Showtime Chronicles: Legal Safeguards and Intellectual Property Rights of Live Performances

  • Avantika Wasnik
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  • Avantika Wasnik

    Associate at RSR Legal, Advocates (IP Lawyer), India

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Since ancient times, live shows have remained a preferred entertainment choice for audiences, transcending technological advancements. Despite the ubiquity of cinemas, LCD TVs, and streaming services like Spotify and YouTube, the visceral experience of live performances, whether it be in drama, music, or impromptu street acts, remains unparalleled. Live performances, an integral part of human culture, have evolved from storytelling circles and puppetry to modern theaters, concerts, and comedy shows, presents a unique challenge in protecting intellectual property rights, especially in an era dominated by digital content. These unscripted, one-take events lack the luxury of retakes, posing a distinctive hurdle in preserving elements like choreography, scripts, and musical compositions. Unlike conventional copyright laws designed for tangible content, live performances often fall outside traditional copyright laws to their intangible nature. The challenge lies in safeguarding elements such as choreography, scripts, musical compositions, and stage designs that are integral to live shows. Copyright can protect these aspects, but its application varies, and challenges arise in establishing ownership, particularly for emerging artists lacking widespread recognition. Stand-up comedians, dance choreographers, puppeteers, and performers of folklore find themselves navigating the complexities of protecting their intellectual property where content spreads rapidly and attribution becomes challenging. While intellectual property laws play a crucial role in protecting artists, the existing framework, the existing copyright laws are not sufficiently strengthened or flexible to meet the unique needs of live performers. This research paper delves into the nuanced realm of intellectual property rights for stand-up comedians, dance choreographers, puppeteers, and keepers of folklore. It sheds light on the formidable challenges they encounter in preserving intellectual property within a landscape dominated by the internet and social media. The study emphasizes the urgency of fortifying and modifying existing laws to align with the unique demands of live performers, ensuring their creative contributions receive the protection they deserve in the ever-evolving entertainment panorama.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 1, Page 397 - 416


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