the amount of the copyrighted work that’s used. The fourth factor looks at the effect of the use on the potential market for the original work. If this kind of activity became widespread, what effect would that have on the market for the work?”

Carrington adds, “They don’t necessarily need to have a super in-depth understanding of fair use, but it is important for creators to have at least a baseline understanding. Because it’s not unusual for creators to incorporate other parts of other works into their work under fair use. But it is definitely important to know whether or not you’re crossing that line to be able to protect yourself.”

Canada and Australia have what is called “fair dealing,” as do several other countries. Although similar in concept, the details of fair dealing vary from country to country.

“We don’t have fair use in Australia,” Camilleri points out. “We have fair dealing here, and unlike the American fair use concept, we have an exclusive series of exclusions under the copyright act. They include whether it’s for research or study, for reporting the news, parody or satire, criticism and review, in the course of giving legal advice, or assisting a person with a disability. Within that, there are certain elements which must be satisfied.”

Camilleri adds, “If you were to use the work and not make any money out of it, that doesn’t automatically make it fair. Whether it’s going to impact the market of the copyright owner — if it’s somehow going to impede their ability to monetize a particular thing — then a court is unlikely to regard that as being fair. We also don’t have the notion of transformative use. In fact, if you seek to adapt a work, then that is an infringement of copyright, unless you get permission to do that.”

Public domain

A work that is considered to be in the public domain is one in which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. It means that anyone can use it, and can incorporate it into their own works without having to seek permission from anyone. It may be because the work does not qualify for copyright protection, that the rights have been forfeited or waived by the previous copyright owner, or that they may have simply expired. All copyright ownership eventually expires.

Carrington says that in the United States, the term of protection is life plus 70 years.

“So the author, whoever created it, the protection lasts for the entirety of their life,” she continues, “and then after their death, the clock starts for 70 years. The reasoning behind that is because it’s designed to protect the work, not only during the lifetime of the creator so that they can benefit from it, but then also that their heirs can benefit from it down the line for a set amount of time.

This 70-year term is the same in Australia, but in Canada it’s a bit shorter than that.

“In Canada, it’s generally, but not always, the life of the author plus 50 years,” says Orenstein.

Orenstein also mentions, however, that the 50 years in Canada is currently transitional, and that Canada will also soon be moving toward a copyright that will last 70 years after the death of the last surviving author.

The myths about copyright

The myths about copyright are many, and because they can have detrimental effects to both copyright owners and to those who infringe (even unwittingly), I believe it important to dispel them whenever possible. Here is a list of some of the most common ones:

#1. You’re infringing if you use my idea.

Let’s be clear: ideas cannot be copyrighted. Orenstein elaborates, “It’s the expression of the ideas that attracts copyright and not the ideas themselves.”  

“Copyright is designed to protect original expression,” Carrington adds. “That’s very different from an underlying idea. Let’s say, for example, an idea about superheroes who undergo radiation and suddenly have powers. That’s an idea. Someone can’t make that movie and then say no one else can ever make a movie that even touches on that concept. They can stop someone from copying their particular expression of that idea, but they can’t just own the concept or the idea behind that.”

#2. Putting ‘I do not own the rights to this song’ on my social post makes it okay.

Right? Not.

“There’s a presentation that we do at the Copyright Alliance for creators called Copyright Basics,” Carrington notes. “And one of the things that we talk about is misconceptions under the law, and this is one of the ones that we talk about regularly. So just to put it out there, they do nothing for the liability of the person posting it. It’s like if you were to trespass on to some private property and then hold up a sign that says, ‘I have no right to be here.’ That’s what you’re doing. It’s just sort of like an announcement, but it doesn’t do anything as far as getting rid of any liability as far as copyright infringement or anything like that.”

It does, however, call attention to the fact that you are infringing on someone’s intellectual property rights.

#3. Stating ‘No copyright infringement intended; educational purposes only’ makes it okay.

Just because infringement intent is not there, doesn’t mean it’s not happening (see previous myth and the section on fair use).

#4. I created it, so I automatically own the copyright no matter what.

Not necessarily. Orenstein clarifies a myth that I think most creators perhaps don’t realize is one. “If you’re employed by a company and you create a piece of choreography in the course of your employment, it doesn’t belong to you; it belongs to the company— unless you have an assignment the other way back in writing, saying that the company agrees it belongs to you and not, under the copyright act, to it. Often, companies will ask for a waiver of moral rights as well, so that they can reset the work with or without the original creator’s input.”

#5. I need a lawyer to register my work with a copyright office.

Nope. “It’s something that the choreographer themselves can do,” says Orenstein. “They don’t need a lawyer or anything.”


When infringement happens — for example, if someone takes your choreography without permission and reproduces it on stage or online — what recourse would you have once you notice that someone has violated copyright? 

“If they see that somebody has taken a video of their choreography and has posted it on social media, they can do what’s known as a DMCA, which stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act take down notice,” asserts Carrington, “which you can send to a social media website or any kind of website that allows users to post content. The website is required to take that work down within a certain amount of time. Now, of course, if the person believes that their use is a fair use, or if they are saying that they have rights, they can send a counter notice that would trigger reposting of the work, but that is one mechanism that’s available to choreographers and all creators.”

“That’s the first thing to do because you want to minimize any damage,” advises Camilleri. “You can go to the person and say, ‘Hey, that is actually my stuff; please stop using it.’ We always advocate that you try the nice approach first, because sometimes people don’t realize. Or you just give them the benefit of the doubt, and then if they ignore you, you can send them a letter of demand or a cease and desist. The unfortunate thing is that if it comes on a lawyer’s letterhead, it’s more likely to be taken notice of.”

If the situation does not get resolved with this, then Carrington explains another option. “If we’re not talking about something online, in theory, there’s the ability to go to court. I say in theory, because it is a right that people have. It’s just that federal litigation is extremely expensive. So your average individual creator is going to have a hard time being able to afford a few hundred thousand dollars to litigate a copyright infringement case. And then they may get some hundreds of dollars or a couple of thousand dollars for it. The books don’t balance. So in theory, there’s federal court, but in most cases, that’s going to be an avenue that major corporations are going to be taking, not an individual creator.”

Carrington speaks for the United States, but even in countries like Australia, litigation is an expensive endeavor. “We don’t, at the moment, have arbitration courts for creatives to kind of work these things. So you would commence proceedings under the copyright act or under consumer law. You might know it as the trade practices area or fair trading. So it becomes expensive. And then it becomes a business decision as to how far you want to go.”

“So that’s where you need either a trade union or a collecting society,” says the UK’s Gerson. “BECS doesn’t have the same powers, but they can enforce performance statutory rights. But at the moment, they’re just recorded. Statutory as opposed to contractual, which some performers find difficult to differentiate.”

Speaking for Canada, Orenstein says, “In Toronto, there was, and probably still may be, a group of lawyers who do volunteer work or highly subsidized work with artists. There may be some group like that in some of the major cities or somebody outside of a local area might be hooked up with one of those lawyers. What you’re looking for is an IP litigator. It’s pretty specialized. The challenge that I’ve noticed is that even if you get somebody who really understands the nuances of infringement of choreographic works, the judges may not. So you have to look at all of the risks.”

“For that reason, the [USA] Copyright Alliance is a big supporter and big advocate for a bill that’s in front of Congress right now called the CASE act,” Carrington informs us. “It stands for the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act. It’s a bill that would create a voluntary and low cost alternative to federal court for small copyright infringement claims. So it’s pretty much designed specifically for those individual creators who can’t afford to go to federal court, to be able to have somewhere that’s actually affordable, somewhere that they can navigate without having to hire an attorney.”

The good news for Americans now is that the CASE Act she has described is no longer a bill as of the writing of this article. Since this interview with Carrington, the CASE Act has passed Congress, and was signed into law on December 27, 2020. It should be up and running sometime between December 27 of this year and June 2022.

“That would give another avenue for creators to actually be able to more than just theoretically enforce their rights,” continues Carrington. “And then also, if you see someone using your work and maybe you’re open to licensing, you don’t necessarily want to take it down. You don’t necessarily want to sue them; you’re fine with them using it. You just want to make clear, ‘Hey, this is my work, and I want to be paid.’ You could always reach out to them and try to negotiate a license or something like that, too.”

And now…

There is a lot of information to process here. Copyright can, without a doubt, get complicated, but awareness is the first step, followed by taking the simplest actions toward protection. Choreographers are rarely endowed with large coffers of funds at their disposition to throw at litigation after the fact, so I’ll throw a cliché at you: prevention is the best medicine.

At least that part is fairly simple.

Orenstein concluded our interview with some words of advice. “I think you have to respect your work and your own efforts, and take pride in your original work. I know people don’t have a lot of money, but if you do register, it confers benefits across the country. If you don’t have that money, or you’re creating a lot of works and it just adds up too much, then you must be smart about your own property. Record it; associate your name with it. If you want to publicize your work on social media, you should advise the viewers that the work is solely for personal viewing and not to be reproduced. Just as some homeowners put up ‘Private Property’ or ‘No Trespassing’ signs to advise the public of their property rights and that the area is off limits, creative owners should do likewise to show their intentions regarding use of their works. There’s a difference between flattery and infringement and somebody taking advantage of you. I don’t think choreography should be regarded as a poor man’s art form so it’s okay to take it.”

After all these decades of not speaking of copyright in dance: now that we have finally brushed the dust off the subject and taken it out of its box to discuss once again, perhaps the following question would be, “Okay, then — where do we move from here?”

To me, the answer is as clear as it is simple:


By Rick Tjia of Dance Informa. 

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