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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a performing licence cost?

The cost of a licence is made up of a number of components:

1) Royalty fee (per performance). There are usually two options – a percentage royalty or a minimum per performance – you would pay whichever is the greater of the two
Royalties are the authors’ way of being paid for the use of their show (their "intellectual property"). The authors of a musical may include the bookwriter (who writes the dialogue), the composer (who writes the music), and the lyricist (who writes the words to the music). Their right to be paid for use of their work is guaranteed by the copyright laws of this and other countries and is the basis of theatrical licensing.

2) Hire fees. Using the fees published on each show page you are able to work out how much you would pay. The standard rehearsal package MUST be hired with all performing licences (where applicable).
Rental fees are charged for the materials we supply to your theatre organisation in conjunction with a performance licence. These materials include the performance materials (scripts, scores, etc.) and the MTI Theatrical Resources.([It should be noted that Josef Weinberger’s materials are created and provided to licensees for use solely in conjunction with a performance licence).

3) Theatrical resources/video licence (optional)

4) Postage and packaging

5) V.A.T. (payable on the royalty fee)

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How do I return our hire materials? Do you provide a service?

Everything we have despatched to you must be returned within FOURTEEN DAYS of your final performance. failure to return any rental items within the newly extended period will automatically result in a charge for the full replacement cost of any and all outstanding items. To avoid additional charges you should ensure that all materials are free of markings. We provide a personal return address label (containing your own barcode) which should be placed on the box you are using to return your materials. You are responsible for the safe return (and cost) of the returning of materials – Josef Weinberger Ltd. does not provide a service for collection of materials. We recommend you use a trackable service such as Parcelforce or DHL.

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Why do I need a performing licence?

Every musical in Josef Weinberger’s catalogue is protected under Copyright law. Before you can produce one of our musicals, you must obtain a performing licence. A licence grants you rights to perform the show and outlines all fees. You should always obtain written confirmation of a musical’s availability from Josef Weinberger Ltd. before planning a production or announcing a season. After creating a show, theatre writers copyright their work, protecting their ownership and enabling only them or their representatives (in this case, Josef Weinberger Ltd.) to decide: who may perform the show, where it may be performed and what licence fees will be required. On the authors’ behalf, Josef Weinberger grants a licence for organisations to produce the show and collects a fee, known as a royalty, for all performances. Built into every licence is specific language that governs how the copyrighted work may be presented.
Our responsibilities include enforcing copyright law as it pertains to live stage performances (prohibiting changes to the script or score, monitoring unlicensed productions, etc), promoting and engaging new productions of shows and to ensure all funds owed are paid to the relevant writers/original rights holders.

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When do I have to pay?

You are required to submit a refundable deposit of £500 at the time of applying for a performing licence. This is taken in the form of a credit/debit card payment. The £500 will be held on your account against loss or damage to any hire items whilst they remain in your possession.
After your production has taken place you must submit a declaration of total ticket sales for your production. You will then be sent an invoice detailing all charges due. The £500 paid at the application stage will be indicated on your invoice and off-set against the total balance due.

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We've got scripts and scores from our library - do we have to hire copies from you?

Yes; where materials are on hire only (90% of our catalogue) then all organisations who request a performing licence will be required to hire a standard rehearsal set from us. The materials rented by Josef Weinberger Ltd. are the materials that have been provided by the author(s) of the work and are the ONLY authorised materials for rehearsals or performances. Some shows have rehearsal materials available for sale only (eg. HONK! – script, CALAMITY JANE – script and score) – you should always consult the relevant show page to check what is available.

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I'm wanting to put on a school production, are the fees the same? Do all school productions have to be licensed?

In the amateur world, Josef Weinberger Ltd. operates a one price for all policy. This includes (but is not exclusive to): schools, youth groups, university groups and amateur societies.

Professional fees are available upon application to Sally Irwin, Professional Licensing Manager.

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We're performing for a charity, are discounts available?

Applications are judged on a case by case basis. Josef Weinberger Ltd. cannot always offer discounts for charity performances. Remember that royalties are the authors’ way of being paid for the use of their shows and as such is their wage. Many authors often contribute heavily to their own charities and therefore the royalty, as such, is not Josef Weinberger Ltd.’s to discount.

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How do I apply?

You can apply for a performing licence by clicking here
We recommend that you do not apply for a performing licence until you have read and understood the various fees and materials available for the show you’re interested in staging. These are available on each show’s individual website page.

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How long does it take?

Once an application has been submitted one of our licensing team will be in touch from anywhere between 30minutes up to 3 working days. You will receive an automatic email from our website detailing whether your application has been successful. If we’re unable to licence your production you will always be given a reason.
If successful, you will receive your performing licence after a few minutes of the automatic email. This licence needs to be counter-signed and returned to us immediately.
IMPORTANT: we are unable to provide any hire materials to you until we have received the counter-signed performing licence at our offices.

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How do I check whether a show is available in my area?

Should you wish to check availability before applying please contact us

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Can I cut/change the show in any way?

During rehearsals, the director or producer may find that some changes are required to make the show work in their theatre, or they may feel making ‘minor adjustments’ to a show (such as changing the gender of a character or changing the name of a town to give it local significance) is inconsequential to its integrity. Often directors believe they have the right to ‘experiment’ with the authors’ intentions as an expression of their artistic vision.
This is not the case.
When you are granted a performance licence, by law the show you license must be performed as it is written. You have no right to make any changes at all unless you have obtained prior written permission from us to do so. Without prior permission from Josef Weinberger Ltd., your actions may subject you to liability for breaching the terms of your licence agreement. Occasionally, new versions of shows are created when the authors or someone the authors have approved re-conceives the piece. However, only the authors have the right to make these revisions, and they rarely grant third parties permission to do so.

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Can I use backing tracks?

There are only a small number of shows where backing tracks are available. If a show does not have a backing track available to hire from Josef Weinberger Ltd. then you must use live musicians (even if this is just a piano). Under the terms of a performing licence you are not permitted to use backing tracks sourced from a third party, nor are you permitted to create your own.

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I've lost my materials, how much will I be charged?

Josef Weinberger Ltd. will charge the following rates should you lose any hire materials. The fees below will also be levied if any materials are returned damaged or contain any pencil markings.

Libretto Vocal Book - £25
Libretto or Vocal Book - £12.50
Piano Conductor / Piano Vocal Score - £50
Orchestral Part - £35
Full Score - £100 - £500 (depends on the show)
CD (Backing/Logo/SFX) - £25.00

Fees correct as of 17.12.2010

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What are theatrical resources?

In addition to providing the basic materials necessary to produce a show, Josef Weinberger Ltd. also creates and provides instructional, educational and production materials as ancillary products that make production easier and promote the use of musical theatre in the classroom and other educational settings. They provide educators with the tools they need to put on live musical theatre, enhance their productions and maintain the integrity of the work.
Theatrical resources which are available from Josef Weinberger Ltd. include: logo packs, RehearScore, study guides, transposition on demand and production slides.
Further information is available here

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Can I use a logo used in an original production?

Logos, like other elements of a production are covered by copyright and trademark law. Generally the rights to an original logo will be controlled by the artist, or in some cases by the producer if the artist produced the logo on a ‘for hire’ basis. Using the original logo without obtaining permission is prohibited. Many organisations design their own logos – this is absolutely fine so long as the logo is not similar to that of the original. Josef Weinberger Ltd. has obtained rights to license the use of certain logos. Logos can legally be used in conjunction with the promotion of a show - on posters, programs and flyers.

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Why are some shows restricted?

Sometimes a particular musical will not be available for amateur production. A restriction of this kind may be placed on a show when a national tour or a large professional production is taking place. Josef Weinberger Ltd. will always endeavour to publish such restrictions on its website. Because restrictions are put in place or lifted at any given moment, it is always important for an organisation to obtain a performing licence before announcing a production. If an organisation has a valid licence and a show becomes restricted, in most cases Josef Weinberger Ltd. will be able to honour that previous commitment, even though rights for other organisations in the same area may subsequently be denied.

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Can I video my performance?

We would love nothing more than to say ‘yes’! However, with most musicals, the mechanical (video) rights are simply not available. This is usually because the owner of the mechanical rights does not wish for their work to be filmed.Often film studios can have an ‘option’ of video rights (they pay money to secure the rights should they wish to produce a full movie) which again means rights are not available. Some studios have made very famous films , thus owning film rights in perpetuity and will not allow other films to be made, even by community theatre groups or schools.
Josef Weinberger Ltd. is however, able to grant video rights for a small number of the shows where mechanical rights have been made available. There is usually a fee for one archive recording and another for making up to 100 copies to give to your cast and crew (not to be sold at profit/as merchandise).
Shows with video rights available include: all Disney shows, selected musicals from the Rodgers & Hammerstein catalogue (CAROUSEL, CINDERELLA, FLOWER DRUM SONG, A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING, THE KING AND I, OKLAHOMA!, SOME ENCHANTED EVENING and SOUTH PACIFIC) and around 40 other shows we represent.

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Our audience won't be paying for tickets, do I still need to pay the royalty?

Yes; all performances in front of an audience (whether paying or invited) are subject to a royalty charge under Copyright law. This also includes dress rehearsals where an audience is invited.

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I’ve written a musical that I’d like you to consider, what should I do?

We regret that we are unable to accept unsolicited submissions of new new works. If you have written a musical that is being performed and would like to invite us to a performance then please send an invite in writing.

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