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Your Rights When You Write (Update)

(438 reviews)

Produced on February 06, 2020

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Course Information

Time 61 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Many people are writers, to one extent or another – but few are fortunate enough to be paid to do it. Writing (or “IP”, or “content” as some like to call it) is at the root of much of entertainment these days. Writers write not only in a variety of genres but in a variety of media, which means that their rights may be exploited (and potentially infringed) in a variety of ways. Consequently, it’s important for writers and their attorneys to have a solid understanding of their legal rights, in order to protect their content and themselves. 

In this updated program, Authors Guild General Counsel Cheryl Davis explains the basics of copyright law and how it impacts writers in books, theater, film, and television. Davis covers recent developments in case law and discusses the myriad of factors writers and their attorneys should keep in mind when both writing and licensing their work.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain an overview of how copyright law affects writers
  2. Discuss how writers’ rights differ in:
    • Publishing
    • Theater
    • Film/TV
  3. Become familiar with recent court decisions affecting writers
  4. Explore some of the key concerns writers should consider when entering into agreements

Credit Information

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Cheryl Davis

The Authors Guild

Cheryl L. Davis is the General Counsel of the Authors Guild. She is a former partner at the firm of Menaker & Herrmann LLP, a general commercial practice firm in New York City. She is a litigator who concentrates in intellectual property matters (particularly copyright and trademark cases), employment, and real estate/construction related matters. She has counseled architects and design professionals on how to protect their intellectual property, and has made multiple industry presentations on the topic. She is also a co-author of Law for Architects: What You Need to Know.

Professional & Community Involvement:

  • Diversity Co-Liaison of the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries and Vice Chair of the Arts and Museums Committee of that Forum
  • Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee for the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section for the New York State Bar Association
  • General Counsel for the League of Professional Theatre Women
  • Vice President of Theater Resources Unlimited, and a former member of the Theater Panel of the New York State Council on the Arts
  • New York City Committee of the Law Firm Access to Justice Campaign Committee of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, Inc.
  • Participated in a NEA panel on Musical Theater

Representative Speaking Engagements:

  • Panel Member in a program entitled “Architecture Law: Contract Negotiation, Intellectual Property and Claims” presented by Hudson Valley Bank
  • Presentation on “Copyright and Intellectual Property Law” to National Academy of Neuropsychology
  • Presentation on “Intellectual Property and Architects” (both live and webinar)
  • Presentations on “Contracts, Options and Underlying Rights” and “Differences between Commercial and Not-for-Profit Theater” to theatrical producers, for which she was interviewed by NY1 (Theater Producers Strategize To Ensure Their Shows Go On)
  • Presentations on employment issues, such as Social Media Concerns in 2015, Sexual Harassment and the “Employee Who Complains”



Deborah S.

Very informative.

Ingrid S.


James A.

Clear and well-organized.

John M.

Outstanding! Well presented and very informative.

Michael D.

case analysis was helpful

Henry G.

Very good informative course.

Robert J.

A real expert in this field

Edwin G.

This was actually a pretty good introduction to the topic . . . many thanks.

Christina B.

Great presentation.

Victor Y.

A really great show by a great lady. She made a dull subject come alive and warned all of us who write of the pitfalls of publishing in any media.

James M.

Thank you for a well-done presentation.

Major R. C.

Good presentation.

Richard S.

Good basics.

Lynne T.


Rhonda G. W.

Thank you for a superb program -- in content and presentation.

Heather F.

Thank you - really enjoyed the content.

Hilary J.

The speaker was outstanding! One of the best I've seen.

Philip C.

Well presented by the speaker.

Maria L.

Amazing breadth of knowledge; great speaker and presenter. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

Carlos M.

Ms. Davis was terrific.

Barry G.

Very well presented

Job H.

Fascinating course, thank you!

Leland S.

Exceptional presenter.

Doug F.

Very interesting. Ms. Davis' courses are excellent.

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