Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Minnesota

I intend to write a play that takes the characters of an already famous play and shows them 30 years later. My play would lift no description, dialogue, or story line from the original. I would use only the names of the original characters. For example, if I wrote a play titled, "The Streetcar Doesn't Stop Here Any More," and the characters in the play were named Stanley, Stella, and Blanche and it was all about Stanley battling prostate cancer. Would I be violating any copyright protection of the original? Joan

Asked on 8/24/13, 1:42 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Nancy Delain Delain Law Office, PLLC
0 users found helpful
0 attorneys agreed

By using another author's characters, your play potentially becomes what is called a "derivative work." Copyright protects derivative works under 17 USC 103, which reads, in relevant part, "(a) The subject matter of copyright as specified by section 102 includes compilations and derivative works...."

There are ways to create derivative works without running afoul of copyright. Please feel free to give my office a call to set up a phone appointment to discuss this matter.

THIS POST CONTAINS GENERAL INFORMATION AND IS INTENDED FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE, NOR DOES IT CREATE ANY ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. FOR LEGAL ADVICE ON YOUR PARTICULAR MATTER, CONSULT YOUR ATTORNEY.

Read more
8/24/13, 4:45 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Intellectual Property questions and answers in Minnesota

Looking for something else?

Get Free Legal Advice

8661 active attorneys ready to answer your legal qustions today.

Intellectual Property Legal Forms

Browse and download our attorney-prepared and up-to-date legal forms from $4.99

Find a Legal Form

Featured Attorneys

Anthony RoachLaw Office of Anthony A. RoachChatsworth, CA
Terry A. NelsonNelson & LawlessHuntington Beach, CA
Barry SteinDe Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & ZacharyMiami, FL
Find An Attorney

Are you an Attorney?

Earn additional revenue and grow your business. Join LawGuru Now