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music copyright rant
Posted by: deckeda
Date: January 16, 2020 10:39AM
The long tentacles of BMI/ASCAP are everywhere of course. They went after Circuit City back in the 1990s for having the audacity of playing music in stores in order to help sell stereos. Of course CC successfully told them to go @#$%& off.

This rant is about an old, small place in a very small town that lacks a proper police department and has almost no schooling available.

About once every two months they'd host a dinner (cooked on site) and local musicians who would drive 20-60 minutes to get there. Everything has always been "donate if you want, but if you don't want to its OK too." For your donation of about $10 they'd feed you dinner while performers performed for no pay. Maybe there would be like 60 people in the audience, pretty much with an average age of like 70.

Well now they can't perform any copyrighted songs. To adjust, they're switching to a new format where only snacks are provided in a different (smaller) room, and where maybe only By the Light of the Silvery Moon is performed. Performers can play their own music, if they have any. But this ain't the Opry.

I fail to see how any of this protects innovation or intellectual property.
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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: January 16, 2020 10:44AM
Same thing happened in my town. BMI/ASCAP sent agents in to local bars and slapped them with fines for not having licensing agreements in place when bands played. This isn't a HUGE town. They were just starting to get some live music performances and this essentially killed it. All of it. There is no longer any live music performed in bars in this town unless it is original works. There isn't enough revenue to justify getting the licensing required, so they just did away with it all. They can't even have music playing in the place on the radio or streaming from the internet. They put TVs up and just told BMI/ASCAP to P155 off.



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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: January 16, 2020 10:51AM
Nothing quite so dangerous as a lawyer team on retainer trying to justify their salaries.



It's spelled " y'all "

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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: vicrock
Date: January 16, 2020 10:53AM
Happened 2 small towns over from me a year or so ago!
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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: January 16, 2020 11:13AM
ASCAP hounded the promoter of the first bluegrass festival in Arkansas in the 80's and 90's until he died. Many people close to him said it was for the stress of the ASCAP lawsuits and threats.
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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: graylocks
Date: January 16, 2020 12:05PM
what you describe is very much like the format of a house concert though i couldn't quite tell if the venue was a bar/restaurant in its main life.

At any rate, you might have them look into what the Folk Alliance International has worked out with the PROs (ASCAP/BMI) for house concert venues.

FAI House Concert Performing Rights Organizations (PRO) Agreement
FAI negotiated an agreement with ASCAP and BMI on behalf of member House Concert presenters who meet the terms of the agreement - to hold events in private homes with an invitation list only with no public marketing - to ensure they are not subject to any PRO fees. There is NO additional fee to qualify for this member service.


PRO House Concert Agreement

FAI is in process of working out a similar agreement for small venues so if it doesn't apply to their situation now they might still keep this on their radar. btw, FAI has a very broad definition of "Folk" music.

Also, you or the venue are misunderstanding the issue. it's not about copyrights it's about Performance Rights. songwriters/publishers register their work with the PROs in order to be paid when the music is publicly performed. This covers things like radio, television, some internet streaming, and any live music venue be it a stadium or a club. If that venue had a performer who agreed not to sing any songs registered with ASCAP or BMI they'd be fine even if they had taken the time to copyright their original songs.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2020 12:11PM by graylocks.
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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: Buzz
Date: January 16, 2020 04:24PM
Many years back, late 80's or early 90's, the music police came down on me for having a local radio station playing as music on hold. Had/have some Panasonic phones that have a 3.5mm jack to play any source you attach to it for "on hold" music. Since I had a business listing for my home based business, the multi-line phone(s) had both business and home lines on 'em.

It was OK to listen to the radio at home/work, and for a caller to hear the radio in the background, but put that caller on hold, and they can still hear the same radio station playing, and then I owe some outfit thousands of dollars? WTF is up w/ that nonsense? I even called the radio station, and they were happy to have their station "on hold", but the music cops were still aggressive. I eventually bought a widget that plugged into the hold music jack that played royalty free music. The music cops still persisted for awhile, and at that point I told 'em they could pound sand a few times, and they must've finally given up.

My take was that the "enforcement officers" were nothing more than collection agents working on commission, and that their sole goal was to harass as many people out of as much money as possible, regardless of what "fair use" really entailed. If/when they realized you weren't their next pot of gold, they harassed the next schlemiel.

If we generously averaged 50 calls a week on hold for a one song average; not including station ID's, DJ banter, and of course commercials. Each "audience" would be a massive count of one person, I couldn't figure out how the music cops could even justify their ask.

Thanks for dredging up these wonderful memories. Not!
==
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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: freeradical
Date: January 16, 2020 04:56PM
This is why we have elevator music.
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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: graylocks
Date: January 16, 2020 05:26PM
Quote
freeradical
This is why we have elevator music.

which also pay Performance Royalties.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: stephen
Date: January 16, 2020 07:57PM
Graylocks, good to know.
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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: deckeda
Date: January 17, 2020 12:30PM
Quote
graylocks
what you describe is very much like the format of a house concert though i couldn't quite tell if the venue was a bar/restaurant in its main life.

At any rate, you might have them look into what the Folk Alliance International has worked out with the PROs (ASCAP/BMI) for house concert venues.

FAI House Concert Performing Rights Organizations (PRO) Agreement
FAI negotiated an agreement with ASCAP and BMI on behalf of member House Concert presenters who meet the terms of the agreement - to hold events in private homes with an invitation list only with no public marketing - to ensure they are not subject to any PRO fees. There is NO additional fee to qualify for this member service.


PRO House Concert Agreement

FAI is in process of working out a similar agreement for small venues so if it doesn't apply to their situation now they might still keep this on their radar. btw, FAI has a very broad definition of "Folk" music.

Also, you or the venue are misunderstanding the issue. it's not about copyrights it's about Performance Rights. songwriters/publishers register their work with the PROs in order to be paid when the music is publicly performed. This covers things like radio, television, some internet streaming, and any live music venue be it a stadium or a club. If that venue had a performer who agreed not to sing any songs registered with ASCAP or BMI they'd be fine even if they had taken the time to copyright their original songs.

Interesting. Thanks for the correction!
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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: graylocks
Date: January 17, 2020 12:48PM
Quote
deckeda

Interesting. Thanks for the correction!

sure. small singer/songwriter venues have been dealing with this for years. one more thing - if the performer they hire does have songs registered with BMI or ASCAP that songwriter can just write a note saying the venue is released from paying fees on their songs for that show. that's another workaround used. just have to be sure not to do any cover songs that the PROs have the Performing Rights to.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: music copyright rant
Posted by: Acer
Date: January 18, 2020 12:45PM
Just call in the local barbershop chorus! They'll pay YOU to listen!
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