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The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund



Our Mission

The Dramatists Guild created the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund to advocate and to educate, and to provide you with a new resource in defense of the First Amendment and on behalf of a robust public domain. 

In light of dwindling public funding for the arts, the DLDF advocates not only for writers, but for theaters and other theater artists (as well as audiences, schools, students, and the culture at large), all of whom are confronting censorship and other related issues of public import, including the diminishment of the public domain. The DLDF can also aid indigent artists who cannot defend themselves. This aid and advocacy may take the form of letters, articles, and lectures in public fora, intervention in litigation through amicus briefs and expert testimony, or finding affordable representation for those caught up in these disputes.  

And the DLDF educates… not only about the importance to our society of free expression, rational copyright regulation and an ever-expanding public domain, but about the industry standards that have evolved over the past hundred years to protect the development and production of dramatic works in America, in order to bring to theaters and theater audiences a fuller understanding of the theater business and the playwright’s vital role in it.


Get Involved

Here's how you can join the fight in helping dramatists everywhere protect their First Amendment rights.


If you are aware of a dispute in your community that deals with these types of issues, please inform us.


If you are a part of an academic institution or nonprofit theater organization, invite your playwrights and your staff attorneys to talk and discuss these issues with your community.


The DLDF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on tax-deductible donations for its survival. Your contributions can be made by mail, phone, or on our website. 


If you are an attorney, or know of any, or are aware of any legal service group that would offer pro bono or discounted representation on these sorts of issues, please allow us to include them in our national legal services directory.