Friday, June 06, 2008

No unauthorized recording, please

I noticed it last year. At one of my last library performances of the summer, a mother sat in the front row with her kids and recorded much of my performance on her cell phone. I really don't mind people taking a few pictures, but I'm not wild about bootlegged versions of my shows, either sound or video. I've just begun asking the librarians who introduce me to ask that nobody record without my permission.

That's a standard part of the introduction of storytellers at big festivals. Weird to have it reach down to local libraries.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Good for you! I'm sure people don't imagine that recording you telling stories is in a way stealing from you -- but if you think about it, it's similar to bootlegging a CD or DVD. What's free for someone else actually means that you don't get the income from selling your own CD or DVD. You're the one telling the stories in your own way; it's only gracious (and honest) for your audience members to pay for what materials they want to take away (memories, of course, are a different issue).

I once offered to give a friend one of your CDs for her nieces and nephews. She said "Oh, I can just make a tape from yours, can't I?" She thought she'd be saving me money by bootlegging, and had no idea that the maker/purveyor of CDs actually relies on those recordings for part of her income. Woops. I pointed out that I like to support your work as much as I like to spread your CDs around, and handed her the CD. It was a little teaching moment...