General Question

sandystrachan's avatar

I can't take video or photographs of my child at her school play, have the rules got a little out of hand ?

Asked by sandystrachan (4397points) June 10th, 2009

All i wanted was to take a video or some photos of her during her performance, wasn’t going to take any of other children just my own . Now i can’t keep it and share with family members who couldn’t make it .

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20 Answers

Darwin's avatar

There are three possible reasons.

One is that possibly not all of the parents signed a consent form to allow folks to take pictures of their kids. In a day when online child porn is rife this is a touchy subject. and even innocuous images can stir up trouble.

The second has to do with the copyright on the play the kids are performing. Unless the playwright gives permission, it is illegal for anyone to record the production of a copyrighted work. The school could be at risk of being fined, sued, or not being allowed to use a play from that company again.

The third has to do with how you are going to make the recordings. Bright lights can cause a performer to slip or fall, and thus be injured. These lights can also distract or bother other members of the audience, thus ruining their experience. Thus is can be either a safety issue or an issue of politeness.

casheroo's avatar

Wow, that seems rather excessive to me. I personally don’t understand it, because it wouldn’t bother me if there are parents taking pictures of their own children and my kid happens to be in the shot.
I doubt it’s because of the second reason Darwin listed, because I’ve never heard anyone doing that for young children (I could possibly understand for high school plays) but, pictures for personal use should be allowed, in my opinion.
Did they give you a reason?

sandystrachan's avatar

It’s all be wrote by the school to celebrate there 100th birthday so no copyright to be broken , no lights from my cameras they all work in low light ,

Pcrecords's avatar

… There can be issues regarding certain childrens pasts. For example children in Foster care or who have fled an abusive background. With a higher chance of images ending up on websites etc there is a greater risk of them being traced.

Also, quite often school plays can turn into a scrum of parents trying to get shots. To blanket ban pictures ensures parents behave themselves and enjoy the show.

dynamicduo's avatar

Can’t you voice your opinion about this at the next parent teacher meeting? Or present your complaints to the school board? I do agree that this policy is absurd.

sandystrachan's avatar

There rule is NO cameras of any kind to be found or used by people at ANY school plays, concerts. Some took cameras but no-one was going to ” scrum” everyone was in a seated position and thats how everyone was going to stay . I must say again ONLY my child was going to be in my shot, and for those that i spoke to they had the same idea only there own child/ren were going to be in the pictures, short video clips. There wasn’t even a school representative there to mark the occasion by filming anything , i would have understood no parents to do it if the school were going to make a master copy and supply it to the parents who wanted a copy , but that wasn’t even an option . Even for the landmark event of 100th birthday of the school

fireside's avatar

Maybe someone at the school is in witness protection?

Darwin's avatar

Have you asked the school for the reason?

jumpo7's avatar

I have seen were there are now businesses I see springing up that will “professionally” record school events and schools are signing contracts giving rights to those organisations with the resulting injunction against parents from doing their own recordings. They then sell the recordings.

Also you may want to ask your child if there was a reason explained to them. Given that they apparently did not even have a “designated” event recording, then it is an idiot of an administrator or teacher who is on a power trip. It could be the music/drama teacher whose opinion is people would not consider video taping or photographing a professional classical music performance or Broadway play, and want to pretend that their little event should be accorded the same “respect”... forgetting that 1) it is not a professional performance 2) It is your child performing.

To be fair if it is work written by the music/drama teacher they may want to protect their work. But there is a fair use and making a personal recording of something your child is doing falls under that. I would go ahead and take pics and videos and if they threaten you, tell them they will have to take you to court. Obviously you don’t want that, but it will cost them as well as you… see how far are they willing to take this charade.

It’s better if you can get together with a group of other parents and plan and coordinate it so that there will absolutely no way they will be able to take just one person down. And if they don’t do everyone, then they will automatically lose by not being consistent.

CMaz's avatar

The issue of lights and flashes. I can understand. If you are more then 10 feet away in most cases they are useless anyway. Unless you like a well lit picture of the backs of the peoples heads in front of you.
Otherwise, it is ridiculous. People need to get over themselves. Hey, that is another Fluther topic! Ya should read it. :-)

drClaw's avatar

I doubt that the pictures are forbidden because a student is in witness protection or even trying to escape an abusive parent. If it were the case then the student would be exempt from the performance all together.

I think your kids school is just being strict, the best you can do is voice your concern in a PTA meeting or something like it.

Bri_L's avatar

I think that policy is silly.

I think you have to look at what you think you are preventing. If you feel someone is going to try to abuse the imagery what other ways do they have at there disposal to do so? There are to many that are not under your control.

All they are doing is taking away priceless memories that the parents and kids and their kids should have the chance to look back on.

It’s putting the population in jail to protect them from the criminal who is free outside.

Jack79's avatar

Even though there are a series of reasons for not allowing cameras (even common sense reasons such as an annoying dad disrupting the play to get a good shot), I think what probably happened was the whole “paedophile taking pictures of my kid” paranoia. If you’re a parent, there’s no reason to assume you’re taking the picture for any reason other than the obvious love for your own child. I am glad I live in a more relaxed society (yes, things happen here too, but at least people are still comfortable with other parents for now at least).

Lupin's avatar

Maybe they are trying to avoid the distraction and jam up at the stage of parents trying to record their own kids. Did they have problems in the past with pushy parents?
Usually the school will have somebody recording the entire event with better lighting, tripods and direct audio from the mics. They sell the CD at reasonable cost and it is much better than what you can do.
The other reasons are ridiculous.

westy81585's avatar

I was in musicals in high school. It has to do with copyright issues. You’re not allowed to let anyone film the actual performances.

(We got around this by filming our last “practice” ... which was the dress rehearsal)

RedPowerLady's avatar

I don’t know if this has been said already but legally you can take pictures of whomever you want as long as you do not post those pictures. Also you can post pictures if the others in them are not recognizable (i.e so distant you can’t distinguish their facial features etc..). Now this doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow the school’s rules but it does mean you have a leg to stand on in challenging those rules. Photos are quite different from filming however, there are more stringent laws when it comes to filming.

I agree that this is a bit out of hand.

ubersiren's avatar

That is ridiculous. Absolute rubbish. I don’t care what anyone says is the reason for it, I don’t know of any harm that has ever come of someone by videoing a school play. It was pretty much expected when I was in stuff. If it’s a copyright issue, then that’s also retarded. I’ve never heard of it being an issue before. And not allowing even still shots is absurd.

Darwin's avatar

Has anyone bothered to ask the school why there is such a rule?

tiffyandthewall's avatar

school rules have gotten out of hand. have you heard about the boy who was denied a diploma because he blew his mother a kiss on the way up to the stage?

Bri_L's avatar

@tiffyandthewall – no way. that is so sad

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