Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
I know we’re getting a little exhaustive on the copyright issue, but this article seemed interesting. Danny McGinlay was forced to cancel the run of his satire Death of a Salesman: The Sitcom (alternatively titled The Loman Empire: The Sitcom – an Unauthorised Satire of Death of a Salesman) at the Melbourne Fringe Festival after he received threats from the Arthur Miller estate about copyright infringements. McGinlay claims that over 75% of the show he wrote and produced was original work and quotes were only used to set up context and jokes. He worked for over a year to write, produce, cast and create the show, and is upset that the Miller estate is pushing so hard against their small production. He says he sought lawyers before he went to put the show up and they seemed confident he would be okay, however, the Miller estate claims there are still infringements even though McGinlay claims they have not read a script. In the end, McGinlay decided to pull the show when the estate continued to pressure him.
What isn’t clear to me is if McGinlay even offered for them to read his script. Also, I understand the Arthur Miller estate wanting to protect Miller’s legacy, but couldn’t a comedy (even if it is satirical) based on his writings bring new interest to his work? Maybe I’m looking at that too glass half-full.
In the video clip that accompanies the article McGinlay adds, “…it’s really scary that art is being stifled.”
So, what do you think?