I do not understand why people go to a rock show or a metal show to film the whole damn thing on a smart phone. Seriously are they going to go back home and watch it over and over again afterwards? Of course not because it will sound like crap as smartphones are not designed to capture high volumes without distorting the sound.
Having been a high gig attendee my whole life, I have also been known recently to break out my iPhone and capture some footage or a few photos for posterity. However, I can honestly that 99% of the time I’ve never gone back and referred to my amateur filming or photography.
The reasons are simple, those captures can never accurately reflect the concert as I witnessed it.
So why did I do it? Why do other fans do it?
Is it for them to validate or prove to other people that they were there at the concert?
Like does anyone care these days. Everybody goes to concerts these days. Maybe once upon a time it was a big thing to go to a concert but these days it’s a nothing thing. Hell, I took my kids last year who were 8 and 7 to see, Kiss, Motley Crue and Bon Jovi. This year I took them to see Richie Sambora.
Do you think my father would have taken me to a rock concert at the age of 8? No chance.
Even if those people placed their concert video footage on YouTube, would anyone really care?
For example, Metallica is the biggest metal band in the planet right now. So they played “Frayed Ends Of Sanity” live for the first time and a fan of the band put it up on their YouTube account called MetallicaSoloFan and it has a whopping 2,473 views. Other accounts have the same song filmed from different viewpoints and again the view count is dismal.
Because no one cares that you went or for the crappy footage on display.
And what about the poor old fan that is standing behind a person filming the concert. As is the norm, in order to film a concert, you would need to hold up your device high above your head to capture the footage and in turn you are taking away from my viewing experience. Me and my boys copped that at the Richie Sambora gig.
However it is a product of the times. I get that.
In 2014, we don’t leave home without our Apple or Samsung devices. It is part of our make and build.
There are bands out there that would like this process of filming their show to be stopped.
The Eagles are one such band.
They want to stop people from filming their concerts by banning the use of the smart phone. Don Henley has hinted their tour of Australia could possibly be the band’s final tour and he wants fans to experience it with their eyes not their phones.
Of course we all know that Don Henley is very knowledgeable about artists copyrights and he is also opposed to fan filmed footage ending up on YouTube. For him it is all about CONTROL. He should be the one that CONTROLS how his music or the music that he is involved in is distributed.
So is videoing a concert with a phone a violation of an artist’s copyright. Don Henley says it is, however he also said that he doesn’t want the shows posted on YouTube because it spoils it for people who are going to come to a show in the future and that he doesn’t want to see Eagles content out there that sounds horrible.
However, live concert filming is done every day by multiple people at the same show. Some use it as a form of a diary record, to remember or relive that moment when their favourite song came on. Some do it to share the moment and their love for the artist. Some do it because they simple can. A smart phone or an iPad or Tablet, allows us the convenience to do so.
To put into context about how messed up the current music copyright business is you need to get your head around the Copyright laws that have been written over the last sixty years.
At a high level, every live performance has a multiple set of rights that come into play.
(1) the copyright in the music, usually controlled by the publisher;
(2) the copyright in the lyrics, also usually controlled by the publisher;
(3) the copyright in the live performance, usually controlled by the label;
(4) the band’s right of publicity;
(5) trademarks owned by the band;
(6) contractual rights (potentially arising from signage posted by the band or the venue, the ticket stub or the terms and conditions of the website to which the footage is posted.
(7) the performance rights organisation like APRA or ASCAP, from which the venue needs to obtain a license.
Music was never meant to be this complicated but over the last sixty years it has come to be so.
And what about the rights of the fan who paid $600 for a front row ticket and another $100 plus at the merchandise store.
What about the rights of the fan, who had to drive 90 minutes to get to the venue and then pay another $30 in parking fees and then get charged $10 for a beer and $20 for a Hotdog and Chips.
There needs to be a sensible re-think but due to the money involved the copyright holders are not playing ball. They want stricter copyright laws, which is contrary to the public and culture in general.