What are "Grand Rights"?

This relates to dramatic works.

Grand rights (also known as dramatic performance rights) are for performances in a dramatic setting such as ballet, Broadway shows, or opera. While the line between dramatic and non-dramatic is not always clear, a dramatic performance usually means that the work is being used to tell a story or is being used as part of a story or plot. Some examples of dramatic performances are:

  1. The performance of an entire “dramatical-musical work.” For example, a performance of the musical Wicked would be a dramatic performance.
  2. The performance of one or more musical compositions from a “dramatical-musical work” accompanied by dialogue, pantomime, dance, stage action, or visual representation of the work from which the music is taken. For example a performance of “For Good” from Wicked with costumes, sets, props, or dialogue from the show would be dramatic.
  3. Performance of one or more musical compositions as part of a story or plot, whether accompanied or unaccompanied by dialogue, pantomime, dance, stage action or visual representation. For example, incorporating a performance of “For Good” into a story or plot (whether the original story or not) would be a dramatic performance of the song.
  4. The performance of a concert version of a "dramatic-musical work." For example, a performance of all the songs from Wicked regardless of any costumes or sets.

Performing Rights Organizations (ASCAP, BMI, etc.) do not issue licenses for grand rights and do not monitor this type of performance.

If you write the music to a Broadway show or ballet, then either you or your publisher must negotiate the license for that music directly with the producer of the show.


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