cubanmiamiboy

Youtube keeps the bonfire...

63 posts in this topic

Great letter by Paul Parish.

"But it is academic dance, and it's not just a pun to say there are principles of academic freedom involved. Is Ketinoa's channel protected under principles of academic freedom? Or rather, should it be? The dance world has languished so long without libraries, and the rise of video was just beginning to allow dance to be studied like literature, so you could study it and quote accurately, and the autodidact or amateur outside the academy was becoming almost as well informed as some professors. Though it was happening outside a university setting, the growth of serious dance culture was happening in the West rather like the scientific societies of the 18th century, when professional procedures had not yet been codified but people were making collections and study was becoming possible on an unprecedented scale -- and Ketinoa's channel was at the top of the heap for providing the core commentaries and syllabi."

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I'm confused. If the video removed from the Kennedy Center website was from Balachine's Don Quixote, was it the Trust that had it pulled? I thought Farrell still held the rights to that and hadn't given them to the Trust.

Nanarina, I believe all of the Aurélie Dupont clips you're referring to are technically not supposed to be on Youtube. They were taken from the DVD released by Opus Arte and have almost certainly been uploaded without the permission of the copyright holder.

:wink: So is my Daughter correct in what she is saying then please? I should not put them onto my YouTube (I am a member of the site) Playlists for my own private viewing? Gosh it does get confusing!! Thank you for the information.

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Weird how different companies seem to have different policies regarding YT. The Balanchine Trust is obviously the strictest, but Paul Taylor and Twayla Tharp are also very strict about their works being on YT. On the other hand dancers within, say, the Mariinsky or Bolshoi often seem to supply house camera videos to prominent YT members, and I can only assume that they're doing so with the tacit consent of the management.

Yes I am in the UK, and it does not seem to be such a high priority here the sense of Copyright, for example we do not have such stringent privacy regulations as they do in France. You only have to look at the content and numbers of "Gossip magazines". Going back to Ballet, the most protective element I would say with a British Choreographer would be late Sir Kenneth Mac Millan and the protector of his work is his wife Lady Debra.

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Jack writes:
As an outsider, not knowing the laws or the thinking, I think I can see a dilemma facing a choreographer's trustees -- they want to maintain control so that the choreography makes its effect undiminished by corruption in performance quality, yet if they are extremely restrictive, the art has diminished effect because it is rarely seen or even unknown.

Why couldnt one of tne of these entities (say, the Balanchine Trust) actually license the rights to post certain videos or do it themselves? That way they could maintain a kind of quality control, as well as supporting the Brand.

My personal concern in this matter is primarily with Balanchine. We are being deprived of historic -- and canonical -- performances. Without that, it will be difficult for people to examine closely just what made Balanchine's work so extraordinary.

P.S. Am I right in thinking that there is a a consensus on BT that the intensity (obsessiveness?) of the Balanchine Trust's effort to control (i.e., monopolize) the image has reached a point where it is becoming counterproductive, even of their own stated goals.

Speaking for myself, the answer to your question as far as I am concerned is SIMPLY YES.

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:wink: This whole situation is a sad loss for any person with a love or interest in Ballet.

YouTube is a very good vehicle to learn more about the varied repertoire from all over the world.

I have spent a great deal of time looking at Dancers past and present, reserarching lost and new productions. Where else could I find this at my fingertips on line and with such a comprehensive

collection. Of course I still wish to go to the live performances, and see different dancers,

But I will still purchase DVD's.CD's Books and Magazines.

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There are several dozen excerpts and full Balanchine ballets published commercially on DVD, and a number more can be gleaned on commercial VHS tapes. In addition, it's pretty much a no-brainer for someone in a ballet company to track down a copy of someone's tape/DVD of "Live from Lincoln Center" or "Dance in America" performances of works for which there is not a commercial version. (Mozartiana, Vienna Waltzes, Liebeslieder excerpts, the complete Who Cares? for example). How could the Trust not know when Balanchine is performed without official permission in the age of the Internet? They have the legal means to stomp with big financial boots, and that assumes there is no leak from rehearsals from which they could shut down the production before it is performed.

If anything, having a YouTube performance by a company who had an official staging on the record would allow the audience to see whether an unofficial production had anything to do with the work.

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Of course I still wish to go to the live performances, and see different dancers,

But I will still purchase DVD's.CD's Books and Magazines.

Many people won't, though. If they can get it for nothing, even if the product is somewhat compromised, they will. I think eventually an arrangement will be reached where people will be able to pay a fee online to see performances and clips.

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I think eventually an arrangement will be reached where people will be able to pay a fee online to see performances and clips.
Could the "Classical TV" model -- linked by Lucy in our curren thread of William Forstythe -- be a model for this? Or something like it?

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.p...c=30449&hl=

If so, the scale would have to be much smaller -- and the product quite different -- from the more populist and spontaneous environment of YouTube.I'd imagine that the system for organizing permissions and royalties would get rather complicated.

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But surely such companies would have to advertise their illlicit performances. What they were doing would quickly become public knowledge in the relatively small and interconnected dance community. Wouldn't THAT be the point at which the Trust should step in?

Is there anyone out there who has studied Balanchine's life enough to feel relatively comfortable (come on, take a risk! :wink:) speculating what Mr B himself might say about this issue if he were here today?

In my limited reading of his life, it strikes me that he did not feel possessive about his ballets, altho he would certainly have wanted them to be performed well.

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I believe he tended to give away his ballets (even loaning costumes) to companies he thought would do them justice and which could use them to good advantage in developing their dancers and their repertory -- some of the same purposes he had, although I've also heard it said that he gave permission rather than selling it so he could withdraw it if he was disappointed with the results. Some of his oldest ballets, like Apollo, he could no longer control, his rights having expired, although if he saw a performance -- maybe in studio -- he'd be allowed to adjust it as a courtesy. (His influence was widely felt. Recall that when he fired Farrell and Mejia, they had a hard time finding any company to hire them, presumably so as not to incur his, um, disfavor.)

Nowadays I gather the Trust sells performance licenses to perform for a limited time, say, two years.

In a possibly related context, I think some inventors do not patent their inventions because they can lose those rights if they don't defend them when they're violated, and lone inventors lack the resources to fight a large corporation. Here we're talking about copyright, not quite the same thing, but it might explain why the Balanchine Trust is fairly aggressive about maintaining control -- maybe the law says if you let it slip, you can't get it back. But this attempt to reason by analogy goes nowhere toward explaining the differences among different organizations. (There's been a complete Robbins Afternoon of a Faun with Farrell and Mofid up on an Iranian culture site for some time, for example, and a nearly-complete Cunningham Pond Way has been up for a couple of years.)

As for stepping in when a bootleg performance becomes public knowledge, how are they going act? Lawsuits cost money and sometimes breed ill will, to say the least. Or are you thinking of the deterrent effect of that possibility? I think that may be part of their game plan already.

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The Balanchine Trust doesn't even like George Balanchine's ballets to be broadcast in their entirety. Look at most of the last broadcasts of his work: 1993 Balanchine Celebration - only Scherzo a la Russe was complete. Same thing with the 2004 broadcast. And Bringing Balanchine Back - just snips. Even when the DVD of POB's Jewels was broadcast, there was a chunk of Emeralds removed. DVDs of Royal Ballet programs with his work had the piece removed when released. Yet they approved of La Scala's inexplicable release of Midsummer Night's Dream. That's what they want to be representative of that work? On the whole, I'm very, very grateful for The Trust, but I think they are a little blind with regard to promoting his work via video and emerging/current technology. And by promoting dance, I mean more than a little snip shot from the wings like we get from NYCB's YouTube offerings.

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The fragmentary exposure you describe is distressing, Dale, but are you sure about attributing motivation to the Trust and not to, say, NYCB's AD or some other agent? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just curious. And it occurs to me that La Scala is in a country which seems to have more porous restrictions than we do here.

But I also recall, persuant to Sandy's question, that during Mr. B's time, if I heard correctly, SAB students who performed in Workshop could get tape of their performances, including of Balanchine, but not since his death.

By the way, bart, I'm going to pass being part of that consensus, for now! I just don't understand this situation well enough to take a position yet.

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It's ironic because Mr. B was one of the few dancemakers of his generation (or before his generation) who did not have a knee-jerk disfavor of any filmed ballet. Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham were of course strict about not even allowing performance photographs. Moira Shearer caught Ninette di Valois's permanent contempt because she appeared in some films. But Mr. B was not like that -- he even re-touched many of his ballets to suit television better.

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True enough, he did -- although at other moments he worried that people would think that the filmed version was the only true, correct one. The ideal answer to that for me would be to have several filmed versions of a given ballet, but he had to live with practical restraints, like cost.

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The ideal answer to that for me would be to have several filmed versions of a given ballet [...]

Yes, as in music.

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Thanks, Jack, for that Link -- and to Helene for posting it originally. Apollinaire Scher's summary of some of the legal aspects are the clearest, most succinct, I've read. Everyone following this thread -- and interested in the topic of copyright, should read it. I'll just quote the part that refers to the Balanchine Trust

--In order to maintain their right to certain dances, organizations such as the Balanchine Trust have to enforce copyright protection. If they don't complain to YouTube, for example, about the Kirov clips of Balanchine works that Ketinoa put up, they're at risk of what's known as copyright abandonment, which means that when a real risk comes along (such as did with the Martha Graham company under Ron Protas), they've relinquished their legal right to prosecute.

This sets aside, of course, the larger question of how just how reasonable and fair current copyright law actually is. The exceptionally long life of copyright protection was never anticipated by those who first included it in British law and, later the U.S. constitution. Nor could they have imagined the lucrative and self-serving industry -- all those heirs, trusts, corporate entities, and law firms -- that has flourished around it.

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There are archival films at the New York Public library at Lincoln Center, but you need to be a researcher or choreographer to see them. The music industry (classical & opera) records many of their performances, yet Broadway and Ballet rarely do. The trusts and the repetiteurs would lose a important source of revenue.

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The trusts and the repetiteurs would lose a important source of revenue.
MJ, you have put into words something that is usually left unspoken. Thanks. It's not the whole story -- not by a long stretch -- but I have the suspicion that it plays a role. (It usually does when institutions work very hard to preserve a monopoly.)

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i've never had a problem looking at something at the library, and i'm not a researcher...

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The trusts and the repetiteurs would lose a important source of revenue.

Well, yes, some money has to come from somewhere, if people are to do the good part -- maintaining performance standards -- doesn't it?

But the aggressive strictness of the Balanchine Trust, compared to some other holders of choreographer's rights, I guess, that rankles with us seems to be forced on them if they are to do that -- otherwise they will have abandoned their control, and, having once relinquished it, can't regain it, according to the law. What's not clear in my mind yet, if it ever will be, is the reason for the apparently different attitude and practice of the other holders. Or maybe they just lost their rights inadvertently, early on, or, worse, lacked the funds to defend them. There's not too much money around in this art form.

I'm not exactly trying to justify the BT or take sides at this point, I'm just trying to understand the situation -- sometimes something you don't like is easier to take if you understand why.

As for access to film and video at what used to be called the Dance Collection, my experience (which is pretty old by now) has been that some material was "open", available to anyone, and some was "closed", available only to those carrying written permission from the rights owners.

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ummm, WALTZ ACADEMY?

was there a site that had some reconstruction of this work?

do you mean LA VALSE?

sad either way, but if the former were really posted on youtube or anywhere else that would be news...

Do you mean Graduation Ball, choreography by David Lichene for Ballet Russes, music Johan Strauss, costumes by Benois, revived by The London Festival Ballet in the 1950/60's?? (now the English National Ballet.I do not know if it is still in their repertoire. It was very charming and amusing, about a girls academy visited by the young men from a military academy, and featured a naughty girl, comic master and mistress and the Drummer Boy , and Sylp[hide and the Scotsman diversissements.

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As for access to film and video at what used to be called the Dance Collection, my experience (which is pretty old by now) has been that some material was "open", available to anyone, and some was "closed", available only to those carrying written permission from the rights owners.

I think it's still like that, but that's easy to ascertain before you get there. I'm pretty sure that the things that are not restricted still vastly outnumber the things that are.

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ummm, WALTZ ACADEMY?

was there a site that had some reconstruction of this work?

do you mean LA VALSE?

sad either way, but if the former were really posted on youtube or anywhere else that would be news...

Do you mean Graduation Ball, choreography by David Lichine...?

No La Valse...No Graduation Ball...but the old Mr. B's "Waltz Academy"... :( -(I know..it's kind of hard to digest... :clapping: )

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