Cracking concert camera bans


You don’t have to wander very far on
YouTube to find concert footage, but venues and artists are getting
increasingly narky about the prospect of being filmed. At a Go
West/Pseudo Echo/Wa Wa Nee concert in Perth last weekend, a security
guard came up to me and pointedly asked if I was planning to video
the concert (I wasn’t). My crime? Using an i-Mate 9502 to surf the
Web — apparently the large screen makes it a video suspect. In a
more blatant crackdown, Prince recently demanded that YouTube remove
all fan footage of him performing Radiohead’s Creep from the site,
even though the members of Radiohead (who in theory would lose
songwriting royalties from such postings) actually don’t give a damn.

There’s not much you can do about pop
star lawyers, but there’s some obvious strategies you can use if you
do plan to film parts of a concert and don’t want a shakedown from
the security goons too soon. Check the venue policy first: some places have a
blanket ban (in which case there’s not much point trying), with others it’s dictated by the artist. Getting a seat
away from the aisles makes you harder to reach. Using a smaller
camera and only filming for small bursts makes it hard to distinguish
what you’re doing from regular photography. Anyone got any other tips
for concert capture?


  • I recently saw Brian McFadden at The Basement. When Delta came on stage and they sang a duet together, I held my camera up and videod the entire performance. As did many others. Not a word was said. My guess is a performance by Delta/Brian is a little more interesting/saleable than one by WaWaNee!

  • I suspect you’re right — I’d have thought the promotional value would outstrip the copyright concerns. Though for all I know, Paul Gray (WWN main man) is more than happy to be filmed and it’s simply a venue policy applied without even asking the artists.

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