Some Things To Consider Before Getting In To Performance Streaming

The challenges of Covid-19 raise for arts organizations has resulted in a number of valuable resources being produced. When I came across them, I am often torn between writing about them on this blog and creating a post for ArtsHacker. Since the latter is more specifically focused on resources for arts professionals, I often opt to write something up for that site.

Let me tell you, it often hurts me to make this decision because I am inevitably trying to find something to post about on Butts In The Seats and it means I gotta keep looking. But fortunately, I can point to the Arts Hacker article at a later time here.

That is a long way round of saying…I am going to be pointing you at a few ArtsHacker pieces I wrote over the next week or so, dear reader.

The most recent one is on the legal considerations for streaming content. I think I am pretty secure in saying that as revenue from live performance rights decline, organizations that administer performance rights are going to start paying closer attention to what is being performed in people’s living rooms.

The Alliance of Performing Arts Conferences issued a guide on The Legal Landscape of Live Streaming that covers a lot of the questions about livestreaming content as well as providing good information about what the pros and cons of different streaming services, depending on your goals and needs.

On the legal side, one of the first things you need to know is that your live performance license, whether it was for music, musicals, plays, etc doesn’t cover live streaming. Your live streaming license in turn doesn’t cover the rights to make a recording of your live stream available for later viewing. None of the above covers permission required from the content creators be they performers, designers, arrangers, etc., or the various unions that might be involved.

Since your streamed content is reaching a much larger audience than the room capacity of your venue, there may be profanity laws of other jurisdictions as well as intellectual property rights of any brands, logos, and trademarks which may appear to consider as well.

Check out my post and the guide for more info.


Legal Considerations For Live Streaming Performances

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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