Copyright cheatsheets

Anselm Lingnau

Message 3675 · 22 Feb 1996 21:23:59 · Variable-width font · Whole thread

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Ian Price <73707.523@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx> writes:

> I would have
> to agree that if I was attending an RSCDS class under an RSCDS-licensed
> teacher, I would expect that teacher to teach from RSCDS material. In most
> other subjects however, teachers produce handouts...

There is nothing wrong with that. What I don't really like is teachers
(RSCDS or otherwise) teaching off handouts that were copied from the
handout some other teacher produced from his own handwritten notes jotted
down during the tea-break at a day school five years ago. I have to admit
that, from a dancer's point of view as opposed to a copyright lawyer's
(which I am not) I would much rather see the original instructions
photocopied than condensed into an abbreviated `crib'.

I think that in this case the spirit of the law is more important than
the letter. Yes, rewriting dance instructions may be enough of an
`intellectual effort' to `derail a copyright action' (Ian's words). However,
that effort is probably also enough to make the instructions less clear.
It is not altogether easy to write up instructions for a dance that are
both concise and complete; assuming that the original deviser spends more
time on the wording than somebody who is putting together a quick crib
sheet for next week's ball, what does that tell us about the likely
quality of the crib? Which does not mean that the crib is useless for
its purpose (your knowing what to do at the ball) -- my point is that you
shouldn't then mail the selfsame crib to your friend over in the US so
she can use it for teaching the fun dances from the programme.

Having said that, the other day I finished the Pilling-style diagrams
for this year's Frankfurt Spring Ball programme. For reasons too
complicated to go into here, our programme normally contains a fair number
of off-mainstream dances that some people in groups here in Germany are
unlikely to have original instructions available for. Therefore, and
because most of these people will not balk at teaching dances off cribs
anyway, I try to make sure that the diagrams contain more information
than what is usual in the original Pilling book, if that is necessary.
Actually, I draw them myself rather than photocopy them from the book.
(We do have original instructions for the dances on the programme
ourselves, and use these for preparing the cribs and ball re-caps.)
So much for the true confessions; it would be lovely if everybody had
original instructions for all the dances in the world, but we also want
our ballroom sold out, thank you very much.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... xxxxxxx@xx.xxxxxxxxxx.xxx-xxxxxxxxx.xx
A man about to speak the truth should keep one foot in the stirrup.
                                                       --- Old Mongolian Saying

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