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Subject: "taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2769
Reading Topic #2769
eugdog

30-05-02, 12:16 PM (GMT)
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"taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
 
   Is this legal - or is it a civil matter!

Has anyone tried it!

I have noticed that digital camcorders are extremely small, very easy to use and give 520 lines of resolution (DVD quality!).

Given the paucity of ballet on TV and video - I do not see any moral problem of filming non-televised ballet.

What do other people think!


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet alison 30-05-02 1
  RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet trogadmin 30-05-02 2
  RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet sylvia 30-05-02 3
     RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet MAB 30-05-02 4
         RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet eugdog 30-05-02 5
             RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet Helen 30-05-02 6
             RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet Steven 30-05-02 7
         RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet PhilipBadmin 31-05-02 10
  RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet AEHandley 30-05-02 8
  RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet Ted 31-05-02 9
     RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet eugdog 31-05-02 11
         RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet Steven 31-05-02 12
             RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet eugdog 31-05-02 13
         RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet Anneliese 31-05-02 14
             RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet eugdog 31-05-02 15
                 RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet gd 31-05-02 16
                     RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet James 31-05-02 17
                         RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet Annelieseagain 31-05-02 18
                             RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet Annelieseagain 31-05-02 20
                         RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet trogadmin 31-05-02 22
                 RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet Annelieseagain 31-05-02 19
                     RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet eugdog 31-05-02 21
                         RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet Tim Powell 31-05-02 23
                         RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet Ted 01-06-02 24
                             RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet eugdog 01-06-02 25
                             RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet Viviane 01-06-02 26

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alison

30-05-02, 12:47 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #0
 
   Yes, someone tried it at the ROH last year and was asked to stop. And yes, there is a moral problem - it has to do with copyright and intellectual property, and is part of the reason why photography and other types of recording is prohibited at dance events and various other live performances. Many parts of the performance - costumes, sets, choreography, music - will be covered by copyright, and if you record them without permission you are breaking that copyright. (Incidentally, that's why you're not supposed to film at church weddings without a licence - the wedding service is also copyright).


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trogadmin

30-05-02, 12:50 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #0
 
   LAST EDITED ON 30-05-02 AT 12:50 PM (GMT)

Not sure of the legal position, but all theatres have a no photography and no sound recording policy. There is a considerable safety issue here, as well as an annoyance issue. I know I am extremely annoyed by camera flashes going off in the middle of a performance.

Most of Joe Public use point and shoot (generally APS) cameras. They are limited to quite low speed films, hence the flash. If you take a "real" camera into a theatre loaded with 1600 ASA film, you can get excellent photies without flash. There is however a noise issue with most SLRs; the sound of the shutter and/or motordrive is quite loud.

I also suspect these are copyright issues involved too.


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sylvia

30-05-02, 12:56 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #0
 
   Copyright over the choreography, sets and costumes would prevent you legally. Plus you could really annoy the people around you by bringing in a camera, no matter how small. And the ROH management would confiscate it or march you right out if discovered.

I guess on the other hand I remember the Balanchine Trust asking for anyone who may have made such videos of ballets that never got a recording that they could have, no questions asked. Since the RB's only allowed to tape one performance to keep in it's archive I guess 50 years from now such tapes could have value. I wouldn't recommend it though for the above reasons.


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MAB

30-05-02, 01:51 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #3
 
   Ignoring the rights and wrongs, this remains something that a lot of people do, oddly I've seldom seen anyone with a camcorder at the ballet in London, but I've seen a lot of recording going on in concert halls and audio recording at the opera at Covent Garden is fairly common place.

I remember my first trip abroad to watch ballet in the early '70's. I saw Nureyev dance Rite of Spring with the Bejart Co. in Ghent. I was amazed at the number of cine cameras (this was the pre video era) whirring around me. Mind you I would kill for a copy of one of those recordings now.

In Russia most of the dancers will arrange for a pal to video their performances for future study, as this is for the dancers' personal use there isn't a problem, but its well known that dancers will give away copies to their most ardent fans. Videos of that nature are usually inferior because they lack the extra stage lighting necessary when a commercial video is being made professionally. What I find objectionable is when people make copies of such videos to sell to unsuspecting fans. A few years ago I got stung along with a number of others when some unscrupulous ballet goers were selling copies of a Maximova/Vasiliev Giselle, which turned out to be almost unwatchable. That sort of behaviour is beyond the pale.

My own view is that if you can video/record/photograph discreetly, without disturbing others, I personally would turn a blind eye. Flash photography is another matter. It is highly dangerous to the dancers, and should never be practiced in performances.


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eugdog

30-05-02, 02:22 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #4
 
   LAST EDITED ON 30-05-02 AT 02:24 PM (GMT)

Obviously flash photography is out - and I would not use a loud shutter camera.

I was really thinking about those tiny digital cam corders (motion cameras) - they are extremly small and could easily be brought into an auditorium. I would use it for pas de deux and solos of ballet that I am familiar with. It would be nice to compare Cojacaru to Rojo in say, Prince and the Pagodas.

Regarding copy right - if I am not selling it or using it for commercial purposes then why not? It is not like Napster where artists are being denied their entitled fees for their work.

I am however concerned about the noise from the camera disturbing the audience.


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Helen

30-05-02, 02:44 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #5
 
   "Illegal" films of curtain calls taken by the audience at the New York Met. are used in the Fonteyn and Nureyev "Legendary Partnership" video, and clearly have historic interest and value.Quite apart from the legal and moral issue, it could easily get out of hand, and become very irritating, as the use of flash photography has. In St Petersburg, the "no photography" speech is made in several languages before the performance, and is completely ignored, or was when I was there.


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Steven

30-05-02, 03:06 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #5
 
   It would
>be nice to compare Cojacaru
>to Rojo in say, Prince
>and the Pagodas.

Surely it is perfectly possible to do this by watching the performance, without the need for an extra piece of technology.



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PhilipBadmin

31-05-02, 09:34 AM (GMT)
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10. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #4
 
   If someone sitting right next to me, or right in front of me, used a camcorder they would risk having it broken, I can tell you. I would definitely alert the ROH staff. At £73 a seat I don't take any distractions well! Partly due to a slight throat infection when I was at the triple bill last week I actually growled at the woman behind me who insisted on chatting away as if she was at home in front of the telly.


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AEHandley

30-05-02, 06:22 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #0
 
  
>Given the paucity of ballet on
>TV and video - I
>do not see any moral
>problem of filming non-televised ballet.
>
>
>What do other people think!

Other people - and the law - think that this is wrong. Ever heard of copyright??!??!??

(I was under the impression that you were an adult with a responsible job - I can't believe that you asked this question!)


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Ted

31-05-02, 04:00 AM (GMT)
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9. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #0
 
   Like AEHandley, I can't believe you would ask this question for a different reason. On a fundamental legal issue without even going into copyright, the contract between you and say ROH is that ROH offers you to 'watch' a performance for a price, and you have accepted the offer by paying the price. You must remember that the offer from ROH does not include and entitle you to carry out any audio and/or visual recording or any or all parts of that performance. So how can you breach the contract by saying that you don't see any moral problem of filming non-televised ballets? It's not a moral problem but an issue on your entitlement under the said contract. Otherwise, everyone can take a camcorder or any other audio/visual recording equipment into the auditorium and record whatever they fancy in any theatre on the ground that that particular performance is not televised. If that's the case, why not go up to the champagne bar at the ROH during the interval and demand for a bottle or two of the best champagne for free since you have never contracted with the ROH for those either? Have some respects for the art and the artists, let alone the law and order of the country. Such view/suggestion of a very selfish person is utterly shocking to say the least!


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eugdog

31-05-02, 11:49 AM (GMT)
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11. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #9
 
   LAST EDITED ON 31-05-02 AT 12:07 PM (GMT)

LAST EDITED ON 31-05-02 AT 12:01 PM (GMT)

LAST EDITED ON 31-05-02 AT 11:56 AM (GMT)

I am sorry but what Ted said is a total nonesense! Things are immoral if someone is effected adversely by my actions. No one is adversely effected. The Royal Opera get my admission ticket.

The critical distinction here is that the Royal Ballet will not offer recording of the performance at all. So by filming the ballet I am not depriving the Royal Ballet of any revenue whatsoever.

The analogy offered by Ted about Champagne is totally ridiculous. In that scenario I would be depriving the RB of revenue (may I take it that you would oppose the bring of food and wine brought for other shops into the Floral Hall - because that would also deprive RB of revenue, unlike bringing a cam-corder in).


There is so much ballet recorded from tv yet we are effectively barred from any access to it. This is tantamount to censorship if we cannot watch it at a reasonable fee.

Regarding copyright. I think that for anyone to rely on copy right has a moral obligation to allow reasonable access their work at reasonable fees . This is especially so in subsidized art like ballet. The public pay for it through the tax system, there fore there must an element of public domain to it.

I consider it similar to books - I am entitled to read any copyrighted book in the library and the library pays the author royalties based on a pre-determine fee structure. ( I do not think the author can bar a library from distributing his works if he chooses to have it published).


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Steven

31-05-02, 12:01 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #11
 
   > Things are immoral if
>someone is effected adversely by
>my actions. No one
>is adversely effected.

I would be adversely affected if you were sitting beside or in front of me holding an instrument which might in any degree affect my view, or which made even the most minimal sound which would affect my ability to enjoy the music.

End of debate.


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eugdog

31-05-02, 12:15 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #12
 
   Of course if the camera is a distraction to the audience then they should not be used.

But I was astonished at how tiny these cameras were (although I am not so sure about the noise - it was too difficult to test in the showroom)

I suspect that in 10 years time the RB will be selling permits to bring in approved size camcorders into the theatres at reasonable prices! Technological progress is unstoppable!!


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Anneliese

31-05-02, 01:16 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #11
 
   Tell it to the court.

Better still, tell it to Mlle Guillem and see what SHE thinks! I am staggered by your lack of respect for intellectual and artistic property. You ARE taking away something from the choreographer and performer - exclusivity. And God help you if the balanchine/cranko/forsythe people found out too!


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eugdog

31-05-02, 01:42 PM (GMT)
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15. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #14
 
   LAST EDITED ON 31-05-02 AT 02:03 PM (GMT)

I think we should debate whether a work partly funded by public monies is entitled to the same copy right protection as a wholly private venture! Star Wars and Spiderman are wholly funded by investors risking millions of dollers of their OWN money! Choreographers and dancers risk other peoples money

I am not saying that choreographers and dancers no entitlement to access - but in return for public funding there has to be an obligation on their part to allow widespread access.

To allow choreographer/artist to a full commercial profit from their work as if they financed the work themselves is in my view not acceptable.

Also why should dancers/choreographers have more copy right rights then authors - they have to allow their books to available in Libraries! Are library users as irresponsible and selfish as I am!!!


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gd

31-05-02, 02:38 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #15
 
   I simply cannot believe this discussion is taking place, however:

1. LEGAL
The piece being performed is NOT the property of the audience. It is the property of the choreographer/publishing house/composer/set designer AND performer. Therefore, recording rights do NOT belong to any member of the audience. (The counter-argument is not only spurious but reminds me of all those 'obsessives' who believe that they have some 'rights' over performers, hog their time and, in extreme cases, hound them...).
Your point, Eugene, about authors is simply wrong because books are not subject to PERFORMANCE law.

2. SOCIALLY
To photograph/record a performance is gross rudeness to co-audience who have also paid to see the piece in question and wish to concentrate on it and not be distracted by whirring machines or clicking of shutters.

3. 'MORALLY'
Dance, like all performing arts, is a LIVE art form, the delight and tragedy of which is its transience. What is special is being there on that night seeing that performance... If you don't feel this, then why are you at curtain up at 7.30? Just sit in front the TV.


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James

31-05-02, 03:16 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #16
 
   Eugene, please do not confuse legal with criminal. A civil wrong is just as illegal as a criminal offence, and can lead to a claim for damages.

Copying a copyright work is unlawful, and if you want chapter and verse, refer to Sections 16 and 17 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. In relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, copying means reproducing the work in any material form, including storing the work by any electronic means.


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Annelieseagain

31-05-02, 03:55 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #17
 
   And with those last two postings, I think we can consider the matter closed!


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Annelieseagain

31-05-02, 03:58 PM (GMT)
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20. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #18
 
   >And with those last two postings,
>I think we can consider
>the matter closed!


oops, broke my own rule...


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trogadmin

31-05-02, 04:52 PM (GMT)
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22. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #17
 
   >In relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic
>work, copying means reproducing the work in any material form,
>including storing the work by any electronic means.

This opens up a whole minefield. I am going to call upon three specific open air events. Supposing you were to take photos of the BRB while they are performing at Artsfest (a big free event up here in Birmingham in Sept), or to record an orchestra at a Proms In The Park event, or to take photos of the screens at the RB broadcasts to the Piazza. You are in breach of copyright. However the noise of your camera is not going to disturb anyone, since outdoor events are so noisy anyway. Who would police your breach of the law?; I can't really see the Opera House ushers rushing out to the Piazza and doing anything about it.

>I suspect that in 10 years time the RB will be selling permits
>to bring in approved size camcorders into the theatres at
>reasonable prices!

This is quite possibly going to happen. Many art galleries have a no photo policy. However if you approach the enquiries desk and ask about a photographers permit, they will usually let you have such a permit for free or a nominal fee. The gallery guards will tell you off for using a flash (and rightly so too), but with fast film and the appropriate permit on display, they let you proceed, and you can achieve spectacular results. The gallery is diddling themseleves out of postcard sales by doing this. Paintings are, of course, copyright but by photographing them you are reproducing them. In my own case, I do take photies in galleries. My reason for doing so, is that I am interested in sculpture and most galleries have a very poor selection of postcards for sale of the sculptures they hold. I do get the appropriate permits though.

>I remember the Balanchine Trust asking for anyone who may have
>made such videos of ballets that never got a recording that
>they could have, no questions asked.

Indeed many organisations have recovered aged material from once illegal sources, the BBC being one example. Many Doctor Who, Hancock, etc episodes are missing and the BBC are deparate to get the records back in any format.

>I would be adversely affected if you were sitting beside or in
>front of me holding an instrument which might in any degree
>affect my view, or which made even the most minimal sound which
>would affect my ability to enjoy the music.

Absolutely! So we must immediately ban noisy sweets, coughing, sneezing, talking, snoring(!) in all performances and police the matter most vigorously. If the ushers were to chuck out the coughers and talkers, imagine how much more peaceful a performance would be. Can't see it happening though. My big gripe is the mobile phone. So often they go off in the middle of a performance. None of the ballet.co-ers would dare leave their phone switched on during a performance, however many thoughtless prats do. The really annoying thing is that the technology exists to prevent this; transmitters are available that emit dampening fields, which render a mobile phone inoperative, by nulling the signal that comes from the cell antenna. Why don't the theatre managers install them? They are outlawed in most countries of the world.

One view held, is that once a piece has been performed, then that performance is in the public domain. Some say that once a performance has been recorded, it is in the public domain. Let us now count the hands of those people that have never taped a record or a cd from a friend. Hmmmm. Can't see too many.

My own personal point of view is that so long as what you do doesn't interfer with anyone, then do it.



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Annelieseagain

31-05-02, 03:57 PM (GMT)
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19. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #15
 
   These arguments are very similar to those used by vigilantes - or indeed those people who broke into BAe and trashed a couple of aircraft (the sad thing is that the latter group got away with it, and I still have no idea how their argument has any legal validity!)


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eugdog

31-05-02, 04:44 PM (GMT)
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21. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #19
 
   LAST EDITED ON 31-05-02 AT 04:59 PM (GMT)


I must emphise that I WANT to pay to film the ballet it but I cannot. Also the lack of access is more due ballet being commercial unviable for distribution then objections from performers.

Regarding the law - we have all broken it when no one else is effected! I parked in "mother and toddler" unit at Sainsbury at 3 AM. I liken this breach of the law to filming a ballet for private use (assuming the camera does not interfere with other audience enjoyment - this remains to be seen!)

In 10 years time motion cameras will be silent and as small as binoculurs and in widespread use. So any law to restrict filming will be useless. Maybe we should anticpate this inevitabilty and change the law now - ie sell permits to film ballet with proceed given to the dancers/performers!

Just as a matter of interest - our nightclubs can play ANY copyrighted music it wants. We pay an annual fee to two seperate agencies (one for performers, the other for songwriters)
based on size of venue and hours of opening. Obviously it is not practical to negotiate with every song writer/artists. The money is distributed to artists based on radio play!


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Tim Powell

31-05-02, 07:28 PM (GMT)
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23. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #21
 
   Some of the argument on this thread is pretty tedious and pointless because the legal position is quite clear. From my viewpoint when I am watching ballet I really do not want people rustling sweet papers, chattering or humming along with the music nor do I want people next to or in front of me using a video camera however small. It is disruptive and downright ill mannered.


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Ted

01-06-02, 04:20 AM (GMT)
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24. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #21
 
   So "You want to pay to film the ballet but you cannot" - and this is your ground and/or defence for breaking the law. Have you ever approached the theatre and asked about the same? Did you ever think that you have to seek the consent of the theatre, the artists for doing so? Rest be assured that they will all entertain you provided you pay each and everyone of them the right sum of money. Don't forget that in most live performances, unless otherwise stated, the artists are contracted to 'give' a performance and not to have the performance 'recorded' as well. You claim that your recording would deprive nobody financially. I am afraid that you are utterly wrong for the reasons aforesaid. You are depriving the theatre and all the artists financially as they would have received additional money for a recorded performance. In addition to your ignorance, you are nothing but an inconsiderate thief. The future perfected versions of the camcorder has nothing to do with pirate recording of a live performance.


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eugdog

01-06-02, 08:10 PM (GMT)
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25. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #24
 
   Dear oh dear! Now it is really personable.

Ted, you are making the assumption that the RB could sell each performance. They cannot as there is no viable commercial demand for each performance. For an individual like my self, if I wanted to buy the rights for private use I would have to negotiate with half a dozen different lawyers representing the dancers, choreographers and designers - all of them can try to hold out for me. It would cost me thousands.

We need to rethink our copy right laws in this age of wide-spread distribution. How are we going to police any copy right when camcorders become really really tiny! It is time to change the law!

May I suggest a little less sanctimonious attitude

Have you ever taped a film of the TV and given it to friend! Have you ever speeded, parked illegally? We all do it.

Surely someone asking me to record a ballet of the TV is far more serious a breach of copyright!!! The TV channel or satellite provider is being deprived of revenue. This is more so in the case where video is available in the shops. ie I refer to the request for Martha Graham 6 Dances.

I hope that those who objected loudly have never asked for a copy of a ballet video. To do so would be GROSS hyprocrisy.


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Viviane

01-06-02, 09:08 PM (GMT)
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26. "RE: taking a digital cam-corder to the ballet"
In response to message #25
 
   Eugene, don't get upset !
I suggest you go more often to Paris. I have seen people busy overthere with recording the performance on several occasions !
Although -apart from the copyright- I would never do it myself : my attention would be far too diverted from the ballet and I'm sure I would be no longer able to enjoy the performance at the very moment...and no trembling recording -high from the amphi or hiding on another place- can compensate that !


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