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Those constantly filming smartphones at shows: artists fed up

An obviously smart and proactive business entrepreneur made a quite ironical comment recently about musical artists' live shows. He noted that many attendees at such shows -- notwithstanding that their purchased ticket has put them in close proximity to a musical star who is performing live in front of their face -- aren't seeing those artists live.

What they are doing, instead, as can be attested to by legions of other concert goers, is viewing the whole spectacle through a smartphone lens, thus reducing the immediacy of the attendee/artist interaction. The phone is an intermediary -- a filter, if you will -- that introduces a reality-sapping medium into the experience.

Many artists don't like that.

Alicia Keys is one of them. She is now using a creation of the aforementioned entrepreneur at her concerts, namely, a pouch that is provided to her fans who enter a musical venue with phone in hand. That phone is locked into the pouch. If a concert user wants to use it, he or she can exit the venue and have a worker unlock it.

Many artists are apparently big fans of the low-tech yet effective phone-use thwarter, and for obviously varied reasons.

Truly, phones are distracting elements at concerts, both for performers and fans who don't use them and who are trying to, well, see a concert.

There are other things at stake, too, obviously, including a performer's desire to retain controls over the capturing and subsequent use of their created materials. Copyright law allows for so-called "fair use" in the copying of copyrighted materials without a user's need to secure an artist's permission, but the fair-use line can get murky or abused outright, as in cases where taped performances show up on the Internet or are sold as bootlegged products. When artists see no royalties from their downloaded or subsequently purchased efforts, they understandably become concerned.

And sometimes litigious.

Keys and others have literally taken the matter in hand by putting those phones in a locked-up pouch.

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