Someone who prefers to remain anonymous sent in the following link, highlighting a dispute in an Oregon restaurant that used to allow live bands to play. It turns out that, recently, one local band played three cover songs from the 1970's. That night, there happened to be a rep from the American Society of Musicians and Publishers in attendance, who noted down the three cover songs (and the fact that the restaurant had not paid a license for them) and filed a federal lawsuit against the owner. The restaurant may now shut down since it can't afford the fines, but in the meantime has stopped letting bands play on the off-chance they might play a cover song and bankrupt the restaurant. Now, there are two arguments here. One is that the songwriters who wrote the original song deserve to get paid -- but if you look at the net result here, you'd have to think they're much worse off. Now, their music won't get played at all, whereas before, having a cover band play your tune would likely only generate more interest in getting people to go out and buy a copy of the song somewhere. When the industry continues to look at every time music is played as a revenue opportunity, rather than a promotional one, they actually end up shrinking their own market.
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