Sunday, October 7, 2018

Playwright Life Update Continued

In the previous update, I mentioned that I was still waiting for word from Samuel French regarding their licensing of Pygmalion for productions.  Their webpage gave no insight into exactly what they were licensing, so it appeared in some way they were attempting to be the sole licensor for all productions of Pygmalion.  This did not seem right as the original text of Pygmalion is in the public domain.  The original play by Shaw was published in 1913 and copyrighted in the United States in 1916.  As a general rule, anything published before 1923 is in the public domain (with very few exceptions).  Accordingly, I needed to know exactly what Samuel French was claiming.

I received their final confirmation late last week.  From their reply, they acknowledge the original text of Pygmalion is "no longer under copyright and may be performed without submitting a request" through their site.  They did caution that some versions of the text are still under copyright as they have additional material provided by Shaw (which I was aware of).

Further, I noticed yesterday that they have removed Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts by Shaw as a title which you could request a license from their site.  They still sell the script, but are no longer claiming a license in the work.  That is a swifter action than I expected and am grateful to see that it has been changed.

This removes the last question mark in front of Thou Fair Eliza.  With UIL approval and the confirmation that Samuel French has no claim, the stage is set, pardon the pun, for the upcoming production.  Very exciting.

Now all that remains is the long waiting game for the copyright approval.  Will keep you posted.

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