Clenching my fists…

This made me too mad.

A critic friend of mine posted this on his Facebook profile.
People who think they’re immune to copyright laws make me roll my eyes.

Not to be left out, the director wrote a letter to the editor, expressing her displeasure at having to change the measly “five lines” and return the script to its original state.

Holy crap, this woman is pretentious.

You know what?
If you want to piggyback on the original (original is relative, in this case) author’s success and tack on your vision at the end? That’s fine. But you’ve got to get that past that author or that author’s estate. Period.
That’s why copyrighting exists.
So that a creator can protect their creation.

I’ve seen 3 different productions of Pippin done with variations on the ending.
3 different endings!
You know why that’s cool?
Because the guy who changed the original script… is the guy who wrote the original script!
You cannot rewrite the ending of a show just because you don’t agree with it.

I didn’t like the play “Next Fall.”
I’m sorry, I didn’t. No offense to the playwright, cast, crew, anyone.
I just didn’t like it.

Were I to suddenly be put in charge of a college production of this show, and thought to myself, “You know, if I just get rid of these four words, it will make this character more accessible to the audience and the ending will make more sense,” I’d be wrong.
I could expect to find a letter from the author’s law office, requesting a cease and desist, on my desk almost instant after making that decision.
I would be immediately ordered to change it back or not do the show at all.
Because, you see, it’s not mine.

It is the intellectual property of Jonathan Larson.
He worked, and sweat and starved to get his story developed, workshopped and produced, Off and On Broadway. He died before seeing his vision brought to complete fruition. Your little revision does not pay him homage.

Let me spell it out for you, Ms. Director with a hyphen.

This has nothing to do with money.
The organization already has the money your department had to pay for the rights.
To be allowed to do this production for a limited amount of time.
In the grand scheme of this show, your contribution is, pardon me for saying so, insignificant.
RENT, in its current “unrealistic” state, generated more money than you will ever see, more fans than you could ever conceive, tours, merchandising, a Broadway run most producers could never even hope for, worldwide fame & recognition beyond your wildest dreams.

Don’t take it personal. It’s not that your version was better or worse.
They just need you to stop trying to fix that which ain’t broke.


One comment

  1. Michael Dale says:

    Ha! Without even asking I know exactly which four words you’re talking about. The four words that came out of absolutely nowhere. (You should see the veins popping out of Matthew Murray’s neck when we discuss those 4 words.)

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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