LawGeek has a post about Fox’s Lawyers sending cease & desist letters to shut down a Buffy Fan Musical.

A San Fran non-profit theatre group called CounterPULSE was sponsoring a fan re-enactment of that most excellent Buffy episode, “Once More With Feeling”.

LawGeek also reports that “the creative force behind Buffy (Joss Whedon) has said he had no objection to the performances”. Now, Fox is obviously within its rights (assuming, as appears to be the case, that it is the owner or exclusive licensee with the right to control performances). However, one has to ask the policy question: is it really in the interests of the copyright owners to prevent non-profit works that are not substitutable for or competitive with anything they sell?

Performances are not tangible things that would be acquired by an audience in place of the copyright owner’s other products. If anything, this would probably stimulate demand for those products. It would also likely stimulate fandom in those who hadn’t seen the original. Still, it’s their choice.