Lloyd Webber show prompts new action against American Music Theater

January 2014



American Music Theatre, which as the CopyKat had previously reported is being sued for copyright infringement over use of material from The Producers, Billy Elliot, Wicked, Jersey Boys, the Lion King and Disney’s Mary Poppins in its “Broadway Now & Forever” production, has filed it’s defence saying that it has blanket license agreements with the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers and Broadcast Music Inc. to perform “all allegedly copyrighted works at issue.” The theatre also denies it will be violating copyright when it opens “Music of the Night: The Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber” for a six-month run from April 2014. The Theatre now faces an action, in the Philadelphia federal court, to stop “Broadway Now & Forever” and prevent the upcoming Andrew Lloyd Webber focussed show featuring Cats, Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera from opening. The Pennsylvanian1,600 capacity theatre on Lincoln Highway East has now said it’s productions fall under the fair use doctrine saying “… use of the allegedly copyrighted works was transformative in nature, only an insubstantial portion of each alleged work was used in relation to each work as a whole …”. Among it’s other defences, American Music Theatre also claims the plaintiffs were misusing their copyrights and are asking a judge to dismiss the case and have the plaintiffs pay it’s legal costs. American Music Theatre has until December 20th to address the initial suit by Disney and other plaintiffs. The Theatre has also now said that specifically for the use of Spider-Man copyrights,  the Theatre has a license agreement to use Spider-Man and that  Stan Lee Media Inc. and not Disney or its Marvel division holds the Spider-Man copyright. But that’s another battle.



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