Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm Sure I'll Be Slammed For This, But...

I'm going to post it anyway.

I've very thankful to have a life outside of Manilowland.

There has been a dustup of sorts regarding posting videos that violate copyright laws.

I remember years ago in the fan club (back in the 1980's) there were copies of copies of copies of video performances of Barry on VHS tapes. It's now moved into the viral arena of the internet. That being said, older videos released by Barry himself always came with a disclaimer, very nicely toned, to please do not bootleg the video they were watching. People were warned. In fact I've read somewhere that Barry made a statement equating copyright infringement to rape, although, I've never found a verifiable source for the quote.

A little while back I happened upon one of Barry's fans who was doing some serious bootlegging of videos (no the name doesn't start with a C), including an entire chapter from the DVD of Copacabana where Barry is singing Who Needs To Dream. The beginning of the video (I have it on a legitimately purchased DVD) has the federal warnings about copyright protections for the movie. I mentioned to this person on the site where the movie was posted that they were violating copyright laws by posting a video they didn't have the rights to. They started going off on what kind of a service they were providing Barry with free PR.

There are other ways of providing Barry with good PR (such as performing a service project in a local area) that doesn't require violating laws and doing something they know would upset Barry.

This individual removed my comments regarding copyright violation from the site with the video on it to hide the fact that they know they are breaking the law.

A part of me wonders if this is really about PR for Barry, or showing off to Barry's other fans.

Well the ball has dropped, not on this person, but someone else who has apparently also been bootlegging his videos. They've sent an email to their friends in the fan club of how their online "channel" of videos (to use a term from YouTube) was being shut down and this person was ordered by Barry's lawyers to cease and desist from making and posting anymore of the copies. This individual is telling everyone that they received no warning whatsoever from Barry, nor his management company, to stop, and this individual is also claiming not to have known they were violating copyrights.

I honestly don't know the truth to what they are saying, however given my experience with the person I contacted, the excuse that they didn't know they were violating copyright laws isn't holding water with me.

I'm sorry to see people get hurt over this, these are wonderful people who have devoted so much of their lives, but to a man they really don't know personally. Sometimes I wonder if people realize this.

Again, I'm thankful to have a life, and a full one at that, outside of Manilowland.

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