Someone new in the scene ripped off my burlesque routine I've been doing for almost 4 years. What should I do?

Try contacting them and asking them about it, to be sure that they're ripping it off and not just responding to the zeitgeist. If you're already sure or not satisified with their response, keep doing it better, post more pictures and video of it, and file a cease and desist if you think it's warranted. And let people know if you think someone else is an intellectual property thief--you do no one in the scene a favor if you let them keep hiring an unethical performer.

I have been ripped off a bit and have had people feel entitled to my intellectual property. It's interesting as a teacher, where someone who has taken my class will teach a class that is essentially the same and then say that it's not a rip off because I didn't invent burlesque, ignoring the fact that I manage to work with burlesque teachers from all over the world without feeling that they are compromising my intellectual property. I'm a fan of The Art of War, which means I try to think of all the possibilities and think a few steps ahead. But I will engage in a fight at times. You owe it to your muse to defend your art and your ideas, and you owe it to that person's muse to force them to call on their own instead of on yours.

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Ciao a tutti!

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Damiana Dolce said…
It's so discouraging when you put so much work into an act only to see somebody rip it off and get credit for it.

I've approached somebody for this in the past and they flat out denied it but they never performed it again.
Unknown said…
I have had a similar yet different circumstance. I worked with a woman in a group between 2004 late 2005 and asked her to perform a duet that I had in mind which was a direct tribute to Betty Page's bondage films, her dominatrix fetish photos and the very famous film where Betty plays a maid staring Tempest Storm. I retained the all the props after the last time this woman and I performed together which was in late 2005. We performed that routine at least 4 times. I then took a break from performing burlesque to study music production and to pursue other forms of performance art. The other woman continued to perform other fetish routines in her repetoire. However, since early 2009 I have been very active in my burlesque community and had an opportunity in March to revive the routine with another performer for a specific event. I can understand there being some hurt feelings, but I was shocked to find that my former burlesque associate believes she is FULLY credited for creating the routine and tried to discredit, threaten and slander me on public forums. Fortunately she did not know of or note any of my source material when she started her accusations. Only stating that she had her notes and that routine was stolen from her by a girl she hired to perform the routine with her. It was complete nonsense. It is a very unfortunate situation, but I suppose the best thing I can do is to continue to be creative and show that I have had and will have many more ideas for new routines to explore.

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