On February 12, the Entertainment Arts and Sports Law [EASL] Section Pro Bono Committee of the New York State Bar Association and the New York Foundation for the Arts [NYFA] presented “Legal Issues for Dance Companies” at NYU Law School.
The event was directed toward applicants for NYFA’s BUILD [Building Up Infrastructure Levels in Dance] grant program. BUILD grants are available to smaller dance companies in New York.
Five panel discussions were held throughout the day-long session. The panelists discussed practical issues and current developments in the areas of copyrighting dance, collaborations and licensing of Intellectual property, legacy planning, social media, and the advantages and the different business entities available. These discussions were led by illustrious speakers from a variety of law firms and arts organizations, including ASCAP, Lincoln Center, and the Martha Graham Dance Company.
There are a number of legal issues facing smaller dance groups. What are the benefits of incorporating as a 501(c)(3)? When should they acquire synchronization licenses and master recording licenses for their dance pieces? Who owns the copyright in a dance? Further information on these issues can be found on the websites for Dance Heritage Coalition and Dance/NYC. And the host organizations, NYFA and EASL, suggested that similar events may be held in the future – so keep on your toes…!