Broadway, YouTube and Performance Rights

After the Curtain Falls, the Web Gets Into the Act (pdf)

Theater is the ephemeral art — except, that is, when it’s bootlegged on YouTube.

[…] Few shows are as omnipresent online as “Wicked,” but others — musicals, almost exclusively — are out there, even the best-protected among them. Mel Brooks might be the king of premium pricing on Broadway although his “Young Frankenstein” has been on the discount rack for months, but does he know that anyone with an Internet connection can watch Sutton Foster in the Teri Garr part doing “Roll in the Hay” during last years tryout in Seattle?

[…] Should actors be paid for such usage? Should penalties be imposed when such footage mysteriously migrates from official Web sites to less-governed areas of cyberspace? This is the frontier, and the contract negotiated between Equity and the Broadway League this summer (scheduled for ratification this week) specifically allows for more marketing flexibility in the brave new world.

[…] Media corporations are reportedly growing less interested in banning contraband video (shared yuks from TV, for instance) than in milking unplumbed advertising opportunities from whatever arrives online. […]