What a pretentious paragraph of copyright gobbledygook

A while back, I attended a high school drama performance, and the following statement was printed in the program:

“The videotaping or making of electronic or other audio and/or visual recordings of this production or distributing recordings on any medium, including the internet, is strictly prohibited, a violation of the author’s rights, and actionable under United States copyright law. For more information, please visit: http://www.samuelfrench.com/whitepaper.”

Really? Come on now. Stop being ridiculous.

So if someone gets out their iPhone and captures a short clip of their daughter entering onto stage during the show then they have broken copyright?

I’m a creative writer. I understand why copyright is so important, but sometimes the language of law makes no sense – especially when taking into the account the venue and circumstance.

That a parent can’t video their child in a low-key (even non-paying) production then there’s a problem with copyright overkill.

When a school can’t videotape their productions to show off their talent or use in a drama class, then there’s a copyright overkill.

Such occurrences might even raise awareness of an author’s work. Let schools use it! Let parents use it!

I love recording the plays I produce, and so do the kids and parents. Loosen up a little, Samuel French.