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Thread: Recording companies versus Youtube uploaders - your opinion

          
   
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  1. #16
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    It's possible, though, that our small, tight-knit group here is an anomalous, self-selected sampling of the opera-loving community (to say nothing of the opera-as-a-casual-interest community). Maybe other people aren't amassing DVD collections so compulsively.

    And yes, I've just contradicted my previous post. So sue me.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    I know you say I am an exception but I can't be the only one (Nat panics that she is the only one with OCDVDCS)

    (Obsessive Compulsive DVD Collecting Syndrome)
    Me too, me too! I get the shhhaakkesss when I don't buy a DVD/Blu-ray every now and then. So I HAVE to buy some.

  3. #18
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Well, maybe sospiro and Nat and Amfortas do have a point. I'm another one with little patience for full operas on YouTube... but I've seen them, especially the ones with higher definition. I have a speedy connection and the opera plays with no freezes. So, yes, sometimes I watch something on YouTube. But it is rather rare, and doesn't really stop me from buying commercial products.

    OK, so, maybe, after all, given the fact that opera lovers are usually not teenagers, YouTube doesn't detrimentally impact on the market for commercial products.

    Or else, maybe when it does, it's offset by when it helps (e.g., opera lover watches clip, likes it, buys the full product).

    Let's start a poll about it. I'll start it.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); September 2nd, 2012 at 10:25 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  4. #19
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    What is wrong with the companies having profits? That's capitalism, it's what moves the world. We need them as much as they need us. Would you like all the main companies to ditch the operatic market all together and keep releasing DVDs with Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins, Paul Potts, and the likes of Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, etc?

    We need to keep the companies that do classical music and opera in business.
    Alma, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong, just that the discussion is about that, rather than about performers' rights. And yes, I want to keep them in business as much as anyone else.

    I have to say that the thought of depriving individual performers of their remuneration would be a much more potent argument for me. But I'm not feeling any guilt about recording companies as I reckon I'm making a hefty contribution to their profits all on my own every month. If I watch the odd commercial release on Youtube and decide not to buy it I'm not losing any sleep over that, as on other occasions youtube has prompted me to make a purchase that I wasn't even considering.
    Natalie

  5. #20
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Yes, that's pretty much why I voted in my poll in the indifferent option for complete operas. First of all, the complete operas I (rarely) watch on YouTube are usually not available otherwise. When I do watch something that is available and decide not to buy it, it is like you said offset by the times when watching it compels me to buy it. Clips definitely make me want to buy something (when they're good). So I think for me the balance is positive for the recording companies, in terms of my use of YouTube.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  6. #21
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    The poll is [here] - so, participants in this thread, go there as well and vote, please.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  7. #22
    Senior Member Involved Member Tardis's Avatar
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    I am resurrecting this thread because I wanted to ask about recordings that can't found anywhere else.

    What if, for instance, you were looking for a recording of an European artist's performance that wasn't streamed anywhere else or posted on Youtube or on a DVD/CD?

    Has anyone contacted opera houses to ask if they have an in-house recording?
    Or is trying to locate a bootleg the only way to obtain a copy?

  8. #23
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tardis View Post
    I am resurrecting this thread because I wanted to ask about recordings that can't found anywhere else.

    What if, for instance, you were looking for a recording of an European artist's performance that wasn't streamed anywhere else or posted on Youtube or on a DVD/CD?

    Has anyone contacted opera houses to ask if they have an in-house recording?
    Or is trying to locate a bootleg the only way to obtain a copy?
    You could of course ask the house, but I doubt they would be able to help you. If they have a recording (chances are they will), I don't think they are allowed to hand them out to strangers who ask, however nicely.

    Bootlegs are probably the way to go. Unfortunately.

  9. #24
    Senior Member Involved Member Tardis's Avatar
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    I dunno, I think the distinction I make between bootlegging and YT is that when someone uploads clips onto YT, they usually want to share something. I have always found Schigolch's thread "Great Singers of the Past" to be very educational. In my opinion, it's probably one of the most important threads in the forum, because it's almost like a historical record of former singers.

    Whereas with bootlegging, these businesses are just there to make money off of it. They are not really trying to share anything. These businesses aren't recording it for their private collection. They are selling these out in public specifically for profit. They have commercialized bootlegging.
    And the people running these businesses aren't really likeable, to be honest. Going through some of the posts and the forums they have frequented over the past decade, I have gotten the rather unpleasant impression that they are petty, manipulative and self-serving. It certainly makes interesting reading to read about these feuds that just erupt sporadically from time to time over it but I almost wish I hadn't read them. Now I know too much.

    I really want this recording, but then I feel like I would be doing business with people who are ethically bankrupt. I think that's bothering me more.

  10. #25
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I know the feeling. I've held off buying a recording with Jonas Kaufmann from a questionable source for that reason. (And I really, REALLY want that recording!)

  11. #26
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aksel View Post
    You could of course ask the house, but I doubt they would be able to help you. If they have a recording (chances are they will), I don't think they are allowed to hand them out to strangers who ask, however nicely.

    Bootlegs are probably the way to go. Unfortunately.
    Another factor that plays into the availability (or not) of house recordings is the musician's union. The release of the 1977 Vienna State Opera recording of Die Frau ohne Schatten was held up for nearly ten years because the Vienna Philharmonic were withholding their permission for the release. And when I was performing with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the productions were recorded and broadcast on the local NPR radio station, but we all had to sign a release giving permission for the broadcasts, otherwise they couldn't have taken place. I believe the union in this country are also responsible for the unavailability for so many years of legal releases of Metropolitan Opera recordings.

  12. #27
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jephtha View Post
    Another factor that plays into the availability (or not) of house recordings is the musician's union. The release of the 1977 Vienna State Opera recording of Die Frau ohne Schatten was held up for nearly ten years because the Vienna Philharmonic were withholding their permission for the release. And when I was performing with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the productions were recorded and broadcast on the local NPR radio station, but we all had to sign a release giving permission for the broadcasts, otherwise they couldn't have taken place. I believe the union in this country are also responsible for the unavailability for so many years of legal releases of Metropolitan Opera recordings.
    Effectively by doing this, all the unions are achieving is to encourage the dissemination of illegal bootlegs and YouTube videos, for which they are GUARANTEED to get no royalties whatsoever!
    Natalie

  13. #28
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    What does bootlegging mean here? I don't see anything wrong having clips available on Youtube. It serves as a sample of the piece / performance, which either motivates me to buy the recording / explore more of the music or forget it altogether for now.

  14. #29
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I don't consider what's on YouTube bootlegging. To me, bootleg performances are those surreptitiously recorded during live events and then sold commercially (with the money all going in the sellers' pockets, of course).

  15. #30
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    What does bootlegging mean here? I don't see anything wrong having clips available on Youtube. It serves as a sample of the piece / performance, which either motivates me to buy the recording / explore more of the music or forget it altogether for now.
    What we're calling bootlegs are the complete copies of a work that are recorded on CD or DVD by illegitimate businesses that don't respect copyrights, and then commercialize these pirate copies for rock-bottom prices, thus hurting the sales of bona fide recordings, those that legitimate business must license and pay royalties for. Therefore the bootlegging hurts the entire business, from singers to orchestras to recording companies, and decrease the market share for operatic music. Obviously if people can buy a recording of a performance for $5, many of them won't buy a legitimate one for $30, making the recording labels less interested in releasing products for the operatic - already niche - market.

    Some people will argue that many operas don't exist as regular products so they must buy the bootlegs. I counter-argue, saying that maybe these operas *would* be available as regular, high quality products, if the limited interest for them wasn't being fulfilled by the pirates.

    Maybe there is some validity to the claim when it's a really rare opera that won't ever interest a large recording label, no matter what.

    But the problem with making this exception is that when we buy these, we're directly supporting the bootlegger, who will then be able to stay in business, and will be able to release other products that will compete directly with legitimate recordings.

    If bootleggers *only* traded in the niche market of rare operas that major companies won't take, maybe I'd be less opposed to the idea. Sadly, while they all say that that's what they do, it's not true. If you consult the catalog of any of these shady businesses, you'll see dozens and dozens of operas that also exist as regular commercial products, and in many cases, plain pirated copies of the same production/performance that is available from a regular label.

    A true case that I saw one of these days: Anna Netrebko's and Rolando Villazón's L'Elisir d'Amore that is available on DVD from one of the major labels was broadcast to an European TV channel (much like NPR does in the United States) and was recorded from TV by a bootlegger, who made DVDs out of it and placed them on sale. So, they claim that since it was recorded from TV, it's public domain. BS. The exact same image and sound is the propriety of a legitimate label, and therefore each sale of the bootleg for $5 decreases the odds that someone will buy the legitimate product. The fact that the label licensed the product for a one-time TV broadcast doesn't mean that then anyone can go and record it, and make hundreds of copies for sale. That was not the purpose of the license. It's completely illegal, and a violation of copyrights.

    Now, YouTube is another story. I actually fully support the availability of some performances on YouTube. It's a lot more, like other people said here, a question of diffusion rather than profit. Most people don't refrain from buying the legitimate product because there is a YouTube clip, because, among other factors (such as navigation, subtitles, etc.), YouTube clips don't have the sound and image quality of a DVD. Most likely, someone test-drives a production on YouTube then buys the real product. Even if there are people who refrain from buying because they can see it all on YouTube, it's probably more than offset by the number of people who weren't about to buy the product before, but ended up doing so after liking it on YouTube. Instead of hurting the market, the practice likely helps it (which makes it really stupid from the part of the labels to prosecute people who upload clips of their products). No such thing with bootlegs. These can't help, and can only hurt the industry.

    Since we all love our art form and we want the labels to continue to support it, we shouldn't be buying bootlegs.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); February 7th, 2013 at 09:08 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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