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Bad PR: Chorus concert copyright restrictions

One of the local school districts here in Iowa had an all-elementary-school chorus concert on Friday. At the beginning, the audience was told

Please turn your cell phones off. Please do not use flash photography; we don’t want to startle any of the participants. And no videotaping, please, because of copyright restrictions.

Not safety or privacy or confidentiality considerations. Copyright restrictions.

270 shining little faces on stage, ready to perform. A packed auditorium full of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and family friends. And the deflating message that they get, mere seconds before their children begin to sing in their dulcet voices, is:

Hi, John Q. Public. Thanks for slogging your kid to school, even in the rain and snow, every Wednesday at 7:30am all year for chorus practice. Thanks for getting your kid all gussied up for this huge event. We know that your precious angel is up on stage getting ready to sing his or her heart out. We know that the whole extended family is here to support that little boy or girl. But even though your heart is just bursting at the seams to capture the joy and excitement of this experience and share it with your child and your loved ones, we’d like to invoke ‘copyright protections’ so, too bad, you can’t do that. Have a good concert!

What a slap in the face. And we wonder why the public doesn’t support school bond referenda…


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