Monday, August 21, 2006
Edward Einhorn registered an unauthorized derivative copyright on my play TAM LIN, claiming that directors have a right to create copyrights based on their directing an author's work. And on the basis of that copyright registration, he sued me, claiming I violated his copyright when I produced my own play in 2005 - even though I directed that production myself, with a new set and revised script. The upshot of the strange case of Einhorn v. Mergatroyd Productions was that the Court compelled Einhorn to cancel this registration.
Thanks to the lawsuit, Mergatroyd Productions can't afford to put TAM LIN on this year, except as a reading.
Mergatroyd Productions paid each actor in the 2005 production a thousand dollars, which, although not quite Actors Equity rates, is fairly high for an off-off Broadway non-Equity show. Thanks to Edward Einhorn, actors who would have had paying work with TAM LIN in 2006 will not have it. Not that Edward Einhorn is concerned about paying actors. In an email to me, which Einhorn himself offered as one of his lawsuit exhibits, he explained his philosophy about paying theater tech people and designers and especially directors, more than actors: "actors get the glory of having being on stage, which is why they are usually happy to work for free."
When we were negotiating with Einhorn over his fee for directing TAM LIN in 2004, he asked for more money than we initially offered for a director. When we said we couldn't afford to increase the budget for the director, he suggested that we pay all the actors less than we originally planned, and pass the savings onto himself.
Not a single actor to whom I've mentioned these things has failed to express disgust with Edward Einhorn.
Posted by Nancy