December 4, 2009

Music, copyright and gymnatsics

I was sorting out some information for a longer, and somewhat more thoughtful, post when I found this: apparently The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada wants all the local gymnastics clubs to pay royalties for the tunes they use for routines.

The news just shocks me since I've been in my university gymnastics club for several years. And although that sort of a thing would probably never happen in Russia, I just can imagine what sort of troubles it could bring.

Finding just the right piece for a floor routine is hard enough. It should be instrumental. It should have at least two slow parts and a fast part to meet both choreographic and and acrobatic demands. And it's just about 1-1.5 minutes long. Moreover, it's used only for floor routines done by girls.

Photo: "Candlestick" by Dmitriy Tugarinov at Moscow Museon park

The article also state that the clubs are non-profit organization. In my case, I never could understand how my club survives at all. We never had any submission fees. Competitions attendance was always free. The system itself seemed to run on pure enthusiasm.

It also makes me wonder if the high-profile unprofessional gymnasts or figure skaters (those who go to the Olympics) should also worry about copyright laws while choosing the music for the routines?


Sasha said...

Nice page: Very interesting and unusual materials!
As to the new rule initiated to protect authors' rights when gymnastics clubs use pieces of music - it is worth evaluating if there is any harm to the authors at all! Pieces of music may gain from successful performance at popular competition because it will serve as an additional advertisement. At the same time, unsuccessful performance is not likely to harm anybody but the sportsman.
In addition, sports is so far from music so that the gymnast is totally sepaprated from the music he uses in spectators' perception. There is no fear that the sportsment will pass himself off as the author. As far as I know, the author is mentioned at the announcement of each gymnast's performance.
What do they need? Sportsmen paying money to musicians? My mind pictures to myself a musician proposing his music to be played on the Olympics more easily than otherwise.
Yes, there is some sense in contacing authors when you want to use their music, but I think it sould be the Society's business - sportsmen shouldn't spend time on it. For example, a sportsman sends a set of pieces of music he wants to use to the Society. And they should call the authors. My prediction is that those that are cheaper (or author does not demand anything) and are agreed upon sportsmen will actually use.

moon_strucked said...

Thanks for a comment :)

I think the main point behind all the stupid regulations like that is a dying hope to make some money from the back catalog before the old type of music industry dies. There's nothing but promotion of music in sports events or even in using background music for bars and shops imho.