Saturday, 20 April 2013

Intellectual Property and Ballet

"How can they stop us taking videos with our phones?" I overheard one member of the audience ask in The Lowry recently? "Well there is the law of trespass for a start" I nearly told her. "You're only allowed into this place on conditions and one of those conditions is that you don't make a thundering nuisance of yourself. Or I could have told her about performers' rights, the right of a performer (which includes a dancer) under s.180 (1) (a) of The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 to object to the exploitation (which includes filming and taping) of his performance.

Before I started this blog I used rights in performances as an excuse to indulge my passion for ballet in my intellectual property titles. I reviewed the Northern Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker in "Cracking Nuts - Copyright in Choreography" IP North West, 24 Nov 2011. In it I discussed Massine v De Basil [1936 - 1945] MCC 233.which is quite an important case on non-literal copying and title. I have referred judges to it more than once in software disputes.

Then in "Ballet and Intellectual Property - my Excuse for reviewing 'Beauty and the Beast'" I reviewed Northern Ballet's Beauty and the Beast in my IP Yorkshire blog a few weeks later. I pushed my luck again in "Northern Ballet's Ondine" in the same publication on 11 Sept 2012.  And earlier this year I gave my dance school a plug in "Interesting Yorkshire Businesses No. 1: The Base Studios Huddersfield" on 11 Jan and "Huddersfield Youth Dance Academy Auditions 26 Jan 2013" and 18 Jan 2013.

Now some lawyers and intellectual property owners like ballet. As I said in "From Bar to Barre" 20 March 2013 there are links between those two worlds. It was through looking for a parking space one Saturday afternoon when Floral Street was packed that I discovered Lincoln's Inn Fields and hence Lincoln's Inn. But most do not. And for those who know little about ballet and care even less my reviews were something of a turn off.

"Now then lass" protest my clients. "We've seen thee make a fool of thou's ane attempting pliés and tendus in t'Base but we can only laugh so much. So do us a favour and keep it to tha' self." So I did and hence this publication.

Now as I have probably upset all my balletomane readers by rabbiting on about the law I have inserted this clip from the TV series "Rumpole of the Bailey". It has nowt to do with ballet but it is very funny. I hope you enjoy it.

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