Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hints, Moles and Videotapes

Things have really been busy in Manilowland for the past few days. For years a fan in Europe has been supplying fans with music, photos, and videos of Barry Manilow. Not only did she post this material on her own site, she posted it on Internet sharing sites. Last week she got caught; an email from an attorney representing Stiletto arrived in her in box. Of course she had to share the pain of receiving such an email with all of her many online friends, one of whom she suspects turned her into TPTB. Fans have been up in arms about the treatment this fan received. Closer examination shows that she and her friend left TPTB very little alternative.

Many times fan has commented what a caring person this lady is to have taken the time to edit and post so many videos. Trouble is her concern didn’t go far enough to obey the laws that protect an artist’s material. Her sharing has another name – copyright infringement. The only way copyrighted material can be used legally by anyone other than the copyright owner is to obtain permission from the copyright holder, which this person clearly did not do. Claims have been made that this person didn’t think she was doing anything wrong but only helping by promoting Barry.

She did know and her own words prove it. On August 2, 2009, she posted a reply on the forum board about her videos being removed from the Daily Motion site. In the reply she says not once, but twice that, “I was expecting this to come one day…” and “As I said, I was expecting this one day or the other but I was hoping this day not to come that soon.” (Now before I get angry emails that I used quotes off a private forum, I want to pass on this bite of information. The discussion boards on the Manilow Network are not private. I was able to look this up and pull it off without even signing on to the network. Anyone can see what is posted there. The only reason to sign on would be to reply to a discussion. All goes back to nothing is private on the Internet.) So she knew what she was doing was wrong.

Copyright seems to be brushed aside by fans as not being relevant when money does not change hands. That is not true. What she knew or didn’t know became a non-issue when TPTB pulled all her videos off the public site. Big clue there that this fan was doing something that wasn’t supposed to be done. Not only that, but that she was being watched.

This rather large hint did not get through to this person. She came up with another plan to keep sharing copyrighted material. Once again she shared this information around the Internet on email strings. See where this is going? Where it always goes. Once again back to that nothing is private on the Internet (doesn’t that get boring that I have to keep saying that? But some people never get it.) It is supposed that someone, trying to score whatever it is moles get, turned her into TPTB. Tons of finger pointing and names named as to who this was has been going on all over the fan sites. It can be narrowed down to one place; My Manilow Network.

Some well meaning person posted on the MMN discussion boards that this lady was going to keep posting her videos but she couldn’t tell how the fan planned to do this because then TPTB would know. Think maybe this person, who all but dared TPTB to stop this fan had anything to do with tipping then off that something was afoot? (I went back to find the post but in true cult fashion, it has been removed. Good covering of tracks.) It is not hard to imagine that after reading this post, on their own official site, that TPTB knew that hints and being nice wasn’t going to work. It was time to get serious and they did.

I’m a black and white person. Rules and laws are to be obeyed in my book. I’m not naive to think that most everyone hasn’t shared a video or something with a friend. That is not the case with this lady. She had great amounts of material. Her material wasn’t limited to videos; she claimed to have unreleased music. Someone here in the United States supplied her with material. Trying to put a spin on it that she was “helping Barry” and other fans does not change the fact that what she did was not only morally wrong but against the law. She got away with it for years but her run is over, or I hope it is. Surely she got the message this time. Maybe this fan can use the skills she acquired in editing and posting Barry’s material into a new hobby—one that is legal.


texas_fan said...

You make some good points Sue. It definitely made me think. However, as a recipient of strong arm tactics myself, I think there would have been a much better way to handle this. If you want the fan love, you sometimes get the good with the bad. I'm a black and white person myself, but sometimes...there is a better way to handle things.

you begin again.... said...


Most serious fans won't disagree with one word on your post. However....

Caitrin's videos have been posted for YEARS. It was never a secret for all that time.

I can think of a few, lawyers (j/k) who can argue a case that allowing content to be published for that length of time implies consent. Copyright law has lots of subtleties, and rights have to be enforced each time, every time, all the time there is an "infringement" or you lose the right. (I have friends in the industry, too. ;-) )

The issue for those protesting the site removal is (1) the fact that she got the "cease and desist" treatment after all this time and (2) that they sent the equivalent of Tony Soprano to do it when a simple request would have done the job.

It's not like TPTB don't watch our sites and blogs. I didn't think they had time before but now, after watching the patterns in the IP addresses, I can tell they look every day! So they can't plead ignorance, IMHO.

crystaline said...

As much as I sympathize with Catrin knowing the amount of work she put into posting those video clips and the fact that she wasn't bothered for many years, when Stiletto first asked her to take them down, she did so and didn't mention anything about lawyers the first time. What I think, and this is only my guess, is that Catrin decided that in spite of the fact that she knew Garry didn't want her to post them anywhere under any circumstances, she decided to do so anyway and that most likely caused the lawyers to be involved. Chances are that if she had just complied and decided to let that be the end of it, the response from Stiletto/Garry wouldn't have been so heavy handed. There are clips up on youtube right now from the Rochester show and if I'm not mistaken the whole show is on Daily Motion until Garry finds out about them and those will be gone too.

It seems that no matter how many times, and no matter how many ways it's explained nicely and no so nicely to fans, some of them refuse to listen and continue to illegally tape Barry's shows. It doesn't matter what the reason is, it's illegal and it needs to stop. I just wish certain people on a certain site would stop automatically making Garry and Barry the bad guys but then they like to think one or both of them shot Bambi's mother and were on the grassy knoll in Dallas and that will probably never change.

Dawn Bushman said...

Yeah, I agree, I too have a feeling that the notice from the lawyers did not come from "out of the blue". They knew what they were doing was illegal, but they want Barry and Garry to take the heat from it. As far as I'm concerned, if they don't care about Barry's feelings regarding music he's made, what kind of fans are these?

As far as "helping Barry", when did a service project in his name become out of style? Something legal, like getting a group to spend time at a retirement center? To me it would be a better use of all of that time that was instead used toward something they shouldn't have been doing.

Bonnie said...

My question is, do the U.S. Copyright laws apply in other countries? Or could this be just TPTB's way of scaring her into submission?

Whatever the answer, it could have been handled more delicately.

A Real Barry Fan said...

Copyright laws are world encompassing. She was warned nicely by the PTB to remove the content. When she didn't they got the legal team involved. End of story. I dont' think a 'mole' outed her, I think the PTB put a stop to it.

Dawn Bushman said...

Within the U.S. copyright violations are handled through the F.B.I. Outside the U.S. they are handled through INTERPOL, which is the international police.

I know of one person who was told (not Catrin but someone else) that their video was violating copyrights and that person not only argued about it but also removed the comments.

dcsharon said...

There are several different ways to look at this -- someone might see a video that's posted (as I've done it myself) and decide to look at the artist work a bit further (bootleg or commercial). If one person was drawn to look at a different source of the music (Mayflower or Showstoppers for example), and purchased a product, then Barry benefitted from it.

I understand copyright law, and yes, it's illegal. But, it had been there for years. TPTB finally got smart and decided that if we were going to watch videos, then we might as well pay for the service, so Manilow tv was born.

There should be a way to tap into Catrin's creativity (legally) to allow her to use the talents she seems to have to find all these great videos. From what I understand, she is homebound, suffering from an anxiety disorder that doesn't allow her to leave her house. She has pursued finding these vidoes with a passion, and as far as I know, never made any profit from them.

There should have been a way to channel that the energy (and love) directed at Barry could have accompished something other than hurt feelings between a fan and a superstar.