Copyright Law

Suit Claims Right to Choreography

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A lawsuit against the New Dance Group claims choreographers or their heirs have the right to control performances of dances first staged by the New York company in the 1930s and ’40s.

The suit claims the choreographers own the dances, with copyright registrations in some cases that prove their claims, the New York Times reports. The plaintiffs contend that reproduction of the work without their consent can damage the choreographers’ artistic reputations.

The New Dance Group was known in decades past for performing works with an anti-capitalist social agenda highlighting issues such as Great Depression.

Lawyer John R. Sachs Jr., who represents the group’s artistic director, says the New Dance Group owns the right to the dances. “As usual, it’s all about money,” he said.

But Abigail Blatt says her focus is on the artistry. She sued on behalf of her mother, the late Sophie Maslow. “My main concern is that my mom’s dances get reproduced the way she wanted them reproduced,” Blatt told the Times.

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