Kate Bush on Copyright Infringement

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With the inclusion of cameras into 90% of all phones, everyone has a camera in their pocket. Kate Bush’s has just performed her first concert in 35 years, marking the start of her 22 venue tour. Just before she started, she made an announcement via her website, stating that “it would mean a great deal if people would refrain from taking photos or films during the show.”

Her reason that she gave for this is that she wanted contact with the audience not with people on their iPhones and cameras. The issue goes deeper than this. Due to the fact that most people have a camera in their pocket in one form or another allowing them to take pictures and films, then uploading to the internet, it becomes difficult for stakeholders to control it.

Copyright in such live shows exists in the music, the choreography, sound recordings and visual effects. The effect of taking photographs and films at these events will therefore be copyright infringement as a derivative of the original copyrighted works. By then sharing the images and videos on social networks, it is likely to constitute infringement as a communications of the works to the public by electronic transmission.

An exception to this may be for private use only, but this would only apply if you only take the photograph and not upload it to social media sites. An alternative defence to this would be that it is for the purpose of review, reporting of current events, or as of 1 October the new fair dealing quotation exception.

The controlling of such events is very difficult, to confiscate people’s cameras for an event of this size would be impractical due to the amount of items needed to be stored and then found at the end of the concert. Shareholders asking to remove the copyrighted works will also be very difficult, it would involve thousands of hours for a team of people to find peoples uploads and then go through the process of asking for them to be removed.

In 2011 Apple reportedly had patented infrared technology that would be used at live events that would disable the camera for all iPhone users, thus preventing copyright infringement. This system was never implemented, however in the future this may be the norm for all concert goers.Â

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