Friday, July 17, 2009

Some Times I Think About…

Some times I ponder why people insist on doing things they know they shouldn't’t. The last few weeks I have been noticing all the videos being downloaded onto the My Manilow Network. Now I know there are much worse things going on in the world but this is one of those things that make me wonder why fans continue to do this downloading. In this digital age we live in it is so easy for any picture, video, or sound clip to be saved to a personal computer. Once it’s saved, ownership is taken of the file. On some level everyone knows saving a file is, in many cases, not morally or ethically the right thing to do. Well meaning people aren’t out to break copyright laws; they just want to share something they enjoy with their friends.

Over on MMN lots of people want to share. In all honestly, I should stay away from over there, but I am rooting for the good people, who are trying to make the network a friendlier place, to win. They fight a losing battle but I support them all the way. I admire how hard they try. Posting videos on MMN is an example of how the fans who claim to love and respect Barry Manilow so much have no regard for him at all when it comes to stealing his music and performances.

Yes, stealing. Another name for it is bootlegging. The PBS A Capital Fourth is a prime example of what I am talking about. Some very poorly informed member of the MMN spent a ton of time downloading video from the show onto the network to share with everybody. She justified her actions by saying “someone” told her that since the National Forestry Service sponsored the event, the show was in the public domain. PBS would like to know this. They were so misinformed that the closing credits of their broadcast carried the words, “©2009 Capital Concerts, Inc. All rights reserved.” Do the research. Don’t depend on what “someone” tells you. As bad as it is to steal a show like that, this issue is more than the legalities.

Once in awhile the administrators of MMN will clean videos off the site. Some of the members express surprise when this happens. It always happens so why are they so surprised? Do people on MMN not know how Barry feels about the bootlegging of his material? (Before I go any further, yes, I know Barry is guilty of bootlegging too. I read Sweet Life and I saw him on Larry King Live. Sometimes Barry doesn’t follow his own rules. He’s human.) He has certainly expressed his feelings enough times over the years. Here’s a hint of how Barry feels on this matter—one of the words he has used to describe how bootlegging of his material makes him feel is rape. Pretty strong word to use, isn’t it?

Now what I don’t understand is why the people who claim to love and respect Barry so much show so little regard for his wishes and feelings. To post bootlegged video (and any copyrighted material that you do not have permission to use is bootlegged) on the site that is to honor Barry adds insult to injury. These people on MMN are supposed to be Barry’s biggest supporters. Forget about legalities, copyright, and Ning’s terms of service. The videos should be taken off the pages out of respect for Mr. Manilow.

If you really love and respect Barry like you claim, then take the videos off your pages. Pressure your peers to take the videos off their pages. Make Barry’s site a place that reflects respect for the man it honors. If you leave the videos up, then shame on you. How can you continue to steal from someone you say you love? You have no love or respect for Barry Manilow at all.


Kathy said...

Amen, Sue! If only the bootleggers could've heard the tone of B's voice in JSV, they might reconsider... or probably not. Rats are always rats, right?

Dawn Bushman said...

Hi Sue,

I have to apologize, as I was the one who did do some checking and honestly believed A Capitol 4th was public domain. The reason was because it was being funded by branches of the U.S. federal government. When the government funds a program (such as the commercials from the Ad Council), they are in the public domain. This information I got from my state's Attorney General's office.

I did check at the program, but apparently I did miss the copyright notice.

I have since taken down the video off my site and will be removing the link from MMN.

I do agree with you about the copyright issues they do need to be enforced, and I'm hoping the will do something to curb all of the bootleg videos from getting posted.


Your repentant "rat",