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McAllen church accused of copyright violations following unauthorized production of "Hamilton"

1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago Thursday, August 11 2022 Aug 11, 2022 August 11, 2022 11:40 AM August 11, 2022 in News - Local

The fallout for a McAllen church continues after it was accused of breaking copyright laws to promote anti-LGBTQ views for an unauthorized production of the Broadway musical “Hamilton.”

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda took to Twitter and mentioned legal action against The Door McAllen.

The church altered several lines of the script to include biblical messages. Clips of the performance followed by a sermon with anti-LGBTQ messages gained negative attention on social media over the weekend.

Local copyright attorney Lydia Mount said the performance was unauthorized.

“It hasn't been licensed to any amateur or professional organizations to perform anywhere in the country or world-wide,” Mount said, adding that there are ways around copyright laws through the fair use doctrine.

Certain factors need to happen in order to make that determination, Mount said.

“The fact that this is a very creative work would probably lend a court to say ‘no, you don't fall under the fair-use doctrine,’" Mount said. “I believe the church is going to have a difficult time with this because it looks as if they used the entirety of the play and did not change a substantial portion of it.”

The Hamilton team released a statement in response that stated they sent a cease and desist letter to The Door McAllen that requested all videos of the performance be taken down.

As of Wednesday evening, The Door McAllen has not responded to a request for comment from Channel 5 News.

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