8 thoughts on “The rules around capturing public performances

  1. Hi,

    I am a busker (street musician) in NYC. I found your article very interesting, as "millions" of people videotape me every day.

    You wrote:
    (presumably) the performer he has not "fixed" (eg., recorded) his performance in a "tangible medium of expression"

    Most of the buskers I know ( – and I know many buskers…) have recorded their music on CDs (which they sell while busking or on line).
    Also – many buskers play their own compositions, which are copyrighted (I play a lot of my husband's music, which is registered with ASCAP)

    Saw Lady

  2. I know some buskers hold a TM for their act. The 'Naked Cowbow' (fellow NYC busker) even made a lot of $$ sueing people for TM infringement…

    In my case – I ask that people who blog about me put a link to my website (http://www.SawLady.com ) from their post/video.
    My website is clearly advertised in 5 places around me when ever I busk, so people can't say they didn't know of it…

    Thank you for the interesting article!
    All the best,

    Saw Lady
    http://www.SawLady.com/blog – where I blog about what happens when I play in the NYC subway

  3. You worte:
    there is generally no copyright interest in a street performance because (presumably) the performer he has not "fixed" (eg., recorded) his performance in a "tangible medium of expression" (eg., a videotape, or computer disk).

    Most street musicians today have recorded their music – they sell it when they play on the street or from the Internet. Many street musicians also play music they composed and they own full rights for it.

  4. Saw Lady, you're super-smart to be marketing your site during your performances, and anyone who blogs it should certainly include a link so that they're helping you out!

    Michelle, CDs and Internet downloads are indeed fixed forms of expression, so copyright applies to those forms.

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