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Live performance video query

Posted: Thu May 17, 2007 3:47 pm
by paul
I have come across a situation and i was wondering if anyone could answer a few questions about it.

If a band's live performance is video'd without permission, who owns the copyright to the video? Would it be the band as it is their performance and songs that have been recorded? Or would it be the person who has shot the video?

If the video was then published on the web by the person who shot it would that be a breach of the bands copyright? If the band used the video on their own website would they be infringing the rights of the person who shot the video?


Posted: Mon May 21, 2007 11:43 am
by CopyrightAid
Hi Paul, and welcome to the forum.

The unauthorized videoing (or other recording) of the performance would be a breach of copyright. Only the copyright owners (i.e. the band) has the right to authorize the reproduction (recording) of their material.

Copyright exists regardless of the format of the work. If you record my music, it's still my music and I own the copyright to the music contained in your recording.

I guess the person who took the video may own the copyright to that footage, but thats an academic point as the making of the video was an illegal act in the first place.

In the situation, the band should require that the infringing material is destroyed, and they can take out an injunction to prevent the footage from being published or otherwise distributed.

I hope that helps....

Posted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:01 pm
by paul
Thats awesome. Thanks man, much appreciated.

If permission was given, what then would be the laws regarding the use of that video? As far as i can tell from what web research i have done on the matter the person who took the video would be required to pay a royalty to the band for the use of copyrighted material but would they then be able to use the video for their own commercial gain?

And in such a situation would the the band be able to use the footage without the permission of the person who shot it or would the footage then be covered under the copyright of the director?

This is all largely hypothetical really as we have been playing a few shows recently and a friend of ours was making videos and we got to discussing the use of the videos (largely online) and what the implications would be.

Thanks again,

Posted: Mon May 21, 2007 4:31 pm
by CopyrightAid
If the band wanted to allow the person to sell the video they could certainly ask for royalties. As to how much and what conditions would be applied would be the subject for agreement and a licensing contract.

If the band wanted to use the footage, they would require permission, just as the photographer would require permission to record the music.

As long as all parties agree there is no reason why either party could not sell or receive royalties, this would simply depend on mutual agreement.

It's probably best to speak to a solicitor, though you may be able to find some template agreements online.

Recording my group without our permission

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:30 pm
by helenmary
Hi everybody,

I was delighted to find this forum and this post because it seemed to cover exactly the position I am in. Could I ask if anyone could confirm that this would also apply to me?

Like Paul, I am in a situation where a live performance (this time a choir of mixed amatuer, professional and student musicians) was recorded without our permission. The conductor of the choir was not even informed that we were being recorded - let alone asked!! The music we were singing was classical music compsed in the 1700s.

The first we knew of it was when a friend told us that our choir was on youtube. This is a church choir (in the UK), and it seems that the ministers of the particular church know that the recording has been made and don't understand why we have a problem with it! But we think the permission of the conductor and choir should have been sought, and in particular this is a non-professional recording of poor quality which we think doesn't do us any favours. We asked if it could be removed but the church didn't want to know. I tried to tell the church minister how upset I was to find myself singing on the internet without having even been told I was being recorded - he told me I was being childish and walked away.

Surely no one should have recorded the choir without telling/asking the choir members and condutor first?

Am I right in saying this recording should never have been made? Can we ask Youtube to take it down?

Thanks anyone who can advise.

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:21 pm
by Sherif
Hi helenmary

My humble opinion is that I completely agree with you :)

"Surely no one should have recorded the choir without telling/asking the choir members and condutor first?"
- My understanding is that performers must give permission for a performance to be recorded. What you have here is a 'bootleg' recording.

"Am I right in saying this recording should never have been made? Can we ask Youtube to take it down? " Yes. Good luck with that.

.mmm..... thinks... The minister doesn't want to know eh? Well maybe he thinks 'what's the big deal' (what is the big deal by the way ;) ), or did he know that the performnce would be filmed and didn't think to ask you -- sorry, I have a very synical mind ;)

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:21 pm
by CopyrightAid

Assuming that you are from the UK (your profile does not state your country so I can't tell), I think Section 182 of the 1988 Copyright Designs and Patents act deals with exactly this issue.

I quote:
Section 182: Consent required for recording, &c. of live performance .

182.-(1) A performer's rights are infringed by a person who, without his consent--

(a) makes a recording of the whole or any substantial part of a qualifying performance directly from the live performance,

(b) broadcasts live the whole or any substantial part of a qualifying performance,

(c) makes a recording of the whole or any substantial part of a qualifying performance directly from a broadcast of the live performance.
So, I agree with the reply above - I think you should have been asked, and you have a valid reason to complain.

Here's the source for the above quote:: ... ances-.asp

Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:52 am
by helenmary
Thanks so much to Sherif and the Copyright Administrator for your responses - it's a relief to find out this legal information, and nice to have some support!
Yes, I am British and this is all in the UK.

As for what the big deal is, there are various issues involved, some of which involves ongoing problems in the relationship between the choir/music and the ministers at this church - and I won't bore you with all of that!
Another issue, however, is that there are aspects of the recording, (which was not in any sense professionally made!) and some elements of the actual performance which are poor; the professional musicians amongst the choir, including the choirmaster, could have their professional reputations damaged by this being made public.

Finally, we just think it's incredibly rude and frankly bizarre that anybody who claims to be proud of their choir would even think of making a recording without bothering to consult us!

Anyway, your responses are so helpful - thank you once again.

Just One Copyright registration?

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:04 pm
by Lee-Anne333
This is a very interesting forum topic and I too have been trying to find some clear answers to this subject.

I just wanted to clarify something. Are you guys saying that I only need one Copyright Registration for my song and that covers the composition, sound recording, performing, video recording, etc??

And is this just for the UK? Because I know that in the USA you have to have a separate Copyright Registration for the composition itself, and one for the sound recording of the composition.

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:09 am
by Warlock
It is true that there are different 'types' of copyright (in a sound recording, musical score, etc.) but I would not get too hung up on that - they are all copyright, and copyright is an automatic right - this means it exists from the point that you create the work.

If you are looking to register your work, then provided you are the copyright owner of all the items, I see no reason why this could not be a single registration. After all- copyright registration is about evidence, it should not make a difference if you combine them. I would just put the whole lot on a DVD and post it to the UKCS.

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:33 am
by CopyrightAid
Not sure how we got to registration on this topic :) but hey ho...

If you are the creator (and copyright owner) of the composition, and sound recording and video, I agree that copyright registration is about evidence - so it should not make a difference (provided you are the copyright owner - see below).
The US have a slightly different take on this (but the US is an bit of an 'odd man out' for historical reasons), and much of what you read on US sites will only apply if you are a US citizen anyway [if you are a US citizen follow the advice at ]. Outside the US, there a number of independent registries where you can lodge you work. For advice on choosing one there is an article on this topic at: ... gistration

Note above that I say "if you are the copyright owner of the composition, and sound recording and video". You should be clear that you are the owner to all the items. The reason I say this is that for a musical work, copyright normally belongs to the composer, for a sound recording it is the person that made the recording (the producer), and for a film the producer and the principal director.

If you are not the person who made the film or recording (or wrote the music), be sure to check with the person who did this - they may be happy to give/see their copyright to you.

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:36 am
by Warlock

Related Question

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:51 pm
by Groggie
I have a related question about video recording of a live performance. Does a random person still need permission to record a performance if the performance is free and in an unambiguously public place, like, say, a crowded shopping mall, or a street corner, etc.? Does this aspect make any difference?

For example, say a person is wandering through a shopping mall filming for some other reason, and stumbles upon a free live singing performance in progress of a totally obscure singer. The singer's manager and other support people see the guy filming and don't question him or make any move to prevent it. The person filming gets 8 minutes or so of footage, and then wanders off.

Thirty years later, this singer is now more famous than God and has sold hundreds of millions of albums. There are people out there who would pay a lot to see this footage ...

Is the footage totally illegal in the first place, let alone to sell? Is there any way the knowledge of the act of filming and lack of any move to prevent it could be construed as permission to film?

ETA: Suppose this happened in Canada or the US ...

Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:22 am
by CopyrightAid
Probably illegal in the first place if filmed without consent.
1988 Copyright Design and Patents Act:
Section 17 Infringement of copyright by copying

(1) The copying of the work is an act restricted by the copyright in every description of copyright work; and references in this Part to copying and copies shall be construed as follows.

(2) Copying in relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work means reproducing the work in any material form.
This includes storing the work in any medium by electronic means.

Record labels

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:10 pm
by Juliabird
Like so many others have already said, this thread is really helpful! To add another dimension to the query, we've been filming bands (with their written permission) for our website. My question is whether we also need written permission from the band's record labels?

Some of the bands are relatively unknown, others signed to some fairly big labels - do the band or their record company own the rights to the song? And if we have written permission from the band are we ok to post?