Friday, May 15, 2015
Music Business/Law Tips - Live Video Violations?
This year live streaming apps are the hot topic. For a musical performer, this allows a show to be broadcasted and viewed worldwide for free via a smartphone, so long as the viewer follows the performer on Twitter. It is a great way to promote an artist and gain new fans, but there are some potential legal pitfalls. The focus of this article will be on the Meerkat app which steams in real time (i.e., there is no ability to archive). The 2 main issues are: (1) rights clearances, and (2) privacy. (1) A broadcaster is technically supposed to have licenses from BMI, ASCAP and SESAC to legally stream live music performances. Of course, most artists would not have that/those in place. (2) As for privacy, a live stream could capture persons that do not give consent to be broadcast or have no knowledge of the broadcast. Again, most artists would not have signed consent forms before a show. Since its a new technology and damages are speculative, it remains to be seen if there are going to be any lawsuits that help set parameters for how to legally use the app without running afoul of the law or people's rights. At a minimum, an artist may want to be up front with an audience and let them know they are being broadcast via a live streaming app (either mention from the stage or post a sign). Ben McLane Esq benmclane.com