I enjoy opera. I am not a ‘buff’ – although I used to be ‘buff’ (a blogger can dream?) – and I have been to The Royal Opera House (ROH) many times; paying quite fantastic sums of money for the privilege. I particularly like Tosca – where the chance of the fat lady bouncing back up after falling off the battlements gives me the strength to survive a rather lengthy evening out.
I can’t remember – but does The Royal Opera House receive any public money to fund its operations?
The Lawyer, taking a break from reporting on deals and who is shafting who in The City and our world of law – has an excellent story….
Royal Opera House threatens to sue blogger over photo row
The Lawyer: The ROH head of legal and business affairs George Avory demanded that the pictures be removed from the website Intermezzo because use of the images allegedly infringed ROH copyright.
In an email exchange between the blogger and ROH, which has now been posted on the Intermezzo website, Avory warned that the blogger’s ROH membership would be withdrawn if the images were not removed, adding that lawyers would be instructed to pursue him for damages.
The Lawyer reports… “On Wednesday (8 September) Avory told the blogger that since he had failed to respond to previous legal letters, “we will therefore instruct external consul (sic) to commence proceedings immediately for full damages and associated legal costs caused by the unauthorised reproduction by you of Royal Opera House property”.
On Thursday the blogger said he would be happy to make any changes appropriate but also highlighted the fact that the website makes no financial gain from the 100,000 visits it receives a month but does promote the ROH.
The Royal Opera House has every right to protect intellectual property – assuming the pictures are their property, but it does seem to be a remarkably heavy handed way to go about it. Did Intermezzo commit such a cardinal crime using an official photograph – if he/she did? I’d be only too delighted if a blogger used my ‘official photos’ to help promote what I was doing if I was running a large commercial operation.
The comments to the article are excellent… including one from fellow blogger Matthew Taylor… do read.
This… I liked…
John Drake | 10-Sep-2010 2:18 pm
Just one point, I believe the Intermezzo blogger is female.
On the main point, however, Intermezzo is an incredibly well-thought of blog in the Opera field. Because of its work (and the bewilderingly over-designed nature of the ROH’s official site), the ROH will have sold a lot of tickets. This is stupid beyond the stupidity of normal in-house lawyers.
In the meantime, I am listening to a bit of Tosca and waiting for the good bit… I may be instructing external consuls to make me some breakfast as well.
Thanks to MTPT for this…. extracted from the comments sectio0n below…
Oh, and here’s the link to Intermezzo’s original post:
The comments are well worth a look: lots of subscription paying “Friends” of the Royal Opera House who are not best pleased by ROH’s behaviour.
THE COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE ROYAL OPERA HOURS TO INTERMEZZO….. CLASSIC