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Not sure if this is the proper forum but at first glance makes sense. (At least to me! :) ) Mods please move if necessary.

Interesting development in playing copyrighted music in public. I'm not even sure it affects any one on SOTW but it may. I'd be interested in hearing any and all thoughts about the topic. Ran across it while surfing the i-news at a break.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003815486_royalty01.html


Just wish I was good enough to have to worry about the licensing issues! :D
I'd get fined for butchering the tune! Let alone playing it without a license!
 

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The laws aren't new, but enforcement stories in the news is a bit different.
As performers we seldom need to deal with this issue, the guy paying us has to get his licenses in order for us to perform copywritten songs.
 

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Thanks Carl. I'm totally ignorant where the responsibility is/was drawn between the venue and the performers. Worst case was that both had to be licensed. Best case - for the performers - the establishment! Guess that's why they're going after the establishments and not the performers they represent, eh?

Cheers!
 

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I've been to a club in Rhode Island that had a sign over the stage that read: No ASCAP or BMI are allowed to be performed!

BTW, A direct public performance license from the music publisher/songwriter overrides ASCAP or BMI.
 

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the one comment I really like is that Record companies are giving the music to DJ's to play, then charging them with violations when they do play it. Shouldn't that license be waived or included in the playola??
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Art_Salt said:
I've been to a club in Rhode Island that had a sign over the stage that read: No ASCAP or BMI are allowed to be performed!

BTW, A direct public performance license from the music publisher/songwriter overrides ASCAP or BMI.
Display of ignorance #2:

What's left if no ASCAP or BMI allowed?
 

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So, hypothetical situation, if I knew of something like a musical running in my town that just fired the orchestra for no apparent reason that is using all unlicensed music (let's say, hypothetically, 26 very popular Motown songs), who would I notify about that?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bill Mecca said:
the one comment I really like is that Record companies are giving the music to DJ's to play, then charging them with violations when they do play it. Shouldn't that license be waived or included in the playola??
Now that's a catch-22!!
 

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Years ago I was getting requests for Gershwin tunes with my string quartet. The Gershwin estate is very vigilant in enforcing their rights so I talked to many people who know the particulars of the law. Most schools have blanket licenses in place so you are covered there. Any place playing recorded music - whether from a CD or the radio - needs to have a blanket license in place as well. They are adding value to their business by playing music and have to pay for the added value of having music by getting a blanket license as well.

As performers, special requests are considered a work for hire - somebody else is considered the owner of the arrangement, we are hired help.

When you setup a concert on your own in a venue of your own, you need to get this covered. If you want to publish your arrangements you need to get this taken care of. But if you are hired to play, the guy doing the hiring - not the bandleader, but the guy hiring the band - is responsible/liable.
 

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saxymanzach said:
So, hypothetical situation, if I knew of something like a musical running in my town that just fired the orchestra for no apparent reason that is using all unlicensed music (let's say, hypothetically, 26 very popular Motown songs), who would I let notify about that?
ASCAP or BMI. They should turn up with a google search.
 

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well, it was a punk rock club, so mostly original material...so ASCAP and BMI wouldn't apply if you are playing original material (and public domain songs.)
 

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also, you could play Bob Dylan covers...he's neither ASCAP nor BMI, but SESAC.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Art_Salt said:
well, it was a punk rock club, so mostly original material...so ASCAP and BMI wouldn't apply if you are playing original material (and public domain songs.)
Yeah, punk rock. No wonder!


Original material. Now that raises another question. Given the amount of improvisation in jazz, original material on the fly, if you would, how do you define "original" material?

Or, what is the definition of original material given how much/many licks are "borrowed" from the jazz legends, perhaps altered, even if ever so slightly, and used in any given improvisation?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Art_Salt said:
also, you could play Bob Dylan covers...he's neither ASCAP nor BMI, but SESAC.
ASCAP, BMI, SESAC. How many music associations are there anyway?
 

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does your dentist have to pay ASCAP?

What's interesting in the article is that the restaurant owner says he pays for 2 music subscription services. Wouldn't you think that when you subscribe to a service for piped-in music, that the licensing is included in the fee? But ASCAP says the definition of performing copyrighted music includes playing it "any place where people gather," with the exception of small private groups. That includes playing songs as background music and even music-on-hold over phone lines, according to ASCAP's Web site. "As long as it's [played] outside a direct circle of friends and family, it is considered a public performance". So does ASCAP say your dentist should pay them a licensing fee for the Muzak you're forced to listen to while in the chair?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
MartinMusicMan said:
So does ASCAP say your dentist should pay them a licensing fee for the Muzak you're forced to listen to while in the chair?
That seems to be the implication don't it? :shock:
So while you pay your dentist to intentionally inflict pain on you, you also have to pay to pay him to allow you to suffer through the endless elevator/Muzak!! :D :?
 

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MUZAK pays ASCAP/BMI so you don't have to.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Art_Salt said:
MUZAK pays ASCAP/BMI so you don't have to.
Well, that was the other option. What a business. I thought government contracting was convoluted. :confused:
 
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