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   Author  Topic: School concert video  (Read 814 times)
LJ
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School concert video
« on: Mar 25th, 2004, 11:03am »
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My children sing in a couple of youth choirs through school and church.  During choir performances, parents often make videos for home archives or to send to grandparents. The performances typically include copyrighted works, with some public domain pieces, too. Would the videotaping violate copyright laws? I imagine the school/church could assert its own copyright in the performance and ban videos, but most places in my experience at least tolerate the practice.
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Isaac
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Re: School concert video
« Reply #1 on: Mar 25th, 2004, 12:49pm »
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Most likely the school does not own any copyright in the performance unless they are taping at the same time.  In order to have a copyright you have to have expression fixed in a tangible medium of expression.  A live performance is not fixed in a medium and thus is not protectable under federal law.  Maybe your state law provides a common law copyright in the performance.
 
That doesn't get the parents off home free.  The could possible be violating the copyright of the underlying works that the videotape.
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Isaac
LJ
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Re: School concert video
« Reply #2 on: Mar 25th, 2004, 4:23pm »
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You've hit on my main question: regardless of whether the school has a copyright in the performance, does parent videotaping violate the copyright of the underlying works?
 
I haven't found an authoritative source that gives a clear answer on this.  Some schools/churches simply ban videotaping; I've found a couple places that expressly permit taping done in a non-disruptive manner, but most places are merely silent.  Even the very detailed copyright guidelines that school districts produce don't address recording performances except where the recording will be broadcast later.
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M. Arthur Auslander
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Re: School concert video
« Reply #3 on: Mar 26th, 2004, 5:36am »
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Dear LJ,
 
The school and church may have rights with regard to the performance but their is no "copyright" to the school. What is more whether or not the school has rights, there may be copyrights on the works that are in the video. If there is no public display of the video it is not likely that any copyright owner would be alerted to take action.
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M. Arthur Auslander
Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law
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