Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Events and Recording Performing Artists In Public

You do have rights and one of them is to use your video camera in public. You have the responsibility to know what you can and can't do. There was a discussion in the Videobloggers group, the topic comes up from time to time.

It is always good to review your options, especial now that there are going to be a lot of summer events that folks are going to want to record.

J.D. Lassica of wrote a piece about recording in public called Guide to Shooting Photos in Public that relates to recording for web video as well.

J.D. also has another post about recording performing artists in public. I encounter performers who are solo artists or folks that have been hired by a city or an organization to perform in public. The post seems to imply that you should ask permission of the artist.

And yes, it would be a good idea except that I have been in situations where I can't get near the artists due to the crowd or a physical barrier. Or I am attending a public event paid for by tax dollars AND there is no sign or notice that I cannot record.

In these situations I try to be respectful:

  • I make an effort to find out who the performer is and if they have a web site.
  • My primary blog is non-commercial, meaning I have no earnings, ads or money generation derived from my blog. This is not an instant get out of trouble card; I just means that I can demonstrate that I wanted to share and not benefit financially from the artist's performance.
  • If I can identify the performer I absolutely will have the artist name and web site or blog in the video and mentioned on the blog post as well.
  • If contacted and the performer asks to remove I will give it serious consideration. I think that might have happened once where I have removed a video. Again, if this is a public performance occurring in public space I do have the right to record. However your local laws may be different. It is important to check that out.
  • Do I have to say this? In a private theater or concert situation you are no longer in public space. Unless ask or you obtain permission you cannot record a performance. Cell phone video recorded in a theater is crappy and it is unfair to the performer. Put away the phone and savor the moment.
This weekend in Los Angeles is overflowing with events, the Hollywood Fringe Festival, Pasadena Chalk, the Pasadena Music Festival and the Wagner Ring Cycle events. So much to see and only 24 hours, I'm already apologizing to me feet.

Now is the time to clean the lens, get the battery charged and be respectful out the real world with your camcorder.

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