Bootlegs in the 21st century

Here [was] a great post from aTypical Joe [link gone now — what can I do?] about how bootleg concert recordings — unauthorized, that is — have moved into the video realm via YouTube, and why performers can’t stand it. He quotes a blogger who describes himself as “a VC in New York” (ick) who says:

[M]y friend in the music business said to me “artists will never allow recordings of their live shows to be released without their permission and they aren’t going to allow much of it to get out with their permission because they won’t like the way they looked or the way the sounded that night”.

Joe’s article goes into this a little more. The VC guy insists that performers are losing control over this, but I doubt it. In a world in which concert tickets are unaffordable for anyone without lots of disposable income, performers have a lot of leverage in terms of what people might yet be prepared to put up with in terms of body searches when coming to a concert. There are also other possible fixes, such as increased security — you can’t really hid yourself taking a concert video, can you? For two hours? — and probably technological solutions, too.

On this one I agree 100% with the performers. They have a legal and moral right to control the dissemination of their work. Be prepared for more lawsuits against video sites, too, including YouTube — which will eventually test the limits of leniencies in the copyright law (the “notice and takedown” safe harbor) which, in my opinion, are not meant to apply to blogs.

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Ron Coleman

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