Dramatic works

Dramatic works includes plays, screenplays, scripts, choreographic notation, choreographic shows and scenarios for a film (but not the film itself). Any work that is intended to be performed dramatically is a dramatic work.

Using dramatic works

You can use a dramatic work for certain purposes such as educational use, research or study or criticism or review. For more information, see using copyright material.

You must properly acknowledge any dramatic work that you use.


Copyright in dramatic works is generally owned by the creator or author but it can vary depending on factors such as employment or licensing agreements - see ownership of copyright for more information.

Rights of copyright owners

Copyright owners of dramatic works hold the right to reproduce, publish, publicly perform, communicate or adapt their works. For more information see rights of copyright owners.

Performers of dramatic works hold performers' rights in their performance.

Duration of copyright

Dramatic works

Published, performed or made publicly available during the author's lifetimePublished or made publicly available after the author's deathUnpublished worksCreated anonymously or under a pseudonymCopyright expired if...
Life of the author + 70 years. 70 years from the end of the year first published, performed or made publicly available. As of 1 January 2019, the duration of copyright will be the same for both published and unpublished works. 70 years from the end of the year the work was first published, performed or made publicly available. Author died before 1 January 1955 and the work was published during the author's lifetime.

Copyright in dramatic works made for, or first published by a government, or in which copyright is owned by a government, lasts for 50 years from the end of the year of first publication.

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