Associate director Geetha Ballal throws some light on legalities involved in a dance production. Read on…
Legalities – the word is enough to put everything in perspective and see what we have been doing…
Working for a dance company for the last 14 years, I can only say that this word holds more and more value with each passing year. What we have envisioned, built and carefully nurtured over the years is the only asset any dance company can claim their right over. When this right is tampered with, that’s when we turn to ‘legalities’.
If you are serious about the work that you create and want to protect it fiercely and don’t want anyone to think ‘small’ of the company or take you for granted, right there is a need to be legally prepared – for all fights to keep your IP in place. It’s the best weapon a company can wield against all breach of trust / agreements, plagiarism, infringement of copyrights and such other forms of discretions.
Lets go over a basic list of what a dance company can do to protect its rights, its intellectual properties arising out of sheer hard work and creativity.
– Registration: A legally registered entity is always a more accepted for any purpose – taxes, deductions, payments (external and internal), weightage to honor agreements, etc.
– Copyrights: This is an easy way to keep plagiarism at bay. Whenever you create an original work – choreography, techniques, music, etc – its better to have patent over the work before you want to show it off to the world on social media.
– Permissions and licenses: All written mails and documents constituting an accord to let you use others IP – music, universal dance techniques, inspirations – is another important aspect to secure for a rainy day.
(for more information on the above topics, please read my previous blog Show management part 2 – https://nritarutya.com/show-management-part-ii/)
– Agreements: An important document that is essential for any two persons/organizations or establishments to work smoothly.
There are two kinds of agreements – one which I have already iterated in my previous blogs – Confirmation letter or in legal terms, Agreement between the dance company and the client/organizer of an event.
The second is internal – an agreement between the Company and any/all persons involved with the company.
This simple exchange of terms is the most powerful tool for a company to uphold its rights to the intellectual property and general works speaking of the techniques/methodology of working and system a company follows. Putting in paper the obligations to be followed by a person joining the company will go a long way in protecting the ‘rights’ of the company. Again, a few basic clauses that needs to be in place:
- the tenure of the agreement along with the start date
- a solemn declaration of utmost confidentiality while dealing with the company’s properties (physical or intellectual)
- understanding the IP and its rights vesting with the company and a declaration not to violate the company policies
- Breach terms and its repercussions
– Other records: Simple documents or archives of daily activities – mails, photos, videos, blogs, any communications, etc., can also prove to be very useful during a time when you have to justify your stand.
Well, I do hope that you are geared and ready if you are to start a company or if you are pursuing dance as an individual. This can be your initial list and I am sure there will be additions as and when you assess your works and its importance.