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Filming a school play, with no profit

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Graham Quince
Filming a school play, with no profit
on Nov 18, 2006 at 7:05:41 pm

Hi guys

Apologies if this has come up before, I tried searching.

The school I work for are mounting a school production of Little Shop of Horrors and the drama teacher said something wrist-slashingly sad yesterday. She has no record of any of her own school productions, because no one filmed them for fear of copyright infringement.

Now obviously, it would be quite wrong to try to make money from something like this where the music sheets and scripts have all be obtained correctly, but it seems a shame that the cast can't get to see themselves perform.

If I film the production's dress rehearsal and give out copies to the cast am I breaking the law? Ultimately, it would be for review not public release, am I covered by the addition of a title card saying as much?

(As regards filming kids, all clearences are already sorted)

Graham

http://www.quinceweb.com - web design
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http://www.shiveringcactus.bravehost.com - Free FX for amateur films


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tony salgado
Re: Filming a school play, with no profit
on Nov 19, 2006 at 1:18:34 am



Yes sadly it is true that you need to secure the proper rights to videotape a copyrighted play or performance.

However who is going to go after you if you are small potatoes in a french fry town. Stay below the radar and fly low.


Tony Salgado


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Mark Suszko
Re: Filming a school play, with no profit
on Nov 20, 2006 at 2:07:29 am

What some theater folks I know of have done is, they'll tape one performance, usually the full dress rehearsal, (without paid attendance), so the cast and crew can watch and evaluate themselves in the show, but they DON'T make any copies and either lock up the original tape or erase it. If somebody from the cast wants to see it, the cast has a party at some member's home and watches it at the party. But the director of the play keeps the one tape.

I still think this is not proof against a sue-happy adversary, but seems a reasonable compromise considering everything else. I used to shoot these for free, just for such "evaluation" purposes, as a friend of the cast.

I wish the laws made more sense and didn't require this craziness. If you don't like it, you need to send a letter or email to your senator and representative saying you want more reasonable and practical laws regarding such situations. If you don't speak out, he only voice your congressmen will ever hear is the RIAA and Disney, asking to extend the lock on Mickey another 100 years and to heck with the little guy taping weddings, school recitals and plays.



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Bob Cole
Re: Filming a school play, with no profit
on Nov 20, 2006 at 3:25:35 pm

[Mark Suszko] "If you don't speak out, he only voice your congressmen will ever hear is the RIAA and Disney, asking to extend the lock on Mickey another 100 years and to heck with the little guy taping weddings, school recitals and plays."

I'm afraid you're right.

It's actually a fascinating situation. People are ripping off brand-new features and selling them on the street to considerable profit, and nothing seems to happen to them. But filming a school play makes you a criminal and the potential object of lawsuits.

Right now, the public is accepting the tyranny and inconsistency of intellectual property laws. Maybe Congress won't do anything until and unless Disney starts bankrupting the Uncle Charlies who tape the school plays, and the public wakes up.


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Graham Quince
Re: Filming a school play, with no profit
on Nov 20, 2006 at 5:50:02 pm

Thanks for the advice guys, I think an after-show-party screening of the dress rehearsal is the way forward.

As for writing to my MP, (UK based) I might give that a go too.

Graham

http://www.quinceweb.com - web design
--------
http://www.shiveringcactus.bravehost.com - Free FX for amateur films


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GavinB
Re: Filming a school play, with no profit
on Dec 4, 2006 at 12:45:54 am

Check with your UK copyright control organisation. In Australia we have APRA, who provides a license for "domestic" events:
http://www.apra.com.au/music-users/making_records/weddings_and_other_domest...


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