Canadian Collection Society Pushing Gymnastics Clubs To Pay Up For Music

from the it's-contagious dept

We've been seeing a ton of stories in the last year concerning collection societies around the world increasing their efforts to collect money from any sort of entity that plays music ever -- even if it actually ends up causing significant harm to new and up-and-coming musicians. The efforts usually focus on two areas: (1) increasing the fees they're able to demand from venues (usually set by the government) and (2) getting places that barely play any music at all to pay up at exorbitant rates. SOCAN, up in Canada, is supposedly working on both of these fronts, with reader Adam Bell pointing out that it's been going after gymnastics clubs because a small number of kids who use them practice routines done to music. But, of course, SOCAN wants to calculate fees not based on the small number of people who actually use music (which is usually intended for themselves, anyway, not for others -- which should exclude the usual "ambiance" reasoning that collections societies claim), but the "average number of persons per week per room multiplied by $2.14." This can really add up for small businesses, and many gymnastics clubs are refusing to pay, recognizing that they might not be able to afford it at all if they want to stay in business. It's difficult to see how that helps anyone.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2009 @ 10:12pm

    In this one area I do believe that the technological evolution of music listening devices will have a significant role in combating these types of practices.

    It's hard to charge a fee based on who else can listen if everyone has a personal music player that can only be heard by the only person wearing it.

    In this case, problem solved. The kids can still practice their routines while still listening to their own private source of music.

     

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  2.  
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    McBeese, Dec 2nd, 2009 @ 10:40pm

    Re:

    I don't understand why you think personal listening devices will help with this problem. Do you mean iPods with headphones? I hope not because that is totally unworkable for a gymnast. If you mean a boombox player, that doesn't help either because that's what these kids have been using for years.

    I'm sorry but this whole thing is total BS. If I purchase music and play it for my own use - within reason - then I refuse to be held responsible for else might be able to hear it. Common sense must prevail.

    There was a really interesting post on Gizmodo today regarding the fudging of royalty numbers by the recording industry. I've never read anything that made me want to support stealing from the labels more than that story. Mike, I think you should repost it here so we can discuss it since this is a forum for that topic.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2009 @ 10:59pm

    Re: Re:

    No, something deeper. Think harmonic bone densifier? Subaudible microtansmitter? With an enabled wireless router? Wrapped around your wrist? Or your head! Like a headband!

    I think they're working on something that gives the user the ability to listen to music, or books, or whatever on a private scale. And if they're not working on something like it, maybe they should be.

    Because I would totally buy some of those for all my gymnasts. Maybe you could pick up a dozen at the local 7-11. For $10. What a steal.

    And then you wouldn't have nosy collection agencies mouthbreathing down your neck asking you to pay up. Is what I was getting at.

    You cannot fight the future. But you sure as hell can fight the present.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2009 @ 11:25pm

    Who it helps

    It helps the collection societies, at least in the short run. In the long term it will even hurt them as it suppresses public music and music in general.

    In this case it might hurt the collection societies sooner. Just about every legislator has a child, grandchild, or other young relative who is in some type of dance/gymnastics class. Every town of any size has probably got a studio or two. It is entirely possible the legislatures would be willing to carve out an exception for these types of clubs. And, if that happens there will be other groups wanting exceptions, too. It is very possible the collection societies might find that 8 year old girls were the wrong group to pick on.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2009 @ 11:44pm

    Minnesota goes quiet.

    http://www.zeropaid.com/news/87300/royalty-collecting-groups-fees-shutter-open-mic-venues/

    Those collection entities are having an effect on the market. People just don't play music or employ artists to sing songs LoL

     

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  6.  
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    Angry Anonymous, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 1:55am

    Hmmm. Does that mean the dude walking on the sidewalk with a boombox on full blast has to pay as well? If so how much?

     

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  7.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 2:49am

    I'd imagine that in the eyes of the collection agencies the due with his boombox is liable.

     

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  8.  
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    John Duncan Yoyo (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 3:48am

    Re:

    Or a loud car stereo...

    I would imagine that the owner operator of the venue would be responsible so the local government should be charged for allowing their music to be heard.

    I used to think that the Musician's union in Terry Pratchett's Soul Music was an extreme parody now they come off as mild.

     

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  9.  
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    Seshan (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:15am

    The entertainment industry are criminals. Not the people that give them FREE advertising and BUY their music. We need a government with some balls to stand up to these guys, before it's to late. They need to realize that people playing music like this, or making their own video on youtube to a song, is not bad but GOOD. Once all the old people in the governments and industry die and take all there ignorance of technology (other stuff too) with them, I be leave the world will be a better place.

     

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  10.  
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    Nate (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:58am

    Re: Re:

    Or a loud car stereo...

    I would imagine that the owner operator of the venue would be responsible so the local government should be charged for allowing their music to be heard.


    And then maybe the local government would be more proactive about keeping the noise levels down! I hate loud cars...

     

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  11.  
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    Tyanna, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 6:21am

    I'm getting married next summer, and the venue I chose broke down the pricing for me. There was a SOCAN fee on there. When I asked what that was about, I was told that b/c I would be playing music from my ipod at the reception I needed to pay the fee to, and I kid you not, 'provide the artist with some proceeds of their performance.'

    Wait, what? I bought a CD of 100 classical music pieces. I've already paid for the music. But b/c my guests will be listening to the CD, not just me, I have to fork over extra money. And luckily there is no dancing! That would have been extra.

    Also, I highly doubt Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi will be getting any of the royalties....

    Stupid nonsense.

     

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  12.  
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    Chris-Mouse (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 6:27am

    an entire new market for an indie band?

    You know, this could be an entire new market for an indie band looking to get some exposure. Create a CD of original work suitable for gymnastics, then market it to gymnastics clubs with a license that allows for unlimited use as an acompanyment to the gymnastics. This would be a win for almost everyone involved. The gym gets music at a reasonable price, and no risk of lawsuits. The band gets plenty of exposure, and probably more money than they would get from a collection agency. The only loser would be the collection agency itself, and somehow I don't think anyone else involved would even care.

     

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  13.  
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    Dave Holt, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 6:34am

    Pay up for music

    by the same token on hearing unwelcome, disturbing music it must be possible to hold the sellers of that music responsible for the unwanted intrusion of the peace and therefore be sued by persons so grieved. Some of the crap being roared publicly over boom boxes is deafening and malicious.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 7:02am

    I really need to start creating public domain music CDs and selling them dirt cheap to places hit by the extortionists.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    I can see your logic, unfortunately the cords required for personal music players would be a HUGE safety concern when it comes to gymnastics.

     

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  16.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re:

    There was a really interesting post on Gizmodo today regarding the fudging of royalty numbers by the recording industry. I've never read anything that made me want to support stealing from the labels more than that story. Mike, I think you should repost it here so we can discuss it since this is a forum for that topic.

    You mean this story we wrote yesterday?

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091201/1957497156.shtml

     

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  17.  
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    Stephen, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 10:54am

    it's not the playing, it's the listening

    I think the recording companies are going after the wrong people. Let's say an aerobics instructor plays a Black-Eyed Peas song in her class. Currently, the recording companies would want to make her or the gym pay. In fact, they should be going after the much larger market of people who are listening to the music illegally, the people in the class, the people who can hear the class in the main gym, and the people who can hear the gym goers whistling the song while going to the car. That would mean a huge increase in profit. And it's constitutional. We have a right to free speech. We do not have a right to free listening.

     

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  18.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Pay up for music

    OK, but so completely unrelated to this story.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Over and over again the story comes down to the same thing: the collection agencies get a lot of management fees and a lot of turnover; the artists get a few crumbs (if they are lucky) and have no idea about what has actually been collected and the public get screwed. On the whole, the CEOs of collection agencies are very well paid, have jobs for life and don't have to deal with any competition pressures at all.

     

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  20.  
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    Michael Mayzel, Dec 8th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    SOCAN Fees

    Rarely has idiocy gone as far as it has with SOCAN requesting fees for buskers and gymnastics clubs.
    This typifies how the world got to where it is...

    Michael Mayzel

     

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