Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Sequence Dance Copyright Chaos

There have been some strange developments over the last few weeks in the Sequence Dancing world.  It's not something I'm really involved in but feel the situation is worth comment.

Some of the major Youtube channels involved with the online tuition of sequence dancing have been closed down or threatened with closure for copyright infringement. Why?  For showing sequence dances either as a walk through or danced to music. The International Sequence Dance Circle and Brockbank Lane Sequence Script Service have started to get a bit touchy about the sequence content on some of the Youtube channels.


This begs the question - What exactly can be copyrighted?

The script (the printed sheet with all the instructions to dance the choreography) is copyrighted - that's clear, but the content?  The content that is constantly being used comes from the technique books that the major dance societies produce.  The technique book we all work to!

There are some interesting articles available:
- which states "The Copyright Act itself does not even attempt to define a choreographic work. In one of the few cases to broach this topic, the Second Circuit acknowledges that “social dance steps and simple routines” are not copyrightable"

and perhaps just as interesting:
"The second requirement is one of record. You ask if it is sufficient for a choreographer to record his work "in written form". In principle the answer is yes but the notation must be capable of being understood, not just by its creator but by other choreographers of reasonable competence. There are certain well-known, standard methods of notation, such as the Laban or Benesh methods. It is, however, no use just scribbling incomprehensible lines and marks and comments on sheets of paper which no one but the person making the notes can understand or be made to understand."

And for me, that's where the problem lies.  Even if the script has a copyright, most sequence dancers wouldn't be able to read and understand it so need to turn to an alternative medium to learn.  And low and behold, as the youtube channels are being shut down, Brockbank Lane have introduced a video service (paid I might add!) to their website.  

I will watch from the sidelines with interest as the battle rages on.  One thing is certain, without the hard work and dedication of a few Youtube channel owners, the decline in Sequence dancing is certain to continue.

293 comments:

  1. Your quote:"the Second Circuit acknowledges that “social dance steps and simple routines” are not copyrightable" needs to be qualified by the text that follows your quote.

    This qualifying text is:"Thus, for example, the basic waltz step, the hustle step, and the second position of classical ballet are not copyrightable. However, this is not a restriction against the incorporation of social dance steps and simple routines, as such, in an otherwise registrable choreographic work. Social dance steps, folk dance steps, and individual ballet steps alike may be utilized as the choreographer's basic material in much the same way that words are the writer's basic material."

    Based upon the above, I would contend that a prize winning competition dance in the U.K. is not, by definition, a "social dance step" in the context in which this phrase is used in the quotes above. Further I would contend that such an arranged combination of social and competition dance steps do form an original work. When correctly defined in a clearly written dance script and recorded in a video such a dance is, in my opinion, eligible for copyright protection.

    I think the reading out of context of the quote:"social dance steps and simple routines” are not copyrightable" is causing many social dancers to think that they have a carte blanc cheque to disregard copyright law in regard to socially danced dance comp winning scripts, DVDs and videos.

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    1. Complete rubbish presumably from some BBL arse-licker. Just realise that if you lick enough arse you won't be able to stop talking shit. The qualifying text is there merely to allow for the possibility that simple routines might be incorporated into a choreographic work. That however is clearly not the case here. These are simple routines through and through. Period. The key thing as far as the law and any judge is concerned is that these routines are by definition danced by the public. The dances can therefore not be protected - to have it any other way would be a legal paradox.

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    2. Can I apologise to you Anonymous and anyone else reading this because this comment is not directly as a reply to you, but the first place available to me to write a comment.
      Like many others I am not happy with the removal of the free contribution Alexander's videos made to Sequence Dancing on You Tube, or the influence BBL is having on them being removed but that is personal. As far as I know it is the Associations who hold copyright not their script agents so how come the involvement.
      Reading copyright law, it was my understanding that only an original document can hold a copyright, and copyright cannot be transferred from an original to a photocopy or we would have a thousands genuine Mona Lisa's. This argument does not seem to stand in dancing perhaps someone could explain to this ignorant sole why that is the case.
      In my opinion, to succeed with anything at any level in Dancing you have to be from The Old School. You know the one, you scratch my back and I will do the same.) It is not your ideas they don't like, they love them but also want to make any money they can from them.So it goes in my opinion, with the Alexander's and their videos.
      How I wonder have others written books and sold videos in the past, that we have all used and nothing has been done to stop them? Was it something to do with You Tube, or belonging to that select circle?
      But this argument about scripts is simply regurgitating again and again what has been said a thousand times and like spitting into the wind getting no where. I believe we need to move the discussion forward if SD is to have a future.
      I feel our energy should be put into finding a way of keeping our dances open, giving work to the teachers and to those who dance with us, the right of a voice, and a choice of who they want to deliver their services.
      Non qualified SD have never had the right to a voice because they have no elected body to represent them. Run as a charity we could have a SD forum that would have legal backing to challenge at all levels and the right to draw up a constitution that formalises how SD is run, and only here lies any power of redress.

      I absolutely agree if Associations are going to run comps it should be they who make a return on the work, The biggest asset the Associations have in SD are their scripts, but creating a monopoly on sales is dangerous and possibly illegal in my opinion.
      Perhaps the lawyers frequenting this site can tell me whether or not the Forward button on the computer constitutes copying, or is that now going to be the new appendage on the bottom of all photocopied SD scripts?

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  2. First of all, thank you for taking the time not only to read my post but also for commenting. As previously states, I'm no expert on Sequence Dancing but I really can't see how these routines constitute an original work.

    There is a combination of figures:

    1 - 3 of a Natural Turn (SQQ)
    Open Impetus Turn (SSS)
    Wing (SQQ)
    Zig Zag (SSSS)

    This combination of figures appeared in 1988 in the Woodspring Quickstep, again in 1990 in the Chandella Quickstep and yet again in 2012 in the Disney Quickstep. That's 5 1/2 bars of choreography - over a third of the routine duplicated. Wouldn't that constitute a breach of copyright by using someone elses choreography?

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  3. I agree that your above quoted routine probably would not qualify for copyright protection based upon the fact that it is not an "original" routine as you point out. The Woodside Waltz and the Kuranda Waltz both have their first four figures(thirteen steps) in common. I can quote many other sequence dances with similar figure sequences being held in common. Yet at the time of the judging of these dances, each has been declared a comp winner based upon originality amongst other attributes. How original is a question of degree. How original is anything in this world. The old saying is that "there is nothing new under the sun". Yet practically speaking the line has to be drawn somewhere in protecting the work of others. Otherwise why bother to do anything if one's work can be blatantly stolen without any recourse to the protection of the law?


    Secondly the dance must be of sufficient complexity to warrant classification as a "dramatic work" within the context of the copyright act. Your quoted routine having been done by many free style dancers throughout the world, would not be considered sufficiently complex. Therein lies the legal challenge. Where does the borderline between simplicity and complexity lie? UK competition winning dances obviously have sufficient complexity to warrant copyright protection. I believe that most reasonable dancing folk respect the dance arranger's/performer's right to protection for his/her intellectual and creative investment, albeit if only grudgingly.

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    1. "UK competition winning dances obviously have sufficient complexity to warrant copyright protection."

      Not obvious at all to me - if anything I'd say the opposite was the case - if they're simple enough to be danced by social dancers they can't really be considered complex.

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  4. Fascinating comments. If you know the steps of the Disney Quickstep then all you need to do is to tell us what other sequences of steps occur in other (named) sequence dance quicksteps. We can then construct the sequence of steps used in the Disney Quickstep ourselves! If I had created a sequence dance then all the reward I would ask for is the pleasure of knowing that it is giving pleasure to others. In reality, the creation of a sequence dance is very easy. I have created a 64-bar foxtrot sequence dance for my own pleasure when a ballroom foxtrot is on the programme.

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  5. A dance does not have to be completely original for copyright to apply. The issue is what copyright does apply? Some countries copyright act specify that the dances have to be dramatic and part of a story to claim full copyright.
    But dances designed for the general dance public like sequence dances (see entry guidelines..dances entered must be suitable for the average patron of ballrooms across Britain) are not necessarily covered by full choreographic copyright. Copyright is then limited to the original script and inventors personal performance (DVD)
    The issue is: no court ruling has been made on this matter so legal and intimidatory threats of copyright infringement penalties will continued to be used to prevent dancers from exercising their right to demonstrate sequence dances on YouTube or on DVDs.

    Only recently has YT and sequence dance DVDs become an issue as sequence dance DVDs and videos tapes have been around for 20 years or more. The only change to the dance landscape is BBL offering subscription based access to the inventors performing the new winning dances. The winning dances are no longer avilable free.

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    1. You wrote:

      "... Some countries copyright act specify that the dances have to be dramatic and part of a story to claim full copyright."

      The Australian Copyright Act has a full copyright protection category: "Dramatic work". Under this act, a 'choreographic work' is a sub-category of the category, a "Dramatic work".

      My understanding is that, besides other provisions, for a dance to be FULLY copyright protected under this sub-category, it must be EITHER a significant part of a 'choreographic show' OR 'tell a story' OR be a 'dramatic performance'.

      I would question your use of the word 'AND' rather than using the word 'OR' in your above statement. The word 'OR' changes the whole legal meaning of your statement 'dramatically' - no pun intended.

      A U.K. prize winning sequence dance certainly forms a significant part of a 'choreographic show' at the dance competitions at which these dances and dancers both compete. There certainly is an audience at these competitions. Whether or not the winning dances do 'tell a story' or are a 'dramatic performance' is not essential to these dances being FULLY copyright protected. I have been given to understand that many 'plotless' British ballets have been copyrighted over the years.

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  6. Dear Anonymous,

    So Let's Swing is complex is it? Can you please explain the complexities of this dance to the doubters among us?

    What has the fact that a dance was performed in a competition got to do with copyright? Do The Royal Ballet Company have to go head to head with The Bolshoi before they can copyright a new dramatic work?

    A surgeon performs an operation. Does this mean he can copyright it?

    William Tucker

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  7. Thank you, William, for the opportunity to answer your question and clarify my statement.

    You asked: "What has the fact that a dance was performed in a competition got to do with copyright?"

    The fact that the "competition" was an integral part of a "choreographic show" is the 'tie up'. It is the fact that the UK prize winning competition dance is a 'work' that is an integral part of a 'choreographic show' that, together with other qualifications, legally qualifies that dance as being fully copyright protected. If a dance won a prize in a dance competition and that dance was NEITHER a significant part of a 'dramatic performance', NOR telling a story NOR a 'choreographic show', then that dance, of itself, would be highly unlikely to be fully copyright protected.

    You may try to argue that the UK prize winning dance competitions as held in the UK are not 'choreographic shows' if you like. But since they do involve quite a 'show', together with an audience who is watching a well defined, original and significant choreography, I wouldn't bet on you winning such an argument in the Australian High Court or in any other law courts of the copyright affiliated countries.


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  8. A 'show' - I think not. 'Choreography' - I think not, The audience is an audience of social dancers or social dance teachers who are there to get instant access to the latest release of social dances for their own consumption or that of their classes. They're not there to watch a 'show' or to marvel at the 'choreography' (such as it is). In fact, in the earlier years many of the competitions were performed in private. But these details are completely irrelevant. The fact that these dances are performed by the public means that they are by definition in the public domain. To then protect them as choreographic works would as I've said before present a legal paradox which would be quite untenable. Anyway, I'm sure the teaching associations will intervene to bring this nonsense to an end quite soon.

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  9. Dear Anonymous 8th May ( there are 2 anons so we need to differentiate between you )

    You stated in your comment of 24 April that dances need complexity to be eligible for copyright. I ask must ask again where is the complexity in Let's Swing? Or do you now concede that this dance is not worthy of copyright?

    I understand that you claim the winning dances are part of a choreographic show but has all of that show been recorded for the purpose of establishing the copyright. Also how many choreographic shows do you know of that only see the light of day once. That is unless they are absolute turkeys and only last one night.

    If BBL have exclusive rights over the copyright why are scripts produced by other distributors without copyright notices on them. Why have the UKA been allowed to break ranks and allow third party videos to be made?

    I certainly hope this is one match we are playing on Australian soil where we Poms get a darned good hiding.

    Finally is the 3 bar sequence, 1-3 Reverse Turn, Hover Corte, Back Whisk copyright because I may wish to publish it on the web

    William Tucker

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  10. Hi William.

    Thanks for your response.

    No, I would not concede that this or any other UK prize winning dance "is not worthy of copyright". I know the Let's Swing, having done this dance as recently as this morning at a local dance. Given the thousands of sequence dances in existence, I appreciate the difficulty in coming up with an original dance, let alone one that is a prize winner. I do not underestimate the effort that went into creating that seemingly 'simple' dance and getting it honed to the stage wherein it won at a dance competition. Perhaps Ray Fenton-Story and Lissia Giles could enlighten you about the physical and mental creative effort they expended in 2010 in winning the competition with this dance?

    I have designed, developed and marketed several electronic products over several decades. About one particular product, that I honed down to a minimum number of components after many hours of thought, development work and prototype models, I've had people say to me: "There's not much in that!" I simple smile. Little do they know!

    As for your comments about choreographic shows, an audience is still an audience. When has the interests, occupations, gender, race or any other attribute ever defined whether an audience is or is not an audience?? When has the number of showings ever defined whether a choreographic show is or is not defined under the law as being a 'choreographic show'?? As for your point about the three dance script providers, my understanding is that all three providers are licensed by the copyright holders to supply scripts. This is a good thing to avoid monopolies and foster healthy competition. What stipulation in the copyright act or any other act prevents me, as a copyright holder, from licensing more than one company to reproduce my works? None that I know of.

    You asked: "...is the 3 bar sequence, 1-3 Reverse Turn, Hover Corte, Back Whisk copyright"?

    If you just thought up this sequence and tried to register it for copyright protection as it stands, I would say that it is highly unlikely on several grounds to be granted copyright protection. But IF this 3 bar sequence of yours is a significant and central part of your 'choreographic show', OR is 'telling a story' as a part of a dramatic work OR is a SIGNIFICANT part of a 'dramatic performance' THEN it could POSSIBLY qualify for copyright protection. Our courts of law are there to settle this question for you should you wish to challenge some alleged copyright infringer trying to steal your work to your detriment. I am familiar with this sequence as being at least a three sixteenth part of several sequence dances. If this is the totality of your work, then this might challenge it in the originality provision of the copyright act. However this did not disqualify any of the several dances in which your three bar sequence might appear as being unoriginal. Expert adjudicators assess 16 bar combinations in winning dances as original and deemed them as such as a prerequisite for winning the competitions. I feel sure that law courts would recognize the expert judgments made in this regard at these competitions.

    Opinions are like rectums, everyone has one. The opinion that counts here is not mine or yours but that of a ruling judge in a court of law. This issue is unlikely ever to get past the injunction stage because the advising copyright lawyers on both sides know that BBL's and ISDC's legal arguments are strong, IMHO. And I am certainly entitled to my opinion, just as you are to yours! Happy dancing!



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  11. I personally don't think inventive dance competitions could be regarded as choreographed shows because the whole is neither choreographed nor recorded (plus who would watch it as a show in and of itself ?). Admittedly, you could argue about these points and their significance ad nauseum - but it would be pointless because what matters, ultimately, is whether the material is in the public domain, and in this case it clearly is, by definition. It should be remembered that the legal guidelines are just that, guidelines - they are there to help delineate between things that are in the public domain and those that are not, and use obvious examples to help do so. Choreographed shows in the simplest sense would obviously not be in the public domain, and that is clearly why a specific reference is made to them within the guidelines. But trying to match inventive comps in a literal sense to any of the exemption categories referred to would be inappropriate, because any degree of match would be over-riden by the fact that the material in question is in the public domain. I agree this is unlikely to go past an injunction stage, but for the opposite reason. Apart from the fact that no-one could afford it, I would suggest that the lawyers involved would regard BBL's case as very weak. I actually don't think it will go that far though. BBL will need to get the actual copyright holders (ie the teaching organisations) on their side if they are to persue this. And from what I've heard, for the most part, that won't be happening - BBL are seemingly not flavour of the month any more.

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  12. I think Anonymous (the pro-copyright one) is misinterpreting the law entirely. The guidelines state that "social dance steps or simple routines cannot generally be copyright as artistic works......however, they can be copyright as part of a choreographed show". It seems obvious (to me anyway) that the copyright afforded then applies only to the show, or any part of it, including any part which consists merely of a social dance routine. So we might not be entitled to record and publish the winners demonstration of the winning dances during the competition (if you agree that this is part of a choreographed show), fair enough. But to suggest this exemption clause implies the winning dances would in themselves become copyright as artistic works BECAUSE they featured as part of that show is a complete non-sense. I agree with the other Anonymous (the anti-copyright one). The dances themselves are without doubt in public domain, and, as social dances, it can't be any other way. The only relevant statute then is the one that says social dances cannot be copyrighted. None of the given exemptions and exceptions seem to be applicable here.

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  13. Can A Sequence Dance Be A Dramatic Work

    Dance scripts are bought either to learn the dances or teach them to others. Sequence dancers can then go to any sequence dance anywhere in the country knowing they will easily fit in and have an enjoyable time dancing.

    I doubt if BBL could produce one person who has ever bought a script solely for the purpose of staging the dance as a dramatic work. BBL admit on their website that scripts were produced because "Some form of standardisation was ..... imperative for the good of the ‘industry’ and the dancers".

    It is well to remember that something can only be in the public domain if its copyright has expired. Also that guidelines are only guidelines. They do not set a legal precedent. However you might feel it is unwise to ignore the stated opinion of a pro-copyright organisation in receipt of government funds such as The Australian Copyright Council when it says you are unlikely to obtain copyright.

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  14. Hi Margeret.

    I think that I might be the Anonymous who you rightly discern as being "pro-copyright". I am all for the upholding of people's rights in general, independent of whatever 'act' applies. I am pro-law and order. I am not an anarchist.

    You don't drive through red lights - surely not! So I can presume that you are not anti-law in general? Copyrights are enshrined in law for certain works for good reason. If in a position of power, would you remove all copyright protection in law? Surely - not! So, would it be appropriate to refer to you as that 'anti-copyright Margeret'? No it would not be appropriate, just as it is very inappropriate to refer to the other poster as the 'anti-copyright one' as you have done. You might like to refer to me as that pro-'not driving through red stop lights one. But why would you? Every good citizen ought to be pro-copyrights. Now if you think a provision of the copyright act is unfair, that is entirely another matter. Lobby your politicians to change the act, please.

    You stated:

    "to suggest this exemption clause implies the winning dances would in themselves become copyright as artistic works BECAUSE they featured as part of that show is a complete non-sense"

    The reason why the winning sequence dances are fully copyright protected is precisely that they are a significant part of a 'choreographic show'. If they weren't then this would preclude their FULL protection under the Copyright act. For example, if I wrote a dance and it was adopted locally I would only be protected from someone copying my dance script or the video made by me. Anyone could make a video of THEIR performance of my dance and market it legally without my consent. There are many Australian dances of this kind that are legally performed and sold on DVDs. Many were never parts of choreographic shows and never registered for copyright protection purposes as such. Some Aussie dances were parts of shows but their choreographers generously waived copyrights. ISDC/BBL are not so generous precisely because they are in the business of making a living.

    Your above statement seems to imply that you intentionally or otherwise designate this sub-category(choreographic show)of a "dramatic work", as a copyright that applies for a few short hours of time and then it only applies to the particular 'choreographic works' in question.

    So according to your interpretation of the copyright act, the copyright laws only apply to prize winning English sequence dances for a few hours at most?? Try as I might I can find no such brief time "exclusions" or "inclusions" anywhere in the Australian Copyright Act. I do see 50 and 70 year periods mentioned, periods after which these copyright protected dances in question might enter into the 'public domain' in the legal sense in which these two words are used - but not hours or days. Would you ever so kindly provide me with a reference item in the Australian Copyright Act stating this brief period of time applying to 'choreographic shows'? Or perhaps the UK Copyright Act?? Or the Canadian or US Copyright Acts, respectively? If you do find this reference, I will personally, with delight, forward this information on to both ISDC/BBL and the very nice Australian dancing couple at the centre of this latest copyright controversy. As you probably know, the Australian Copyright Act is available free on line. I patiently await your references to this act.

    As a more general challenge, I implore a legal expert in copyright law to either, shoot my posts here down with solid, sound references to the said Act and with legal interpretations of that act, or to confirm my opinions in this legal issue as being sound - the sooner, the better.




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  15. Hi William.

    Again I thank you for posting to me.

    The Australian Copyright Council released the Line Dancers & Copyright document, INFORMATION SHEET G041v08, in February 2012. It states:

    "Is a line dance a “dramatic work”?

    In our view, it is unlikely that social dances will be protected by copyright."

    If this line is taken out of context without reading the whole document, a person could be forgiven for assuming that your last paragraph is a true indication of the ACC's position. I doubt that many line dances of the kind implied above are fully copyright protected.

    However, there's more...:

    "If you have created a show comprised of line dancing, or if the line dance tells a story or explores dramatic ideas, the choreography may be protected as a dramatic work. ... ...

    On the other hand, if your dance is not a “dramatic work” because it is not a choreographic show, does not tell a story or is not part of a dramatic performance, it is not protected."

    Through corresponding with a US legal expert in both copyright law and the performing arts, I learned to be a little more careful about how I read these kinds of documents.

    For legal purposes the second paragraph implies that a dance canNOT be fully copyright protected IF it is NEITHER 'a part of a dramatic performance', NOR 'a choreographic show', NOR 'does it tell a story'. On the other hand, if any one OR more of these three stipulations are true then the dance MAY be fully copyright protected. The use of the word 'MAY' is explained below.

    For legal purposes the first paragraph says that IF your dance IS a significant part of a 'choreographic show' OR is 'telling a story' OR 'explores dramatic ideas' then it MAY be 'protected as a dramatic work'.

    The word MAY implies that, besides ANY ONE of these three stipulations being true, there 'other provisions' that must also be met for full copyright protection to apply under the law. These 'other provisions' are dependent upon the 'originality' and 'dance definitions' provisions also being met.

    Far from negating it, I believe that this ACC document does reinforce my position.



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  16. Dear Anonymous,

    I will get back to you on your post of 10 May 2013 1955 over the weekend but one interesting point seems to be emerging.

    Does It not seem strange to you that if you and I came up with identical sequence dance routines that you could copyright your dance because it had been part of an Inventive Dance Competition and I could not copyright mine because it had not?

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  17. No I am not anti law and order, nor anti-copyright. However, I don't support a company that make a ridiculous profit for a mere distributory role and who are now trying to increase profits even further to the detriment of the wider community. Artistic copyright is there to protect artists and rightly so but this has nothing to do with artistic copyright. I apologize by offending the poster I referred to as the pro-copyright one. Maybe I should just refer to you as the pompous one instead. Incidentally, apart from probing our morals in general, you don't appear to said anything new in your last couple of posts, so please don't go on repeating yourself. The issue relating to protection as part of choreographed shows has already been aired I think.

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    1. Margaret Barker UK11 May 2013 at 10:44

      Well said, Margaret. Perhaps the two "Anonymous" contributors should just use their names to avoid confusion - they have nothing to fear !

      I am so glad that this blog has taken up this issue - we need to let our opinions regarding the removal of Alexandrias Dance videos be known and also our disapproval of BBL's actions against them.

      What we need is a copyright lawyer who is a sequence dancer who can unravel this whole fiasco once and for all.

      We also need someone on our side like Vince Cable who is an MP and loves ballroom dancing (he may do sequence as well who knows!)

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  18. Anonymous (the anti-copyright one)11 May 2013 at 09:36

    Thank You Margaret. You said exactly what I was trying to say but much more clearly. Imagine, Andrew-Lloyd Webber (say) produced a musical that happened to feature some performers dancing a sequence dance routine, The Lambeth Walk (say). Let's call it BBL The Musical. Then clearly that part of the musical featuring those performers dancing The Lambeth Walk would be protected as part of the musical, a choreographed show. That doesn't however mean that The Lambeth Walk is protected in and of itself, and, clearly it isn't because its a social dance and therefore danced by the public and in the public domain. It should be fairly obvious that it's this sort of simple-case scenario that the exemption refers to, and that inventive comps would need different legal provision entirely. Incidentally, expiry of copyright isn't the only way of entry into the public domain. Some things are by their nature automatically in the public domain and are not copyright in the first place - social dances being one such thing. You can't release a dance to the public for social dancing purposes and then claim artistic copyright on it. It just won't work in law as it could not be practicably enforced. It's a bit like not being able to have your cake and eat it. But it strikes me that that's exactly what BBL would like to do. And, unfortunately, there are those who are prepared to argue a point if it suits their own agenda no matter how perverse their point might be.

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  19. Hi Anonymous (the anti-copyright one)

    You state:

    "You said exactly what I was trying to say but much more clearly. Imagine, Andrew-Lloyd Webber (say) produced a musical that happened to feature some performers dancing a sequence dance routine, The Lambeth Walk (say). Let's call it BBL The Musical. Then clearly that part of the musical featuring those performers dancing The Lambeth Walk would be protected as part of the musical, a choreographed show. That doesn't however mean that The Lambeth Walk is protected in and of itself, and, clearly it isn't because its a social dance and therefore danced by the public and in the public domain."

    This is an excellent example. Thank you for that.

    Precisely because the Lambeth Walk,in your example, is a significant part of the BBL Musical(your example), it becomes eligible for copyright protection as a dance in and of itself in its own right. Of course other provisions must also be met - 'originality' and 'definition' wise.

    If your Lambeth Walk was written for a local dance to perform and was not a part of a choreographic show, OR it didn't tell a story OR was not a dramatic performance of any kind then it would NOT be eligible for copyright in and of itself. This is the law in regard to "dramatic works" being eligible for full copyright protection. The Lambeth Walk 'in your example' would be classed as a dramatic work just as BBL's dances are under the law. Whether or not the choreographer of your Lambeth Walk intended his/her choreography to be used later on as a social dance is irrelevant in regard to its classification under the copyright act as being fully protected or not.

    Ignorance of the law is no defence in a court of law. The more this act is clarified to the dance world the better. I welcome with open arms any politician's and copyright lawyer's input here. Yesterday is not soon enough.

    I am either right or wrong. I will be overjoyed to have a legal ruling clarify this matter. Who will bell the cat and deliberately fork out the dollars in a court action for copyright infringement???

    So far all potential copyright infringers, against whom BBL have taken out injunctions or threatened with legal action through their solicitors, have backed down pronto. Why? Because of good legal advice from their consulting defense lawyers, that is my answer. What's your answer? Not willing to waste their money, I suppose? That excuse is a secondary face saving measure, IMHO. Some lawyers take on cases on the basis of no win-no cost. So that excuse wears thin with me after a while. BBL have GOOD legal advisors, I believe, who reassure them of their solid legal position. Their dances, in being classed as 'dramatic works' under copyright law, is that solid ground - like it or lump it. Emotions don't count in a court of law any more than wishful thinking or ignorance of the law does.



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    1. Anonymous (the anti-copyright one)12 May 2013 at 01:54

      "Whether or not the choreographer of your Lambeth Walk intended his/her choreography to be used later on as a social dance is irrelevant in regard to its classification under the copyright act as being fully protected or not."

      There is no indication in law as far as I can see that this is the case, indeed, my reading of the guidelines and application of common-sense suggests otherwise. Ultimately its for a judge to decide of course.

      Why have previous defendents backed down. Well, you'd have to ask them. Probably because they want a quiet life. I can't imagine there are any direct business interests entering the fray for these people and they probably get fed up with the grind of being threatened and bullied by scumbag solicitors on an ongoing basis. Plus, despite what you say, there are probably financial considerations - even if one has a good case there are still upfront costs I would imagine.

      BBL have good legal advisors, you believe ? - you should know eh ?

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  20. Hi Margaret or Margeret with a name spelling change.

    You wrote:

    "... I don't support a company that make a ridiculous profit for a mere distributory role and who are now trying to increase profits even further to the detriment of the wider community."

    I haven't got access to BBL's profit and loss statements. So I would not be so presumptuous as to comment on this above unsubstantiated assertion of yours.

    You also wrote:

    "Artistic copyright is there to protect artists and rightly so but this has nothing to do with artistic copyright."

    I disagree.


    You also wrote:

    "I apologize by offending the poster I referred to as the pro-copyright one."
    Apologies accepted.

    You also wrote:

    "Maybe I should just refer to you as the pompous one instead."

    This is an 'argumentum ad hominem' - therefore irrelevant.

    You also wrote:

    "Incidentally, apart from probing our morals in general,..."

    This has nothing to do with morals. It is a matter of interpretation of the law. Many immoral actions are not illegal. Morality is an irrelevancy in this issue.

    You also wrote:

    " ... ... you don't appear to said anything new in your last couple of posts,..."


    True. The whole legal question hinges upon whether or not BBL's dances are 'choreographic shows'and therefore 'dramatic works' as defined in the copyright act. This is a 'sine qua non' for my position on ISDC/BBL's dance copyright status. Little else is as crucial unless you want to have the webmaster change the topic.

    You also wrote:

    "...so please don't go on repeating yourself...."

    Oh yes I will, ... sorry! Because, as I said, what I keep repeating is absolutely central to the issue as specified by the forum topic administrator.

    You also wrote:

    "...The issue relating to protection as part of choreographed shows has already been aired I think. ..."

    Sadly, I think not enough.

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    1. Anonymous (the anti-copyright one)12 May 2013 at 02:02

      There so many Latin phrases in this post(that only people within the legal profession would understand) and it sounds so much like a public school debate, that this has got to be the BBL solicitor. I am right, am I not ?

      Delete
  21. Dear Anonymous 11 May 2013 16:39

    You seem to be suggesting that if I wrote a play about producing Hamlet and had one of the characters read out the whole play to the rest of the cast I would thereby secured the copyright of Hamlet.

    I am not sure about the legal advice that BBL are receiving but they are currently claiming on their website that copyright exists for the following titles, SAN ANTONIO SAUNTER ©, KELSO QUICKSTEP © and HINOKI BOSSA NOVA ©. Another interesting claim on their part. Now there is plenty of case law over the inability to copyright the title of any work.

    Incidentally to return to a previous theme. At the dance I was at last night everyone fell about laughing when I suggested that Let's Swing was regarded by some people as a complex dance.

    Does anyone know what is the youngest age anyone has performed one of the recent sequence dances?

    My understanding is that BBL have only taken action over scripts as literary works which is a totally different issue

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    1. Hi William.

      You wrote:

      "Incidentally to return to a previous theme. At the dance I was at last night everyone fell about laughing when I suggested that Let's Swing was regarded by some people as a complex dance."

      It is laughable to suggest that the same intellectual and creative prowess is required to just 'step out' a dance at a social dance event as is required to create it. Have those laughing social dancer ever written (or even seriously studied the movements in) a UK PRIZE WINNING dance to really know what is involved in creating one?? As I said before ask the choreographers of Let's Swing what their intellectual and creative effort entailed. "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. This principle is, contempt prior to examination." - William Paley

      You wrote:

      "My understanding is that BBL have only taken action over scripts as literary works which is a totally different issue."

      My understanding is that your understanding is incorrect. Remove the word 'only' from your statement and then it would be correct.

      Delete
  22. Returning to Anonymous10 May 2013 19:55

    The interpretation of the ACC guidance needs to be taken in order from.

    To quote

    When is a line dance protected by copyright?
    A line dance WILL be protected by copyright if it meets all of the following requirements:
    • it is a “dramatic work” for the purposes of copyright law;
    • it is “original”; and
    • it is captured in some way.
    If all THREE of these requirements are fulfilled, the line dance WILL be protected by copyright. In this information sheet we refer to such dances as “protected line dances”. If a line dance does not fulfil all of these requirements, we refer to it in this information sheet as an “unprotected line dance”.

    So we have three questions to answer.

    • do you create a dramatic work out of staging forty or so 20 to 30 second dance routines? Then repeating the majority of them. Said routines only ever involving two people.
    • is it original? An interesting test would be to show videos of the last hundred winning foxtrots to the judge and asking him if they are all individually recognisable to him.
    • has it been captured?

    The guidance then goes on to say "In our view, it is unlikely that social dances will be protected by copyright." Remembering of course that this is an avowed pro copyright organisation receiving a quarter of a million dollars from Government sources.

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    1. Thanks again William for the opportunity to clarify the issue yet again.

      Of the three conditions that you so correctly quote, the very first one is at the centre of the present issue. Namely:


      "it is a dramatic work for the purposes of copyright law;"

      If the BBL dance copyright was NOT 'a dramatic work' for the purposes of copyright law then BBL dances would NOT attract FULL copyright protection under Australian Copyright Law. The other two conditions would be therefore irrelevant if that were so. Why? Because no FULL copyright protection would be afforded under the copyright act whatever the true or false state of the remaining two conditions. I've already shown several times that the sub-category 'Choreographic Show' in the Copyright Act enshrines the BBL dance copyright protection in law as being a "dramatic work".

      Now to your 'originality' argument, in support of which you state:

      "An interesting test would be to show videos of the last hundred winning foxtrots to the judge and asking him if they are all individually recognisable to him."

      I doubt that a competent defense lawyer would resort to such a futile exercise. What I would expect is that a prosecuting lawyer would submit adequate proof of the expertise of the UK prize winning dance adjudicators together with the conditions of entry for the competition as evidence of the originality of the prize winning dances. Do you think that an Australian High Court judge would seriously doubt the authenticity of such high comp dance adjudicators' qualifications? Would the defending barristor have any basis to discredit the credentials of such adjudicators? I doubt it. If the prize winning dance wasn't considered 'original' by such adjudicators at the comps, it wouldn't have been allowed to enter the comp - let alone win!!

      As for the question: "has it been captured?"
      there is no doubt that under the Copyright Act BBL dance scripts TOGETHER WITH the BBL dance videos capture the essence and the nuances of the dance very well in both a legal and an artistic sense. Of course this does not preclude 'steppers' at a social dance from interpreting the dance in their own inimitable fashion. One condition of entry into the comps is that the winning dance be 'do-able' by the average ballroom dancer in the venues throughout the country. That provision certainly does not put a BBL fully copyrighted dance into the 'public domain', legally speaking. Only the passage of time - very many years - does that.

      And then you stated:

      "The guidance then goes on to say "In our view, it is unlikely that social dances will be protected by copyright." "

      I've addressed this statement before. I agree with this ACC statement - I gladly repeat it myself.

      Social dances are UNLIKELY to be FULLY copyright protected. However this does not mean that NO SOCIAL DANCES are FULLY copyright protected!!! BBL's dances certainly are fully copyright protected.

      If a dance in the show 'South Pacific' was used as a social dance, it would still be FULLY copyright protected. This post 'first showing of South Pacific' adoption as a social dance would have NO bearing whatsoever on that dance's copyright status either way.

      A great many social dances were never written and initially presented in choreographic shows. Therefore these 'non-show originating' social dances are NOT FULLY copyright protected, unless of course they 'tell a story' OR are 'dramatic performances'. That is why the ACC have made this statement, a statement the veracity of which is highly likely to be beyond dispute. I hope this statement of mine clarifies the ACC's statement, now.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous (the anti-copyright one)12 May 2013 02:02

    "There so many Latin phrases in this post(that only people within the legal profession would understand) and it sounds so much like a public school debate, that this has got to be the BBL solicitor. I am right, am I not ?"

    If only you were right ... sighhhh. I'd be much better off now if you were. If I was a lawyer of any persuasion, I would simply publish an article in the law journals stating my opinion and await my colleagues confirmation.

    For those without surfing savvy, 'sine qua non' translates to English as 'without which nothing'. 'Argumentum ad hominen' roughly translates as an 'argument based upon attacking the person's attributes, character rather than the logic or the veracity of his or her argument'.

    So if, and only if, your intentions in your post was to denigrate may writing style as a ploy to win your argument by ridiculing me personally then this could be considered to be an 'argumentum ad hominen' strategy - i.e. a personal attack.

    Assuming that denigration was definitely not your intention, I thank you for both of your very nice compliments.



    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous (the anti-copyright one)13 May 2013 at 02:33

    No, my intention was to undermine your post by suggesting your likely identity and motives. While we're clarifying terms, what about "bell the cat" ? perhaps you could explain that one, m' lord - an expression I seem to associate mainly with Newcastle and the North-East, which is, maybe coincidentally, where BBL lawyers are based.

    "If I was a lawyer of any persuasion, I would simply publish an article in the law journals stating my opinion and await my colleagues confirmation."

    Or you could just go to court and get a ruling. But I'm glad that you seem to be acknowledging that your argument is merely your opinion. Such was the assertiveness of your previous posts some of us might have been persuaded that it was written down somewhere in tablets of stone.

    ReplyDelete
  25. You wrote:

    "No, my intention was to undermine your post by suggesting your likely identity and motives."

    After receiving your clarification of your intentions, I now know that this emotive response of yours is an 'argumentum ad hominem' and therefore not warranting a reply.

    Then you asked:

    "While we're clarifying terms, what about "bell the cat" ?"

    A well known children's story:

    There once was a group of mice living in a house with a very predatory cat. One day the mice huddled together very scared. One less fearful mouse, a leader, proposed that a bell be obtained and tied around the cat's neck to warn all the mice when the cat was around. Then came the moment of deciding "who will bell the cat?"!! Knowing how vulnerable they were, no mouse could be coerced into volunteering. Thus the protection measure was never implemented.

    Now if you are as sure of your legal position in regard to copyright law and BBL copyrights as I am of mine, why don't you bell the cat? Why don't you start illegally marketing dance DVDs and fight it through the Australian High courts to prove that you are right? Or do you know in your heart of hearts that you would be 'taken to the cleaners', if you performed this illegal act?

    If I wanted to market BBL copyrighted dance DVDs I would take the legal approach and negotiate with BBL for royalty payments to be made to them in return for permission. Whether or not they would agree and sign a contract is their prerogative. If they refuse that's the end of it. The same applies to buying a car. I need permission from the owner to take possession of their car in exchange for money. As a law abiding citizen, my stealing the car, if the owner refuses to sell it, is not an option for me.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dear Anonymous12 May 2013 18:12

    At least we agree the three criteria that must all be met.

    On the dramatic dance criteria.

    The attempt to claim a 20 second dance is a dramatic work in its own right seems to have been abandoned. I am still unclear as to the basis for claiming a 20 second sequence dance is a part of a choreographic show. What exactly is this choreographic show. How long does it last?

    On the issue of originality.

    This whole copyright issue is one of semantics so I must correct you in that there are no defence or prosecution counsels in a civil case. Only counsels for the plaintiff and the defendant.

    I would suggest that the definition of originality for a dance competition is perhaps not as stringent nor the same as that for copyright law. What tests are made to determine if the dances are original? Do the judges rely on their memory of 5,000 dances? Have the sequences of steps been used in other dances in other dance competitions? How much original content is required? The witnesses would also be challenged on the grounds of partiality. The judge will make up his own mind. I think that viewing the last 100 sequence foxtrots will convince anyone that there is no significant difference between them.

    Expert witnesses are not always correct. The so called expert testimony in the case of Sally Clark which led to her conviction for murder and her untimely death was thoroughly discredited. It is to the eternal shame of the judge, the prosecution counsel and the defence counsel that they did not challenge this so called expert evidence at the time it was given, so outrageous was it.

    On the issue of capture.

    This will depend on the nature of the choreographic show which has yet to be explained.

    To return to the ACC INFORMATION SHEET G041v08 LINE DANCING

    The very first point made by the ACC is that "Dances such as line dances are generally unlikely to be protected by copyright". If a surgeon says to you at the outset that you are unlikely to survive the operation it means that you are unlikely to survive the operation. It doesn't mean that you will not survive but that the odds are stacked against you. If you can show it is part of a dramatic work, is original and properly recorded yes you will have copyright. Or not for there is another sting in the tail of the guidance.

    Line dances are created to be danced – is it possible to imply permission to dance them?
    Even if a dance created specifically for social purposes were found to be a dramatic work for the purposes of copyright and even if a social dance situation were found to be a “public performance”, it may be clear from the circumstances that the creator allowed the dance to be performed in such a way without express permission. This would not be the case for a dance which is created for audience and stage presentation.
    Any implied permission to dance socially does not, however, necessarily imply permission to make copies of dance sheets.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Dear Wiliam.

    You wrote:

    "I must correct you in that there are no defence or prosecution counsels in a civil case."

    A civil case? We may well be discussing an indictable offence. Please download and carefully read the Copyright Amendment Bill 2006.

    Further, in 2012 the Federal Parliament passed legislation to increase financial penalties for all Commonwealth offences. Under the legislation, the value of a penalty unit was increased from $110 to $170.

    Offences against Copyright law in Australia are divided into two categories: namely Indictable and Summary offences. Penalties are quite severe. This is not a trivial issue to be treated lightly. 550 penalty units translates into a $93,500 AUD fine. 120 Penalty Units translates into a $20,400 AUD fine. Please read on.

    The Copyright Amendments Bill 2006 states:

    "Subdivision B—Substantial infringement on a commercial scale

    132AC Commercial-scale infringement prejudicing copyright owner

    Indictable offence

    A person commits an offence if:
    (a) the person engages in conduct; and
    (b) the conduct results in one or more infringements of the copyright in a work or other subject-matter; and
    c) the infringement or infringements have a substantial
    prejudicial impact on the owner of the copyright; and
    (d) the infringement or infringements occur on a commercial scale.
    (2) An offence against subsection (1) is punishable on conviction by a fine of not more than 550 penalty units or imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both.
    Note: A corporation may be fined up to 5 times the amount of the maximum fine (see subsection 4B(3) of the Crimes Act 1914).

    Summary offence
    (3) A person commits an offence if:
    (a) the person engages in conduct; and
    (b) the conduct results in one or more infringements of the 21 copyright in a work or other subject-matter; and
    (c) the infringement or infringements have a substantial
    prejudicial impact on the owner of the copyright and the
    person is negligent as to that fact; and
    (d) the infringement or infringements occur on a commercial scale and the person is negligent as to that fact.
    Penalty: 120 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both."

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dear Anonymous 13 May 2013 18:05

    You really are clutching at straws now. Do you honestly believe the Australian Government will take action over such a grey area as this where copyright has not even been proved to exist? Where is the financial loss? BBL do not produce videos of these dances for public sale.

    Script sales are falling because the sequence dance population is ageing. Making videos of the dance available only to existing devotees by subscription does absolutely nothing to help recruit newcomers to the hobby.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Dear Anonymous 13 May 2013 18:05

    Forgot to say in my defence that I thought you were talking about a civil case because a jury would consider the evidence in a criminal case and not the judge.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi William

    You speculated:

    "You really are clutching at straws now. Do you honestly believe the Australian Government will take action over such a grey area as this where copyright has not even been proved to exist?"

    I don't presume to know what the Australian government will or will not do. I never ever implied that I did. However I do know what is within their power to do with certain deliberate copyright infringers, should they so choose.

    I was stating parts of the relevant acts upon which I believe the BBL lawyers based their advice and communications. One condition for criminal prosecution in the Copyright Amendment Act 2006 is the forewarning in writing being ignored by the alleged copyright infringer. Those warnings had been given. Since these warnings were NOT IGNORED by the allegedly infringing recipients and the infringing behaviour ceased, no further action by the government would be deemed to be necessary.

    So now you understand what stipulations in the Copyright Act 1968 underpin the BBL/ISDC's dance copyrights, why the official warnings were given exactly as specified in the Copyright Amendment Act 2006, and why the alleged infringers immediately ceased their activities, you have no excuse for continuing to make misleading statements that may or may not lead others into innocently breaching Copyright laws.

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    1. Why can it not be seen that these events which take place twelve or thirteen times a year are in fact no more that Inventive Dance Competitions. Where choreographed shows comes into this debate I do not know. By the very nature of a competition those taking part are working against each other to win a magnificent trophy and the accolade of having their winning entry being dance all over the world. A "choreographed show" it is not. May I add that I believe the UKA is seeing it as it really is. Well done!

      Delete
  31. Dear Anonymous14 May 2013 04:16

    I am sorry but the Australian Government will not take up the cudgels on behalf of BBL to prove that BBL have copyright in this area. This legislation is designed to deal with CD and DVD pirates not people making their own recordings where the question of copyright is not clear.

    Perhaps we can now return to the questions you have yet to answer?

    I am glad that you have said "alleged" because you will find numerous opinions expressed on the web that the whole area of dance copyright has yet to be tested. I think that what we are discussing here is BBL's case for copyright. If this relies on the ability to hijack the copyright of Hamlet by including it within a dramatic work then it does not seem to impress many people reading this blog.

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  32. Anonymous (the anti-copyright one)14 May 2013 at 09:48

    In response to anonymous (that is our in house-copyright guru and ambassador for law and order in general) I somehow feel the urge to repeat points made earlier by myself and others. But, in order to avoid boring the arse off people, I will refrain. However, I would like to make the point that prior to the late 1990's, most of the UK inventive comps took place in private. This presumably means that there is no basis whatsoever for copyright on those dances, even if the "choreographed show" argument that our learned friend would like to advocate is correct.

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  33. It's good to see so many passionate people discussing the subject!

    I find it hard to believe that anyone can call an inventive competition a choreographed show when you have judges around the edge of the dance floor marking the dance.With regard to the judges, it is not marked on originality, but on the construction of the routine, how it flows round the room and of course how easy it is to dance and be picked up by the general sequence dancing public.

    Don't forget, let's keep it polite and courteous at all times.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hello Dancing Guru.

      Thanks for the creation of and /or administering to this forum.

      I agree with your sentiments. Politeness and courtesy can only enhance one's argument and the opposite detract from it.

      You wrote:
      "... ... it is not marked on originality, but on the ... ..."

      Originality is a prerequisite for entering the competition. Originality is a given once the competition begins. I agree with you that the adjudicators would not in all probability have an attribute such as 'Degree of Originality' on their marking forms for marking.

      Notwithstanding that point of agreement, from a legal standpoint, I believe that any court of law would regard the conditions of entry to such UK dance competitions sufficient evidence that the prize winning dances are original works. After all the Chairman of Adjudicators receives a script prior to the commencement of the last rounds. Upon the receipt of a substantiated protest from anyone in the dance world, the Chairman of Adjudicators would surely disqualify any winning competition dance after the competitions if such a dance was found to be 'unoriginal'.

      The following extract below substantiates my claim on UK prize winning dance originality(Please Note: all capitalization for emphasis purposes is as per original document.):

      "MONDAY 22nd OCTOBER, 2012

      BLACKPOOL FESTIVAL ORIGINAL SEQUENCE DANCE COMPETITIONS(CLASS

      B)
      ... ... ... ...
      The Competitions for the Best Original Sequence Dances.
      Open to all Teachers of Dancing who are Associates, Members or Fellows of a recognised Association affiliated to the British Dance Council. Partners assisting in the dance must also hold one of the aforementioned qualifications. ... ...

      Entrants should note that these competitions are for an Original Dance, that is, a dance which has not previously been shown to the public, or entered in any prior competition. The Adjudicators will look for new dances likely to be UNIVERSALLY adopted, rather than those with purely local appeal. It should be stressed that the Adjudicators are mainly concerned with finding a dance which will not only appeal to, but be within the scope of the average patron of public ballrooms throughout the country, rather than a brilliant exhibition of an intricate dance. ... ... ... Finalists must hand in a typed copy of their script to the Chairman of the Adjudicators before the final round commences. The description must conform in every detail to the dance which is being presented and all technical abbreviations in Scripts must conform with the BDC publication 'Guide to the Theory and Techniques of Classical Sequence Dancing'. ... ... ... ... The winning dances will become the property of the Blackpool Dance Festival, who reserve the right to re-name the winning dance. No property apart from those usually associated with public ballroom dancing will be permitted. ... ... ... ..."

      I sincerely hope that my reproduction and quoting of this small part from their competition entry rules for reporting purposes will be seen as 'fair usage' under the provisions of the Copyright act and not render me a copyright infringer. If not, I beg the forgiveness of the British Dance Council and the Blackpool Festival organizers for my transgression.

      Delete
    2. This URL,

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshold_of_originality

      points to a Wikipedia article about the Threshold of Originality as applied to Copyright Law in various countries. It makes interesting reading for anyone trying to come to grips with what makes a dance 'original' in the eyes of the law.

      Delete

  34. Dear Anonymous14 May 2013 16:56

    I am sorry but to suggest that a set of competition rules can define originality in copyright law just seems ludicrous to me.

    "Entrants should note that these competitions are for an Original Dance, that is, a dance which has not previously been shown to the public, or entered in any prior competition"

    Originality may be a requirement of the competition but absolutely no attempt is made to define originality in these rules. The judges may consider a one step difference sufficient to meet the competition definition.

    How many dances have ever been excluded from competitions due to lack of originality?

    One question does spring to mind about all those losing dances that don't win the competition. Do they never make a come back with small alterations? The names certainly do which must be very confusing for the inventors. That must be around 600 dances ending up on the scrap heap every year.

    I am still having difficulty in understanding how all these sequences dances of various rhythms, which have been dumbed down so the average patron at a public ballroom can do them and which are always performed by Siamese twins can somehow magically coalesce into a choreographic show. I say Siamese twins because they seem to stay joined together throughout their performance.

    Can we have suggestions please for the least original winning dance? Please don't say all of them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear William.

      You wrote:

      "Originality may be a requirement of the competition but absolutely no attempt is made to define originality in these rules. The judges may consider a one step difference sufficient to meet the competition definition."

      I don't know where the dance adjudicators' Threshold of Originality lies. I suspect that it would be much higher than that taken from a legal perspective.



      To my limited knowledge, BBL copyrights have never been tested in any court of law to the extent of a precedence having been set for originality in their prize winning dances. So I cannot quote a reference to a precedent in regard to the legal threshold of originality in relation to BBL dances.

      However, I do know that the 'Threshold of Originality' in regard to the application of Australian Copyright Laws is considerably lower than that set in the normal meaning and usage of the word.

      In regard to the Telstra telephone book dispute, according to William van Caenegem, Professor of Law, Bond University in Australia (see http://blawblaw.se/2011/06/copyright-in-australia-fundamental-changes-and-issues-part-i/):

      " the court insisted on proof of some intellectual activity of an actual author which had resulted in the expression of a work in particular form.

      The judgment held that there was no copyright in white or yellow pages, because there was no intellectual activity involved in expressing lists of telephone numbers in the usual manner."

      My impression(opinion) is that if the Australian courts believe that the dance originates from the mind of the choreographer in question and is therefore not a straight copy of another dance AND it has sufficient intellectual AND creative investment to warrant protection then the ruling will be in favour of the copyright owner.

      BBL dances consist of combinations and permutations of standard figures as well as newly invented figures or rarely done figures thrown in for good measure, occasionally. I believe that considerable time, intellectual and creative effort goes into combining and sometimes inventing these figures to create a dance that flows well and is enjoyed by the majority of dancers performing it. Consider the beautiful Natural Fallaway turn(Overturned) with Open Finish, found in the "Ventura Waltz". How many other dances contain that exact figure? Considerable time, intellectual and creative effort would have gone into perfecting that figure, let alone arranging the whole dance.

      Consider the Pink Diamond Foxtrot. Only one other dance that I know of starts with a Turning Back Hover. How many dances have a Curving Three Step that curves to the left instead of the right as this dance does? I love the way this Curved Three Step is combined with the following Back Curved Three Step. The locus of travel for these two sequential figures is original, in my opinion. It feel great to do as well. Innovative and original? Yes, yes, yes.

      Consider the Double Reverse Spin figure used in the Millenium, Pendle, Eden, Sarah's, Witches and many other slow waltzes. It is only a matter of time before a dance emerges from the comps that has an innovation called the 'Double Natural Spin' figure that is the complement or mirror image of the Double Reverse Spin. The struggle for originality goes on and the effort is justly rewarded by copyright protection, in my opinion.

      You wrote:

      "I would also think that a dance routine that a five year old can learn can reasonably be described as a "simple dance routine""

      I think that you are judging the originality and amount of intellectual work as well as the creativity that goes into creating a BBL prize winning dance by the criterion of how simple it is to learn and then perform in the most rudimentary fashion. I'd like to see a 5 year old choreograph a dance comparable to the Let's Swing and then perform it at a BDC affiliated comp and then win a prize. Some prodigy, I would think!




      Delete
    2. Sequenceblogger16 May 2013 at 01:08

      You don't seem very well informed about dance history. The original figures you refer to have been done several times before in much older sequence dances eg the backward hover of pink diamond, aurora also started with a backward hover. the double curve done in wharfedale and in much earlier foxtrots. the double natural spin you predict - already done sunset waltz around 1973 also done more recently. the natural fallaway open finish from ventura, done several times before graham thomsons dances come to mind possibly claudia's. apart from that all the figures you quote didn't originate in sequence, they were developed by ballroom dancers. the double curve you refer to was being done in the 60's and was called the shell. i even have it described in an article by Alex Moore from the Dancing Times in the 70's. But he didn't claim copyright on it because these things were developed organically by the ballroom community at large.

      Delete
  35. This weekend the "World Sequence Dance Entertainment" roadshow is rolling into another town.
    Perhaps this is a good time to comment on the copyright debate.
    Firstly, all discussion has been based on personal opinion not legal precedents.The Australian Copyright Office document often referred to is not a legal document, just another opinion.
    If sequence dances are fully protected by copyright several problems arise.
    The Hot Off The Press scripts state " the purchaser of this script is granted a non-exclusive license to perform or demonstrate the dance described herein for the purpose of teaching a private lesson or class situation"
    That is fact and it means no one has permission to perform the dance at their club dance unless they buy the script.To do so is a copyright infringement. Fact...ask any lawyer.
    Also inventors cannot use any significant part of a copyright dance without permission from the original copyright holder and must state which parts they used from a copyright dance if used in their new routine.
    Clearly the competition organisers do not really mean to enforce copyright law in these cases as they want the winning dances performed at social dance venues around Britain by the average dancer.
    What a mess it all is !
    If attending the next competition watch out for the fireworks.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Ron.

      I also agree with your statement that the Australian Copyright Council only offers their information as a general guide. They even go so far as to state in their guidelines:

      "If you need to know how the law applies in a particular situation, please get advice from a lawyer."

      You also wrote:

      "If sequence dances are fully protected by copyright several problems arise.
      The Hot Off The Press scripts state " the purchaser of this script is granted a non-exclusive license to perform or demonstrate the dance described herein for the purpose of teaching a private lesson or class situation"
      That is fact and it means no one has permission to perform the dance at their club dance unless they buy the script."

      Is this really a fact and not just your opinion? If 'a fact' would you kindly provide a reference to a legal precedent confirming this statement as being a legal fact?

      I regularly purchase scripts from BBL. I have never seen such a copyright warning printed on any dance script that I have received to date. Perhaps I am on a different 'BBL script service' than you are.

      My performing a BBL copyright protected dance at my club dance is a private performance of the dance for my own enjoyment. From a copyright infringing perspective, this is a very different situation to my performing the same dance as a part of my own DVD production as a business activity.

      I do not believe that, I am in breach of any copyright laws by dancing, in a private capacity, fully copyright protected BBL dances at my dance club.

      Delete
  36. Dear Ron,

    I agree with nearly everything you say.

    There are a lot of opinions expressed on the web about the problem of defining what choreographed dances can be copyrighted. However most of them have the common theme that you cannot copyright a social dance which dates from the House of Representatives Report 94-1476 at 54 (1976) which helped shape the current legislation.

    The Australian Copyright Council guidance comes from an independent if avowedly pro copyright organisation which receives a quarter of a million dollars from government sources. Their guidance should not be discounted lightly even though it may not have the force of law.

    The US Copyright Office issued a statement [Federal Register Volume 77, Number 121 (Friday, June 22, 2012) In which they said "Simple dance routines do not represent enough original choreographic authorship to be copyrightable. Moreover, the selection, coordination or arrangement of dance steps does not transform a compilation of dance steps into a choreographic work unless the resulting work amounts to an integrated and coherent compositional whole".

    Difficult to do in fifty or so steps I would say. Equally difficult to produce a coherent whole from fifty or so independent collaborations. I would also think that a dance routine that a five year old can learn can reasonably be described as a "simple dance routine"

    I cannot remember BBL citing anything from an independent source to suggest their interpretation of the law is correct.

    If enough people say the world is round and not flat then they are probably correct in that opinion.

    Your point about not being able to perform a dance unless I have bought a script is interesting. Does this mean that I can no longer take four steps in a straight line out in the street because those four steps are part of the alleged copyright for Let's Swing.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Dear Anonymous15 May 2013 18:53

    I am sorry but you appear to be wrong again.

    You said "I do not believe that, I am in breach of any copyright laws by dancing, in a private capacity, fully copyright protected BBL dances at my dance club"

    Copyright legislation does not define what a performance in public is. From court precedents (notably Jennings v Stephens 1936) it is clear that any performance outside the domestic or home life of the audience is justly to be regarded as in public.

    http://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/prs-at-a-glance.pdf

    Regarding what I said earlier about 5 year olds learning our "complex" sequence dances. I note that there is a BDC British Juvenile Classical Sequence Dance Championship for ages 6 to under 12. I would assume that they start well before they reach the age of 6.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear William.

      You wrote:

      "Regarding what I said earlier about 5 year olds learning our "complex" sequence dances. I note that there is a BDC British Juvenile Classical Sequence Dance Championship for ages 6 to under 12. I would assume that they start well before they reach the age of 6."

      You are confusing a dance 'performance' competition with a dance 'creating' and 'originating' competition.

      On the other point where you wrote:

      "I am sorry but you appear to be wrong again."

      I don't think so.

      Delete
  38. Anonymous16 May 2013 14:35

    Competition? What competition? I thought this was supposed to be a "choreographic show"

    I am not confused about anything. Simply pointing out that most people would not expect four or five year olds to be able to perform a complex dance routine. Let's Swing is not Swan Lake. You told us that sequence dances were complex and this was one reason that they could be copyrighted. As usual we have had an assertion that they are complex but not one word of reasoned argument to prove your contention.

    In a similar vein can you please share your thoughts with us on why you "don't think so". Yet another assertion with no substance I am afraid.

    One further question for you. If the BBL copyright claims are correct and Let's Swing is a copyright dance do I have to ask their permission to take three or four steps in a public place? (The first three steps and the fifth to eight steps of the dance).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear William.

      You asked the question:

      "Competition? What competition? I thought this was supposed to be a "choreographic show""

      I would have thought the answer to this question was obvious. It is a case of 'both/and' not 'either/or'. Competitions and choreographic shows are not mutually exclusive.

      Not every competition is a choreographic show, any more than every choreographic show is a competition. However there is an intersection between these two sets; a subset, which has elements that are held in common with both sets. One such element of this subset is a prize winning English sequence competition dance. This element is a significant part of both a choreographic show and a competition. You write as though choreographic shows and competitions are fundamentally mutually exclusive. Not so.

      Delete
  39. As illuminating as this discussion might be, Alexandria's Dance is still off-air and sequence dancers are still being deprived of this facility. What are the teaching organisations doing/going to do about this ? As they, not BBL, are the declared copyright holders, surely the ball is in their court.

    What baffles me is why these organisations are employing the services of BBL in the first place. In the pre-internet years, it obviously made practical sense to use a middle-man as a distributor. But, nowadays, there isn’t much of an advantage, and it makes no sense at all from a business perspective – they could quite easily sell the scripts direct from their own websites and on-line shops etc. HOP, and reap all of the proceeds themselves. Have they never thought of this ? That way the money could be put straight back into the system. Apart from this, given the shameful business practices now being used by BBL and the damaging effect this is having on sequence dancing, the dance organisations really ought to be considering whether BBL should be granted a license at all, leave alone be given exclusive rights.

    I intend to write to all dance organisations of which I am a member so as to express my views on this, and I would encourage others to do the same. I hear that many of these organisations including the BDC have already been overwhelmed with complaints from their members about BBL. But a few more won't do any harm.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Dear Anonymous 16 May 2013 23:28

    I am not really interested in the difference between a competition and a choreographic show. You are the one desperately seeking to create a hybrid of the two. It is just that when you talk of competitions and not choreographic shows I become confused.

    The rest of us are still waiting with baited breathe upon your explanation as to exactly how 40 disparate social dance routines miraculously become a choreographic show and exactly how this beast is recorded for copyright purposes. Claiming copyright is not the same as demonstrating that one exists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I agree, William, you are confused.

      "... rest of us are still waiting with baited breathe upon your explanation as to exactly how 40 disparate social dance routines miraculously become a choreographic show ..."

      The "rest of us" don't need any explanation. It is self-evident to all but the most obtuse. If the cap fits, then wear it.

      Delete
  41. Dear Anonymous17 May 2013 18:27

    I am not obtuse. Remember I am the one who can tell the difference between a civil and a criminal case. I am not the one who thinks Let's Swing is a complex dance. I am not the one who knows so little about copyright law that they think you can claim copyright to a title such as "San Antonio Saunter", as BBL are currently doing on their website.

    I say that your dramatic work lacks theatrical sets, dramatic lighting, theatrical make-up, costumes or cohesion. The dancing is two dimensional in that there are no lifts, jumps or spins and oddly enough all dances are performed by just two people. It may be a competition, an exhibition or a demonstration of social dancing. It doesn't really matter. A dramatic work it is not.

    I am sorry but you won't get away with "It is self-evident to all but the most obtuse" in any debating chamber or court I know of.

    Please gives us your reasoned arguments or admit defeat. I have no doubt that people reading or contributing to this blog do not agree with your standpoint or the tawdry attempt to hijack their social dancing.




    ReplyDelete
  42. Dear William

    Being a self appointed spokesperson for the group, you lack credibility. I apologize for your limitations.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Dear Anonymous18 May 2013 18:14

    Funny. I thought you were the self appointed spokesman for BBL. Oh! Anonymous who art thee?

    Yet another assertion from you without foundation. Why don't we take a vote on who is winning the debate.

    By the way, I have decided to include the full dialogue of Hamlet, Macbeth and Twelfth Night in my new dramatic work. Does that mean I can now claim the copyright of these three dramatic works?

    I recall an old adage from my youth about "sticks and stones" don't you? I was also told that losing your temper was the sign of a weak argument.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Dear All,

    This is an interesting perspective taken from the respected Vanderbilt University Law Review

    "Square Dance: Fitting the Square Peg of Fixation into the Round Hole of Choreographic Works" Evie Whiting, May 31st 2013

    http://www.vanderbiltlawreview.org/content/articles/2012/05/Whiting_65_Vand_L_Rev_1261.pdf

    Pages 17 and 18

    "The Copyright Office currently defines “choreography” as “the composition and arrangement of dance movements and patterns usually intended to be accompanied by music.” Notably, copyright protects choreography regardless of whether a storyline is present. Like publication, presentation before an audience is no longer required. The legislative history surrounding the passage of the 1976 Act clarifies that the range of protected works does not include social dance steps or simple routines. The Copyright Office cautions that the interaction between choreography and fixation may mean that “the minimal requirement of creativity generally necessary to copyright protection is somewhat greater in its application to dance steps and routines.” Such heightened standards protect the interests of the public in maintaining a body of movement that is universally available. Dance may struggle to stake its place in the pantheon of academically and socially respected art forms, but movement is fundamentally important as an integral part of the human experience."

    If BBL did in fact have full copyright to a sequence dance they would have extensive rights over who, where and when it could be performed in public. The fact that they choose to waive some of those rights is not the issue. Was it really the intention of the Copyright Act to stop social dancers from doing a sequence of steps such as a whisk, wing, chasse, open reverse and promenade chasse, without first ensuring BBL had given their permission. I very much doubt it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear William

      Amongst many other things, you wrote:

      "If BBL did in fact have full copyright to a sequence dance they would have extensive rights over who, where and when it could be performed in public. The fact that they choose to waive some of those rights is not the issue. Was it really the intention of the Copyright Act to stop social dancers from doing a sequence of steps such as a whisk, wing, chasse, open reverse and promenade chasse, without first ensuring BBL had given their permission. I very much doubt it."

      Are you trying to compromise this web site by possibly putting the webmaster into a difficult legal situation?

      This statement of yours, apart from being incorrect, is defamatory, damaging to and undermining BBL's company business.

      Even if on the odd chance that BBL's lawyers are unable trace you, they may like to contact the webmaster of this web site with a view to putting an end to such damaging falsehoods as you are propagating. This attack on BDC/ISDC/BBL's legitimate business activities could turn out to be very unpleasant for all. Not very wise, bro. If I were you, I'd back off 'BBL bashing' before you push them too far.

      You reserve the right to lock your front door of your own home to protect your belongings, yet you appear to want to deny the British Dance Council and their agent BBL from enjoying the same rights to protect their hard won business assets by their invoking the protection of copyright law.


      Delete
    2. Ahh haa haa haa..
      Hee hee..
      LOL
      and all the other short cut phrases..

      Your credibility is in the toilet where it belongs.. your arrogance is without doubt matched by that shown of BBL so if you are not in fact he/they you clearly are of the same ilk.

      Delete
  45. Anonymous (the anti-copyright one)20 May 2013 at 22:50

    Anonymous - I think we definitely know who is writing this stuff now.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Dear Anonymous 20 May 2013 17:27

    Exactly what is inaccurate about my statement which quite clearly concerns the intentions behind the Copyright Act?

    "If BBL did in fact have full copyright to a sequence dance they would have extensive rights over who, where and when it could be performed in public. The fact that they choose to waive some of those rights is not the issue. Was it really the intention of the Copyright Act to stop social dancers from doing a sequence of steps such as a whisk, wing, chasse, open reverse and promenade chasse, without first ensuring BBL had given their permission. I very much doubt it."

    ReplyDelete
  47. The deafening silence continues. It seems that I have now received tacit approval from one of those with no names to walk as and when I please without infringing copyright.

    Apparently some people have been seen doing a "Lack of Variety Swing". It starts facing 12 o'clock.

    L = Left Foot.

    Bar A: L STEP, Side, L CLOSE
    Bar B: Back, L SIDE, Close

    Bit like the Shiraz I am told. Wonders will never cease

    I could never see the point in recording the right foot. If its not your left foot it has to be your right foot. Unless you are Jake The Peg I suppose

    Has anyone seen the rest?

    Bye Bye Black Bird Lane

    ReplyDelete
  48. Dear Dancing Guru,

    As a British Dance Council adjudicator would you please ask them why they are trying to strangle sequence dancing.

    If this sequence dance copyright does in fact exist it would be a breach of copyright for anyone to :

    • perform that dance in public without the permission of the copyright holder.

    • perform any sequence of steps from that dance in public without the permission of the copyright holder.

    • modify any part of that dance or include any recognisable part of that dance in a dance of their own without obtaining the permission of the copyright owner.

    • fail to attribute any part of that dance which is copyright to the author or copyright holder.


    I now understand that the Australian Copyright Council have said that you cannot copyright a sequence waltz unless it is a dramatic work.

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I'm aware, it's the professional societies that hold the alleged copyright and all the British Dance Council have done so far is to warm those who are posting videos on YouTube that they may face legal action from the societies.

      The ISTD have asked for winning dances to be removed "to protect the integrity of the dances" but are doing nothing to promote sequence dancing or assist those who trying to learn.

      The UKA don't believe that it is possible to copyright a sequence dance and have allowed www.sequencedanceuk.co.uk to promote all the UKA winning dances on YouTube. This bold step will ensure that sequence dancers will be able to have free access to a limited number of winning dances and I'm sure it will only be a matter of time before the other societies follow suite.

      In the mean time, I would urge everyone to support the UKA sequence competitions as they seem to be the only society to support free access to the winning dances.

      Delete
    2. Dear Dancing Guru,

      So who will enforce the "copyright" on the dances selected at the
      British Dance Council Inventive Dance Competition to be held on Sunday 4th August 2013 at the Hermitage Leisure Centre, Silver Street, Whitwick

      Delete
    3. Well, that would be the BDC then. From what I've heard so far they haven't really persued the copyright issue.

      Delete
    4. In reply to Dancing Guru -

      You said:

      "The UKA don't believe that it is possible to copyright a sequence dance"

      I was just wondering if this was an official statement from the UKA council of management ? You may or may not be in a position to clarify.

      You also said:

      "the UKA have allowed www.sequencedanceuk.co.uk to promote all the UKA winning dances on YouTube"

      Now, I find this inconsistent with the previous statement. Surely, if they believe it is not possible to copyright a sequence dance, www.sequencedanceuk.co.uk would not have needed their permission to promote UKA dances on YouTube as they would have been totally at liberty to do so in the first place.

      I really do think it is time the UKA and indeed all the other dance societies each made an official statement regarding the copyright of their sequence dances (preferably one that is in line with the law).

      Delete
    5. "John",
      I couldn't possibly comment on the UKA's statement but I'm sure someone in the office would be happy to talk to you about it.
      I'm assuming that permission was requested as a matter of courtesy after all the problems the YouTube channel owners have had with the professional societies and one of the script producers.

      If you've been following the debate on other forums you'd appreciate that in this country there has been no legal precedence set so at the moment it's all speculation. If you buy a script from one of the providers you are bound by their terms and condition - whatever they are and however unfair you feel they are.

      Delete
  49. we are youngish, the type i guess that sequence dancing needs. As we are still working and with other commitments we are unable to attend many dances, certainly no more than once a week. Therefore we need extra help so we can keep up. This was Alexandria. As this is no longer available, then I doubt if we will attend any further dances

    ReplyDelete
  50. I totally agree with you. My partner and I are still working and have limited time to go to sequence classes so have been relying on the help of Alexandria. We have got seriously behind with all the new dances now that this help has been stopped. Sadly, we, too, will probably stop dancing now, also the other couple who were learning with us. It's total madness!

    Marianne

    ReplyDelete
  51. Dear Dancing Guru

    I have been thinking about originality. A whisk, wing and chasse is 3/16ths of a sequence dance or 18.75 per cent. How many song tunes can you quote that use 18.75 per cent of another song? How many books can you quote that use 18.75 per cent of another book? Even a single bar of a sequence dance is 6.25 per cent. How many songs start with the same 6.25 per cent? How would a "beat the introduction" contest work if you were played 19 seconds of a three minute song.

    Pride and Prejudice has 122,618 words in it. Yet I can recognise it from the first six "it is a truth universally acknowledged". I don't even need a capital "I". Now that is what I call originality. Or how about the first seven words of the 179,903 in Ivanhoe "in that pleasant corner of merry England". Now have someone walk the first bar of any sequence dance and then tell me what it is.

    It will be an interesting if short lived court case on sequence dance copyright.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. William, I totally agree! With a limited number of exits from a figure I feel it is impossible to copyright a combination of steps. For example, from the technique books, there are only 3 possible exits from a whisk (even though other figures can be used as a follow). This type of restriction means that sooner or later significant amounts of choreography are going to be re used.

      Delete
    2. Hello Dancing Guru.

      Being a BDC adjudicator, could you possibly be unaware that BBL/ISDC has the full support of the BDC in its fight to stamp out theft of its intellectual property - by court action if necessary?

      Or is it that you disagree with the BDC about its own official position in regard to the validity of UK prize winning competition dance copyrights?

      Delete
    3. You said:

      "BBL/ISDC has the full support of the BDC in its fight to stamp out theft of its intellectual property - by court action if necessary?"

      How do you know ? Have you asked them ?

      Delete
    4. Dear Anonymous 9 June 2013 19:21

      Could you please identify which part of the copyright legislation has winning a prize in a UK competition as a requirement for obtaining copyright.

      Delete
  52. Dear Anonymous 9 June 2013 19:21

    Welcome back to the debate.

    Will you please answer the burning question you have so far failed to respond to. How an earth can anyone think they can copyright walking four steps forward? (Steps five to eight in the incredibly complex Let's Swing).

    ReplyDelete
  53. understand that Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice has had to be brought up to date because if the copyright dispute.

    Darcy. "Every Savage Can Dance"
    "But only if he has bought the script from Brockbank Lane" replied Bingley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret Barker11 June 2013 at 15:41

      Dear Anonymous - you are a star !!! Your comment sums it up perfectly - I LOVE IT !!!!

      Delete
  54. A Sequence Dancer15 June 2013 at 12:52

    I'm not sure of the details of the dispute between BBL and Alexandria's Dance. But, given that videos of the new dances are no longer available on Alexandria's Dance YT channels and websites, it seems reasonable to conclude that BBL have now got their way on this - at least for the time being.

    But, all the indications are that, legally, BBL have no case - so how can this have happened ? It is probably more to do with the way the legal system works than the strength (or lack of it) of BBL's case.

    For those who don't know, the system works something like this. The plaintiff applies for an injunction. These are generally granted, irrespective of the details of the case, as the latter are not subject to any great scrutiny at this stage. The defendant then has the option of applying for a court hearing where a judge actually considers the details and then makes a judgement, but the latter is costly and takes a very long time, so is not really a practical option, and in the meantime any injunction has to be complied with. In practice then, if someone decides to file for an injunction, or threatens to, that's often the end of it. As I say, I don't know the details of this particular case, but I imagine that that's more or less where we're at with this.

    So the question is, where do we go from here ?

    One thing to be aware of is that if BBL are to bring legal action, they cannot do it alone. Only the declared copyright holders can file a complaint of infringement, and BBL are not the copyright holders. The copyright, such as it is, is of course held by the individual competition promoters. And that's exactly what happened in the case of the claim against the Christchurch Ballroom Dancing Club - the claim was instigated by BBL, but formally filed by 13 or so co-plaintiffs comprising the dance societies plus a few other individual promoters.

    Now, the above is all fairly common knowledge, but I think we're overlooking one vital point here. Given the nature of the claim against Christchurch and the legal information available, all of these co-plaintiffs could be considered to have committed perjury here – they have, after all, each made a declaration in a court of law claiming copyright that the law would indicate they are not entitled to. And the law is sufficiently clear on this that I do not believe their copyright status could be considered a matter of judgement even (despite what our anonymous pro-BBL poster has claimed in his various posts about choreographic shows and other such nonsense which are quite frankly delusional). If this matter of perjury were reported by a third party, there would be serious repercussions for those involved.

    But before this is reported, perhaps we should give those concerned a chance to redeem themselves. The societies and the BDC have recently received an abundance of complaints about BBL, and are no doubt now considering their position on sequence dance copyright. And some of them seem to be wavering. In their deliberations, they may do well to remember that they may have committed perjury once already, and that it may be unwise for them to go down that same road again.

    As someone suggested previously, it would now be appropriate for each of the societies and individuals involved to release official statements declaring their actual copyright status. It would also be in order (and indeed in their own interests) for them to pledge their full cooperation to anyone who might in the future approach them with a view to using their dances to promote sequence dancing.

    As Edmund Burke said, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. The law really can't be a total ass.

    ReplyDelete
  55. 15 June 2013 13:49

    Like many others I am not happy with the removal of the free contribution Alexander's videos made to Sequence Dancing on You Tube, and the influence BBL is having on this happening.
    My understanding was that BBL had the permission of the Associations to sell their scripts, when did they get copyright rights and what seems to be a monopoly on sales as well?.
    Personally I have nothing against the Associations selling scripts as a means of raising money, no one does anything for nothing, and if they choose to let an agent do the work for them, then so be it but, application and selection for the work should first and foremost be open to all.
    Reading copyright law, it was my understanding that only an original document can hold a copyright, and copyright cannot be transferred from an original to a photocopied document or we would have a thousands genuine Mona Lisa's! This argument does not seem to stand up in dancing perhaps someone could explain to this ignorant sole why that is the case.
    It has always been the unwritten rule that to succeed with anything in Dancing you had to be from "The Old School". You know the one, you scratch my back and I will do the same. That is the reason why nothing in dancing is ever challenged because to do so is to send yourself to Coventry. Here it is not the new ideas they don't like, it is that they need to move someone over so someone else can use the idea and make money. So out go the Alexander's and you know the rest. The only losers are the dancers!
    Years ago we all bought the SD books and videos to get us started SD, and we did this without causing a similar outcry? Indeed I still use a SD book containing those scripts in class today. Was it something to do with You Tube that caused the problem this time, or was it the lack of affiliation to that select circle that made the Alexander videos so easily dismissible.
    I have been around SD for 40 years and this argument about the legitimacy of copyright and scripts has been regurgitated time and time again. The players are new but we are just repeating what has been said a thousand times before, its like spitting into the wind with no one is getting anywhere fast.
    I believe, if Sequence Dancing is to move forward all this energy should be put into finding a way of filling and keeping our dances open, giving work to the teachers and to those who dance with us, the right of a voice, and a choice of who they want to deliver their services.
    Non qualified SD have never had the right to a say because they have no elected body to represent them or promote the activity. The old adage is true "If we keep them fighting amongst themselves they won't fight with us". Sequence Dancing run as a form of recreational exercise would readily get Charity Status and funding. With an elected SD forum, a constitution and if necessary our own comps, we could enjoy the same legal backing as the Dance Associations, the right to challenge at all levels and deciding for ourselves how and who runs SD.
    Radical, well I believe this is where any power of redress lies. If the Associations want to continue to host the comps, then before we buy the scripts they meet us on our terms.
    Perhaps a new forum would ask for the right to become the main agent to sell scripts, but not try to hold a monopoly on sales, as this could possibly be illegal.
    Perhaps the lawyers frequenting this site can tell me whether or not the Forward button on the computer constitutes copying, or redistributing, or is the rules on forwarding now going to be the new appendage on the bottom of all photocopied SD scripts?

    ReplyDelete
  56. It appears video pirates have plundered the BBL dance videos. DVDs are becoming available with the winning dances on them.
    Dancers have taken organised action since Alexandria's Youtube site was closed by BBL and the ISDC. Informal networks have emerged where dancers share the DVDs and scripts.
    Did BBL ever expect this would not happen?
    Surely it is time for the dance associations to demonstrate leadership and resolve this ongoing divisive and damaging "copyright" dispute?

    ReplyDelete
  57. Dear Anonymous 16 June 2013 05:38

    Agreed. Why would any savage want to pay for something as ephemeral as a sequence dance. Here today and gone tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Yesterday I referred to my curiosity on the legitimacy of transferring copyright to a duplicate or photocopy of the original script.

    Then I ordered an e book from Amazon. I buy and pay for the book from the internet and it is sent to each of my registered e readers. Why, if Amazon could charge for the extra copies would they send them out for free? Just a thought.
    Anyhow the book that brought this flash of inspiration was Alan Johnson's My Boy, I could not put it down,it is a great read and a close reflection of social history in the 50's and 60's when everyone danced and old scripts would be used as toilet paper

    ReplyDelete
  59. Sorry it is me again.
    I learn from him who knows. Copyright of an original document cannot be transferred to a photocopy of that document. However so long as the sale of photocopies is agreed by the copyright holder, the seller of copies can include their own terms and conditions.
    Perhaps a pre signed transaction agreement on the sale of scripts would be useful in resolving any future dispute.
    I hope the time has come when those of us who are really interested in taking SD forward can start a constructive discussion on how to achieve this.

    This is not 1976 and society has changed, bullying and incorrect information is no longer acceptable. We all have computers and we are all better informed. My first question would be... How do we offer an e-service that business people in the dancing world can profit from? That is dancers from SD and Ballroom.
    I am absolutely against the move to further monopolise the sale of scripts and video's and I will be another customer lost if it continues. We need an open competitive market where dancers can choose the format of how and who they learn from and a price they choose to pay. Only then will we get the best service for everyone that will take dancing forward.
    Learning from the Alexander's videos kept dancers going to their local dance keeping dances open and teachers employed. I accept the profits did not directly go into BBL's pocket but indirectly that teacher will buy scripts from the licensees. The loss of this service has undoubtedly reduced numbers dancing and indeed played its part in closing dances in this area and it will be interesting to learn how the ISDC festival is effected by all this.
    Time now for me to shut up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret Barker20 June 2013 at 16:07

      No, Mo, you must not shut up - we need your input to bring some common sense into this ongoing fiasco. You are obviously knowledgeable about the world of sequence dancing and it is through people such as yourself that hopefully this problem can be resolved for the good of sequence dancing.

      I also hope that Anonymous (anti-copyright) and William Tucker are "still on the case".

      Delete
    2. Thank you Margaret your support is very welcome,
      and I would like to thank our host for the opportunity to post our comments.
      I understand why the Associations are perhaps unhappy with BBL and ISDC, but this will make little difference to the promoters as they believe they are still holding the winning hand.
      I agree the Alexander's You Tube contribution was an inspirational idea and one only had to look at the numbers visiting the site to know they were giving a service the SD dancing public wanted.
      A few years ago another elderly couple did the same with DVD's. When the BDC found out it was stopped on the threat of prosecution . So I contacted the SD Secretary at the BDC to ask why this valuable service had been removed and was told the couple were making thousands of pounds from sales, and that was the promoters money as they held the copyright. When I asked if they the promoters, or any of their lead dancers would replace the DVD service with something similar, their argument changed to it would be far too costly and time consuming! so there you go.
      I agree with those who say the majority of contributors to this discussion are those most closely involved with its outcome, and probably also their solicitors, but then they need to know how we feel and if our arguments are put honestly we have nothing to fear.
      To those who say " The Associations should get this sorted out" I ask why the Associations?
      If Festival promoters do not benefit from their efforts they will withdraw then SD will need someone else to take it forward, so those who believe SD has a future need to prepare themselves to direct and negotiate the future of SD not leave it to the Associations.
      Other than UKA (to which I declare an interest) which of the other associations promote SD beyond their festivals? Looking at their web sites None.
      The ISDC, are supposed to exclusively work to promote Sequence Dancing and happy to accept no qualified members. I understand(but have no verification of)they do little more than promote and run the Bridlington festival and some dancing holidays. This could be a very bad reflection of what actually happens so perhaps the ISDC could let us know what it has achieved this year in promoting SD as this might be where the future of SD lies.
      When we were able to go, we always looked forward to going to the ISDC Bridlington festival. Not only did it give us a great weekend of dancing it bolstered the economy of a small seaside town as it filled the hotels and shops, so much so that the traders and hoteliers contributed all the prizes.
      To conclude, and get away from the scratch my back syndrome we need to allow dancers and teachers a voice and a choice.
      A few weeks ago and without the students knowledge I reintroduced excellent pre 1976 (non copyright dances) and they never realized until I told them a couple of weeks later. Worked collectively this could be very effective and cheap way to secure our dancing and drop out of all arguments about copyright.

      Delete
    3. Sorry that line regarding ISDC should read
      they do accept non qualified dancers.

      Delete
  60. Dear Mo.

    Very much on the case. The Black Hearted clan seem to be very quiet of late so not much on this site though.

    We have brought the copyright problem to the attention of the All Party Parliamentary Dance Committee. One of their stated aims being to encourage dancing as part of the battle against obesity. Perhaps people could write to their own MPs. 

    We have contacted sponsors to ask them to withdraw all support from members of the copyright club. 

    Watch this space for our e-petition.

    William Tucker

    ReplyDelete
  61. Supporter of Law and Order24 June 2013 at 15:27

    Copyright laws are beneficial to the dancing world.

    Benefits of copyright laws:

    1. They prevent the blatant theft of intellectual property by unprincipled people.
    2. They provide incentives for dancing professionals to create lovely new dances.
    3. They provide a secure business environment that encourages financial investments and ensures business orientated entrepreneurs establish services for the dance world.
    4. They establish the rules of the game just as traffic laws do.

    Over hundreds of years Copyright laws have stood the test of time. Together with the appropriate amendments that help them keep up with the necessities of the digital age, they meet the needs of an evolving civilized world.

    Those obtuse and lesser principled amongst us dancing folk who would pull down the whole edifice of law and order, if they could, just to meet their own self-centred needs, are the real enemies of a future civilized and prosperous dance world.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Dear Supporter of Law and Order 

    Your definition of obtuse would seem to be anyone who doesn't agree with you. 

    I am not always overly impressed by "professionals". There are some very greedy footballers, bankers and lawyers who describe themselves as "professional". 

    I also seem to remember that the Australian videos were provided free if charge.

    William Tucker

    ReplyDelete
  63. Law and Order Supporter Response
    The end of civilization and law and order as we know it because of a few dance demos on DVD and YT ? Hardly.
    Has Law and Order Supporter's rapid ascent to the pinnacle of high moral ground produced an attack of altitude sickness which has affected clear thinking?

    Does the rant about intellectual copyright include those involved with In Step, Teach Yourself Sequence Dancing DVDs and all others who have produced VHS tapes with sequence dance demos over the past 25 or so years or is there another agenda?
    Again we have opinions presented as fact. There has never been a court ruling concerning sequence dance copyright as it relates to YT and DVD demos or whether sequence dances even qualify for full copyright protection.

    As for the updating of copyright, that's another debate. The British Government has had problems with the revised Digital Economy Act, which has been deferred to 2014 without any real explanation. This suggests that law makers will find themselves increasingly further behind the curve in coming to terms with the complexities of copyright,generally, in an ever expanding digital electronic information sharing age.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Supporter of Law and Order25 June 2013 at 15:26

      Try looking into the Australian Law Reform Committee's(ALRC) present Copyright law reform measures. It is all on their web site, if you take the trouble to look.

      If people who are good at criticizing the law were as motivated in lodging submissions for changes to the Fair Usage amendments now in process, then perhaps the copyright laws might be more appropriate for the digital age.

      Perhaps the British government has taken the wise decision to sit on its hands until the ALRC's submissions are processed into Australian law.

      But don't expect to get something for nothing.

      Delete
    2. Dear Law and Order Supporter

      I cannot see much about the copyright of sequence dance on this site. Which parts are you specifically referring to?

      Delete
  64. Dear Law and Order Supporter,

    I think that what is really being stolen here is the right of every savage to dance.

    If a play is copyright then to perform any recognisable part of it in public you would need to have the prior agreement of the rights holder. The same rules would apply to a copyright dance. I am sure that the ballroom dance fraternity and Strictly Come Dancing are delighted to learn that they cannot perform a whisk, wing and chassé without the permission of BBL.


    If one is really playing by the rules of copyright and you include any recognisable part of an existing copyright work you should have obtained the agreement of that rights holder and acknowledge the use of his work. I am eagerly looking forward to each "new" dance script being the size of a small paperback novel.

    It would also seem to be good advice for any would be entrepreneurs to avoid the uncharted waters of dance copyright like the plague.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder whether the BBC sought permission from the so-called copyright holders in the days when the Come Dancing series included a Sequence section.

      Copyright on Sequence Dances ? I'll pickle my walnuts !

      Delete
    2. A Keen Sequence Dancer26 June 2013 at 05:02

      I would like to reproduce some footage of sequence dances from the original Come Dancing Series. Obviously, if there are any rights to these, I would need to get permission from the copyright holders. But who holds the copyright, and who should I contact - the dance societies, BBL, or the BBC. I think I might start by writing to the BBC. What do you think ?

      Delete
    3. Dear Keen Sequence Dancer
      If you mean publicly show a copy of the original broadcast then that performance is BBC copyright irrespective of the dance itself being copyright so you would need to talk to them. Of course you could also ask them if they obtained anyone's permission to broadcast the dances. Which would be an interesting question. If you want to record the dances yourself for public viewing then you must first decide if they are copyright at all!

      Delete
    4. Margaret Barker26 June 2013 at 09:48

      Careful, Len, (unless you are in fact Len Goodman) as the phrase "I'll pickle my walnuts" could be copyrighted and you may get into big trouble !!!!

      Delete
    5. Well, funny you should say that.

      Delete
    6. A Keen Sequence Dancer26 June 2013 at 10:03

      In reply to William Tucker 26 June

      You said: "If you want to record the dances yourself for public viewing then you must first decide if they are copyright at all!"

      I'm sure the BBC will already have put that question to their legal department. I wonder what their answer was.

      You also said: "Of course you could also ask them if they obtained anyone's permission to broadcast the dances. Which would be an interesting question."

      Yes, an interesting question indeed. And, perhaps one I could insist upon getting an answer to under a "freedom of information" request.

      Delete
  65. Supporter of Law and Order25 June 2013 at 15:13

    "It would also seem to be good advice for any would be entrepreneurs to avoid the uncharted waters of dance copyright like the plague."

    It would seem to me that just a visit to any competent Copyright Law solicitor prior to embarking upon a particular course of dancing entrepreneurship, would suffice.

    If approached in the right way, most copyright owners, in my opinion, are reasonable people who are prepared to license an agent to act on their behalf - unless of course direct competition that damages their own business, is involved.

    The a priori theft of a copyright owner's intellectual property is not a good initial approach to the copyright license negotiating process. Only an obtuse and/or an unprincipled person would possibly think it was.

    ReplyDelete
  66. he plague.

    Dear Law and Order Supporter,

    There are plenty of copyright lawyers who will tell you that you cannot copyright a sequence dance. It seems ironic to me that it is only the ones who charge a fee who hold the view that you can.

    You have yet to explain to the world how BBL have obtained a copyright to the human walk. (Steps 5 to 8 in that dance classic Let's Swing). Sorry but I for one am not going cap in hand to BBL for the right to take a walk in public.

    I wonder if the advocates of copyright as a means to promote sequence dancing have ever considered that the popularity of Shakespeare's plays could have something to do with the fact that they are not copyright and can be freely produced by one and all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Supporter of Law and Order26 June 2013 at 15:29

      "You have yet to explain to the world how BBL have obtained a copyright to the human walk. (Steps 5 to 8 in that dance classic Let's Swing)."

      The fact that you consider Steps 5 to 8 of the Let's Swing to be synonymous with 'simply walking' clarifies for me that you are the one of those who thinks he is dancing when in fact he is doing little more than taking a Sunday stroll around the dance floor throughout the whole dance without much regard, if any, for body alignments, direction of movement, timing, rise and fall, toe, heel floor contact, body framing and posture hand holds and/or movements etc. That's why I haven't responded to your earlier question. I felt sorry for your implied and obvious state of ignorance about both sequence dances and copyright law. Though the answer is a simple one, you will undoubtedly be unable to grasp its significance, even if I gave it. Remember... it was you who kept insisting on an answer. Now you know why I haven't and won't be giving you one.

      Further, since I suspect that you have so transparently set what you consider to be a 'clever little trap' to ascertain whether or not I am the same person previously called Anonymous, I thought that I would oblige you and clarify that issue for you. Yes, I am.

      For the benefit of others, the reason for the change over to my present 'nom de plume' is the confusion that might possibly result from more than one 'Anonymous' person posting here.

      Delete
    2. A Keen Sequence Dancer26 June 2013 at 16:11

      I don't know about William Tucker, but I personally needed no clarification on the issue as to whether you and "anonymous" were the same poster.

      Delete
    3. Dear Law and Order Supporter

      Why bother to write if you are not going to answer the question? You could not use that defence in the courts you seem so fond of. Nor denigrate the opposing barrister. That will always be taken as an admission of defeat by the jury as you clearly have nothing better to say.

      If you feel that the human walk is so simple perhaps you should talk to a doctor who could explain the bio mechanics of human locomotion to you. You could also talk to to the robotocists who have been trying to reproduce it mechanically for years.

      No matter how much you may try and dress it up it is still four forward steps and under the copyright legislation it would be a breach of copyright to make an unauthorised adaption. I might get the timing all wrong and ruin the effect the creator was hoping to achieve.

      Why would I wish to trap you? My only interest is to expose the myth of social dance copyright.

      I think the rest of still await the explanation for the claim to copyright of "Left, right, left, right" as the drill sergeants in the army say. They always expected you to do it in strict tempo as well. Or else!

      Delete
    4. Dear Law and Order Supporter

      Please stop berating the poor messenger and respond to the message! Not that he seems to need much help from the rest of us.

      Delete
    5. Dear Law and Order Supporter

      You seem to be confusing artistry and athleticism with drama. You might as well have been describing rhythmic gymnastics or equestrian dressage. You were certainly not describing a dramatic work such as Shakespeare.

      Delete

  67. All this talk about uncharted waters reminded me of King Canute. He tried to turn back the tide and nearly drowned. Perhaps the copyright clan should learn from his experience and stop trying to turn back the tide of public opinion that is flowing so strongly against them.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Saw a couple doing this waltz routine at our local dance last night. Does it have a name?

    Progressive Chasse to Right Overturned
    Outside Change
    1-3 Natural Turn
    Open Impetus.

    Wing
    Open Telemark
    Natural Fallaway To Promenade Position

    Chair and Recover
    Same Foot Lunge to Left Whisk
    Twist Turn
    Backward Turning Hover

    Turning Lock to Right
    1-4 Sycapated Weave from Promenade Position
    Outside Check (along line of dance)
    4-6 Hesitation Change Overturned

    Reverse (1-6) turn to DW 2 bars
    Whisk to end in promenade position
    Cross Hesitation to end facing diagonal centre

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret Barker27 June 2013 at 12:02

      This has to be Bert's Waltz (2nd June 2013) with the last four bars added on for good measure perhaps so as not to contravene the "copyright law"!!

      Although I think you may have had your tongue in cheek when you posted this comment and I have fallen for it - I'm so easily fooled !

      Delete
    2. Margaret Barker27 June 2013 at 14:53

      Whoops ! Sorry, Bert's Waltz won at the comp on 16th June.

      Delete
  69. And I'm sure Bert enjoyed it !

    ReplyDelete
  70. I think we all owe a vote of heartfellt thanks to the British Association of Dance Teachers in doing their bit to expose the great sequence dance copyright con trick. Whatever other motive could they have had for voting into first place a dance which starts with the identical first 12 steps of one of last months winning dances?

    Now can anyone tell me if is this is the opening of Waltz Elissia or Bert's Waltz?

    1 LF forward diag centre (HT) turning L
    2 RF to side along LOD (T) backing wall, turning L 
    & LF closes to RF (T) almost backing LOD, still turning L
    3 RF to side and slightly back (TH) backing diag centre, leading Lady towards R side

    1 LF back in CBMP diag centre (TH) partner outside on R side
    2 RF back diag centre (T) partner in line, turning L
    3 LF to side and slightly forward along LOD (TH) toe pointing diag wall

    1 RF forward in CBMP diag wall (HT) outside partner on R side, turning R
    2 LF to side (T) square to partner, backing diag centre, still turning R
    3 RF closes to LF (TH) backing LOD

    1 LF back down LOD (TH) turning R
    2 RF closes to LF (HT) - Heel Turn, still turning R to Prom Pos at end of step

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret Barker30 June 2013 at 14:18

      You are right the first four bars of both dances are exactly the same and many of the recent dances seem to include the same steps as the previous winners !

      Delete
    2. Looking at the list of judges, I think one or two of them may have been having a little joke at the BATD's expense here ?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous  30 June 2013 16:08

      Dear Anonymous 30 June 2013 16:08

      Who were the judges? 

      Delete
    4. In no particular order, Sue Burroughs, Pam Cragg, Roy Sharpe, David Hipshaw and Joanne Sharpe.

      Delete
  71. I had not read any of your comments for a few days and your banter, takes me back to my SD days when the laugh covered everything. Great.
    I cannot match this humour so I won't try, but I am furious that this situation has not yet been resolved and only today I am hearing of another dance having to close through lack of support.
    The aim of this posting is letting everyone know that a group of us are investigating an alternative route. If we cannot beat them lets see how they feel if we give them some competition. BDC or BBL don't come into it.
    I am sick of those killing SD off getting all the attention, whilst dances and dancers struggle to stay open because of selfishness.
    What I looked for was an feasible alternative to the restrictions of Sequence Dancing.
    In future my classes will be called Social Freestyle and SetPattern Ballroom or Social SetPattern Ballroom. I reason if SD is only for OLD people's dancing then it is not for my students.
    My reason for doing this is that I want the genre of the dancing I love, at every level to be promoted as widely as possible, to as many people as possible. That means being able to use modern forms of communication, the internet, you tube, face book and twitter without the fear of money being used to close us down.
    Like all teachers I need the freedom to teach when, where and how I want and give my students the freedom to take from class, the information they need, in the format they choose so they can learn their routines and enthuse others to join them. That is what teaching and our businesses are all about. It really should not be "I am alright Jack and God bless you."
    My programme for Social Ballroom Freestyle and SetPattern dancing will necessitate a choice of dances from a back library of absolutely beautiful pre 1976 non copyrighted routines, many great dances that have never been seen or danced in their original form so new to todays dancing public. Names of dances and the scripts that support them would be free and available to all to download, with videos uploaded onto you tube to support everyone. Perhaps there is the possibility of using some scripts of the recent near winners, which are often far better than those dances that won.
    I look forward to continue dancing and teaching the very best selection of Social Ballroom Freestyle and SetPattern dances to the YOUNG of every age, openly and honestly, without any hidden agenda .
    Hope I have not stunned you all into silence again.
    Enjoy

    ReplyDelete
  72. A Keen Sequence Dancer30 June 2013 at 14:17

    Mo. That is a very good plan. I recently came across some recordings on YT from an ex-inventor of 20 or so years ago which included all his sequence dance arrangements, mainly non-prizewinners plus a few prizewinners, and they were refreshingly good, challenging routines, with a bit of a difference. Have a look at his channel:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnNMUmLefxvqZnqLYIOAVdg/videos

    I think more ex-inventors should be encouraged to upload their work to You Tube, as I know I have seen some nice dances over the years that have not made it through the system, that would now be a better option than the official dances.

    William. Your point is very significant. When I started to read your earlier post with the headings, I did in fact mistakenly think it was the previous Waltz that was being described. Apart from its ramifications for copyright, what this does clearly show is that good ideas are now thin on the ground.

    Finally, with reference to the YT channel above. The inclusion of this inventors winning dances in itself raises an important point about copyright. The copyright is supposedly transferred to the competition promoter. But at what point does this transfer of ownership take place. And is it done in a legally binding way. I wonder if there are any ex-competitors out there who could share their own experiences on this particular point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In answer to the above. I was an inventive winner in the UK in the 70's & 80's. I don't remember signing anything. In fact, I still have some scripts of my own dances, as issued to the public in the usual way through the script services, and those scripts named my partner and I as the copyright owners !

      Delete
    2. could you please make contact with these folks.
      http://2bheard.info/your-input/

      The dance community would be very grateful to any and all dancers and inventive winners.


      Delete
  73. Supporter of Law and Order4 July 2013 at 00:46

    Here is an interesting url pointing to a solicitors published views on the copyright protection that may subsist in dances if the legal requirements are met:

    http://www.istd.org/news/istd-news/making-the-right-moves--choreography-and-copyright/

    The article, referenced by the above URL, states: "The UK Copyright Act, 1988 gives the owner of the copyright in a work certain rights in relation to it, including the right to make copies of the work and to broadcast and adapt it. If the copyright owner does not wish to directly exercise one or more of these rights he or she may permit others to do so in return for either a royalty or a one-off (‘buy-out’) payment."

    My view is that the dance competition conveners, the comp dance associations, make a "one-off ('buy-out')" payment in the form of the prize money in exchange for full copyrights. The associations who run the comps, then, being the copyright holders, would have the rights to license agents such as BBL.

    It would be nice to get Media Lawyer Irving David, a partner at DWFM Beckman Solicitors in the UK, to give his professional opinion confirming the legitimacy of ISDC/BBL's rights to act as they have done to protect their business interests.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear legal person claiming to know the law when in fact it has NEVER been tested in this area.

      Could you please advise which performance of ballet, performance, movie, allow copying of the choreography to be transcribed then permit it for sale to allow others who perform in a similar manner to copy it.
      Then selectively choose to threaten legal action for performing.

      Your arguments are futile because they do not hold up to logic.

      No one is arguing copyright is a valid thing against a valid issue.
      Ballroom dancing is NOT a valid copyright argument

      Delete
  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Dear Law and Order Supporter

    I think we all understand what a copyright holders rights are concerning a copyright dramatic work. I thought we had moved on from there to discussing whether or not you can claim a short 16 bar sequence dance is copyright as a dramatic work in the first place. Especially as we now have concrete evidence that the claims previously made for originality are just a sham. That INDEPENDENT PRO COPYRIGHT body the Australian Copyright Council apparently now say a sequence waltz would not be copyright as it is not considered to be a dramatic work.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Dear Law and Order Supporter

    I wonder if you can enlighten us as to why BBL have seized the copyright of the following titles:- IRIS SAUNTER©, BERT'S WALTZ© and RUMBA VICTORIA©.

    Any first term law student would be able to quote you this free advice from the The UK Intellectual Property Office.

    "Can names and titles be protected by copyright?
    No there is no copyright in a name title, slogan or phrase. But these may be eligible for registration as a trade mark, or a common-law action to prevent passing-off may give protection for unregistered trade marks. However, logos may be protected under copyright as artistic works and many trade marks may therefore also be copyright works."

    It makes me wonder about the quality of the legal advice the BBL receive. Copyright Lawyers For You?

    There is a short story called "Bert's Waltz" and I am sure the author will be interested in his title being claimed by BBL.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Supporter of Law and Order7 July 2013 at 16:11

    Dear William Tucker

    Any first term law student would be able to point out that your whole argument is highly specious and not worth the time taken to refute.

    If you want something for nothing go down to your local refuse tip. They may oblige you. If you want to legally use someone's copyright protected property beyond the terms and conditions laid down by the copyright holder then you have to seek and obtain permission(Copyright Law 101); unless of course you are not a supporter of law and order. In which case, I can clearly understand your ulterior motives in trying to undermine ISDC/BBL copyrights

    ReplyDelete

  78. Dear Law and Order Supporter.

    Nobody ever won a boxing match by sitting on his stool at the start of the round and claiming he had already won the fight. Can we all assume you are quitting whilst still claiming to have won the contest?

    I would have thought a very good definition of wanting something for nothing is to pass something of as original when you have already sold it the previous month.

    It would be interesting to hear the gales of laughter from our first term law students when you try and convince them that you have copyright on a literary work that has the opening twenty per cent of another literary work.

    ReplyDelete
  79. The general dancers are always going to lose this argument because we have no representation with the BDC or anywhere else.
    ISDC/BBL have made Modern Sequence Dancing faceless by removing the only free advertising MSD ever had from You Tube and put it for sale under the counter. One simple action has closed the book on the future of some local dances and dancing that had been hanging in there by loyal teachers who buy BBL scripts. I just hope they are proud of themselves, and recognise they are slowly cutting of the hand that feeds them.
    Had the free videos continued MSD had a chance. The dancing was in a format the public liked (believe it or not, not everyone wants to see an ex world champion , teaching MSD)and you only had to realize the number of hits the site was getting to know how true that is. It was costing BBL nothing. In return new people saw Modern Sequence Dancing as it really is, an accessible and achievable Ballroom genre open to Joe Pubic that gives gentle exercise and brings friendship. BBL simply did not want to know about ordinary dancers and their wishes and that is where the money could have been made.
    Personally I could not care less about the arguments of who is right and who is wrong, what I care about is the future of Modern Sequence Dancing, how can the general dancer promote it and fund it.
    In the meantime BBL and ISDC are off my list of service providers.
    I am wondering if perhaps the BBC would consider promoting SD in their next Strictly programme. Letter has already been sent by me why not join in the more requests they get the more likely it is to happen. Copyright? well I am sure the BBC lawyers will suss that out.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Supporter of Law and Order8 July 2013 at 19:26

    Dear Mo.

    There are legal and illegal ways to go about things. If I want to both make money and provide for a community need at the same time by coming up with a product such as a DVD and/or a promo video for YT, then I first should find a legal way to do this.

    For the case in question, I would have sought out the permission of the copyright holder in advance - prior to doing anything illegal. Had this been done and a reasonable business proposition been put to the copyright holders then things might now be to your liking. This wasn't done.

    Who is the villain, the victim of the theft or the perpetrator? Would you blame the victim for his or her loss of business through intellectual theft? When the thieving is stopped by the appropriate legal action, why would you, the receiver of stolen 'goods', blame the victim for the loss of supply?

    The law is there for the welfare of all - not just a few. If you think the copyrights law is unfair then you are perfectly free to try to change it. However,it will require writing a submission to the respective authority to make the changes. In Australia that authority is the Australian Law Reform Commission(ALRC). They are presently seeking the views of individuals on a forum on their website. If you believe strongly enough in your position, put your case to change the copyright law 'fair dealing' and 'fair use' exemptions there. Please be aware that the closing date for submissions is Wednesday, the 24th July 2013; no excuses for not doing so please.

    To put your case, go to the ALRC forum page at the URL address below:

    http://www.alrc.gov.au/node/5458

    To see the copyright position of the International Sequence Dance Circle(ISDC) go to the URL address below:

    http://www.isdc.co.uk/legal-notice/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You cannot have it both ways..
      So why then do NONE of the associations mentioned above provide a list of WHAT they Do OWN copyright to.
      ie: I know of numerous folks who have asked ISDC in particular for a list of dances they own.
      Simply to ensure they are NEVER done in the clubs interested.
      NONE have ever been replied to.
      (you refer to their site, where does it provide the owned dance list? or do they also claim to own every SD?
      So to that end it would seem they do NOT participate with the spirit the ballroom dance scene was intended yet rather a way to feed their own ego.

      If there are clear rules Aussies usually have no problem with them.

      Stating no such clear rules and giving ambiguous changes and wafty ownership without EVER having provided any evidence of Copyright ownership.
      Eg: BBL has some 3600 dances including the 1918 BARN DANCE which they claim as owning..
      Really???

      They imply anyone else with any other version has STOLEN it from them...

      Sorry but for those of us that have been in the dance world for longer than we care to remember say
      PROVE IT.. Not threaten every participant that you think you can.

      How? - show us all the ownership and copyright and we might all happily take up another less egotistical pastime.

      Delete
  81. Dear Law and Order Supporter,

    Another question for you to ignore. What has the discussion forum of the Australian Law Reform Commission on "Copyright and fair use" to do with the fundamental question of whether or not you can even copyright a 16 bar sequence waltz in the first place?

    If we stick to your definition of what is or what is not copyright then we would all be liable to pay BBL for the right to walk down the street arm in arm with our partners. (Let's Swing Bars 1 to 4 ).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok Mr Law and Oder if we all agree you are right , tell me what have you gained, or perhaps you would like me to tell you what has been lost.
      1.You or your client have lost all credibility with the very disgruntled dancing public, most of whom have never bought a script in their lives, simply because they cannot read them. Copyright is therefore not an issue with them.
      2. They rely on their teachers to teach at their local dances and backed the tuition up with the you tube videos. Without the backup dances are closing and teachers are losing out.
      3.What the Alexander's did was innovative and popular, were BBL frightened to offer some competition and do their own videos to go alongside?
      4.The only promotion SD ever had, has been forced out of public view. I know what tap dancing is, Ballroom Dancing and Swing Dancing is they can all be found on you tube but what is Sequence Dancing? Well folks copyright and greed forbids us to let you see that.
      5. The Alexander's believed they were offering a legitimate and free service to MSD, which was clearly well used by the dancing public and a few teachers who have never bought a script in their lives. If BBL had said I recognise the popularity of this service, but until this is resolved we will replace it with our own, I would have backed him 100%, not because he had won any battle with copyright but because he recognised and valued that his dancing public who found the service helped them to continue dancing. It is called respect.
      6.You suggest that had the Alexander's asked they may have been able to come to some arrangement with the Associations. Well I wanted clarification on copyright so rang the secretary of the BDC. He advised I asked each of the Associations if I could use their scripts for my teaching classes. I did exactly that. I asked UKA if I could use a 1986 script and they agreed. I e-mailed another Association asking a similar question. I won't embarrass the Association by naming them, but that is 4 months ago and I still await a reply. Doesn't work.
      7.I have simply lost patience with the whole thing. I now use old scripts, they have the same steps and combinations of figures as the new ones so copyright is no longer important to me or those I know,and by now you must realize I am more passionate about the future of dancing and the communities it builds than copyright.
      Yes I can still buy the DVD's but when I spoke to BBL about this I was told I needed to buy BBL scripts as well. My scripts have been delivered on time for the last 30 years and I have no intention of changing my supplier, despite BBL's attempts to have me do so. Perhaps it is the Monopolies Commission rather than copyright we should be looking at.
      I really do not want to fall out with anyone but I despise the closed shop Ballroom Dancing manages. Favour will never guarantee a business will prosper and that is the issue here.
      It is time , instead of lecturing the dancer, BBL and the Associations started to listen and learn before all the dances close along with BBL's business.
      Sorry my soap box was very high.

      Delete
    2. Margaret Barker9 July 2013 at 16:40

      Well said, Mo! Please name and shame the association who ignored your request as the ISDC, BDC and all the associations apart from the UKA have shown nothing but contempt for sequence dancers. Of course I understand that if it is an association you are a member of it would not be wise to do this !

      Oh dear! What power these people have over us !!!!

      Delete
  82. Dear Law and Order Supporter,

    Perhaps you should hire your services out to the dress designers. They are always having their designs copied by the high street retailers. Strangely enough the world of high fashion hasn't collapsed under the weight of all this exploitation of other people's ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Hi Margaret, sorry it was a bit of a rant last night but I don't take well to being bullied especially by someone who claims to be so well informed yet remains faceless. If I had been in an office situation, the supporter of law and order would have learned that bullying in todays world, is not acceptable.
    I do not want the Alexander's to loose this battle but not because I want BBL and ISDC to win. We wanted something that would support SD. None of those within the "legal" community wanted to make the effort to support that. The Alexander's on the other hand believed they were doing nothing that was illegal, it was innovative and met sequence dancers wishes. What is more they did it for free and probably boosted sales for BBL in the process. Reasonable people would have sat down around a table, sorted out their differences and found a solution.
    It stinks of uncompromising organisational power and old fashioned business which Albert, Queen Victoria's husband called the ASS syndrome. Awkward, Stupid and Senseless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Mo

      Rant away! You are absolutely right. We all badly miss Alexandria's videos and our dancing is definitely suffering. As you say, not all of us want to see ex champions on video. Alexandria somehow made the dances seem easy to do in a cheerful manner and without any pretentiousness. How we miss them........

      Marianne

      Delete
    2. Supporter of Law and Order10 July 2013 at 14:51

      So now standing up for someone else's legal rights equates to bullying?




      Delete
    3. Dear Law and Order Supporter,

      Glad to see you are alive and well if still avoiding the key issues as usual.

      Delete
  84. Dear Mo,

    Please rant on. The Law As We Interpret It lot are pretty deaf anyway.

    Does anyone know where the various bits of the Blue Topaz Foxtrot have appeared before? Most recent parts first please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can pretty much describe Blue Topaz in terms of 4 other dances (can anyone get it down to a smaller number ?):

      Bar 1 = Bar 5 Gleneagles (or Bar 3 of Fleetham)
      Bars 2 - 4 = Bar 13 - 15 Ruby
      Bars 5 - 9 = Bars 9 - 13 Valanne
      Bars 10 - 13 = Bars 1 - 4 Gleneagles (but underturned by 1/4)
      Bars 14 - 16 = Bars 14 - 16 Morinda

      BBL could even think about producing scripts in this format (ie by reference to other dances). Think about the time and expense it would save both them and their subscribers.

      So hardly original, just a mish-mosh of dances from the last ten years, and not even particularly well arranged either. Worthless tat basically.

      Delete
  85. Thank you Anonymous,

    Not sure if we should expect any sensible response from Law And Order Supporter.

    So what about the Rumba Cascade then folks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As for Rumba Cascade. Not an obvious cut and shut, but it is definitely cut from the same cloth as all other recent Rumbas, and isn't my idea of quality arrangement either. My script is now at the local rubbish dump. So if anyone would like something for nothing, pay them a visit and they may oblige.

      I cannot understand the obsession with recent prizewinners when there is better on offer from other avenues. I came across some videos on the web only yesterday which it seems are previous non-winners, both free access, and I was very impressed by them:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKxysj0chJw
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO4iOAr7y7o

      The mind boggles !

      Delete
  86. Supporter of Law and Order, how about calling a truce, if I stood here for 10 years you would not understand .
    As you kindly told us we will know the outcome in a few days time. This will give us a legal result without any consideration as to what the outcome will do to the future of MSD.
    Do you honestly think MSD will go back to the status quo? Well it will but only if we let it.
    Had I been 20 years younger I would have been sitting here ringing my hands at the business opportunities that this case will open whether BBL/ISDC win or loose.
    Open your eyes, this is not about copyright or the rights and wrongs of what the Alexander's did or did not do, it is about Power and Control by one man over what the Sequence Dancer can or cannot have or do.
    Clearly on his terms free publicity of our SD dancing is off the list.
    In contrast have a look at Andy Wong's Grand Ballroom Dancing site on You Tube, it is also free. He promotes himself and his ballroom through that excellent site where his dance tuition outshines every other couple on the box (in MY humble opinion) All the steps and combinations of figures you find taught on that site are found in your Sequence dances. Now there's a job for you Anonymous. Unique performances? I don't think so.
    SD is a specific form of dancing, proven to be popular that has a strong public following and a format new dancers love. We have a government keen to give money to those who have obesity programmes, the NHS have money for mental health activities as have Social Services for elderly care. The schools programme is looking for different activity programmes.........................
    Perhaps on second thought I am not too old that sounds really exciting and none of it contravenes BDC, copyright or BBL's rules. Although it is nice to sit back and get our monthly script selection, it does not necessarily have to come from a single source!

    ReplyDelete
  87. Dear Mo,

    Sorry but I can't find where Law and Order Supporter "told us we will know the outcome in a few days time"

    ReplyDelete
  88. Law and Order 8th July tells me the date Before which I should make my submission, WITH NO EXCUSES. I assumed we would be nearing a hearing if that is the case.
    Just how sad all this is. When BBL bought his business and reformed it into a modern e resource, he failed to recognise that a website would not stem the declining numbers of sequence dancers. The BDC were no help with its elitism but having said that, the complacency of many S Dancers did nothing to help either. I passed over my dances to teach ballroom and SD 9 years ago, realizing rising age, falling numbers and rising petrol prices, would close them. My classes are now full of young professional people who love Sequence Dancing yet nothing is being done to exploit this. It would be quite simple. We had hoped that if we could get teachers and dance leaders to talk and work together we would find a way to collectively promote and recruit into SD. I was absolutely naïve! Teachers talking and working together we will have a blue moon first.
    I fully understand why BBL is fighting to keep a copyright restriction, he believes he bought these rights when he bought his business but, SD is in crises and if he is not going to to promote or allow anyone else to get out there and promote the dancing, without paying him for the privilege, it will be gone and what value copyright then? I must now put my passionate pleas to bed. Goodnight.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Dear Mo,

    Sorry but this was just another attempt by Law and Order Supporter to divert attention from the two main problems he faces. Firstly, you cannot copyright a sequence dance because it is not a dramatic or choreographic work. Secondly, you can only copyright something that is original.

    The discussion paper in fact concerned a proposal that ' that Australian copyright law should contain a “fair use”provision.' It was not concerned with deciding whether something was in fact copyright.

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Supporter Of Law and Order12 July 2013 at 01:06

      Dear William Tucker.

      You wrote:

      "The discussion paper in fact concerned a proposal that ' that Australian copyright law should contain a “fair use”provision.' It was not concerned with deciding whether something was in fact copyright."

      Thank you for clarifying my earlier post for Mo. What you wrote above is correct.

      It seems that I need to explain further. The only change that I can see possibly being made to the Copyright Act in relation to the BDC and ISDC/BBL dance copyrights, is a change to the 'fair use' and 'fair dealing' provisions that might enable people like Alexandria's Dance to make and provide DVDs and promo videos for educational/instructional purposes without having to seek permission from the copyright holders.

      Would a hypothetical proposal to change the copyright act by an amendment to 'fair use' provisions in regard to BBL dance copyrights be passed by parliament? I doubt it. But such a proposal is, in my opinion the only slim chance to legally get around the BDC and ISDC/BBL copyrights.

      You also wrote:

      "Firstly, you cannot copyright a sequence dance because it is not a dramatic or choreographic work."

      Try telling this to the British Dance Council's, the IDSC's and the BBL's legal professionals who respectively advise these organisations. I have written to all three of these organisations and have it in writing from them that they DO hold FULL copyrights over their respective dances. There is no question about that in legal circles. If you doubt this try 'bunging on' what the Alexandria's Dance folk did and see how far you get. You'll end up in court and you'll in all probability lose - if, of course, you are foolish enough to persist to the court ruling stage.

      BBL and two other providers(SEE - NO MONOPOLY!) are LICENSED to provide script and video services for these copyright protected dances. Their script provision businesses depend upon these licenses. So they have every right to protect their financial and personal time investments - despite what opinion that you might hold to the contrary.

      You also demonstrated your level of misunderstanding of copyright law when you wrote:

      "Secondly, you can only copyright something that is original."

      Whilst prima facie, this statement of yours is true, from your previous posts it is evident that you think courts interpret the legal meaning of the word 'originality' in the same way that 'common usage' defines it. NOT SO!

      Read this quote from Wikipedia below:

      "The threshold of originality is a concept in copyright law that is used to assess whether a particular work can be copyrighted. It is used to distinguish works that are sufficiently original to warrant copyright protection from those that are not. In this context, "originality" refers to "coming from someone as the originator/author" (insofar as it somehow reflects the author's personality), rather than "never having occurred or existed before" (which would amount to the protection of something new, as in patent protection)" - Wikipedia

      If you don't give any credence to wikipedia, then download from the link below and read this educational document that defines the legal concept of copyright 'originality' from a university law faculty perspective:

      http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4136&context=lcp

      There's some homework that should keep you busy for a while.

      Delete
    2. Nice new YouTube Channel for you to look at. That should keep you busy or a while. Idiot.

      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmTZvoCKjp8nIsXyBm85dmg/videos

      Delete

    3. Dear Law and Order Supporter

      Sorry but I cannot put much faith in legal advisors that say you can copyright the words "Bert's Waltz". I much prefer the opinion of someone like the Australian Copyright Council who is independent and has no financial interest in the matter.

      As regards your definition of originality you suggest that if I shuffle the order of some of the chapters in Hamlet and add in one or two from Macbeth and The Tempest I can copyright the result as an original work.

      Delete
    4. Supporter Of Law and Order12 July 2013 01:06
      Dear William Tucker.
      BBL and two other providers(SEE - NO MONOPOLY!) are LICENSED to provide script and video services for these copyright protected dances.

      Again enlighten us to the
      TWO other providers..


      Delete
  90. I have just been directed to this blog and I admire the passion of those involved. How can something so simple be stuffed up by those seeking money.

    When I started to dance I was told you are simply walking to music. Does this mean that walking is now to be a copywrite or the olympic games and all the associated activites.

    Where I come from we have seen a huge decline in social dance from having a ball or dance on most nights of the week to just one or two dances on the weekends. Social dancing as we know it is dying here and I think with in another 10 years it will be dead.

    All this talk about choreographic work etc seems to me to be a lot of rubbish. We are talking about a dance competition which is no different to athletics in the Olypics.

    I don't for one minute believe dancers enter these competitions for money. They are looking for the glory of winning and displaying their skill at dancing similar to athletes. Having won something then puts them in a position to earn from their skills and enjoyment of dance. I am sure that they want their works out in the public domain as an advertising and marketing tool to promote dance and themselves.

    Third parties only get involved where they can see a fast buck is to be made.

    I am a simple person and I don't have the knowledge to argue about copywrite law, but it is plain as the nose on your face that this will destroy the social dance scene if commonsense doen't start to kick in.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Dear Anony-mouse - Law and Order supporter(Michael I will name you) The repeat defender of BBL and implication of the Aussie High Court need to step in.

    Question - if the associations big and small chose to NAME the dance step process as INVENT/or ive.. instead of CHOREOGRAPHER
    That would indicate as has your site has done till recently (BBL site) that copyright belonged to the person or persons actually "inventing" the dance.. Pun intended.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Supporter of Law and order.
    Can we perhaps confirm that David Bullen script services and Churchfield dance services are both currently supplied with their scripts by BBL?
    Should BBL decide not to supply either of these parties with scripts for what ever reason, or if BBL went out of business, would that also put third parties businesses at risk? If so I believe we have identified a monopoly. But then I am not a lawyer.
    The monopolies commission is now called the Competition Commission, other than BBL trying to recruit trade, please tell me who is allowed to be in competition with whom here?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Judy, as usual I've been blind and far too trusting. You are absolutely right.This site is set up by BBL he legitimised removing you tube videos by telling me he is an ex British Champion when we discussed this matter on the phone. Our arguments have given him prior notice and time to consider and research any questions which may arise in any future court case, of which of course he will not push forward unless he has to and I and others have fallen for it. remember "I cannot find reference to dates Law and Order Supporter July 8". Brown trousers that night I suspect. But any way he has won by default.
    I am sure the Alexander's will also have moved on. There is no way that innovative ideas people like them, need to make this their priority.
    I am told that as long as it is for private use, any one can take a video account of the teaching of a dance, obviously with the teachers permission) or perhaps two friends one dancing one filming so long as it is for teaching/learning purposes and their own use. That is a much easier way. I will ask the legal team at our Dance School to confirm this. That there is no promotion of SD on You Tube is his problem when you think about it. Technology is now out there to get around these small problems and we should leave him with the problem of promotion and finding new customers.
    I intend to set up a site called Ballroom Set Pattern Dancing Lounge the way forward. Look out for it.
    Thanks Judy and Bye everyone, see you around. I have really enjoyed the company and an update on SD, interestingly nothing has changed. Mo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret Barker12 July 2013 at 05:44

      Mo you must not withdraw your valuable contribution to this debate as we need you and your wealth of experience of MSD to help fight our cause ! Please do not leave us !!!!

      I must disagree that this blog is the brainchild of BBL (unless you have inside information) as why would BBL allow us to post our views and show our antagonism towards them? Or are they more devious and vindictive than we all consider them to be ? I agree that "Law and Order" could be you know who but why would he waste his time commenting if BBL feel their actions are justified ?

      Having said that, I've just noticed that some comments received by email are not showing on the blog !?

      Delete
    2. A Keen Sequence Dancer12 July 2013 at 07:48

      Hi Mo

      I think you are wrong about the identity of the owner of this site. I have my own ideas about who has set this up, and I don't think it is BBL. I also don't think "Law and Order Supporter" is BBL either - I'm more inclined to think this poster is just some crank. If it is BBL, then they are even more stupid than I thought they were, as their posts have been a complete PR disaster for BBL.

      Delete
  94. This blog was started long before the YouTube chaos and I can assure you all that I have no connection with BBL whatsoever.

    My original post on the subject was because I don't believe you can copyright a popular combination of dance steps that belong to a social pastime.

    I've also not deleted any posts on this topic as far as I am aware.

    Regards,

    Guru

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret Barker12 July 2013 at 10:23

      Thank you for confirming what I believed to be true. Please accept my apologies for my earlier statement - the post I thought had not appeared is in fact on the blog - so sorry for my oversight.

      Thank you so much for keeping this blog going - it is a lifeline for us sequence dancers who are affected by this fiasco ! I like to think that you are on our side - I sincerely hope so.

      Delete
    2. From reading the post by Judy, it would seem she was referring to "law and order - or the other anonymouse.." in relation to being Michael or the ISDC folks..
      not the originator of the blog.
      Would a legal person waste so much time answering tit for tat fashion on a blog - don't think so.
      Would BBL - ? when you read all of the replies by the anony mouse Law and order person. Would seem they know an awful lot about BBL rights and what they own.
      The actual legal proceedings/ threats made against the unsuspecting dance teachers.
      First hand knowledge apparently.
      Which in my experience is amazing as they have never replied to any questions I have asked personally BBL or the ISDC ladies about which of their listed dances are copyright and imply that all of them are..
      Which as they even point out here is not the case..

      I am actively seeking to remove and no longer associate with any dances that they do actually own. Trouble is they do not provide any such list, and do not answer what they receive by way of questions.

      So who is deliberately misleading who??

      Delete
  95. I also hold up my hands and say sorry. I have used this site to off load just how helpless I feel about what is happening and making 2x2=5. A huge Thank you for clearing that up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem, I know how frustrating it is!

      Delete
  96. Modesty aside for a couple of minutes, I can probably dance a Square Tango or a Mayfair Quickstep with the best, and have never seen a script of either. These dances were handed down and taught during social dances when I was a teenager. The idea that someone can stop me from showing this as an online class on YouTube is so stupid! These dances have been adopted as common dances using recognised combinations of figures that were around long before the technique books were available. Don't forget, the dancing came first and the technique books came out as a result of what was being danced.

    The IDTA hold the copyright to the Guy Howard technique book but the ISTD, the UKA and other professional bodies have all produced technique books containing the same figures with exactly the same precedes and follows! I have numerous technique books (Carl Bryant, Victor Sylvester and Alex Moore) which all show the same figures with the same names, the same alignments, the same precedes and follows, the same amounts of turn and the same footwork. A whisk, wing, progressive chasse to right and outside change in the Waltz can be found in each (it's a standard group). I'm sure someone will tell us all how many times that combination's been used in a sequence dance! Let's try something different, whisk, wing and an open or closed telemark. Surely no one's used that before!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Supporter of Law and Order13 July 2013 at 19:30

      Dear Dancing Guru.

      You wrote:

      "I can probably dance a Square Tango or a Mayfair Quickstep with the best, and have never seen a script of either. These dances were handed down and taught during social dances when I was a teenager. The idea that someone can stop me from showing this as an online class on YouTube is so stupid!"

      Of course you are correct in what you wrote above.
      I found 787 results for the Mayfair Quickstep on YT. None of these 787 videos infringe upon anyone's copyrights as far as I can tell. Why? Because the Mayfair Quickstep was written in 1956 by Frank Short. In those days copyrighting choreographies was almost unheard of. The world was a very different place then. Therefore Frank never registered his copyrights for this dance , even if they did exist then. Even if he did, I think the old 50 year rule would now apply to that dance and it would now be in the public domain anyway. A script is available if you want really one. Are the available scripts Frank's original work? I would not know.

      What has caused the infringement of copyright in the Alexandria's Dance case, has involved the copyrights held by the owners for dances licensed to BBL to provide services. This set of BBL dances does not include all the sequence dances ever performed or ever will be performed throughout the world. There are many dances that were written without copyright restrictions ever being intended by the authors. Even today most authors of Old Time New Vogue Australian originating dances intend them to be unrestricted by copyright law. Such waivers are the right of the authors should they wish to be so generous. Such dances can be performed and recorded and displayed on YT without any fear of copyright infringements.

      None of the above generosity, detracts from the copyrights of those dance choreographers who comply with all the legal requirements of the present day copyright laws. BBL does not offer any such waivers on the dances for which they are licensed to administer. And, as evidenced by the two 'big back downs', this is their undisputed right not to waive any of their copyrights.

      You and others here keep referring to common three and four figure combinations. All such references are irrelevant to the BBL copyright claims. The BBL licensed copyrights are centered upon specific dances of 16 bar length that have been formally registered in accordance with present day copyright laws and declared at such times as the undisputed work of the choreographer in winning the dance competition. Since no one challenged the winning dance as previously existing prior to this registration and public outing, the law recognizes the said copyrights for such dances. Whether such copyrighted dances contains three, four of five or more figure combinations found in other dances, is completely irrelevant in the eyes of the legally orientated copyright lawyers and the courts. It is the TOTAL COMBINATION of ALL the figures together which are legally defined within the 16 bars, that governs what is copyrighted.

      Happy dancing.

      Delete

    2. Dear Supporter of Law and Order ( Do I detect a new alias? )

      So why is dance copyright so different from literary or musical copyright? You cannot incorporate pieces from other works into your own and claim it is original. You cannot take 16 musical phrases from other copyright songs and copyright the work as your own.

      Just because a copyright claim has not been challenged does not mean that the claim is correct. The late Robert Maxwell forced many people to "back down" and what a crook he turned out to be.

      If BBL are so squeaky clean why do they continue to claim copyright to the phrase "Bert's Waltz". Some legal team they have there to be sure.

      You do not copyright just the entirety of a work but all identifiable constituent parts. If a dramatic work is copyright I cannot perform any part of that work in public without the express permission of the copyright holder. So I could not perform a whisk, wing and chassé in public without first getting their express permission should BBL hold the copyright to a dance incorporating those steps. But hang on a minute, they are also in a New Vogue Waltz which has been made freely available to all. Where does that leave us? I can certainly foresee their mail box becoming absolutely jammed full with requests to perform their dances and use parts of them in other dances of our own invention. What a lovely thought. Much more fun than dancing.

      Delete
    3. Dear BBL or ISDC Representative..
      PLEASE oh PLEASE
      enlighten us all here..

      You wrote - "BBL does not offer any such waivers on the dances for which they are licensed to administer."
      Which dances..
      be specific are copyrighted..

      As someone has already pointed out you (BBL) list over 3600 dances - including the "MAYFAIR QUICKSTEP" which you acknowledge cannot be held under copyright.

      So out with it, --- you are either being deliberately deceptive in your use of terminology and NOT showing for all to see plainly and clearly WHAT dances you DO OWN the copyright to..
      or it is in fact as most of us think, all bluff, which has NEVER been tested in Court, only threats and legal costs proving a major deterant.


      As to date no official request to either dance association or BBL has resulted in any answer..

      Now you have a public forum to advise us all.

      I for one will gladly never teach or allow such dances as you list as owned and copyrighted be done or shown in my arena or associations dealt with.

      If only we KNEW what they are:

      Delete
    4. Another question.......

      Are the "BBL dances" protected in whole and in part, or (as Law and Order Supporter suggests) just in whole, but not in part ?

      Another question.......

      I've just been told that one of my 48 bar social ballroom routines includes a 16 bar section that is identical to a "BBL dance". Can I to continue to teach this 48 bar routine to my classes ?

      Delete
    5. Supporter of Law and Order14 July 2013 at 21:17

      Dear Ken

      You stated:

      " ... including the "MAYFAIR QUICKSTEP" which you acknowledge cannot be held under copyright."

      I doubt that BBL would hold the "FULL" copyright over the Mayfair Quickstep. I doubt that anyone else does either. But note that I used the word FULL!! BBL would in all probability, hold copyright over the work done in writing the script for the Mayfair Quickstep. The present owners of BBL would have inherited that right after purchasing BBL lock stock and barrel from Ron Lane's beneficiary. In the case of the Mayfair quickstep, BBL undoubtedly hold PARTIAL copyrights for the Mayfair QS; that is, copyrights over their property, the Mayfair QS script, written by their BBL predecessors. Thus, in my opinion, the performance on a YT video would not infringe on BBL's copyrights. Not so on other dances for which FULL copyrights have been either inherited or are currently licensed to them.

      I don't see any inconsistency here at all.

      As to what dance BBL holds FULL copyright licenses over what dances, if you give them a dance name, I feel sure that they would respond with a simple YES or a NO as to whether or not they hold the FULL copyrights. Approached in a civil and polite way, they will in all probability respond in kind. Then you will be free to cut off your nose to spite your own face and be very sure not to teach that particular dance over which BBL hold FULL copyright protection.

      Of course if you really are a qualified dance teacher and enough illegal copyright infringing videos permeate the secured YT underground black market network, you might not have any students to teach. Why should they pay you good money to teach them a dance when they can blindly follow 'monkey see monkey do' dance videos on YT?

      Delete
    6. But why would anyone bother to learn a dance they cannot perform in public?

      Delete
    7. I have on more than one occasion written to you with no response.
      We do all indeed tend to respond in kind as is testament to the reaction to your posts here.

      The only one cutting off their nose Sir would be you and yours.

      We have many dances that we can and will continue to do, as you note yourself,
      the Australian spirit in which the dance community operates is one of "encompassing" new and old participants -
      Gladly and willingly sharing their original scripts for all who want to learn so that the steps can be interpreted as was intended.

      till the likes of you ensure that it is no longer a safe enjoyable "social pass time" for people to participate in without fear of prosecution.

      Is your inference here yet again.

      "The present owners of BBL would have inherited that right after purchasing BBL lock stock and barrel from Ron Lane's beneficiary. In the case of the Mayfair quickstep, BBL undoubtedly hold PARTIAL copyrights for the Mayfair QS; that is, copyrights over their property, the Mayfair QS script, written by their BBL predecessors."

      So how many times did the "gentleman" that was Ron Lane attack the end users he was supporting his whole life?
      How many Court cases did he file?
      Where did he gain the monopoly on sequenced dancing?
      and how was this monopoly transferred by the "lock stock and barrel sale"?

      Such is my DIGUST Sir with the perpetuating state of the sequenced dance scene that I do INDEED intend to remove the dances that you fight so vehemently to own.

      Yet from your petulant reply above even that is not ok with you.

      Wanting it both ways does not work.
      You can have your FULL OWNERSHIP
      Just tell us what they are....
      You can own them and store them and when no one uses them or wants them - you can be proud of what you have achieved by purchasing "lock stock and barrel" what was someones dedication to the betterment of a profession and turning it into a "secret society" where only a veiled few are welcome and spoken of with such venom.

      Like ALL dance teachers and social dancers we do many and have done quite possibly THOUSANDS of dances in our time.
      Some of which die a natural death because they are simply not appealing, some of which we are still doing 30 or more years on.

      Look at what you have achieved.

      Delete
    8. What you also fail to grasp is that you cannot copyright a title. There could quite legally be fifty dances called "Bert's Waltz". So what question do I ask BBL?

      Delete
    9. You may well have copyright protection for the written description of a dance routine. But what use is it to you? If Tiger Woods writes a book about the mechanics of the golf swing that literary work is copyright and cannot be reproduced. However no one can be prevented from videoing a golf swing based on that advice.

      Delete
    10. Yes William.
      I have on numerous occasions asked the same questions of BBL - ISDC and a few other associations.
      WHY can they simply not mark them
      ie in their script library - a simple star against each title.
      It has never been tested in a Court
      only the threat of taking away peoples property and stand over tactics.

      I do not know of anyone that has been shown or received a reply as to
      WHAT they OWN.

      I do not know of any "WINNER" that has anything in writing to say they relinquish ownership of their script.

      It beggers belief that such a monopoly is allowed to perpetuate.

      Delete
    11. Supporter of Law and Order15 July 2013 at 15:56

      Dear Ken

      You stated:

      "... It has never been tested in a Court"

      As soon as dance copyright infringing perpetrators seek advice from legal professionals, after being hit with an initial warning or an injunction, they are advised that they will in all probability lose if they don't desist from infringing. No BBL dance copyright infringer has wanted to 'test a case in court' so far, because they know the consequences - that is patently obvious.

      You wrote:

      "I do not know of any "WINNER" that has anything in writing to say they relinquish ownership of their script."

      You are probably telling the truth here. You don't know! If you read the conditions of entry into the Blackpool Festival Original Sequence Dance competition, it states in black and white the words:

      "... the winning dances will become the property of the Blackpool Dance Festival who reserve the right to re-name the winning dance. ..."

      The Blackpool Dance Festival then owns the copyrights and can license BBL, Churchfield Dance Services, or whoever else they choose to negotiate a contract with to provide the services needed for these copyright protected dances. Where is the monopoly of which you speak when you wrote??:

      "It beggers belief that such a monopoly is allowed to perpetuate."

      It "beggers belief" alright because your statement is demonstrably untrue. When there are at least two non-colluding script providers, you don't have a monopoly.

      and

      "First Cash Prize ........................... 150 pound in each section."

      A clear business transaction takes place - a cash prize in return for ownership of a choreographic work of some commercial worth. And many posters here, if not all here with the exception of myself, seem to want to condone the illegal exploitation of those commercial rights for those legitimately purchased copyrights as they see fit and then to get away with it with impunity.

      Hmmmm! The convict mentality is still alive and well, ... ... or so it would seem to me from the incitement to disregard or to misconstrue copyright law, that has been demonstrated in many of these posts here.



      Delete
    12. L & O Supporter is right on one count. There are indeed two other licensed providers of new dance scripts besides BBL. For the benefit of anyone wanting to change suppliers next year, the details of the other suppliers are as follows:

      Churchfield Dance Services http://www.churchfielddanceservices.com/

      Bullen School of Dancing
      99-103 Eastbank Street, Southport, Merseyside PR8 1DG

      Delete
    13. Dear Law & Order Supporter

      You wrote:

      "If you read the conditions of entry into the Blackpool Festival Original Sequence Dance competition, it states in black and white the words:

      "... the winning dances will become the property of the Blackpool Dance Festival who reserve the right to re-name the winning dance. ...""

      Yes, that is true of Blackpool. It was a condition of entry. But what about other comps ? However, for many comps, certainly up until the 90's, no such agreements were made. It was commonplace in the 1970's & 1980's to find the arrangers named as the copyright holders on published scripts, both on the originals (which in those days were not produced by BBL but were produced in-house), and re-prints such as those in the Ballroom Dancing Times (now Dance Today). I can happily send some of these in if the Blog owner would like to put them on display.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous15 July 2013 17:15
      Yes please we would love to see them.

      Supporter of Law and Order15 July 2013 15:56

      I believe in earlier posts you were threatening law suits for slander..
      Perhaps you would care to refrain from the same practise Michael.
      Your stance is clear.
      AGAIN
      LIST what you own - outright - partial and WE will GLADLY let you keep them..
      WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE with your stealth and deliberate misleading ways..

      So you cannot continue with your "woe is me I paid for commercial rights of every sequence dance ever written."

      You have been ASKED CLEARLY a number of times to NAME and SHOW what is owned..
      Just do it and we will all gladly be rid of you and anything you own..

      Again I am not trying to infringe your rights that you appear to believe you own though never tested.

      I am SEEKING CLEAR notice of WHAT I will not be touching.

      I have now asked you on more than 3 separate occasions.
      So if you could attempt to STOP insulting and belittling people and simply answer the question - you can be done with us lowly teachers and those who seek scripts..




      Delete
    15. Ken. There will not be anything on the list, but boycott them anyway. Despite his persistent attempts to brainwash, it should be remembered that Law & Order Supporter is incorrect in his assertion that sequence dances are fully copyright. Whatever L&OS says, the law is absolutely clear on this - there is not really any substantial debate to be had here. The fact that people like Alexandria's Dance have had to endure the interference and upset from BBL DESPITE their activities being 100% legal is bad enough. But the ongoing slur against these people and their supporters from this poster is absolutely abhorrent.

      Delete
  97. The following two points have been mentioned in legal articles on copyright.
    1. The idea that copyright and freedom of expression and speech can happily co-exist is questionable.

    2. At it's centre copyright is censorship and control and can be used to eliminate competition and create monopolies.

    The current copyright dispute reflects these issues.
    BBL and the Dance Associations have effectively and selectively targeted Alexandria's Dance.
    Alexandria's delivered sequence dances to the dance public and used the social media to promote sequence dancing and dancers supported them.
    The complainants have never explained to the dance public how their businesses were damaged by these videos.
    Both parties do not sell sequence dance DVDs or load videos to YouTube. BBL offers videos on their website to subscribers as a value added product,free to subscribers.
    Alexandria's made the dances available only after thousands had been taught the dances and were already dancing them socially.

    Only BBL and the Dance Associations can explain why they thought Alexandria's had to go.

    But one can see now that the Dance associations and BBL are living in the past, are incapable of forward thinking and have no vision for the future of sequence.
    As someone said before: shame on them.

    ReplyDelete
  98. it gets funnier and funnier....

    The Alexandria's Dance videos are back on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmTZvoCKjp8nIsXyBm85dmg/videos

    Meanwhile, BBL are now being investigated by some kind of Consumer Watchdog type organisation in Australia. See http://2bheard.info/your-input/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But not so funny if you tell BBL!

      Sorry but the link does not seem to work.

      Delete
    2. The link is:
      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmTZvoCKjp8nIsXyBm85dmg

      Delete
    3. Dear Dancing Guru

      Sorry but I meant the link to the Australian Consumer watchdog.

      Delete
    4. Supporter of Law and Order15 July 2013 at 16:03

      Anonymous.

      You wrote:

      "it gets funnier and funnier...."

      Thanks for the 'joke', which you posted at this URL:

      http://2bheard.info/your-input/

      I followed it and couldn't stop laughing. It made my day. Thanks again for that.

      Delete

  99. If all these sequence dances really are copyright why haven't we got the Performing Rights Society agitating to be allowed to collect juicy copyright fees?

    ReplyDelete

  100. Dear Supporter of Law and Order

    If it isn't copyright in the first place we can all do what we like. Apart from reproducing the script verbatim that is.

    Perhaps the dancing guru should insist you answer the fundamental question of why you think you can acquire the copyright for these long established dance steps, which you did not invent, simply by including them in a "Total Combination". Do you dispute that you would then have the exclusive rights over the public performance of the whisk, wing and chasseé if you could obtain such a copyright?

    He might also care to ask why BBL place the copyright symbol against the title "Bert's Waltz" on their website. Apparently the basic rules about copyright are going to be included in the curriculum for five year olds next year as so many people keep getting them wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Supporter of Law and Order17 July 2013 at 18:40

      Dear William Tucker.

      You made this statement:

      "Perhaps the dancing guru should insist you answer the fundamental question of why you think you can acquire the copyright for these long established dance steps, which you did not invent, simply by including them in a "Total Combination"."

      The answer is to be found in a precedent by extrapolating the ruling of the US court to other courts adhering to the Berne Convention. Below is that ruling:

      "Barbara HORGAN, As Executrix of the Estate of George Balanchine, Plaintiff-Appellant,
      v.
      MACMILLAN, INC., Ellen Switzer, Steven Caras, and Costas, Defendants-Appellees.
      No. 878, Docket 85-7954.

      United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.
      Argued March 5, 1986.
      Decided April 28, 1986.
      ... ... ... ..... ....

      Section 450.03(a). "Choreographic content" is described as follows:

      Social dance steps and simple routines are not copyrightable.... Thus, for example, the basic waltz step, the hustle step, and the second position of classical ballet are not copyrightable. However, this is not a restriction against the incorporation of social dance steps and simple routines, as such, in an otherwise registrable choreographic work. Social dance steps, folk dance steps, and individual ballet steps alike may be utilized as the choreographer's basic material in much the same way that words are the writer's basic material.

      ... ... ... ..."


      Please take a special note of:

      "However, this is not a restriction against the incorporation of social dance steps and simple routines, as such, in an otherwise registrable choreographic work."

      BBL copyrights, by virtue of licensing, are examples of "otherwise registrable choreographic work."

      And also, especially note this part:

      "Social dance steps, folk dance steps, and individual ballet steps alike may be utilized as the choreographer's basic material in much the same way that words are the writer's basic material."

      Would you have it that no novel or any other literary work can be copyright protected because words and phrases contained within that work have been used many uncountable times before?

      Your questions and statements convince me that you obviously have neither understood the very low legal 'thresholds of originality' nor the legal meaning of word 'originality'; that is, meaning from whence the total combination of steps 'originated'. Uniqueness applies to the total combination of steps not the combination of parts of the whole. Follow my links and do your homework on this issue.

      Concerning the Dancing Guru, you presumed to say:

      "He might also care to ask why BBL place the copyright symbol against the title "Bert's Waltz" on their website."

      If you can find a prior existence of a Bert's Waltz with exactly the same steps in total and in the same order and combination then Bert's Waltz would in that case be a copy and not a choreographic work originating from the present copyright accredited author. In that case Bert's Waltz would have to be disqualified as the comp dance winner and the present copyrights forfeited. This hasn't happened - so until it is so challenged, please, for once and for all in your own interests, accept that Bert's waltz is definitely FULLY copyright protected.

      I suggest you seek advice from a copyright solicitor on this matter in order to get the correct legal understanding of the copyright act.

      I'm tiring of explaining over and over again. This is why I cannot be bothered replying to the same questions again and again.

      Sarcasm is certainly another reason I will not waste my valuable time answering redundant questions for you and others here.


      Delete
    2. Dear Supporter of Law and Order

      So what you are saying is that by taking 16 chapters of Shakespeare and re-arranging them in a revised order I can create a new copyright play?

      Sorry but BBL have claimed copyright to the title "Bert's Waltz" by placing the copyright symbol beside it. The place to copyright a dance script is on the script itself.

      Sorry but please answer the question about the savages not being able to perform a whisk, wing and chassé at a public dance.

      As our self appointed legal expert you should know that sarcasm is legal. Calling people thieves without justification should see you in court.

      Delete
  101. Dear Dancing Guru

    Ever thought about getting a Statcounter.com account. This gives free, real-time monitoring of site traffic, with IPS's, IP's, and geographical locations of visitors. The stats can also be displayed publicly through sites like this. Works a treat !

    ReplyDelete
  102. My goodness, Was directed here in relation to the "copyright" threats going on.

    Cannot believe my eyes, after all the things I have heard it would appear that BBL is indeed all he is made out to be.
    A pity as the British Dance Council seems to give the opposite impression, that their intent is to spread dancing not cloister it to an elite few. Most peculiar.

    We have danced for over 50 years many dances, clearly we are mere lowly mortals without the thought of litigation in our minds.

    I fear Ron would indeed be most distressed at his legacy being used in this manner. The purpose of it was to "spread sequence dancing" not hold anyone that does it to ransom.

    I note repeat questions here also about what it is you own Michael, out of what is listed.
    With your high degree of authority on world litigation, would it not be better spending your time noting on your website perhaps your extremely complex set of rules.
    Perhaps I can offer you a few suggestions so you can help clear it up for the less intelligent dance folks we are.
    Barn Dance - 1918 - I purchased this script from Ron Lane "lock stock and barrel" so it is mine alone to dictate how anyone can use. You can pay me for the script and I will decide what you can do with it, I won't tell you but when I have a few minutes I will hunt you down and make legal threats against you if you have earned money from it.

    I note - the reply about asking you about specific dances.
    Would this be your intent to get a record of who you can attempt to sue next.?

    Do you really think the world of ballroom dance is that big?
    Mostly retired folks who put in thousands of unpaid hours to spread the joy that is dancing.

    I am utterly appalled and fully intend to spread this blog as far and wide as possible.

    Will see what the next comp brings.

    You should be very careful what you wish for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret Barker18 July 2013 at 09:06

      Welcome aboard, Gwen !!! We need more people with your knowledge and forthright statements to help resolve this idiotic situation - don't know how it can be achieved as it is clear that the associations, etc., are really not interested in sequence dancers' opinions and are only in it for the money. I wish the public (and hopefully the professionals) would boycott all the competitions and cancel their subscription to BBL (we are told there is other script provider(s)) - (anyway no new dances, no new scripts !! ) until this fiasco is resolved. The inventive dance winners don't make anything from the comps and dance classes/dances will continue - lot's of dances out there forgotten or not learn't before !

      Delete
  103. I just wanted to re-post my post of 14th July 20:19. This was in fact intended for Law & Order Supporter's considered reply. Perhaps I should have stated that. I hope he/she will now answer. But, think carefully before you reply. It is not a trick question, but the nonsense that will inevitably come forth will hopefully show why it is that the law classifies social dance routines as not copyright.

    My original post:

    Question (1)

    Are the "BBL dances" protected in whole and in part, or (as Law and Order Supporter suggests) just in whole, but not in part ?

    Question (2)

    I've just been told that one of my 48 bar social ballroom routines includes a 16 bar section that is identical to a "BBL dance". Can I to continue to teach this 48 bar routine to my classes ?

    Addendum to Question 2: I now wish to publish a video of this routine for my class and put it on my website. Would that be OK ?

    In response to your (L&OS) recent comments:

    Yes, individual words are not copyright even though recognisable collections of words may be (depending on their context). In social dancing, neither the individual steps, figures, nor the recognisable groupings can be copyright. The latter is true because they are recognisable from within the public domain of the social dance arena. I guess the 16 bar total combinations that you refer to may be unique in sequence dancing circles, but they are not unique in ballroom dancing more widely, and that is the point.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Another anonymous18 July 2013 at 07:44

    Apart from their use in ballroom dancing, I can think of a few 16 bar total combinations that have been duplicated in their totality as sequence dances per se (ie there are a now a few sequence dances identical to earlier sequence dances). I won't embarrass those concerned by revealing which dances are duplicates. But believe me, it has happened. It is interesting to try to calculate the mathematical probability of this happening. Not a straightforward calculation, but one that is possible at least to a first approximation. Bear in mind that there are about 4000 sequence dances in about fifteen or so rhythms. Bear in mind combinations aren't infinite, but are limited by the possible precedes and follows that are listed in the technique books. Would anyone like to have a go at estimating the probability of duplication. I have. The answer is that we are now entering an era where the possibility of 16-bar duplication is actually quite significant.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Dear Another Anonymous

    I am afraid that the answer is millions. If there are 30 recognised steps and you want to calculate the number of combinations with no step repeated the answer is 30 x 29 x 28 etc all the way down to x 15. The problem for the copyright lobbyists is that you cannot use any combination of two steps that have been used already as that would be a breach of copyright. Despite what the copyrighters may say about originality you cannot simply incorporate an eighth of an existing work into your own and call yours original. That is a little bit different from including "oh blast they've rumbled me" in a hundred thousand word novel.

    If you are aware of duplicate don't be shy. Name names

    ReplyDelete