More on classical music's image problem

'Photography, however, was not permitted. Some more taboos may need to fall.'
That quote comes from yesterday's review of the Bristol Proms by Norman Lebrecht and it is one of several instances where he has challenged the ban on photography at classical concerts. It is not my purpose to either challenge or defend that ban. My purpose is to point out that the ban on photography is part of the legal protection of audio and visual image copyright which ensures that ownership of intellectual property created during a concert remains with the performers. This legal protection allows the performers to commercially exploit that audio and visual intellectual property. Such protection financially benefits not only the performers, but also others to whom the audio and video copyrights are assigned, including record companies, film makers and photographic libraries.
'Lebrecht picture library is the world's largest resource for music pictures and all the creative arts. We have access to over 5 million images from collections we represent.'
That quote comes from the Lebrecht Music and Arts website which is run by Norman's wife Elbie. It is not my purpose to either challenge or defend the commercial exploitation of visual intellectual property. My purpose is to point out that the commercial viability of invaluable and perfectly legitimate resources such as the Lebrecht Music and Arts photographic library depends on the copyright protection of intellectual property - including photographs - created at classical concerts.

Also on Facebook and Twitter. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).


Pliable said…
Norman Perryman comments via Facebook:

When I'm performing kinetic painting live with music, people often take photos, with flash (!), not realising that their flash washes out my projected colours (they will just get an almost blank screen) and cuts into the continuous gentle flow. The whole point is that my projection, like music, is a CONTINUOUS painting, meaningless as a still and without the music. And yes, it's my copyright.
Civic Center said…
As somebody who takes photos at classical concerts for my blog, Lebrecht's hypocrisy (and that of his wife) strikes me as both horrifying and amusing. My own rules are pretty simple: Wait until the end of the concert for bows before snapping away because picture-taking during a performance is very annoying to fellow concertgoers. NEVER use a flash. Always pick the most complimentary photos of performers for my blog, and offer them free and without restrictions to those same performers. Works out for everyone.

Recent popular posts

All aboard the Martinu bandwagon

Who are the real classical role models?

Great music has no independent existence

Mahler that dares to be different

The Berlin Philharmonic's darkest hour

Will this attract young audiences? - discuss

Master musician who experienced the pain of genius

Whatever happened to the long tail of composers?

Closer to Vaughan Williams than Phil Spector

How classical music slipped a disc