Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Using Copyrighted Music in the Dance Festival

Using Copyrighted Music in the Dance Festival 120605

A DANCE QUEENS member asked me about the use of copyrighted music in the upcoming DANCE QUEENS Dance Festival V. This caused me to do a little investigating about the use of music in SL and elsewhere.

The first place I looked is on the Second Life wiki, for example, the section on Live Performances. Included in this are dance shows. Under the section titled A few important things to remember is the statement: "Legal Issues: If you choose to stream your own music into SL directly or using a streaming relay host, the content and any copyright/royalty fees and any other possible issues are your responsibility."

Wow, LL does everything possible so you can stream music into SL, then passes the legal responsibilities to you. Hahahaah ... tricky. So, using copyrighted music in a dance show is your responsibility.

As you know I am a bit of a fanatic on the copying of dances within SL and vigorously pursue those who cheat. So, I decided to go a bit further on the music issue.

I took a look at the copyright information on youtube. I figured that youtube already has dealt with this issue in a more direct way than LL. I know this because some of the videos we have made of dance performances were not allowed to be shown on youtube. It didn't take long before I found the section on copyrights. This is a relatively short summary of the laws in the U.S. Since about half of the DANCE QUEENS members are in the U.S. I think it is useful to look at the laws there.

WOW, here I am thinking about legal issues when all I want to do is dance.

Anyway, the copyright info had a bunch of "may" words in it. This led me to another page on fair use of copyrighted materials. There is a long but helpful video here about fair use.

In the U.S., the following four factors are weighed by courts to determine whether a particular case is fair use:
  • the purpose and character of the use, (including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes)
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work
My conclusion is that each person has to decide for herself/himself about the use of music for a dance show. I will do all I can to make my own shows use original music or copyright free music. If I use copyrighted music, I will do it for a non-commercial dance show. For me that means no tips accepted or money given to me to perform. Hopefully, this will fall within the fair use allowance. Hahaha, maybe I am fortunate that almost no one looks at the videos of my dance shows.

For future Dance Festivals and Shows I will not provide an honorarium or allow tips. Since Dance Festival V already is set to allow tipping and includes a small honorarium (250 L), that will stand.

One question remains for me, which is my vigor in pursuing dance copiers and my acquiescence in allowing copyrighted music to continue. One of the comments on an illegal dance post was "... What make you a Police officer ..."

I feel comfortable in this distinction. Although I am not the decision-maker for the copyright infringement of dances or music, I can see very clearly that damage is done to me and DANCE QUEENS members when copied dances are purchased. I cannot clearly see the damage when music is used in a dance show. To me it may even enhance the value of the music.

One of the things I plan to do is to talk to some of the live performers in SL. I love tango and have previously talked with my friend, Joaquin Gustav, about making dance videos of his original music in SL.

So, enough of this.

"Shall we dance?"


1 comment:

  1. I personally have bought a lot of music as a result of hearing it played on SL. So in my case, SL music playing has been free advertisement for music companies. I've also bought a lot extra in case someone wanted me to stream it for when I get off my lazy butt and DJ.