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covers performed in a video stream

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:50 pm
by bassnik
I have a little enquiry. If someone performs a coversong and this is transmitted in a video stream which is never fixed in any downloadable form, is this legal or would royalties need to be paid? I have googled the issue a little but have yet to find anything definate.

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:32 am
by AndyJ
When you say the performance is not fixed in a downloadable form, do you mean the performance is live? If not, then the performance has to be fixed (ie stored in digital form) on the server which provides the streaming service, and this of course would then be a copy for the purposes of copyright infringement.
But in any case, you are providing the 'copy' (in the sense of 'not the original') to the public and this contravenes Section 18 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. The fact that viewer does not retain a copy of the performance, unless of course they have suitable software to record a video stream, does not affect the issue. That said, there is caselaw in respect of the downloading of child pornography which holds that since a copy of the video stream is held in cache for a very short time (ie it is buffered there) this constitutes a copy, and I imagine a court would take the same view in a copyright case.
This problem is fundamentally the same as a singer who performs live on stage, where there is no actual recording of the performance. Nevertheless this is still a potential infringement of the copyright in the lyrics, if the performer or venue do not hold a suitable licence. You can obtain a licence from PRSforMusic


Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:11 am
by bassnik
dang and blast it!

Thank you for your speedy reply AndyJ.