Hi everyone -
First of all, it means a lot that you're interested in recording these shows! Thanks for supporting and caring about live music.
This policy has been evolving over the past several years, and you've all been great about honoring my (and my fellow musicians') wishes and wanting to know what the rules are. Thanks so much for treating us like artists and human beings, rather than mere objects to be documented...
So here's the deal.
Taping live shows:
1. If everyone else involved is OK with it, both audio and video taping is fine.
If the venue staff says it's up to the artist, by all means go for it. If they want my verbal or written permission, I'm happy to give it. Note that certain venues, particularly those in the performing arts world, always prohibit taping. Sometimes the promoter/agency/label/etc doesn't want the show taped for various reasons, and we need to adhere to their policy.
2. Board feeds are permitted, at the discretion of the venue and sound engineer.
Please be nice to the engineer, and be respectful of his/her priorities. In all likelihood there's already a lot to deal with, in order for the show to run on time and sound as good as possible in the room. Setting up a board feed and getting a level check for you may not always be possible.
Sharing audio/video of SOLO shows:
No permission required, but please abide by the following:
1. No money can be exchanged for it.
This is probably obvious, but don't charge anyone for recordings. If you discover anyone trying to do this, please let us know. For traditional, through-the-mail trading, see etree.org's B&P page
for an FAQ.
2. Don't distribute an original song until it appears on a studio recording, unless I've put it on the OK to distribute list.
I know this can be frustrating, but please respect it. I'm shy about having non-studio recordings of a song circulating out there as the only representation of what it sounds like. Once it's been officially released, you're more than welcome to share the live versions.
Here's the list of original songs that aren't on an album but are OK to tape and distribute:
3. Credit the songwriters of covers.
If people want to hear the original or learn more about the people who wrote it, please make it easy for them to track down the information. (Seems like everyone's been doing this faithfully. Many thanks!)
4. Take it offline if I ask.
So far I've never asked, but if a show goes horribly wrong sometime, or for personal reasons I'm uncomfortable having it out there, please respect my wishes and remove it. I don't foresee ever doing this—the web already has plenty of me singing off-key, forgetting lyrics, saying dumb stuff between songs and so on—but it's important for me to have the option.
Sharing audio/video of ENSEMBLE shows
(includes duo with Alex Wong, trio with Ward Williams, and other configurations)
1. The above rules still apply
: only if the venue allows taping, share only songs that are on studio recordings, covers, or on the approved list
2. Get written permission to distribute audio recordings.
You're welcome to tape shows for private use, but send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and get the go-ahead before sharing it with friends or uploading it anywhere. Note that once a while we may not grant permission—but usually we do.
Video recordings are OK to share without prior permission. Audio recordings that are already available can stay up. (No need to go vigilante on anyone retroactively.)
Thanks for reading, and happy taping!