Welcome to this week’s editorial, This time of year sees many in the community attending an end of year school performance. Maybe it is a school play, an annual multiclass celebration, even a school choir, it might be a dance recital or even a music recital that has a contempory performance of either choreography, music or lyrics. And of course parents and grandparents will want to film it. But wait, what is that sign …. No FILMING, no recording and no photos !!!!
There are a few things to consider when it comes to infringement on privacy and on copyright. The first thing to consider is that while your kid might be in the photo so will the children of other parents. No doubt you will proudly upload the photo of Rani or Kevin to your social media feed for the extended family to see and there in the background will be someone else’s children, now up on the internet for the world to see. Your uploading of that image of someone else’s child without written authority of the parents has breached the law. If they see it they can request it, via official police channels, to be immediately pulled down. To empathise all you have to do is put the shoe on the other foot. Your child’s photo up there, god knows where, Facebook, Instagram, a blog, Twitter. For anyone to copy and reshare. Out of your control. So that might explain one aspect of the no filming or photographing. The next bit is about copyright. Most likely the performance of the school play is either derived from or based around a copyrighted production. If you film it and republish (yes, if you upload it to Youtube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you are considered to be a publisher and you might just have infringed on a copyright law that says you can’t republish without permission. Several years ago a video of a baby dancing to the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy” went viral—cute little kid, silly dance, silly 30 second video with a Prince song in the background…. Universal Music accused the mum of infringing its copyright in a home video of her toddler dancing in her kitchen. The video was only intended to show friends how her little one was progressing with his walking, and despite only receiving 20 views at the time, she received a takedown notice from Universal Music claiming that she was infringing their copyright. The video has now been viewed 1.9 million times https://youtu.be/N1KfJHFWlhQ
So what will you do? Will you put the camera away? Will you not film the event? Will you abide by the law or will you follow the lead of all the other parents, family and friends and bring out the camera, go crazy, upload your favourite bits and share photos proudly which ever way you choose. But wait. What if your Railani or River happens to be a the school play tree and tumbles off the stage taking the Mary, Joseph, the donkey and Baby Jesus with them with a soulful rendition of “Norwegian Wood” is being played and you didn’t film it—however tomorrow there it is on Youtube going viral uploaded by someone else. Now therein lies a conundrum. Who demands it pulled down first—you or Paul McCartney? Until next Lei