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Old February 7th, 2010, 04:59 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
To my original question, does not pursuing infringement on the worlds largest video search engine affect their ability to prosecute infringement in the future?
It's amazing that they don't chase this up. Getty Images have been making a very profitable career of sending lawyers letters to website owners claiming that some of their images are infringing & demanding thousands of dollars in royalties & damages. As far as I know only one or two alleged infringers has actually been deemed in breech by a court but many thousands have paid up when they receive one of Getty's blackmail letters.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 05:08 AM   #17
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I'd like to use a classic radio analogy:

Anti-piracy types (the same ones that use crappy contracts and Hollywood Accounting to deny as much payment to the real artists as possible, leaving more for themselves) rave on about closing off the great "analogue hole" that still exists on computers and other home entertainment systems.

Yet they would give their right nut to have their songs achieve airplay on the radio, which is another analogue hole. Apart from a small share of a radio royalty pool, they don't get payment for the public being able to hear their recording for free. So what's in it for them that they are so desperate for? Publicity and top-of-mind awareness.

It doesn't matter how good you are. If nobody knows that your album exists, how do they know to go out and buy it?

Same goes for low quality YouTube copies of your play. The benefit is that others can watch it and think (a) our school can do a better job at this play; and (b) that's actually an interesting play .... and then go on to book a theatrical license. For a theatrical script that isn't A-grade Lloyd Webber fame level, a bit of YouTube exposure can help overcome the clutter.

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Old February 7th, 2010, 05:53 AM   #18
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Please explain how it would beneficial to them to license proper video rights? How does the IP holder generate revenue from allowing the posting on YouTube of a video made of the performance of a play he's licensed? Remember, if it doesn't either generate direct revenue through royalties or increase his sales of licenses, it has no value to him. All he sees is someone else generating a benefit to themselves off of his property without giving him a cut of the action. So how could posting the play on YouTube put signifigant dollars in his pocket?
Adam's point was wrt the discussion about R&H theatricals no longer offering add-on licenses to their amateur performance licenses that authorize cast and crew videos. These typically cost another 20% of the performance license. It costs them little to administrate these and it benefits them with additional revenue.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 07:19 AM   #19
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Adam's point was wrt the discussion about R&H theatricals no longer offering add-on licenses to their amateur performance licenses that authorize cast and crew videos. These typically cost another 20% of the performance license. It costs them little to administrate these and it benefits them with additional revenue.
If they don't license the cast & crew video the danger is that it will get made anyway & they will lose out on that 20% extra that could have been theirs.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 02:11 PM   #20
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Steve -
I think the other replies hit the nail on the head, but to recap/expand -

The IP holder would benefit from up front licensing fees they wouldn't otherwise get (for acknowledging what's already likely happening, and allowing videotaping).

The IP holder would benefit from the "goodwill" (intangible, but valuable, and there is an accounting entry for it!) generated by providing a mechanism/option for people to "memorialize" the performance of themselves or an important member of their family/circle of friends.

The IP holder benefits (i.e. Chris Brown and the wedding march video of 2009) by having EXPOSURE (free advertising - advertising costs $$, and again is an accounting entry) of their "product" in front of more people, some of whom will decide they want their own "copy", or as mentioned, they would like to perform a given play with THEIR group.

The IP holder benefits from not "criminalizing" their own client for simply using the technology available to them. I realize this is the wealest "argument", and infringing is infringing, but I doubt very much that any given performance of a given "work" will have such widespread appeal as to dilute the "brand" - collectively, you can argue that a property can be diluted by overexposure, but popularity= more potential buyers/licensers and in the end THAT is what EVERY IP holder desperately needs/wants (with rare Salinger type exceptions).

The real "goal" should be to create a revenue path that allows the IP holder to profit and benefit from (as well as exercise reasonable control over) their property, yet allows fair and reasonable "use" (given the state of technology) and enjoyment of that property - it is of course a balance, yet it is one that is worthy of being attained, as that will in the end benefit BOTH the IP holder AND the "consumer"/licensee.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #21
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Does anyone have an idea what the cost range is for schools to get a performance license for a play? I would be interested in knowing about the lower end of the market - not the hot properties.

I have shot some elementary school plays and had pretty good DVD sales, but I'm lucky that these are all original plays written by the director's father. He has written five of them that they cycle through. This year there is a cast of 55 in the play!

One year they did a musical and the music was composed for the play by the author and a local musician - and the songs were surprisingly good. (btw, I don't shoot school plays that are not originals.)

Maybe I should team up with the author and try to get his plays into other schools and expand my market...
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Old February 7th, 2010, 09:53 PM   #22
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Please explain how it would beneficial to them to license proper video rights? How does the IP holder generate revenue from allowing the posting on YouTube of a video made of the performance of a play he's licensed?
Others have clarified this but I should reiterate that I never said posting on YouTube, or anywhere on the Internet, for that matter, was beneficial to the IP owner, nor that this had anything to do with proper video rights. But pretty clearly the attitude of "No video, ever," shuts off a potential revenue stream that could come from additional fees that would permit a cast/crew/families video license, for all the reasons that others have mentioned above.

As you know from my prior posts, I'm not one of those who thinks everything ought to be free just because I don't feel like paying for it, or that it's okay to ignore a law just because it's stupid. But we're clearly seeing more publishers waking up to the potential of allowing more leeway with moderate extra payment, and those who drag their feet in this regard risk being left behind.

The license fees for some of these shows and for some smaller schools are laughably low -- on the order of $200 per show, with maybe an extra $50 or $100 for the limited video rights in some cases. But that could mean 50% extra revenue from every school.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:15 PM   #23
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Adam, I agree. The issue of YouTube is separate and a distraction.

I would think that Cast/Crew licenses generate tangible benefit in additional upfront revenues from each school. That they also generate customer satisfaction and loyalty which stimulates return business. And that the converse is also true: Lack of the license reduces near term revenue, lowers customer loyalty, inhibits return business and creates more unauthorized copies potentially uploaded to YouTube.

Last edited by Les Wilson; February 7th, 2010 at 10:56 PM. Reason: clarify that an opinion is being expressed
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Old February 8th, 2010, 05:56 AM   #24
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Steve -
I think the other replies hit the nail on the head, but to recap/expand -

The IP holder would benefit from up front licensing fees they wouldn't otherwise get (for acknowledging what's already likely happening, and allowing videotaping).

The IP holder would benefit from the "goodwill" (intangible, but valuable, and there is an accounting entry for it!) generated by providing a mechanism/option for people to "memorialize" the performance of themselves or an important member of their family/circle of friends.

The IP holder benefits (i.e. Chris Brown and the wedding march video of 2009) by having EXPOSURE (free advertising - advertising costs $$, and again is an accounting entry) of their "product" in front of more people, some of whom will decide they want their own "copy", or as mentioned, they would like to perform a given play with THEIR group.

The IP holder benefits from not "criminalizing" their own client for simply using the technology available to them. I realize this is the wealest "argument", and infringing is infringing, but I doubt very much that any given performance of a given "work" will have such widespread appeal as to dilute the "brand" - collectively, you can argue that a property can be diluted by overexposure, but popularity= more potential buyers/licensers and in the end THAT is what EVERY IP holder desperately needs/wants (with rare Salinger type exceptions).

The real "goal" should be to create a revenue path that allows the IP holder to profit and benefit from (as well as exercise reasonable control over) their property, yet allows fair and reasonable "use" (given the state of technology) and enjoyment of that property - it is of course a balance, yet it is one that is worthy of being attained, as that will in the end benefit BOTH the IP holder AND the "consumer"/licensee.
Cast and crew videos, especially in schools where they are generally non-professionals, I can see because it would simply allow the particpants in an amateur event they've done for pleasure (and perhaps school credit) a souvenier to memorialize their particpation. But I think it's a major leap to go from there to allow posting and display of the resulting video in the public areana in venues such as YouTube. Paid licensing for public performance is what the business is all about and is really the only reason it exists, not fame, not exposure, not cheers and "attaboys" but nickels in the pocket. No dollars coming in, no reason for the IP to exist in the first place. Posting on YouTube is a public performance very similar to commercial broadcasting, the only real difference is in the ease of entry, lack of content vetting, and easy access to "airtime" on the part of the content makers. I don't see any problem at all with owners of IP wanting to prevent their property from being used for such a purpose without their deriving revenue from it.

The "exposure" and "free advertising" agruments are completey bogus. In the case of music, the pieces that present the copyright problems on YouTube are by name artists who have all the exposure they need already. I sincerely doubt Gwen Stefani or Lady GaGa need any advertising or will gain any sales from having their latest song appear in a YouTube video. Likewise, a video of a school performance of "Little Shop of Horrors" on YouTube isn't likely to generate any additional license sales for the play's publisher. And in any case, it's solely the IP owner's
perogative whether they want their property exposed and advertised and in what venues - a licensee simply does not have the right to make that decision for them. The bottom line is one of private property rights.
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Old February 8th, 2010, 07:10 AM   #25
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Cast and crew videos, especially in schools where they are generally non-professionals, I can see because it would simply allow the particpants in an amateur event they've done for pleasure (and perhaps school credit) a souvenier to memorialize their particpation. ... I don't see any problem at all with owners of IP wanting to prevent their property from being used for such a purpose without their deriving revenue from it. .... And in any case, it's solely the IP owner's perogative whether they want their property exposed and advertised and in what venues - a licensee simply does not have the right to make that decision for them. The bottom line is one of private property rights.
Right. That's understood but always worth reiterating. As for the topic:

Why do you suppose they allow the years of postings on YouTube?

By not acting on YouTube postings, do you infer they therefore want the exposure on YouTube?

Is there a point where letting people "expose their IP" affects their ability litigate?
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Old February 8th, 2010, 07:30 AM   #26
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A video of a school production that gets posted to YouTube is hardly likely to be watched by anyone other than those directly involved or their relatives. It's not like people will prefer to watch a free amateur version of 'Little Shop Of Horrors' on YouTube rather than buy the DVD. The copyright holders are missing the opportunity to generate revenue by licensing YouTube uploads.
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Old February 8th, 2010, 11:30 AM   #27
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A video of a school production that gets posted to YouTube is hardly likely to be watched by anyone other than those directly involved or their relatives. It's not like people will prefer to watch a free amateur version of 'Little Shop Of Horrors' on YouTube rather than buy the DVD. The copyright holders are missing the opportunity to generate revenue by licensing YouTube uploads.
I'm sure they'd be happy to license it ... for the same price they'd license a performance on NBC. You can always ask.
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Old February 8th, 2010, 04:11 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
Right. That's understood but always worth reiterating. As for the topic:

Why do you suppose they allow the years of postings on YouTube?

By not acting on YouTube postings, do you infer they therefore want the exposure on YouTube?

Is there a point where letting people "expose their IP" affects their ability litigate?
Les -

1. I think using the terms "allow" and "let" mischaracterize the situation - it's analogous to a thief saying you "let" him use your car because you didn't report it stolen right away... it's a matter of discovery, notice, and enforcement.

2. Doubtful. More likely they "tolerate" the "problem". I believe YouTube will pull down any offending videos if notice is given - but just think of the volume involved. People don't think about the fact that the video they post so Aunt Lou can see Junior in his play will be "exposed" to everyone with an internet connection...

3. In theory... while it would be an affirmative defense that the IP holder failed to protect and defend their "property", I don't think it's much better than the argument in #1... if the IP holder could show they didn't discover the infringement and acted quickly when they did, it would probably negate the defense. Remember that the "ability" to litigate is dictated by the depth of the pockets, and a creative attorney can find a way to file suit over just about anything (or nothing at all).

More likely the reason they aren't doing anything is proving damages, and the potential PR backlash from suing "customers", but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 02:18 AM   #29
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I'm sure they'd be happy to license it ... for the same price they'd license a performance on NBC. You can always ask.
Don't they tend to price licenses on what they can get away with or whatever the market will bear which is all dependent on the size of the market? Thus the rights for broadcast of a show in e.g. Sweden will be less than the same show in the UK. The potential market for the cast & crew video of the school production may be in theory everyone in the world with an Internet connection but in practise will be their friends & family. YouTube already has a mechanism in place to count the number of times the video is played so it could be licensed on a PPV basis.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 07:04 AM   #30
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...More likely they "tolerate" the "problem". .... More likely the reason they aren't doing anything is proving damages, and the potential PR backlash from suing "customers", but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
Useful explanation. Thanks.
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