The increasingly resourceful Emily E. Hogstad posted a fascinating exposé on 8/21/2013 which reveals the Minnesota Orchestra Association (MOA) purchased 13 domain names associated with typical audience support efforts during labor disputes. The smoking gun here is according to WHOIS records, all of the domain names were registered for a period of two years on the purchase dates of 5/24/12 and 5/25/12.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, most folks won’t be shocked to learn that the MOA was digging the proverbial trenches for a long term siege well in advance of talks officially breaking down. Simply put, it is a clear indication that the employer had little to no intention for negotiating in good faith.
The real head-scratcher here is how brazen the MOA’s domain squatting efforts are. For instance, the WHOIS records clearly indicate that the MOA purchased and currently owns the domain names and made the deliberate decision not to register the names with what is known as domain privacy; which does an enormously effectively job at masking the owner’s identity. The service is inexpensive and can be applied at the same moment the domain name is registered.
Moreover, domain names can be registered for as short one year but the MOA decided to increase costs and go for the two year registrations. The decision brings up more questions than it answers with regard to professed claims of prudent fiscal management.
Speaking Of Dubious Tactics During Labor Disputes
Anyone with a burning desire to get wind of the MOA’s intentions during this critical period of Osmo Vanska’s impending resignation deadline would be wise to consider the following orchestra operations insider nuggets:
- Orchestras that expect to perform in venues they don’t own or operate usually have some form of minimum cancellation clause with a 30-90 day advance notice. If someone knew a venue the MOA was prepared to use, s/he could always contact the venue’s administrative office and inquire about whether the facility was available for rent on the date the MOA would have occupied the space. This line of reasoning could be extended to transportation, lighting and sound equipment rentals, catering, and related services associated with the respective event(s).
- Orchestras book guest artists (conductors, soloists, acts, etc.) one or more in advance and usually have some form of minimum cancellation clause with a 30-90 day advance notice. If someone knew which guest artists the MOA reserved for September through November, 2013 you could contact the artist and/or his/her representation inquiring about availability during what would have otherwise been a date reserved for the MOA.
Do you see the trend yet?
Pretty much any service, facility, or consumable an orchestra would need to arrange related to an event is something that can likely be tracked. In fact, cancellations can even go in the opposite direction, as was the recent decision from the MOA’s record label, BIS, to cancel upcoming recording sessions in September, 2013 (details).