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  1. #1

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    Photojournalism and Play Copyrights

    I was listed as photographing a play tonight at my college. However, I was assigned to cover a art on another part of the campus. I went to tell the director that I couldn't do it tonight and ended up speaking to another faculty member of the drama department. She told me that it was illegal to photograph performances because they copyrighted. She then went on to tell me that I could photograph the rehearsals after I pointed to the student newspaper article on the play with photographs I had taken during a rehearsal. Is it true that one can't photograph such performances even for an article?
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkroom317 View Post
    Is it true that one can't photograph such performances even for an article?
    No.

  3. #3

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    More specifically, the prof doesn't know what they are talking about...
    Perhaps another rehearsal would be more appropriate for all in involved; perhaps not if the thing is beyond that stage. But there is nothing "illegal" about photographing the performance (though if they control the venue they can make the rules about photography). Usage, however, can be trickier. A review in the student newspaper? You are totally clear on that. Selling posters? Probably not.

  4. #4
    Tom Nutter's Avatar
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    It was probably a BS ploy to make you go away...I once had an art director tell me on a public street in Philadelphia that I couldn't photograph the model they were using in whatever fashion shoot that was going on because they had hired the model. Just poppycock. Billbretz is right.

  5. #5
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Videotaping the performance, and then selling it can be illegal, but I don't see how a photograph of a play violates their copyrights as a review of the play and pic would fall under fair use. Granted, and as stated, many venues don't allow photography... in some cases it's the flash they object to, but it's not illegal to photograph a play for a review. I'd expect it is easier to do during a dress rehearsal, though. If they really don't want you there, then they're probably worried about a bad review!
    Last edited by SuzanneR; 05-01-2010 at 06:57 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: clarity

  6. #6

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    Unfortunately, I have to use a digital camera for this. I posted this as a general photography subject. Anyway, I have come up with a form of shooting that causes no disturbance to the audience. I did almost get kicked out of another one for
    mirror/ shutter noise and moving around. I managed to eliminate both of these when photographing a rehearsal.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

    Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa

    http://darkroom317.deviantart.com/

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkroom317 View Post
    Unfortunately, I have to use a digital camera for this. I posted this as a general photography subject. Anyway, I have come up with a form of shooting that causes no disturbance to the audience. I did almost get kicked out of another one for
    mirror/ shutter noise and moving around. I managed to eliminate both of these when photographing a rehearsal.
    Mirror lockup is handy in those situations, provided the control is easy to use and quick. The viewfinder goes dark, of course so it's a bit tricky sometimes. On my 645 Super it's very easy to use and reduces the noise by an order of magnitude. A rangefinder camera like a Mamiya 7 or Leica (film or digital) would be the ideal thing to use. They are easier to use in low light anyway.

    I've got into a lot of trouble over this whole situation. What often happens is they tell the staff, ushers, etc. that video and flash is prohibited but they get it wrong and think stills are forbidden. That's what happened to me.



 

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