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 Post subject: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2002 5:50 am 
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This article from the Los Angeles Times is really worthwhile reading - all the way to the end.....<P><B>PERSPECTIVE<BR>Psst--Wanna See a Ballet Video?<BR>With legal tapes of many great productions unavailable, fans swap bootlegs. But the real crime is not preserving the works for posterity.</B><P>By LEWIS SEGAL<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Sometimes, a single unguarded moment can propel you headlong into a life of crime. <BR> Mine came at the 1992 Royal Danish Ballet festival in Copenhagen. At intermission, I met a young critic for one of the city's newspapers--dangerously handsome, wickedly sophisticated, devilishly charming--and as we said goodnight in the shadow of one of the statues flanking the entrance to the King's Theatre, he uttered the three little words that sealed my fate: "I have videotapes." <BR> Specifically, he had Bournonville videotapes: off-the-air telecasts, never shown in America, of ballets choreographed by August Bournonville in the mid-19th century and passed down in performances by the Royal Danes. These masterworks and rarities had been telecast year after year in Denmark, performed by dancers schooled to unmatched expertise in the unique Bournonville classical style. As my balletic tempter repeated their exotic titles--"Kermesse in Bruges," "Kings Guards on Amager," "A Folk Tale" (in two different productions!)--I suddenly knew I would stop at nothing to possess them.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,1419,L-LATimes-Search-X!ArticleDetail-51295,00.html?search_area=Blended&channel=Search&search_text=Segal%2C+Lewis" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A> <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2002 8:15 am 
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Wow, what a great article! I'm running into similar problems with early dance on camera films..(by this I mean dance films that are not documentary but specifically dance on camera art projects). Unforunately many of the dance films viewed at the dance on camera festival are not available for distribution, and while that may be easier to understand if they are new, try viewing a wonderful video in dance history class or video dance class and find that any copy (other than a bootleg) is entirely unavailable. This happened last week when I watched <I>La Chambre</I> and found that the film, completed in the 1980s, is unavailable for distribution...my only hope is to beg and plead with my professor for a bootleg copy..but of course she is worried about the legalities... so most likely I won't end up with a copy and in turn, no one else will get to see this great work. This issue is a tricky one but it saddens me that so many people are missing out on such wonderful material..and all the while the original is just sitting, collecting dust.


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2002 9:01 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
At one time, when I was writing my will, I was considering what to do with my dance tape collection. I thought I might want to donate it to a university library. However, I was told by several knowledgeable sources at the college, that the library could not keep my tape collection for more than six months. After that it would have to be destroyed.<P>The rationale I was given was thus....that since they didn't REALLY know where I had gotten my collection (some of it taped off of tv and some of it bought), they couldn't take the chance of having in their library tapes that might have been bootlegged (even though I have never gotten mine that way, ever) and therefore would have to destroy any tapes I gave them after six months.<P>I don't know if laws have been changed since, but I certainly no longer contemplated donating my tape collection to a university library. I will just let my son worry about it, I guess. Image


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2002 11:34 am 
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As I recall, any tape you make off the TV is for personal use only. You cannot sell it or give it away -- donating it turns it into a bootleg copy.<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited February 11, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2002 12:38 pm 
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Well, Azlan, you are exactly right. I just checked with the librarian at the Central Library in charge of patents and copyrights and he said, as you have, that if it was taped off the tv, then donating it is a no-no.<P>Which is a real shame, since some of the rarest tapes are the ones that were off the tv and have never been for sale.<P>...I forgot to add - the librarian also said that if the tape was bought, then it can be donated since the copyright is portable. Just like donating books to the library.<P>However, since the libary can't really be sure what was purchased and what was taped off the tv - that's where the problem lies about donating tapes.<P> <P><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited February 11, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 7:45 am 
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Erm, wouldn't purchased tapes (from an official source like Amazon or Dance Horizon) be encased in a printed cover with credits etc. on it?


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 7:56 am 
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I really wish more companies would distribute their works on video and sell them without public performance rights (for personal use only). I don't know if they don't do it because of the expense or if they just don't want their work distributed that way (the arguement that video doesn't show a work at its best) or that they think video will preclude people from actually going to the theatre if they can watch it at home. Anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 8:27 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Malcolm is right. Most libraries will take commercial videotapes that come in the original packaging just as they will take books with the original covers. They will also take software that come in the original disks. They will not take anything that is home-made, for e.g. a videotape with handwritten labels.


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 11:16 am 
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So, meanwhile, someone like me, with some very rare videotapes that were taped off the tv, cannot donate......and these works of art will be destroyed.<P>I'll think of something.....


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 9:51 pm 
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Keep in mind also that some productions are meant to be lost on video. While it is true that cost represents a huge reason why many performances are not videotaped for commercial purposes (low quality videotaping for in-house use is done all the time but are not good enough for distribution), those that are may be restricted. The Balanchine Trust for example can be very adamant that certain ballets not be videotaped or distributed. So, if someone hands you a tape of "Serenade" for example, they've run afoul of the Balanchine Estate and copyright laws.


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2002 1:29 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><small>I really wish more companies would distribute their works on video and sell them without public performance rights (for personal use only). I don't know if they don't do it because of the expense or if they just don't want their work distributed that way (the arguement that video doesn't show a work at its best) or that they think video will preclude people from actually going to the theatre if they can watch it at home. Anyone?</small><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Heh, I'm with you, Marie. When I'm watching a dance on tape/TV, I don't think I am ever expecting a direct replica of a "live" stage performance - what I'm interested in is getting a sense of the work in question, its choreography, music etc. Particularly with the classics that you've read about so many times in dance history books, but never got the chance to see. For me, this is especially the case with works by Graham and Humphrey. I've watched filmed versions of Graham's "Appalachian Spring" and Humphrey's "With My Red Fires", but if they were to be performed "live" at a theatre near me, that's certainly not going to stop me from watching these dances again. Image<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2002 8:45 am 
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And let us not forget that live performances are not accessible to many due to distance from urban center, age, disability, finances, etc. For me, video is really the only opportunity I ever have to see full length dance performances. SF Ballet had no videos publicly available and many ballets I'd love to see are not on (publicly sold) video.


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2002 11:09 am 
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I believe Helgi Tomasson said that cost is the biggest reason why SFB has not produced tapes for commercial distribution.


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2002 11:30 am 
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Location: New England
Like everyone else, we make simple video tapes in-house.<P>It's a chore, just arranging and preserving what we have, let alone distributing it. Some irreplacable records of past choreography are sitting, NOT backed up, in our AD's office. Organization is horrible. I'd hate to see our studio building burn down.<P>This past year, I bought a DV camera. That means we're now making video tapes all the time, which only compounds the problem. <P>On the bright side, DV is MUCH higher quality than the old consumer-grade VHS cameras. Commercial movies are made all the time now with DV cameras ("Dancer in the Dark", "Blair Witch Project", etc). Still, the cinematography is lacking when you just set the camera at a wide angle on the stage and let 'er rip.<P>We have a Macintosh G4. I'd like to see this stuff burned onto DVD or something. But our Mac hardware isn't quite up to the task yet, and I never have enough time to seriously work on a video archiving project anyway. Unfortunately, many of the people with the necessary knowledge have now left the company, and our AD is busy as ever.<P>I'll settle with just copying the video tapes we need at the start of each season. That way I won't have to cringe as I watch people use ORIGINAL videos in the studio...<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Dance On Tape - Illegal? But Who's the Criminal?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2002 12:17 pm 
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Two letters responding to the above article in the Los Angeles Times:<P><B><BR>LETTERS TO THE EDITOR<BR>Dancing in the Dark</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Lewis Segal's Perspective on trading "bootleg" ballet videos brings up crucial questions about copyright law ("Psst--Wanna See a Ballet Video?," Feb. 10), the most important being making art available to the most people while not violating the copyright owners' ability to profit from their work.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,1419,L-LATimes-Search-X!ArticleDetail-51602,00.html?search_area=Articles&channel=Search" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A>


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