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Old 03-04-2005, 06:44 PM   #1
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Tribe successfully sues man for recording sacred ceremony

Tribe successfully sues man for recording sacred ceremony

Artist says he had elder's permission.

Sam Lewin 3/3/2005
http://www.nativetimes.com

A federal court has found a man liable of violating the copyright of
a California tribe for recording a sacred ceremony and selling copies
of the tape.

The case began in the early 90s when Brown Tadd, an elder with the
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of California, allowed Native artist
Lorenzo Baca to videotape traditional Tuolumne/Me-Wuk dances
performed at the Sonora Museum. Tadd soon passed away and several
years later Baca sold the recordings, under the name "California Me-
Wuk Songs."

"I did produce a CD and a video," Baca, Isleta Pueblo/Mescalero
Apache, told that Native American Times. "I did my best to
disseminate the information."

"Tribal members found out about it. The tribal council was furious
and the children of the elders depicted in the video were offended,"
said attorney Bob Lyon of Holland & Knight, the high-powered law firm
that represented the Tuolumne in the case. "He never had the approval
of the council."

The tribe sued. Lyon used California's common-law copyright law and a
portion of a federal bootlegging law the bars people from recording
musical events to win the case-a decision that was recently handed
down in the United States District Court for the Eastern Division of
California.

"We wanted to protect the tribe's intellectual property copyright to
the dances," Lyon said.

Baca says that any of the scant money he made off of the tapes has
since gone into legal fees. He also says his intention never was to
score a profit; he says he just wanted to share the beauty of the
tribe's culture with others. He also believes Tadd would have
approved of what he did.

Lyon believes it is the first time a tribe has been successful in
pursuing such a claim. The court ruling in favor of the tribe ordered
that Baca turn over all tapes in his possession. Those tapes have
since been destroyed.

"The message this sends out is that these property rights are
important to [the tribe's] culture," Lyon said. "Even when some
people want to do good by a tribe and their culture-they are not
doing them any favors."
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Old 03-04-2005, 06:50 PM   #2
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Hopefully this will set a precedence for this sort of thing....... I think it should speak volumes and send some alerts out that this thing is no longer going to be tolerated.
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Old 03-07-2005, 09:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mato Winyan
Tribe successfully sues man for recording sacred ceremony

Artist says he had elder's permission.

Sam Lewin 3/3/2005
http://www.nativetimes.com

A federal court has found a man liable of violating the copyright of
a California tribe for recording a sacred ceremony and selling copies
of the tape.


"The message this sends out is that these property rights are
important to [the tribe's] culture," Lyon said. "Even when some
people want to do good by a tribe and their culture-they are not
doing them any favors."
__

Mato,

I totally agree with you.

I am glad a barometer has finally been established concerning both cultural and tribal specific property.

Ceremonial and sacred songs are used for prayer. Prayers SHOULD NOT BE FOR SALE!
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Old 03-07-2005, 11:34 PM   #4
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It speaks volumes - thanks for posting that Mato....
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