Australian Clubs Looking To Play Independent Music To Avoid Insane New Royalties

from the send-them-some-indie-music dept

We've been discussing how collections societies around the globe have been making a mad dash to get governments to tax more things or to simply massively expand existing collection taxes on music. One stunning example we gave was how the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) was pushing to increase fees by ridiculous amounts (in one example from $125/year to $19,344). Apparently, part of the setup is that clubs and restaurants have to pay a much higher per patron fee, and the number of patrons is based not on the actual number of patrons -- but on capacity. PPCA and others like them continue to insist that all of the value in a restaurant or club comes from the music, and thus those places should pay these extortionate rates, even if actual human beings don't come to fill up the place (so much for the music actually bringing in the crowds). But it looks like at least some clubs in Australia are pushing back. Sambo points us to the news that many are trying to build support for a protest effort where these clubs will only play independent music and avoid all music licensed to the PPCA. Of course, in the US, we've seen ASCAP and BMI tell clubs that do similar things that it doesn't matter -- since they might accidentally play their music. Still, it looks like these kinds of moves, that often would bankrupt these clubs and restaurants, are having an unintended consequence of helping to promote non-PPCA music. So, if you're a musician and you want to get heard in Australia, try licensing your songs under a Creative Commons license or something and highlight that anyone can play the music without having to pay a ridiculous PPCA tax.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    cofiem (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 3:35am

    Brilliant!

    Glad to hear that the clubs here know that there are alternatives. It'll probably be hard to play music that no one really knows, and not play the mainstream stuff.

    Best of luck to the clubs. Any way to tell/show these crazy collection societies that they can't just do what they like.

     

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      shanoboy (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:13am

      Re: Brilliant!

      Eh, I remember not too long ago in the mid 90's when techno music was all the rage. I honestly couldn't tell the difference in mainstream vs independent in that sense.

      It might not be that hard to find decent sounding hip hop dribble that was released independently.

       

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    Yogi, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 3:38am

    Yes!

    I was waiting for this to happen.

    For businesses it makes much more sense to play (and thus promote) free music rather than play copyrighted music and then get fined for promoting it.

    There is a lot of great free music in the world that's waiting to be heard. I really hope businesses around the world wise up.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 3:47am

    Wait. So, when prices are ridiculously high, people turn to other options?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 3:55am

    The ABC article also notes that these morons at PPCA are only targeting Australian music and that "the Top 40" American Artists aren't part of PPCA jurisdiction and patrons won't notice... So, yeah, not that great.

     

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      Call me Al, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:27am

      Re:

      If this is indeed the case then the PPCA have signed the death warrant for Australian music... unless they are enabled to levy the payments on the assumption that the establishment will play their music.

      There is no way that clubs and restaurants will hand over thousands of dollars in payments in order to play Aussie music if they can play other music for considerably less or free.

       

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    senshikaze (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 4:54am

    Just say no

    To the RIAA.

    I have personally decided that I will not buy ANY music by an RIAA label. Period. I am going so far as to not even PIRATE an RIAA album. I buy/download (jamendo is free) only music that is creative commons or at the very least not on an RIAA label. It isn't easy, but there are a bunch of great bands out there with alot more talent than the hashed over BS that gets pushed by the big labels and RIAA.
    (Of course RIAA music that I already bought was grandfathered in)

     

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    ..., Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:05am

    What a racket

    "PPCA and others like them continue to insist that all of the value in a restaurant or club comes from the music,"

    -Those five star restaurants owe it all to the music they have played. Certainly it had othing to do with the food served, the chef, wait staff, etc.

    "in the US, we've seen ASCAP and BMI tell clubs that do similar things that it doesn't matter -- since they might accidentally play their music."

    -This claim is ridiculous. I suppose they will be selling music insurance next, you know because accidents can happen.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:19am

    PPCA and others like them continue to insist that all of the value in a restaurant or club comes from the music

    Please cite your source for this.

     

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    NullOp, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:27am

    Wow

    Gee, not many people/groups are this greedy! The PPCA are the type of people that make me ashamed of being human!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:33am

    perfect example how the industry is shooting themselves in the foot : Go Indie!

     

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    Derek, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:51am

    It's About Time.

    I've been wondering for quite awhile why this angle has not been explored to its limits. As others have noted - there is a LOT of good independent music out there.

    Bypass the gatekeepers. Gatekeepers who, by the way, don't actually care about the interests of the artist. Then, given some time, we'll see where musicians actually want their music played - in gated and overtaxed communities, or out in the open for the masses to discover.

     

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      PRMan, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:52am

      Re: It's About Time.

      "I've been wondering for quite awhile why this angle has not been explored to its limits. As others have noted - there is a LOT of good independent music out there."

      Because in the US, you can't. You have to pay if you play any music at all, even if you never play any of their music.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 2:17pm

        Re: Re: It's About Time.

        "Because in the US, you can't. You have to pay if you play any music at all, even if you never play any of their music."

        I would like to see where the laws state this. Lots of people keep saying it but where are the laws?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 2:37pm

        Re: Re: It's About Time.

        "Because in the US, you can't. You have to pay if you play any music at all, even if you never play any of their music."

        If this is true then what radio stations should do is start up talk radio stations and spend a LOT of time talking about how corrupt the RIAA is and how the RIAA does nothing but exploit the public and artists and they can discuss these issues and how they harm artists and make the public more aware of these stupid laws. They can be like Techdirt, as techdirt makes obvious when it comes to the RIAA there is plenty of interesting topics to talk about, every time the RIAA does something stupid the radio station can talk about it and every time the government acts like a retard in favor of the RIAA at public expense the station should talk about it. In fact, this should be what radio stations do, discuss these important issues instead of censoring them. The public airwaves shouldn't be a platform that the FCC regulates in such a way that disables people from using them to discuss important issues. Until people are allowed to use the public airwaves to discuss these issues perhaps we should work to disbar the FCC (because without an FCC the public airwaves could and would be used to discuss important subjects like this and how corrupt the FDA and other federal agencies are and we should ensure that the FCC's corrupt regulatory arm doesn't hinder such discussions).

         

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    MattP, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:27am

    Fitness Industry case.

    This from the Fitness Industry case and not the Nightclubs and Hotels case being described but equally disgusting.

    http://www.operationmusic.org.au/pdf/Briefing-Update-PPCA-Case%20-FAL-18.02.09.doc%20 %5BCompatibility%20Mode%5D.pdf

    This represents a vast increase in the current PPCA rate of $0.968 per fitness
    class with an annual capped maximum of $2,654. For example, a known
    independent fitness centre in western Sydney, currently pays $1,400 per
    annum for this license. Under the new structure and rate, the annual cost will
    increase to $174,336 (an increase of approximately 12,344%). This will
    increase to $348,732 per annum with APRA seeking an equivalent rate.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    "we've seen ASCAP and BMI tell clubs that do similar things that it doesn't matter -- since they might accidentally play their music."

    I'd like to see how far that one gets in court. Then again, in the broken U.S. it'll probably wind up in East Texas somehow where morons would end up making ridiculous rulings.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 3:46pm

      Re:

      It would lose in court. But it would never get to court in the first place. The Big Players, both corporate and trade industry, can bankrupt almost anybody with attorney's fees and court costs before a judge ever sees the case.

      Especially clubs which aren't sitting on a warchest of millions. So the choice becomes: give in to the extortion or go out of business.

       

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    Jim, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 4:41am

    PPCA is a rort

    I run a café. The PPCA is a rort. They collect fees in order to pay the record labels an income for the public performance of the music they have contributed to. Yet there is no analysis provided of where the money actually goes. You would think that a group that is legally entitled to collect a fee would have to show that the fee has been paid to its rightful recipients and how much they have received. You can scour the PPCA public reports for ever and you will find nothing about where the money goes. Why, because it all goes in to the pockets of the four big labels that sit on the board of the PPCA.

    The right to collect fees for 'public performance' is spurious in any case. We have already paid for the CD. Why is it that music is the only commodity I have to pay for twice? The chairs are used publicly, the art on the walls is used publicly, they were also designed produced and distributed by some persons and companies, yet they are very happy if I just pay for their products only once! Jim.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Two interesting thoughts ......

    AC - "This claim is ridiculous. I suppose they will be selling music insurance next, you know because accidents can happen."

    AC - "perhaps clubs should pool together their funds to fight this sort of thing in court."

    280 note/entry) Just thought of a great new idea .... insurance that offers legal fees for lawsuits by RIAA/ASCAP/etc at half of what the collection agencies charge. Set it up for bars that only play indie, labels.

    After the first lawsuit it should be easy, these people dont seem to be all that creative and just reuse the same legal strategies over and over.

     

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    Simon Cow, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 10:11pm

    Unsigned Musicians can get exposure...thanks to PPCA

    if your a musio, don't be too hard on PPCA...because of the fee increase they've opened up the door for you to get heard!

    www.moomoomusic.com collects music by unsigned artists - not only do you get exposure but you also get paid! Moo Moo Music works with Trusonic's background music systems which are found in clubs, pubs, hotels and retail enviornments all around Australia.

    Word on the street is that Trusonic music systems are in hot demand at the moment because of the Moo Moo Music playlists!

    Artists - get uploading your songs

    Venues - start talking to Trusonic ASAP. The fees take affect 1 Dec 10!!

     

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    Pete Smith, Apr 15th, 2010 @ 8:10am

    Sounds good to me.

    We are an independent record label and publishing company not a big bad corporation out to sue people for file sharing, we WANT you them to spread our music around. Many of the songs in our catalog have been released under a Creative Commons license and are free to download. They have been played by hundreds of radio stations and podcasters worldwide and it cost them nothing, in return we got some exposure and promotion.....seems like a fair trade to me. Any Australian clubs (or any other country for that matter) wishing to play our music can get in touch through the website.

     

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    Antiqcool (profile), Apr 15th, 2010 @ 8:12am

    Sounds good to me.

    We are an independent record label and publishing company not a big bad corporation out to sue people for file sharing, we WANT them to spread our music around. Many of the songs in our catalog have been released under a Creative Commons license and are free to download. They have been played by hundreds of radio stations and podcasters worldwide and it cost them nothing, in return we got some exposure and promotion.....seems like a fair trade to me. Any Australian clubs (or any other country for that matter) wishing to play our music can get in touch through the website.

     

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    sonia, Oct 24th, 2010 @ 8:08pm

    I have enough

    We are restauranteurs. We have a DJ, dance floor and Karaoke every Friday and Saturday Night.
    Through the week days it is quite and we are trying to bring more people in on the weekend.
    How is a small family restaurant is soposed to survive when we have to pay fee for Backround music, fee for dance floor, fee for karaoke, fee for DJ, fee for live music and a fee for screen and TV.
    Than we have to pay council for tables and chairs outside the restaurant. When people go out on Friday and Saturday nights they want to BYO. They bring their wine,champagne, etc, and of course they bring their cake.
    They leave me religiously their empty bottles were we have to pay fee to dispose them. I want to know as a restaurenteur why do we have to pay so much to have pleasant music and a dance available for our customers. In Europe that does not exist. This is just another American money making for pen pushers who dont want to work. I would like to invite all of you pen pushers to go and work in the restaurant just for one week and see how would you feel about giving your hard earn money to bulshit artist around the world. That is such a idiocracy that is not funny any more.
    And do the artist really get that money after all.
    Should I advertise as well that I am paying wages to Dean Martin, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presly. What kind of a imbacilic law can suport that I dont know. But than again.... people who make law are as far as I am concern ONLY a PEN PUSHERS to!!!

     

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