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Phillip Mills: "Ashley Wagner and I have decided to go in different directions"

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sylvia, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. giselle23

    giselle23 Well-Known Member

    I think he would have had the right to have his name removed, but unless she tried to profit from it, I don't think he would have a claim for damages.
  2. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    Also, while the law says certain things, there is the matter of interpretation, precedent and enforcement. I am not remotely surprised that so few choreography copyright infringement cases have come before the courts. Copyright infringement of choreography is often very hard to prove and everyone involved have traditionally been gun-shy when it comes to involving the courts.

    Not that I think this has anything to do with Mills and Wagner. But it's interesting. :D
  3. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

    According to the US Bureau of Labor:
    The median hourly wage of choreographers was $18.11 in May 2010. If a choreographer were fortunate enough to be employed for 52 weeks a year and five days a week and 8 hours day, his yearly income would be $37, 668.80.

    Specifically for figure skating choreographers, according to an article on careers in skating I read recently:
    Earnings of choreographers vary greatly depending on experience and job type. The median annual earnings for SALARIED choreographers is $33,670. Established choreographers can earn more than $70,000 per year. Many choreographers enjoy the benefits of union contracts, but freelancers do not receive these benefits.
  4. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    Now that I have thought about this, IMO, Ashely saw Mills as one of her coaches and that role was quite separate from his role as a choreographer. I suspect Mills saws the roles and completely intertwined and inseparable. When Ashley decided to go to Shae-Lynn for a new show program, Mills was probably hurt and saw it as Ashley slighting him. From Ashley's tweets, I suspect she thought he would continue on as part of her coaching team while she explored other choreographic styles. A misunderstanding that should have been discussed in private. That, again IMO, is a real problem with this instant age. It seems people tweet first and ask questions later. Unfortunately, I think it has made Mills look like a bit of a jerk.
  5. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    This depends on whether he was an employee of Ashley or an independent contractor - if the latter, then the contract itself must specifically say work for hire. That provision cannot be read into a contract, it has to be stated explicitly. I'm guessing he was an independent contractor, but I guess there could be arrangements where someone is an employee of the rink and does all the choreo for certain skaters. It's the skater, though, that needs to make clear in the contract that this is a work for hire and/or that they have the right to change it... I assume that most do, but who knows?

    This concept is called droits moraux or moral rights.

    I think you have it. Regardless of who has the rights, choreographers are not going to run around suing all their students for changing their work. They understand that it's a sport and the skaters need to make changes. They'll take recourse by not working with the skater in the future or speaking out in the press. I could only see a lawsuit in the case of a very bitter split or where the skater has added something truly offensive and passed it off as the choreographer's work (sort of similar to the musician who wrote a cease and desist letter to DomShabs for using her music in the Aboriginal OD).