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Discussion in 'Stage Management and Facility Operations' started by lieperjp, Jan 18, 2009.


Does your theatre publish soundtracks or recorded CDs?

  1. Yes, we regularly publish soundtracks/CDs

  2. No, we do not publish soundtracks/CDs

  3. We publish soundtracks/CDs only for concerts/choir/band

  4. We publish free recordings on the internet but not physical media

  5. This poll could not in any way apply to me

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Central Wisconsin
    Does your theatre publish soundtracks for your shows? Is it even possible to get permission from the publishing companies for soundtracks for musicals and the like at a decent rate?

    We publish soundtracks/performance CDs for all our concerts, and also we put out a soundtrack for our Original Musical last fall. They are sold at a modest fee and we make a little money after paying for the materials.

    Edit: Or (mostly for Schools here) do you publish yearly CDs for the Music Department - Choir, Band, etc.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  2. TheDonkey

    TheDonkey Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I'm not sure about the band/choir dep, but the theater dep at ourt school almost never publishes any media outside of promo posters and programmes.
  3. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

    Likes Received:
    Southern California
    Our orchestra already eats up a significant portion of our budget. Imagine how much more that would be if we had to include soundtrack rights in their contract.:legalstuff:
  4. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Stageline Operator/Staging Supervisor
    Howell, NJ
    I sometimes record the show and give a copy to the director or any actor that pays for the blank CDs, but no publishing or public release.
  5. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    The majority of our productions are from publishing houses (Dramatists, Samuel French, MTI, etc.) We do not typically acquire the recording rights for shows so would not be allowed to sell a soundtrack.

    In those rare instances where recording rights are even available, I expect we would lose money on the deal anyway.
  6. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Likes Received:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Lititz, PA
    You know, there is a reason that you have preshow announcements telling people not to make any type of visual or audio recordings of shows. Unless the show is an original piece and you have permission of the playwright it is very illegal to record, let alone sell recorded copies of productions. Yes, this means that if you don't buy the rights from the licensing company any recordings and distribution of such recordings is illegal. Not only do you need to buy recording rights, you also need to have all of the visual designers give an OK (for video recordings) and the sound designer give an OK (for audio recordings) otherwise you still run into copyright issues.

    It is ok for a theatre to make an archival video, but that is all it can be. You cannot duplicate, distribute, or sell copies. You can use it as a tool to teach blocking to understudies or for SMs to check up and make sure that the show is still running the way the director and designers intended.

    In fact, the AEA has sent out memos to members saying that even having a fellow cast member make a sort recording of you singing your song on stage with your crappy little camera is illegal.

    As for school band and choral concerts it is much less of an issue.

    Also of note, if you work with union cast, there are even further issues with making recordings. You know those "original cast recordings" of shows you can buy? At a minimum, cast members are making a weeks pay for each day they spend in the studio on account of they don't get royalties from album sales. For in-theatre recordings, even archival, there are rules about how far in advance you need notify cast members how long a segment you can film, how it can be used, etc.

    In general, it is important that you make sure that you look up all the rules pertaining to your situation before you start making recordings.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  7. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Icewolf nailed most of it.
    I would be very careful here. It isn't typically enforced, but even those groups don't have recording rights, and often will still need to pay the person who arranged a particular piece of music for those rights. A school not too far from me was sued some years back over a piece the marching band used without permission, and subsequently distributed recordings.

    It is a good fundraiser, but unless everything is original and permission obtained from everyone, it's not legal in most cases.

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