Legal to film rock concert without permission?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by laserbeam273, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. laserbeam273 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I've been asked by a potential client to edit footage of a Bon Jovi concert (in America I presume). Would have been a cool project as he had several guys recording from different angles for the whole concert -> a multicam job, the first time I would have used that feature.

    But it occurred to me today that it might not be legal. Assuming he didn't get permission, is it legal?

    By the way this is a small job - all just consumer cameras, only one actually recorded full HD.
     
  2. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #2
    Take the job. Recording a concert may go against the venue's policy, but it isn't illegal. I actually do a lot of this type of work and haven't encountered any issues, however the difference being that I get permission from the performing artist prior to recording them even if the venue doesn't allow it. The artist has the final say in the matter unless you are physically blocked by a security guard or other staff...
    My advice while editing the video is pick the best audio and then try to use more HD footage unless the shots were really poor. Let us know how it goes :apple:
     
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #3
    if it were illegal, you didn't film it in the first place. You are merely editing content someone gave you

    at least that's my take...if it's right who knows
     
  4. Cormac macrumors member

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    #4
    Re: Legal to film rock concert without permission?

    It's a little late to wonder if it's legal to film when you have the film of the concert in front of you. To give you a little perspective from my pov. I served in the Army in the 80s and was stationed in Europe. At most of the rock concerts I went to while there, there were people in the stands and other places that had cameras on tripods. I stood 10-20 ft away from Jimmy Page in 1984 with a camera and a case hanging from my shoulder. I don't know if I would try to sell the end product.
     
  5. macking104, Mar 1, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012

    macking104 macrumors 6502

    macking104

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    #5
    There is a difference between some screaming girl posting blurry camera phone Bieber concert footage on YouTube and someone using concert footage obtained without permission for commercial purposes. If this is a paid gig, you may want to contact the artist's management just to make sure...

    some venue policies:
    --> madison square garden nyc
    Video cameras, monopods, tripods, audio recording devices and cameras with telephoto or zoom lenses, including SLR's, are not permitted inside Madison Square Garden at any time. This policy will be strictly enforced. You may bring in disposable or 35mm camera (with no zoom or telephoto lens), however, for some events, cameras of any type and/or flash photography may be prohibited.

    --> hollywood bowl
    Flash photography, professional camera or recording equipment (including cameras with detachable lenses, any form of camera stand or audio/video recording devices), laser pointers or other electronic devices are prohibited.

    --> O2 London
    Professional camera equipment as well as audio and visual recording equipment is prohibited. If the event requires further restrictions, customers will be notified as early as possible before the start of the show.
     
  6. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Thanks for the replies. Some interesting points here. I think I'll need to talk with the guy a bit more to get a better idea of it all. I'm pretty sure he's using it as a personal record only so ethically it seems fine (he's a die-hard Bon Jovi fan so I'm sure he's indirectly given them heaps of money), but I always like to be sure I'm not breaking any laws and such.

    As for the job itself, the HD camera was held by the guy and he did a good job holding it, whereas his friends had lower quality cameras and supposedly did a bad job. I haven't seen the footage yet. So I'm sure the majority of the final piece will be from the good camera, with occasional shots through the other cameras for diversity, or if they capture a good moment better. Hard to say about the audio though I'm guessing the HD camera will have the best. For this situation, the best policy is to just use audio from a single camera, right? Or could I potentially pull-off switching if the sound wasn't too different? I'm thinking I'd have to do a fair bit of audio editing if I did that though, as the volume levels need to be the same and the EQ also.

    One other challenge about this job is that it'll be on site, and my only portable is the MBP in my sig (early 2008). I'm pretty sure FCP X and Compressor 4 will whip my processor, page out hard with my RAM, and have laggy playback as my HDD can clock only 50 MB/s at best. I also don't know if I'll be able to store all the footage if I do proxy media form. Any guesses and recommendations on this? The only thing that might save me is that I have an Express Card/34 slot, so I could hook up an external hard drive (raid?) and get over 100 MB/s. I can cope with a slow CPU as I don't think he wants many effects, but frame drops will just be a pain. So will bad page outs.
     
  7. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #7
    Somebody shot multicamera video from the mosh pit of a Bon Jovi concert and wants to fly you to the US to edit it on your 4 year old MBP. Because he's a fan.

    Is this a paying job?
     
  8. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Haha yes to all except to the flying to the US. He's already flown to the US to watch the Bon Jovi concert - I think it was in 2010. And wow.. I suppose my MBP is 4 years old. Doesn't feel like that.

    To be clear, this guy is a friend from work. He's willing to pay me, and I'll be using Final Cut Pro, but that's probably where the "professional" ends. As I said it's a small job. I'll basically have to stay late after work and I'll bring in my MBP to do it. So I say "on site" to mean I'm going to him and editing where he is, rather than him giving me the clips and me getting to edit them on my iMac.

    And I don't work professionally as a video editor. I do my share of video editing but it's always been for hobby pursuits.

    Just want to be sure I'm not confusing people!
     
  9. floh macrumors 6502

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    #9
    As for the legal issues: Just talk to the guy again, make him aware of the legal situation and that he might not want to share the end product with others. Sadly, this means that even if the result is very good, I would not put it into any personal demo reel you might wanna make for yourself in the future...
    But: Editing it should be fine. You did not film the material, you are not publishing it, I don't think you'll run into any trouble.

    For the editing itself: I used to edit in FCPX on the exact same MBP model when on the road until about a week ago, when sadly it broke down beyond repair (now I own a fancy new one). It works fine, I even did a multicam edit once (although I hope this wasn't why it broke down... ;)). You will experience some frame drops, but the playback is surprisingly fluid.
    The one (and big) recommendation I want to give you though is: Get an external Firewire-800-drive! Your MBP (I'm pretty sure it's the same I had) should have one of those connections and it will increase the speed by a huge amount! The trick is to use two different drives for the operating system and software and for the movie data. Worked wonders for me. I got this one from LaCie, since it is pretty small and without power adaptor and I mostly use it on the road.

    Other than that: You can do a good rough edit, even with frame drops, and then do the fine tuning later with some patience. Patience overall is a good idea. :)

    Have fun editing!
     
  10. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #10
    No worries. Got it.

    I love those ones: "can you just do this one little job for me, it won't take long" :)

    I reckon if you could get FCP X going on it, the whole "sync multicam using audio" would make things flow much more smoothly. Have you seen the demonstrations and tutorials around the place? Way cool. Mark Spencer has put out two of a three parter, available here (#1) and here (#2)

    Also, you'd definitely need a faster drive. Trying to run a few tracks of HD video simultaneously is going to be your biggest problem IMO. There are ways of helping things play back more smoothly, but at the end of the day you're shifting huge amounts of data.
     
  11. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Haha exactly - just shuffle around the clips, should get it done in one evening right? :roll eyes:

    I figure if we get this job done in under 10 hours, we've done well.

    Anyway I talked to the guy today and it turns out that the security guards are perfectly fine with him recording. So much so that, one time he was standing and recording while people behind him were sitting, that security guards came and told him to sit down. So can't see any footage legality issues. Though I still will only be doing this job under the understanding that he's using it for personal use only.

    He talked about using a FLAC file from some fan website that he came across.. this is somewhat more grey but again - security guards were fine with people recording. And again, it's for personal use only.


    So, now that I'm doing this job (which is the first time I'll be doing a paid video editing job! :D), I need to sort some things out! My impression is that he has three different angles, one 1080 HD and the other two are not. Let's pretend they're 720, I'm guessing/hoping it's at least that. Also the footage isn't continuous.

    Now I've never used the multi cam feature, do I really need to be able to play all three at once? Because if so, I'm guessing I'll need to get myself a fast external using at least FW800, if not eSATA via my Express Card/34 slot.

    So my questions:
    1) Is it that important to be able to play all the angles at once?
    2) Is ProRes Proxy the best format to be using for editing?
    3) If I do ProRes Proxy @ ~25 FPS and 1080 HD, according to Apple's white paper that's 34 Mb/sec - shouldn't most externals, even by USB 2.0, handle three streams of that? That's only 4.75 MB/sec, my cheapo 2.5" externals do 25 MB/sec.

    And my final question - the client wants it burned to a BluRay, and would like chapters and a menu if possible. Any tips on that? He's got a BluRay burner of some sort I think.
     
  12. floh macrumors 6502

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    #12
    That might pose a problem for the nice multicam feature. But I'm note sure as I have only done one multicam edit and the footage was continuous.

    Yes, you need to play all three at once. The idea of the multicam feature is that all three clip play in small windows. You basically look at all the footage once and switch between cameras as if it were live TV. I had one "goto" camera that recorded the whole scenery on a tripod, and whenever I saw nice footage on one of the others I would switch there and back again when it got worse... I think I watched these nice tutorials here before I did it:
    Multicam Edit in FCPX
    Follow-up on seperate sound

    An external drive is a very good idea, you'll definitely need it. eSATA is probably not necessary, unless you get a really fast RAID, since the read performance of the drive will be less than the transfer rate of FW800.

    Assuming you did the math correctly (I did not look up said white paper), this is still a very theoretical value. You are assuming that the files are at constant bitrates, perfectly compressed, and that nothing else will go through the wire at this time. That is unrealistic.

    All theories aside: I can tell you from experience that you don't want to cut on USB2.0 drives. I did not try a Proxy codec, but even a single clip edit had frustratingly many frame drops for me. You can of course try it on one of your USB drives, but I'd be surprised if it worked smoothly. Report back if it does! :)

    Sorry, no idea how to do BluRay authoring... I'm pretty sure commercial CD burning software like Toast can handle it, but I haven't done it...
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13
    That's going to suck.

    Yes. Even if you weren't doing multicam the old trick would be to stack on the cameras in a single timeline so you can easily cut between them and only have to worry about syncing everything once.

    No. ProRes LT is probably as low as I'd go. They call it "proxy" for a reason. ;)

    Adobe Encore author's Blu-ray but I'm not sure if you can buy it stand alone.


    Lethal
     
  14. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Alright, looks like it's time for me to get myself a nice external. Given I'll be carrying it around, will something like a G-Tech G-Drive (3.5") be suitable? Or is it better I get something like a 2.5" LaCie rugged? I'd rather get the G-Tech as I can then do the scratch drive/data drive split for my iMac at home later on.

    I don't think the continuity of the footage will be too much of an issue, as I think he'll be able to get continuous audio of the night. Hopefully the video clips will then slip in to the right place.

    Also I'm working with FCP X, so ProRes LT isn't an option is it? I'll have to try use standard ProRes 422 then.

    I'll need to do some more research on the BluRay stuff.
     
  15. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #15
    What kills drives is heat so I'd stay away from editing on the smaller portable drives because they ventilation is very poor. They are great at being used to transport form point A to point B but they aren't ideal to be cutting from.

    Ideally, yes, but dollars to donuts says the audio on the cameras is going to be over-modulated making any sort of 'auto synch' utility useless. Not trying to be a downer but anytime the word 'hope' is used its usually a bad omen. ;)

    That I do not know.


    Lethal
     
  16. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #16
    Take a look at the FCP X Multicam tutorials I linked to. The footage does not have to be continuous. FCP X lines everything up using audio. You can have, say, half a dozen discontinuous shots from three cameras plus a good audio track and every things gets laid down in sync.

    Mark Spencer recommends optimizing the media (converting it to ProRes) and creating proxy files.

    The reasoning is this: playing back multiple streams of h.264 media (24 Mbps) might be easier for a slow hard drive, but it would suck up CPU cycles like Tony Montana inhales Bolivian marching powder. Converting to ProRes eases the CPU pain, but since you may hit the transfer ceiling of your IO systems with ProRes (122 Mbps per HD stream, give or take) , you actually create and cut in ProRes Proxy (38 Mbps) files instead which is about a third the size.

    The problem with this approach is that you start filling up hard drives with original versions and two ProRes versions of all your clips, but what's life without problems?

    Back to the legality question: don't put your name on it and you should be OK. Tell your mate not to start distributing* it and he should be OK.

    (Note: distributing also includes burning copies and giving it away)

    All the legal knowledge I have learned from Professor Internets seems to point to record companies usually owning the performance and distribution copyright of studio recorded versions of music (bands sign those rights away, that's how they get into great studios in the first place with all the hookers and bourbon and fast cars etc), but the bands usually retain live performance copyright. So that's why a band is cool with you recording a live show because they own the songs and the right to record and distribute their own live performance, but they may get a bit tetchy about mass distribution of fan recordings.
     
  17. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    If the footage is not continuous you may find that you have holes where none of the cameras were shooting... that will suck. Maybe choose the best three songs of the show and use B roll to fill in the gaps. Also if you can get your hands on the FLAC and convert it to AIFF, there is a good chance that it will be much better than any of the cameras' on board sound.
     
  18. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #18
    You're out of luck with the chapter and menu bit. FCP X will burn a basic BluRay disc. Here's a nifty video of what can be done.

    Roxio Toast and Adobe Encore can also make BR, but I'm not sure how advanced they are.
     
  19. ghellquist macrumors regular

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    #19
    Legally it mostly goes like this ( remember that law is terribly complicated in the area and does vary in some respects between as exampe country )

    1) The song and textwriter owns the song. In practice they all allow anyone to make unchanged versions (covers) as long as you pay the fees. Your friend probably has not paid any fees.
    2) The performers on the stage has a right to be paid for the performance as such. your friend probably has not paid anything for this.
    3) the person doing the recording owns that and.
    4) there might have been restrictions at the arena, but that whole point is mostly in history and out the picture.

    Now, in general, the person having the recording in his ownership can privately look at it and make copies for personal use. This includes family and showing it to close friends but not giving copies to anyone. It definetely does not include selling the recording or publishing it on the internet.

    In order to publish it there will need to be permission from the performers as well as the song writers. These are generally represented by record companies or such, and, well, they can be rather grumpy.

    Now, all this is your friends problem. You are not going to publish the material are you? It might be that the friend showing the material to you is in violation, but that is hardly your problem. I would go ahead and not think too much. The rest is up to your friend.

    Next thing is that the sound from the camera probably sucks. That is your friends problem, let him decide on what is acceptable.

    Yet another thing is that editing video can be quite a challenge. My suggestion there is for you to rehearse it a lot in advance. Use juat about any three video streams and work on edit them together. A few weeks training in advance will save you from alott of embarressment.
     
  20. jablko macrumors member

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    #20
    +1 to ghellquist.

    There are various rights held by the author/s of the lyrics, music and arrangement, the performer, and the venue. None of those will stop you from editing the video or your colleague from watching it privately. However, they all come into play if the video is distributed, sold or shown publicly in any way, such as in a theatre, on YouTube, etc. If your colleague has distribution plans, he'll have to license the music and performance and get a location release signed by the venue. Because this was a "public" event, he probably won't need model releases from those appearing in the footage, but it's always good to protect oneself.

    None of that is your problem if you're only editing his footage, but since he is your friend and coworker, you probably will want to let him know about the legal limitation to distribution before he sinks more money into the project.
     
  21. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Good point on the rehearsal. Think I may make up a trial multi cam project using my iMac, MBP, iPhone and another camera, and have my iMac playing some music. Then I can try run through the whole thing and get comfortable. The more I'm able to pass off as an expert, the happier I reckon he'll be with paying me a decent fee!

    I think the key to me staying "legal" is making sure the video is not distributed, so I will remind him of that.

    Thanks all for the video links also everyone, I've looked at most of them. Gives me a better idea of what the workflow will look like.
     
  22. cwaddell2002 macrumors member

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    #22
    Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, but I have travelled with a number of shows as a part of the production staff, so I have some perspective on the issue... Given that perspective, I would say If the Venue or production specifically prohibited recording, and signs were in place at the venue - then it doesn't matter whether you distribute it, share it, or whatever, the footage you have was illegally obtained, and you would be in possession of it.

    Now - who is going to prove you have it, or that it even exists - not many people are going to go after you for that... On a number of shows that I was on, if someone was caught with video or photography equipment, we would have security seize the equipment, remove the media, or delete it, and hold the equipment at security until the end of the show... chances are if multiple cameras were allowed in the venue you should be fine...
     

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