Friday night Amy and I went to the Jason Mraz show at the Greek Theatre. My favorite part of the show was when he played a Led Zeppelin/ZZ Top-esque version of Norm Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky.
After the show, I ran a quick iTunes search for the song. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly I came up with nothing. So instead of giving up I turned to the “dark side” of the internet. To my surprise/delight I found that not only was a version available for download, but Jason Mraz has given explicit permission for fans to record live shows.
Jason Mraz allows audio taping at almost every live performance. We feel that each show is unique and want to offer our fans the opportunity to recreate the live experience through the audio reproduction of our shows. At all taping authorized performances, tapers can tape from any ticketed seating location in the venue. Also, for many of these performances tapers are able to purchase tickets for a specially designated taper section, normally located immediately behind the soundboard… From time to time we may record some of our shows for a live album or DVD, and we may not allow taping at those shows or we may notify you that we are going to commercially release our tapes from the show at which time we will ask you to withdraw all of your tapes from that show(s) from further trading.
How refreshing! An artist who actually understands that fan recordings of live shows are not competition for recorded studio albums.
An interesting copyright tidbit at the end of his taping policy
No waiver of any copyright or trademark right is intended.
Since copyright only exists after fixation it is arguable whether any artist has any copyright claim against bootleggers. However since Jason Mraz has authorized fan fixation he may have a copyright claim in every live show. In other words explicitly authorizing taping of the show may give Jason Mraz a copyright claim for live performances he otherwise would not have had.
Coming Tomorrow Part II: Is Jason Mraz inducing copyright infringement?