Cher Public

Who’ll stop the reign

La Cieca is most unhappy indeed to report that coloraturafan, the undisputed monarch of opera on YouTube, has had his “fourth or fifth” account on the service deleted, which to us lesser fans means the loss of over 3,000 spectacular video clips of operatic performance. Coloraturafan himself tells the sad tale after the jump.

  • coloraturafan

    First, I wanted to thank everyone for the comments posted here, and I wanted to especially thank La Cieca for taking the time to put forth this discussion. What I find interesting is that certain people act as though non-commercial recordings are a sin, as if NO one should every publically share them. And yet these same people are listening to the recordings and finding enjoyment in them. Seems a bit hypocritical if you ask me.
    We can all disagree about what is morally or legally correct in this cyber world, but when it comes down to it these pirated opera recordings on YouTube will not end with my account. So the problem (if there really ever was one) isn’t solved. It will persist or flourish depending on which viewpoint you take. The problem is that as each of the large accounts are removed, certain videos will never be replaced, certain singers not remembered.
    I do feel the need to set the record straight concerning my account. I almost never posted anything from a commercial recording, if I did it was in a compilation video. Also, if I was ever contacted by a singer, or company that wanted the videos removed, I always complied. I tried to tread lightly as I understood that what I was doing could be unintentionally damaging to the artist or opera company.
    With all of that said, my channel was really dedicated to my love of the art. No more no less. When I was inspired I would want to share. I had countless offers to sell my recordings and such, I would have NEVER EVER wanted to profit from them. In many cases I sent dvds out at my own expense to people (and artists) without ever wanting anything in return.
    Your friend,

    • armerjacquino

      Dear Coloraturafan,

      Thanks for the smashing videos you have posted over the years, which we all have enjoyed. It’s very clear that you have only ever been posting for the love of the art, and to share the art you love with others.

      As one of the people who has been defending the idea of IP law, I’d like to address the charge you make of hypocrisy. My personal position has always been clear in this thread: that I enjoy the videos, but I don’t think any of us has any right to complain about unlicensed videos being taken down. I don’t see that as a hypocritical position. I’m not condemning you for posting your videos, and I’m not condemning anyone for watching them. All I’m saying is that we shouldn’t condemn copyright holders for asserting their rights.

      The issues of harm and monetisation have been hashed out at length elsewhere in this thread, so I don’t propose to revisit them. But I would like to reiterate, one last time, the idea that copyright law doesn’t just exist to protect billionaire performers or massive corporations. It exists to protect people who, like me, have seen their livelihood eroded year by year by the bizarre idea that we should pay for food and travel and real estate and god knows what else, but the arts should be free.

      I will always be a fervent believer that the arts should be accessible to as many people as possible as easily as possible, but as a writer and performer I will never believe that this should be translated into a world where all artistic endeavour is available for free. Copyright laws need to be protected for the sake of the third violinist and the self-employed writer and the staff photographer who otherwise will see their work shared globally without any recompense.

      I say again, for maybe the fourth time in this thread, that I have always seen your intentions as honourable and that it’s sad we will no longer have access to the treasures you posted. I truly hope there will be some way by which you will be able to make them available again, within the law.

      But I won’t condemn YouTube for applying that law, and I won’t be accused of hypocrisy when my position has been consistent throughout.

      Yours, with great admiration and affection,

      Not The Man.

      • grimoaldo

        It is a big leap from someone posting a unique clip from a video that someone filmed clandestinely thirty five years ago of Valerie Masterson singing Manon at a staged performance in Toulouse to ” the bizarre idea that we should pay for food and travel and real estate and god knows what else, but the arts should be free.”
        In fact I think it is ridiculous. “That clip must be destroyed or locked away because there is no way of paying the orchestra or their descendants for the privilege of looking at it” is advocating for the destruction of priceless artistic and historical treasures.
        Thank you for everything coloraturafan, you have an invaluable collection of unique material, please preserve it and I hope you will find some way of sharing it with us again.

        • armerjacquino

          A big leap? Ridiculous?

          OK. You think these clips should be available for free. Presumably you therefore think jazz fans should be able to see free jazz clips, country fans free country clips, theatre lovers free theatre clips and so on. Isn’t that unfair on the movie lovers? Right, we’d better allow free movie clips as well. Same for TV.

          Suddenly not so ridiculous. Your position remains ‘I want what I want and I don’t care about the consequences.’ You’re entitled to it, but it’s a childish one.

          • grimoaldo

            You just will not pay any attention to what I or coloraturafan actually say and make these big generalisations. His yt channel was full of unique clips from live performances that were not commercially available, and never were.
            What do you think should be done with such material? Burnt, locked away, forbidden for anyone to see it, because if they are made available to enjoy all artists all over the world are going to starve to death?Yes, I think that is not only ridiculous but Philistine, wanting to remove priceless artistic treasures from the cultural heritage.

            • armerjacquino

              Hahahaha.*I’m* the one ignoring points…

              You keep thinking you have the moral high ground. I’m done with this.

          • aulus agerius

            Aren’t the things you mention also freely available on YT in great abundance?? Including movies……not all movies, but a lot.

          • shoegirl

            Sadly, as somebody who has been filmed performing without permission, and the clip gone on to video, DVD etc with no attribution, I’m with armerjacquino on this. It was at a time I couldn’t afford much & I did leave the profession due to basically struggling to make ends meet. I’ve no issue with small clips, but full performances, no. That said, bear in mind, there *might* be somebody losing out.

        • oedipe

          “That clip must be destroyed or locked away because there is no way of paying the orchestra or their descendants for the privilege of looking at it”

          Wait, wait! Stop everything!

          What I want to know is who is repaying the Toulouse taxpayers who had provided the bulk of the sums needed to produce that Manon.

          Fortunately, the Capitole de Toulouse is a municipal theater, which means is gets only municipal subsidies. Had that Manon production been done, for instance, at the Lyon Opera, things would be even hairier: Lyon is a national theater, which means ALL the French “contribuables” will feel they have an equity stake in that production. Take that!

    • Milady DeWinter

      Well said Coloraturafan!
      I was telling a friend about this situation, who suggested that perhaps instead of the now be-Googled YouTube you might start a podcast/blog site instead. At least you’d be beyond the Google police’s baleful but technically legal gaze, or am I mistaken? I don’t know the permutations of actually doing that, but you certainly seem to have the technical expertise to do so, as well as wonderfully eclectic and wide-ranging tastes. (Although you earned my initial interest and devotion via your special appreciation to florid warblers.)
      Well, perhaps it’s worth thinking about, I don’t know.

      Affectionately, and gratefully, yours,
      (again, with kudos to La Cieca for providing the platform)-


    • CurlyOperaGal

      Have you considered hosting your own website and uploading the videos directly to that site?

  • Vergin Vezzosa

    Just had a chance to read all the way through this thread. An important and complex discussion by all on a difficult matter that has IMHO no clear solution. Also want to add my heartfelt thanks and best wishes for the future to coloraturafan.

  • Camille

    This was perhaps the most topically important and useful thread in a long time. I learned a lot.

    To Coloraturafan, once again, my very real sympathy goes out to someone such as yourself who has such a deep love for an art and who is willing to altruistically share with others for no other reason, than that love. Another day will come and the wheel will spin around again and again and somewhere in the future the answer to some of this equation may be worked out. For now, I thank you for much enjoyment and wish you peace and calm.

  • -Ed.

    Thanks bro for all the work you put into posting such amazing and educational videos. I’ve watched many, many of them. You were one of my three favorite teachers/uploaders on YT.

    I do look at YT as educational. Perhaps some clever lawyer could find a useful copyright exception using that approach. I dunno.

    P.S. Nice pecs.

  • oedipe