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Can we have a clarification from the moderators about BA's policy re YT videos of entire films? In the past week we have had postings of both the complete Bolshoi Babylon nd the complete Nureyev docudrama, which have been posted on YT within days of their public release by posters who are not the owners of the films in question. This seems to me to rate as video piracy. If we have limit of 250 words for quotes from printed sources, isn't there something similar for video?

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Video links are the same as links to articles: even though they appear graphically, we do not host the content. There's no way technically/based on permissions we've set to copy and paste part of a video the way that articles can be copied and pasted into posts so that we become inadvertent publishers and in copyright violation.

We've long had this policy: what is on major video sites like YouTube and vimeo is up to those sites to police with regards to copyright, not us, and members are allowed to link to any videos that fall within our guidelines for content. If anyone has an issue with their existence, they are welcome to report them at the site on which they are published. The same would be true if the mainstream media published a print/pixel article with something without proper attribution and it was quoted here within our approved limit.

Also, our policy is that if there's a question about policy or content, use the "Report" button on that post, and if we think a clarification is needed, we'll post one.

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Can we have a clarification from the moderators about BA's policy re YT videos of entire films? In the past week we have had postings of both the complete Bolshoi Babylon nd the complete Nureyev docudrama, which have been posted on YT within days of their public release by posters who are not the owners of the films in question. This seems to me to rate as video piracy. If we have limit of 250 words for quotes from printed sources, isn't there something similar for video?

Well, I for one am grateful for all those so-called "pirate" videos as most of them I would never have a chance to see otherwise. I missed out on a Bolshoi video today that has just been removed for copyright reasons. I was looking forward to seeing it and if I hadn't been without internet for 2 weeks I could have seen it, but now I can't.

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they are not "so-called" "pirate" videos. They really are pirated.

pirate, v.

2. trans. To reproduce or use (the work, idea, etc., of another) without authority, esp. in infringement of patent or copyright; to produce a pirate copy or edition of.

(Oxford English Dictionary)

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they are not "so-called" "pirate" videos. They really are pirated.

pirate, v.

2. trans. To reproduce or use (the work, idea, etc., of another) without authority, esp. in infringement of patent or copyright; to produce a pirate copy or edition of.

(Oxford English Dictionary)

Well, all I can say is, I doubt there is a single person on this forum who does not watch and enjoy those pirate videos.

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Well, all I can say is, I doubt there is a single person on this forum who does not watch and enjoy those pirate videos.

I'm sure you're correct, but that's really not the issue here. For all of our enjoyment, and general thankfulness that we can get a small look at something that is otherwise outside of our own world, these are unauthorized works. Some of them may fall under a generous interpretation of the Fair Use doctrine, but most do not. As a critic and sometimes historian, I'm totally indebted to work like this -- I would not be able to do my job without the knowledge that has come from bootleg film/video. But I know that it is outside the law. I strive to use the material ethically, but it does not come to me in that fashion.

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Well, all I can say is, I doubt there is a single person on this forum who does not watch and enjoy those pirate videos.

I understand that it is illegal to put those videos up on youtube (and I would certainly never illegally tape any performance) but I sure am thankful they exist. Those videos have allowed me to learn about companies and artists I would have never knew existed. Because of those videos, I've traveled and bought tickets to companies I wouldn't have otherwise known about (so you could say the pirated videos actually end up helping the company--dancers gain exposure to new audiences, increased ticket sales, and increased guesting opportunities).

Not to mention how awesome it is to learn about the historical greats that I'm too young to have seen live (Maya Plisetskaya!, Margot Fonteyn!)

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Oh, Bah Humbugs! Seriously, the fact that I can preview a show via YouTube often leads to my purchasing the "real" DVD or BluRay commercially, as I did with "Bolshoi Babylon" via amazon.co.uk. Serious collectors love to have pristine copies in their libraries. For me, there's no comparison between watching a YouTube hunched over a tiny screen vs. enjoying the DVD on a wide-screen high-def TV while lounging on a sofa with a nice glass of wine. :)

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Youtube does take stuff down when they receive complaints they take seriously -- as they should and, at any rate, must. I can think of a couple of youtube 'ballet' channels that have been completely shut down. But there also seems to be a lot of very obviously "bootleg" ballet video on youtube that several ballet (and film/television) companies clearly know about and have allowed to stand. If you persuaded me that the companies didn't know, then all I could respond would be that that level of ignorance in this day and age amounts to de facto approval. But you would have a hard time persuading me. There appears to be a lot of 'don't ask, don't tell' involved at least when it comes to stage performances.

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I understand that it is illegal to put those videos up on youtube (and I would certainly never illegally tape any performance) but I sure am thankful they exist. Those videos have allowed me to learn about companies and artists I would have never knew existed. Because of those videos, I've traveled and bought tickets to companies I wouldn't have otherwise known about (so you could say the pirated videos actually end up helping the company--dancers gain exposure to new audiences, increased ticket sales, and increased guesting opportunities).

Not to mention how awesome it is to learn about the historical greats that I'm too young to have seen live (Maya Plisetskaya!, Margot Fonteyn!)

You bring up a great point.....we see many artists we never got a chance to see.

If all we had of Maria Callas were her studio recordings, her reputation would not be as great as it is today. She had a flawed voice, which is often apparent on the studio recordings, but she was ON FIRE in the pirated recordings!!!! She was 100 times better in live recordings than she was in the studio. What a sad world this would be without her pirates. Her La Scala Norma, her Medeas, her Anna Bolena......I can't imagine a world without them!!!! And I suspect her reputation would not be as great as it is without the pirates. They elevated her to a status that no opera singer can hope to attain, in my personal opinion. Nobody sang like her with meaning and fire in every word.

Leyla Gencer would be totally forgotten if not for pirates. She made few if any commercial recordings. She was considered a 2nd rate Callas but I would not want to be without her confrontation scene with Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda. I am not even sure if Callas would have been capable of her fiery "....parli tu di disonore?.....vil bastarda dal tuo pie!" scene. It is like an atomic blast that pulverizes Elisabetta (of course, dooming Maria who is shooting herself in the foot but getting revenge nevertheless). This is extreme theater and not found anywhere on studio recordings. Nobody would know Leyla Gencer's name today if not for pirates.

Even the lesser actresses like Caballe and Sutherland. Who would want to be without Dame Joan Sutherland's recording from the run of Lucias that propelled her to stardom? You hear how crisp her coloratura was in the beginning and why she became an overnight success with Lucia (after years of other types of roles in other Fachs). And Caballe's prayer in Maria Stuarda......she holds onto a pianissimo note so long (I think it is in the Paris pirate although she does it in several) that you just know she's going to stop and take a breath because surely she has run out of breath, and she doesn't. Your jaw drops that she doesn't need to take a breath and then your head explodes because if not taking a breath was already enough, then she crescendos forever. Unbelievable live moments. These ladies can floor you or make your jaw drop to the floor with just audio. Most conductors didn't allow these tour de force moments in the studio because they wanted the orchestra to be the most important part of the recording. The art of these incredible artists would have been lost forever.....

Many artists are thrilled by pirates because they are able to have all their roles "out there" for the public to see/hear. Of course, there are always a few who do not like them (I have heard Kiri Te Kanawa was very anti-pirates), but I believe the vast majority love them, and I know that many of them request copies of their roles from known bootleggers.

This is a topic that is not at all hidden on the opera forums and everyone owns them, trades them, buys them and discusses them on the opera forums. I wish that were the case in the ballet world. But it isn't. We would all be a closer group and really talk up a great storm about ballet.

I have to say that I buy all commercial releases by an artist I love. Having pirated versions would not stop me from buying a new commercial version that gets released. So I agree with Natalia above. I still buy the commercial releases even when pirates exist.

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I understand that it is illegal to put those videos up on youtube (and I would certainly never illegally tape any performance) but I sure am thankful they exist. Those videos have allowed me to learn about companies and artists I would have never knew existed. Because of those videos, I've traveled and bought tickets to companies I wouldn't have otherwise known about (so you could say the pirated videos actually end up helping the company--dancers gain exposure to new audiences, increased ticket sales, and increased guesting opportunities).

Not to mention how awesome it is to learn about the historical greats that I'm too young to have seen live (Maya Plisetskaya!, Margot Fonteyn!)

I agree! These videos are the passport for many people to seeing and enjoying ballet that they might NEVER have a chance to see otherwise - and actually they are unofficial PR for all the ballet companies involved, as you say. I just think people who report these unofficial filmings and get them deleted should turn a blind eye and leave monitoring of their ballets to the official sources. As Natalia said ' Bah Humbugs!"

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