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In addition to original material, public domain is also free of any legal restrictions to use, perform, record, etc. There are reams of stories of venues and owners who shut down live music because ASCAP and their lawyers threatened to sue if not paid - even when the music performed was not copyrighted. ASCAP wins, because owners don't want to go to court, and have no idea they are being fooled. So there are almost no venues allowing live music, who aren't sending them a check. Its a dirty, underhanded practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Dear ratracer

I am truly inspired by your username. I find it very original - haha, get the musical reference? if you don't, shame on you, ratracer - please can you reply to this because i am very curious about the rat racing business. I have been to a few competitions myself, but i would love to get involved in the wider rat racing community.

Cheers for now, Roland the passionate saxophone player
Ha! Welcome to SoTW and if you've never found yourself in the metaphorical paradigm of the "rat race" then consider yourself very fortunate. In actuality, I've been very fortunate myself. In my vocational career, I've only found myself running the "hamster wheel" infrequently and for relatively short periods of time. However, even in the best of vocations, you'll find periods of tedium that must be endured. Personally, these times can be used as periods of introspection and character development. It is in these times wherein my moniker may be preferentially referred to as "ray tracer", as in the light at the end of the tunnel and finding the silver lining in every cloud, metaphorically speaking, that is.

Now back to the original intent of the thread. Good to see some are gleaning some insights into this topic after all these years!
 

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In addition to original material, public domain is also free of any legal restrictions to use, perform, record, etc. There are reams of stories of venues and owners who shut down live music because ASCAP and their lawyers threatened to sue if not paid - even when the music performed was not copyrighted. ASCAP wins, because owners don't want to go to court, and have no idea they are being fooled. So there are almost no venues allowing live music, who aren't sending them a check. Its a dirty, underhanded practice.
Thanks to lobbying, changes in law, and automation, the burden is no longer on the copyright owner to prove infringement, but on the venue owner to prove no infringing has been done on hi/r premises or cough up for a license.

This is dirty and underhanded. But only in its effects. It's all done by the letter of law. It sounds extortionary, but it's not legally extortion because the rights agencies don't directly threaten to shut venues down.

One thing the rights agencies have down to a science is lawyering. It's coming to the point where lawsuit revenue will be their major source of income, and they're well connected enough to buy legislation to preserve that income stream.

And it is a perfect storm for musicians, because they are shut out. Rights orgs arrogate the right to speak for all artists. The only voice most musicians have is to complain to one another and blame an uninterested public, which gets them nowhere. Produce originals and get big enough to justify joining ASCAP/BMI or you don't matter in the industry - not even locally.

Sideline: As a repertory jazz performer myself, I suspect rights orgs are content to see our jazz tradition limited to affluent niches, such as established clubs and festivals. They've likely made up their minds that it's a museum music, whose appeal is on the way out. Their legislation will no doubt help to ensure that future.
 
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