Restaurant Owner Ordered To Pay BMI $30,450 For 'Illegally Playing' Four Unlicensed Songs

from the the-riaa's-statutory-claims-now-seem-almost-reasonable dept

Most reasonable people would agree that the RIAA's incredibly high statutory fees for infringement are ridiculous. Of course, this is why reasonable people aren't allowed anywhere near the royalty collecting process. BMI, on the other hand, is right in the middle of the royalty racket and has just wrapped up a successful lawsuit against Fosters, a North Carolina restaurant. For all its hard work "protecting songwriters," BMI will be receiving $30,450 for four "illegally played songs." In addition, Fosters has been ordered to pay $10,700 in legal fees.

According to BMI, the royalty collection agency made numerous attempts to collect a yearly fee from Foster's (currently $6,060), but had no success:
Broadcast Music Incorporated sued Fosters and claimed in court documents that it called the restaurant 56 times and mailed 29 letters. BMI says Fosters ignored its requests to get a license to play music.
"We've been attempting to resolve this for two years now," said Robbin Ahrold, BMI's vice president of corporate communications and marketing. "It is our obligation when we sign an agreement with these songwriters to be diligent and do what we can do to collect their royalties."
Fosters' owners have declined to comment on the situation and the filed documents only represent BMI's side of the story. However, reading through the filed communication, an interesting fact jumps out. BMI began sending communication regarding the restaurant's lack of proper licensing back in September of 2009, but it wasn't until May of 2010 that BMI even bothered to visit Fosters to verify that the business was actually playing unlicensed music. (From page 32 of the PDF.)
Due to your lack of response, BMI found it necessary to have our music researcher conduct our own primary research into the music use [sic] at your business. That music researcher visited your business and confirmed that you are in fact publicly performing music which would require a public performance license.
So, let me get this straight: BMI, out of the blue, starts sending letters demanding payment for music licenses. Restaurant owner logically wonders why he should pay someone he's probably never heard of over $6,000 a year in order to have music reach his diners' ears. BMI continues on like any other collection agency, sending letter after letter demanding payment. Owner still figures this is some sort of quasi-legal shakedown and checks into his options. (The letter on page 31 of the PDF begins with "I understand that you are licensed, or are considering licensing with another performing right [sic] organization and are questioning the need for a BMI Music License.") Only after failing to get Fosters to write them a check for its "services" does BMI even bother to see if it's barking up the right legal tree.

To make matters worse, even if BMI was successful in extracting a "music license" fee from Fosters, there's nothing preventing ASCAP or anyone else adding to the restaurant's Accounts Payable folder. And while Fosters may no longer be the target (the restaurant closed recently for matters "unrelated to the lawsuit"), BMI's shakedown attempts are still ongoing. Despite BMI's claims that "lawsuits are rare" (undoubtedly, they prefer settlements), this statement paints a much different picture:
[BMI] has sued Alley Cat and Andrew Blair's, both in Charlotte, Sharpshooters Sports Bar in Jacksonville, Forty Rod Roadhouse in Mint Hill and White Owl Tavern in Mooresville. WRAL News found a total of 38 suits filed across the country this year.
Of course, BMI has this story posted at its website, touting it as a report that "explores the value of music and the costs of infringement." It also plays up the Herculean effort it took to mail 29 nearly-identical letters (a close look at the filing reveals multiple copies of the same letter) and make 56 phone calls over a 17-month period. There's no mention of the fact that BMI seemed to have little interest in verifying that it had a valid claim against Fosters until the restaurant refused to cut them a $6,000 check.

At the end of the day, a Pyrrhic victory is still a victory, no matter how much goodwill gets destroyed in the process. It always helps with the collection cause when a case goes your way. It makes those legal threats just a bit more threatening, and you can't properly "protect the copyrights of your songwriters" without the legal guns to back it up.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Mr. Smarta**, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Just another place...

    They should come out to my state. There are restaurants, bars, and shops everywhere that play CD music all day; most of it modern. These places are everywhere! All they do is buy a CD (or several) and someone either burns a CD with only the good songs, or they keep switching CDs when done playing. And I seriously doubt they pay those royalty costs. Some of the owners I know definitely don't.

    I remember with people at ZIA records used to buy used CDs from customers, burn them to mp3 format to a personal computer, then repackage the CD to put on the shelves used. What ever came of that? Nothing.

    Not really a big deal, seeing as how nobody cares.

     

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      hobbes, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

      Re: Just another place...

      arizona eh?

       

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      Pablo, Apr 12th, 2014 @ 1:43pm

      Re: Just another place...

      People is broking law every day until they are catching. Other are doing the opposite way. They pay the royalty and enjoying the music. 50% are wrong doing eventually they will be catch by the law. The other 50% follow the rules and it is enough for the music and all the business anyone like to do .

       

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    Aki, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    Yay, Job Stimulus in progress!

    Excellent, job stimulus for lawyers and collection agencies as all those non-compliant businesses are shut down! And employment agencies to help the chefs and servers look for new jobs (that don't exist because restaurants can no longer afford to operate with an ambiance that people enjoy).

    And think of all the big $3.00 checks the artists will receive, who can then afford 1 can of beer for future inspiration! Of course they'll have to buy that beer at a 7-11 (that doesn't play music for the shoppers), because the bar will have closed due to music royalty costs.

    Oh well. Maybe the Federal Government will start opening "Obama Bars" and "Michele Health-Approved Restaurants" as the next stimulus program.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:06am

      Re: Yay, Job Stimulus in progress!

      "Oh well. Maybe the Federal Government will start opening "Obama Bars" and "Michele Health-Approved Restaurants" as the next stimulus program."

      They should call them "Republican Bars" since Republicans voted to modify copyright to allow this misuse of power.

       

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        Chosen Reject (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re: Yay, Job Stimulus in progress!

        While this is true, you are leaving out the other side of the story, which is that democrats did the same. Unfortunately, copyright expansion has very much been a bipartisan affair.

         

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      Fred, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

      Re: Yay, Job Stimulus in progress!

      Or you could just play royalty-free music, because nobody cares who made the song playing in the back of the bar as long as it sounds good.

       

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    Overcast (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:22am

    Not really a big deal, seeing as how nobody cares.

    Yeah, the only possibility is that someone might hear it, like it and buy it...

    Can't have that!!!

     

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      TCBloo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:33am

      Re:

      The problem with this is that even if people do buy the CD, BMI will only make like $15 per CD and the artist will probably take like $.05 of that. Now, if they sue everyone in sight, BMI will make like $6k if they settle and $30k if they win the case. The best part is that the artist won't see a fucking dime!

      Also, use the "reply to this" button next time please.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:38am

        Re: Re:

        I don't think you have a very good understanding of what BMI is or songwriting/recording economics.

         

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          TCBloo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you saying that BMI is not a record label? I don't know for sure since I haven't looked into it. Regardless let me rephrase to try and fit your fucking standards [Edited parts in CAPS]:

          The problem with this is that even if people do buy the CD, THE RECORD LABEL will only make like $15 per CD and the artist will probably take LESS THAN $.05 of that. Now, if they sue everyone in sight, BMI will make like $6k if they settle EACH YEAR and $30k if they win the case. The best part is that the artist won't see a fucking dime!

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Well, I'm not him, but yes, he's saying that BMI is not a label. And he's correct. EMI is a label.

            It's stuff like this that makes all the ranting at "record labels" by the people around here seem so silly. It's quite clearly a case of having a hammer (hatred for labels) and seeing everything as a nail (BMI is a collection agency for songwriters and composers, not a label. They're not the RIAA, either).

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Are you saying that BMI is not a record label?"

            Yes. BMI is a performing rights society. This means it is an agent for numerous songwriters that issues licenses to people publicly performing their members' songs, collects licensing fees for those licenses, and distributes such fees to its members.

            I'm going to go ahead and let you rant about things you don't understand now.

             

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          Eugene (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah, tell me about it. TCBloo is clearly being waay too generous about how much money the artist receives.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

        Re: Re:

        Almost all of the royalties BMI and ASCAP collect go to the artists. If you don't know the difference between the RIAA and BMI/ASCAP, you should not be commenting in this tread.

         

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          ltlw0lf (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Almost all of the royalties BMI and ASCAP collect go to the artists.

          Almost all of the royalties BMI and ASCAP collect go to the artists that paid their membership dues. You have to register with BMI and ASCAP before you receive a share.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            well, yeah (although that "and" should be an "or" between BMI and ASCAP)

             

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              Any Mouse (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              How do you respond to them collecting royalties on songs from non-members, who they should NOT have the right to collect on? If they collect, then need to pass it on to the artist, regardless if they are a member or not. Otherwise, it should be fraudulent behavior and treated as such.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:46pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                They don't collect royalties on songs from non members. Their licenses are not song-by-song based. They give you a blanket license saying "you can play any song in our catalog for one year in exchange for X dollars."

                 

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          Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Almost all of the royalties BMI and ASCAP collect go to the artists."

          Bullshit. 16% is kept by these collection companies, the rest goes to the top 200 performers in the US. Meanwhile, they're shutting down the places that the younger artists would need to get a name for themselves.

          " If you don't know the difference between the copyright cartel and the MAFIAA, you should not be commenting in this tread"

          FTFY

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'd say 84% is "almost all."

             

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              Jay (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That's a disingenuous statement. What I said, is that 16% goes to the collection agency.

              Now, the rest of that money goes disproportionately to the top 200 artists currently in the US.

              Smaller acts aren't even heard by BMI, so they go for the maximum, disperse it to the ones that were heard, and again the smaller bands are given pennies on the dollar unless they get a hit. If you want to look at a Ponzi scheme, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC seem to run it pretty great.

               

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          Karl (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Almost all of the royalties BMI and ASCAP collect go to the artists.

          The majority of the money BMI and ASCAP collect go to songwriters and publishers. Usually it's about a 50/50 split, depending on your publishing deal.

          And, they only go to certain songwriters and publishers. Because the PRO's have no way of monitoring whose songs are played in live venues, the royalty payouts are calculated according to radio play.

          In essence, it takes money from venues, and gives it to the 1% of major label songwriters who are played on the radio.

          An example. Say you're running a punk rock venue in Bumfuck, Indiana. Some of the punk bands do Minor Threat covers. Because Minor Threat is with BMI, that venue has to pay royalties set by BMI (and therefore has less money to pay the bands that play there).

          But the only radio stations in or around Bumfuck all play classic rock and Top 40. So, how much of those royalties that the punk venue pays, actually go to Minor Threat?

          Not a penny. On the other hand, people like Jay-Z and Robert Plant certainly get a cut. So do their labels - since the publishers for that 1% tend to also be the labels that signed them.

          Now, BMI is far better than ASCAP in this regard (they use actual radio playlists to calculate royalties, instead of "sampling" and a labyrinthine "weighting" system). But they're set up in essentially the same way: they take from the poor, and give to the rich.

           

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        NICK, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 4:50pm

        Re: Re:

        this really blows!!! we have a live band in the bar once a week for 4 hrs or 5 and now i get a bill that i need to pay $3,500. WTF is this. thought live band we don't need to pay....

         

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    TCBloo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:27am

    When you buy a CD or a song off of iTunes or something like that, aren't you buying a "license" for the song?

    Can someone expand on this?

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:33am

      Re: Plastic

      Wait, I thought when you bought music you didn't get any rights to the music, just the piece of plastic.

      iTunes doesn't sell plastic... just bits.

      Oooh! I know, you're buying a little bit of electricity in the form of binary ones and zeros which will be encoded to your hard-drive (iPod, whatever) but you have absolutely no right to listen to it without paying massive licensing fees!

      Unless you listen in secret and tell nobody, I suppose.

      ;-P

       

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        DOlz (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:22am

        Re: Re: Plastic

        That's wonderful! Now when someone has their iPod turned up so loud I have to listen to their music, instead of asking them to turn it down, I'll tell them I'm reporting them for public performance without a license and let BMI take care of it.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:33am

      Re:

      No. Buying a CD, mp3, etc. does not give you a license to publicly perform the song.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:36am

        Re: Re:

        Since you are so smart, define public performance.

        That should be easy, right?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's not easy, as the term is not defined in the Copyright Act.

          However, performing a song in a for-profit restaurant that doesn't fall into certain square feet carve-outs certainly fits the definition.

          But what in the world does that have to do with the prior poster's question?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I forgot, the Copyright Act has separate definitions for performance and to perform a work publicly:

            "To “perform” a work means to recite, render, play, dance, or act it, either directly or by means of any device or process or, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to show its images in any sequence or to make the sounds accompanying it audible"

            "To perform or display a work “publicly” means —

            (1) to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or

            (2) to transmit or otherwise communicate a performance or display of the work to a place specified by clause (1) or to the public, by means of any device or process, whether the members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times."

            Actually, that was easy.

             

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              BOB, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So if I play a CD of music I bought at work, and people around me who are not "family or family's social acquaintances, am I violating any licensing agreements?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Not sure about a licensing agreement. That would depend on the terms of the agreement.

                As for the public performance right, maybe so. That's why, for example, a lot of restaurants don't sing "Happy Birthday," but some other birthday song. I think it's hard to define the contours of what constitutes a public performance in every specific instance.

                 

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                nasch (profile), Aug 31st, 2011 @ 6:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                So if I play a CD of music I bought at work, and people around me who are not "family or family's social acquaintances, am I violating any licensing agreements?

                The collection agencies say so.

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No that is ambiguous is not enough.

              If music coming out of a family bus trailer in a trailer park is heard by others is that a public performance, will the owner of the trailer park be required to have a license to cover its clients uses of music for which he has little to no control over it?

              Is people going to have to pay licenses if they do a picnic in a park and have a radio on?

              Since being an individual I make part of the public any thing that I hear could be construed as a public performance no? Some judges used that to stop video rental stores from having video players inside their stores.
              Churches need licenses? they are all close acquaintances there mostly.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                religious services actually have a special exclusion I think, but I haven't looked at the details in a while.

                 

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                  Karl (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:54pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  religious services actually have a special exclusion I think

                  Yup. It's in 17 USC 110(3).

                  Also:
                  Is [sic] people going to have to pay licenses if they do a picnic in a park and have a radio on?

                  Believe it or not, ASCAP tried to say something similar. They claimed that cell phone ringtones constituted a "public performance," because the ringtone was heard in public whenever someone answered their phone.

                  Luckily, the judge shot that down.

                  Keep in mind this is the same organization that went after Girl Scouts for singing campfire songs.

                   

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            PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 8:59am

            Usually 3000 sq ft

            Usually, the "cut-off" is 3000 total sq footage for the next level BUT that doesn't let the 10 x 60 foot coffee shop get by paying nothing. AND that's just BMI..

            In South Carolina, the most ANTI-UNION, one-sided contract state in the UNION, the SC Resturant Association and its members PARTNER with BMI to offer vendor discounts, and all sorts of neat perks where if taken advantage of, takes care of almost the entire amount of the basic yearly licensing fee. Which is around 335-ish less 10 per cent if paid in full LESS another 10 per cent for being a member of the above organization IF you have an average of one to two shows a week in up to a 200 seat venue.

            SO, if you've can't pay LESS than a dollar-a-day each month you have live music, you've got some REAL cash-flow probs already. BUT going back to the "Dixie Don't Pay" attitude, it's usually the BIG resturants who claim (Put on your BEST Foghorn Leghorn accent now)..

            "I've NEVAH he'rd of NO B...M....I...SO it doesn't exist and I's RE-FUZE to pay no carpet baggin' SKA-LA-WAG from Yahn-Kee'Ville"..

            Uh...The music services are now based out of Nashville btw,.

             

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          Planespotter (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          From PPL UK

          What is a public performance?

          A public performance occurs whenever music recordings are played outside the domestic or family circle. Whenever a music recording is played in a commercial environment, even if only one person can hear it, it becomes a public performance and a fee is payable to PPL.


          So I'm assuming similar to the US.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No it is different here.

             

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            Gwiz (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Whenever a music recording is played in a commercial environment, even if only one person can hear it, it becomes a public performance and a fee is payable to PPL.

            Not even sure there has to be even one person. Wasn't there a case where the collection society made a horse stable pay up for playing music for the horses? My memory a bit fuzzy, but I thought that was in the UK.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:14am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think, at least for movies, if the audience is above like 25 people(???), it's considered a public performance.

           

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        TCBloo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:43am

        Re: Re:

        Ok, what constitutes a public performance?

        Say I'm having a Kegger with 50+ people over and I play one of their songs. Would I risk?

        What if I was charging $5 for a cup?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There are a lot of exceptions, and I haven't really looked at them enough recently to give a really good answer, but I'd say yes, there is some risk in that situation. I don't think you're likely to get sued unless one of the society's thinks you (a) have some assets to satisfy a judgment and/or (b) thinks you're going to continue doing this on a regular basis.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            ON the other hand, you could argue that your hypothetical is not a "place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered."

            Obviously, there is a big gray area here.

             

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              HothMonster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Very grey, unless a horse is listening. Then you owe BMI money

               

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              Ikarushka (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 11:17am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The bigger gray area that embedded into a law, the more harm this particular law inflicts to a society, hence there is a threshold: once crossed, this law should be abolished for good.

              So why these gray areas consistently being cherished? The answer is that grey is the color of greed.

              I'm not aware of any ambiguity occurrence being exploited for any reason other than claiming something above fair.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                If you can write me a just law with no gray areas, I'd be surprised.

                If you don't like gray areas, you must *hate* fair use.

                 

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                  Ikarushka (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "MPAA logic award" is waiting for you, my friend.

                  Did I say "no gray areas"? I'm not so stupid... reasonably sized gray areas are inevitable, even more I don't want to live in a robotic world of black-and-white laws and zero tolerance policies. But when almost entire law is a huge gray area, I question its usefulness to society.

                  To put my credo in one sentence,

                  Good law is better than no law at all is better than bad law.

                  My definition of a good/bad law is when its usefulness to society overwhelms harm inflicted to it and vice versa.

                  Copyright is a bad law in its current form.

                  Fair use is indeed a handicapped concept, but "hating" it as a concept does not translate to the hatred of fairness, which you are trying to imply.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I am certainly not trying to imply hatred of fairness. That's quite a stretch, dude.

                    But fair use is perhaps the "grayest" of gray areas (multi-factor balancing tests often are). Using your prior logic, it would seem you think fair use is around because of greed and would like to see it abolished.

                    I suspect that is not really your desire, but I thought it highlighted the flaws in your sweeping pronouncements.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:47pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      You mean like copyright?
                      With multiple factors to decide if infringement occurred?

                       

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Say I'm having a Kegger with 50+ people over and I play one of their songs. Would I risk?

          What if I was charging $5 for a cup?


          Are you just letting any general person in your town into the party? Or is it just open to your friends?

          But honestly, selling cups at a kegger is illegal looong before you get to concerns like music licensing. Do you have a permit to dispense alcohol? A permit to sell it? Are you violating any health codes? Do your "bartenders" have food handling permits (ice is food, by the way) Is anyone who has consumed alcohol also serving it (that's very illegal, even if it's you serving yourself) Are you checking IDs? Do you have sufficient security? Is your neighborhood zoned for these types of things? How loud is your party? Did you get permits for that?

           

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            Prisoner 201, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The more laws and regulations, the better!

            You are hereby fined for violating 23-35-D; Questioning an Authority Personel With Ironic Undertones.

            And no, it is not 1984, citizen, it is 2011. Please adjust your timepiece and report to the nearest Educational Facility at 06:00 tomorrow with a 65/d in triplicates.

            Now move along or I shall have to arrest you for 64-22-G/12; Loitering With A Sour Expression.

            Or possibly 85-43-E; Public Display Of Rebellious Frown.

            Have a safe day, citizen.

            *Ding* There are 12 new laws in your inbox, click here to get up to date with the latest restrictions!

             

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            Pianoman, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 1:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            He said cups, not alcohol...duh duh

             

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          PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 10:13am

          For a private party

          NO, you shouldn't have to pay since it's a "private event/houseparty"..IF you were doing this say weekly OR even monthly (regular basis) then I'd say you're probably at risk of local authorities bustin' your chops do to a bar turning you in..

          Reason I know this, my friend with her house concerts had to finally pay a small "promoters fee-based" license..She's not a cheapskate shiester however and came from Massachussetts where people are raised to "pay for what they use" (Unlike Dixie where the Plantation/Slave Wage Mentality is still the unfortunate Rule)

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:35pm

        Re: Re:

        Define public.

        I'm as an individual are part of the public do I playing music in my house to my friends not constitute a public performance?

        I know ASCAP tried and failed to argue that having your window open and playing music was a public performance.

         

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:41am

      Re:

      No, see, you only have a license for certain situations*. If you want a license for other situations* you have to get it elsewhere. And don't even think about playing it in another situation* cause that's totally a different license you need.

      *each situation detailed in the license agreement**, which runs in at 58 to 192 pages of dense legalese that would take a highly qualified team of lawyers weeks to decipher, and they'd still probably not fully agree with another team of lawyers paid for by the copyright holder.

      **each license agreement may be revoked and/or changed unilaterally by the copyright holder any time they feel like it, including during litigation***

      ***assuming litigation is even allowed under the license agreement, which it probably isn't

       

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      Fred, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:14pm

      Re:

      You're buying a licensed copy, not an actual license.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2011 @ 7:36pm

      Re:

      no to redistribute, by the same token it's technically illegal to have your buddies over for the game without the express written consent of the nfl

       

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      SKM, Oct 19th, 2011 @ 10:21am

      Re:

      Usually those licenses are for you to listen at 'home' or personal licenses. Restaurants I think are categorized as public places, so public 'broadcasting' 'requires' different licensing model. It's all effed up in the music industry!

       

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      Dan, Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 7:21am

      Re:

      It has been explained to me that when you purchase a song by buying a cd or on itunes etc. you are only buying a personal license to listen to it. There are some ways of buying cds that give you a public licence from what I understand but have no first hand experience with.

      Dan

       

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      me, Jan 10th, 2014 @ 9:28pm

      Re: cd

      dont know if any one has answered you but: when you buy a cd - your buying a small iicense to play it privatly in your home or car. its a nonbroadcast liecense. when you play it in public makes it a totally different deal. then you need a broadcast licesnse. and sorry for the spelling.

       

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      Gina, Feb 13th, 2014 @ 6:08pm

      Re:

      No. Absolutely not. You are buying the "private performance" rights, not the right to make money, directly or indirectly off someone else's copyrighted material.

       

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        nasch, Feb 13th, 2014 @ 8:42pm

        Re: Re:

        You are buying the "private performance" rights, not the right to make money, directly or indirectly off someone else's copyrighted material.

        Making money is not an exclusive right reserved by copyright law.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:30am

    "even if BMI was successful in extracting a "music license" fee from Fosters, there's nothing preventing ASCAP or anyone else adding to the restaurant's Accounts Payable folder"

    Of course there is. The restaurant could stop publicly performing music it needs a license for.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      Then ASCAP would go after them for unpaid previous performances, and as proof would offer up the fact the restaurant paid BMI.
      After all, they wouldn't have paid unless they were guilty... ;-)

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

        Re: Re:

        Based on my personal experience with
        ASCAP and the facts of this case, I think this is unlikely. But reality need not be involved when the goal is snark, I guess.

        They don't sue unless they are pretty damn sure they are going to win. They know that by having evidence (i.e., personal investigators or some other documentary evidence).

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          clarification: I have personal experience dealing with ASCAP folks, NOT the facts of this case.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Which is almost a certainty, since I don't see them needing a strong proof of anything, they just send in some goons that make a report and nobody contest those reports.

          How many people do you know maintain an audio recording of their daily lifes and can use that to refute the claims of ASCAP agents?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I don't think it's fair to just assume that people you don't like are liars, but to each his own.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:32am

      Re:

      Would seem the definition of "performing" is well out of whack in the law when all these establishments are performing is the act of flicking a switch, basically.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:32pm

      Re: The day the music died

      Translation: Stop playing music period!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Other than just being anticopyright in general, I don't get the big beef with this story.

    A company was publicly performing songs without a license from the songwriters or their agent, they ignored all attempts to work out a license agreement, they got sued, and they lost.

    Is the beef that BMI send a letter before sending an agent to personally inspect the store? That letter neither "demanded" payment nor accused the company of playing BMI music (did you read it?). BMI had good reason to send the letter based on others' reports of the company publicly performing music, and did the smart thing by sending a personal investigator before filing suit.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:41am

      Re:

      Right. Some restaurant got busted after numerous attempts to work out a deal. Mike, of course, had to FUD it out somehow since, oh my God, it involves someone enforcing their IP rights. He's just so desperate lately that these silly arguments are the best he can do. Funny how he thinks "piracy is not OK," yet he'll defend the pirates 'til the day he dies.

       

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        Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re:

        Mike, of course, had to FUD it out somehow since, oh my God, it involves someone enforcing their IP rights.

        No, I FUDded it out, so I'd at least like to be able to harvest the insults directly.

        To answer both of you:

        s the beef that BMI send a letter before sending an agent to personally inspect the store? That letter neither "demanded" payment nor accused the company of playing BMI music (did you read it?). BMI had good reason to send the letter based on others' reports of the company publicly performing music, and did the smart thing by sending a personal investigator before filing suit.

        Yes. That is part of "the beef." BMI heard that this restaurant was playing music without a license. Based on this report (from who? -- do people just go into restaurants and hear music and then send a letter out to royalty collection agencies under the assumption that the business owner doesn't have the correct license? The story behind this would be equally interesting.), BMI started sending letters demanding that Fosters secure a license. Since these licenses aren't free, it's a "demand for payment."

        Only after several months had gone by did it finally investigate on its own, and only after Fosters indicated it was seeking licensing elsewhere (letter on May 11th).

        Yes, the "smart thing" to do would be get your facts straight before heading to court, but considering the circumstances, it appears BMI only did this "investigation" to solidify its case, rather than to verify the information from this mysterious "report."

        Now, I have to ask you: did you read it?

        Right. Some restaurant got busted after numerous attempts to work out a deal. Mike, of course, had to FUD it out somehow since, oh my God, it involves someone enforcing their IP rights. He's just so desperate lately that these silly arguments are the best he can do. Funny how he thinks "piracy is not OK," yet he'll defend the pirates 'til the day he dies.

        I think that most people, generally speaking, are not aware of BMI, ASCAP, SESAC and any other number of acronyms and their services. Small businesses who get phone calls from a load of letters demanding that they pay thousands of dollars for turning on the radio or hosting live bands probably comes across to them as some sort of scam.

        I would think that Fosters' owner, when suddenly presented with a bill for $6,000 did everything he could to work around it, like any business owner would. From the correspondence available, it looks as if he actually made effort to point out where he thought he was exempt and tried to find cheaper licensing. I don't think these are evasive acts, but rather a rational response to the situation.

        Unfortunately, BMI, ASCAP, et al are not going to take "no" for an answer and, because of how they have set up their businesses, will find themselves in possession of funds from people who did something as presumably innocent as fire up the radio or play CDs in their establishments. Most people who are not direct beneficiaries of these funds (and even some that are) don't find this "service" necessary or even logical.

        And I'd like to hear you explain how turning on the radio, playing a CD or hosting a band is "piracy."

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Your posts sound so much like Mike, it's hard to tell. But your level of outrage is amusing, considering that you quoted but glossed over the important:

          "Broadcast Music Incorporated sued Fosters and claimed in court documents that it called the restaurant 56 times and mailed 29 letters. BMI says Fosters ignored its requests to get a license to play music."

          85 attempts to resolve the issue out of court (and likely for a very low cost), ignored by the business owner.

          You can bash BMI all you like, but perhaps you want to bash the shop owner who ignored all these attempts at contact.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Do you hurry up and pay every email or letter that comes to you demanding thousands of dollars for something you might never have heard of?

            Floating a lot of checks to unjustly displaced Nigerian princes lately?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              When your argument rests on conflating 29 letters and 56 calls with "every email or letter," you might want to reconsider your argument.

              If I get numerous such communications, I take a minute and research what the hell is going on. Either this guy didn't (which is no excuse), or he did and thought he could get away with it (which is no excuse).

              If you just don't like copyright law, that's one thing, but this example really shows how patient BMI was more than anything.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:53pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                It just shows that people should stop using music really.

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:55pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No.

                I get any amount of letters demanding money for something with no proof and no contract and no knowledge of anything they're claiming, they go in the circular file I keep under a desk and put out for trash collection every week.

                You want paid for something, you'd better damn well pony up evidence that I actually owe it.

                 

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:28am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "you'd better damn well pony up evidence that I actually owe it."

                  Which they did.

                  At any rate, I wouldn't recommend your policy of willful ignorance to anyone.

                   

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            Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            85 attempts to resolve the issue out of court (and likely for a very low cost), ignored by the business owner.

            I encourage you to read the filing. Many of those 29 letters are duplicates. And BMI is fudging a bit with its claim that Fosters ignore its requests. Fosters didn't pay them, but there's indication that there was quite a bit of communication back and forth (for awhile, anyway) but since it didn't result in $6k+ in BMI's pockets, it's like Fosters never responded at all, apparently.

            And as for this:

            ...and likely for a very low cost

            $6,000 a year isn't really a "low cost," especially if it seems to be something you shouldn't need to pay for.

            You can bash BMI all you like, but perhaps you want to bash the shop owner who ignored all these attempts at contact.

            Thanks, I will. I won't be bashing the shop owner because I don't believe BMI provides the sort of service that's actually worth $6,000/year. Fosters is a restaurant, not a radio station or a DJ-oriented dance club. And even there I'm being generous. I think the right of first sale (in terms of DJing) should take precedent. And if it's live band playing "original music" (according to Fosters' claim), then BMI shouldn't even still be sniffing around for a cut of the action.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 11:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Tim, let's ask the obvious question:

              Would the Pizza place lose $6000 a year of business if there was absolutely no music in the place?

              Would the Pizza place make the same amount of money if there was no music?

              Music is part of the atmophere in almost any restaurant, bar, or establishment, and it is integral to the success or failure of the place. Without it, the place would be incomplete, or not right. More so in a place like this, which looks like quite a large establishment, I have a feeling that the music is fairly loud, and the place ran as "pizza and bar" rather than just food.

              But hey, let's not let reality get in the way of bashing BMI!

               

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                Prisoner 201, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "But hey, let's not let reality get in the way of bashing BMI!"

                Actually that sounds fair, since the IP holders (be they collection agencies, labels or whatever) never let reality affect the figures they demand in lawsuits, licensing or claims of damages.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Also... perspective back in place... that $6k was for 4 songs as far as I can tell. They sent someone to check it out and found 4 songs that evidently needed their licensing for. Now, if it were my business I'd simply stop playing those 4 songs and continue with my business.

                  Hey, you don't want me to play those? Sure, no problem, there are any number of other countless options for me. In fact, if only 4 of the songs I play in my establishment are an issue then I've obviously got plenty of other stuff to fill the background silence with. Is there some value to those particular 4 songs that makes them completely invaluable to my business? Nope, none at all.

                  The only impact not playing those songs in my business would then be to remove those songs from ever being heard by any of my customers in my establishment. Does that have business impact on the restaurant at all? I'd say no. Does it have possible impact in NOT creating a possible sale in the form of an interested listener? Certainly.

                  Summary, you want me to not play 'em, sure. Sorry you lost out on sales due to your short term greed. *shrug*

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Now, if it were my business I'd simply stop playing those 4 songs and continue with my business."

                    This guy should have stopped playing BMI music, I agree.

                     

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                      Gwiz (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:03pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      This guy should have stopped playing BMI music, I agree.

                      I doubt that would work with these collection societies anyways.

                      They'll just tell you that HAVE to pay anyways, just in case their music MIGHT get played. At least according to some of the stories I have heard on this subject.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:41pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "I doubt that would work with these collection societies anyways.

                        They'll just tell you that HAVE to pay anyways, just in case their music MIGHT get played. At least according to some of the stories I have heard on this subject."

                        Based on my personal experience dealing with ASCAP and SESAC, as well as the the facts of this case re: BMI (i.e., they sent an investigator who confirmed BMI music was being played before filing suit), I think you are wrong.

                         

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                          Prisoner 201, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          The amusing part of course being that they demanded money before sending an investigator.

                          So yeah, I can totally see them demanding money for songs that *might* be played.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:50pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            They did no such thing. They simply stated that he did not have a license allowing him to play BMI music. They did not say he had played BMI music or owed him any money, and certainly did not "demand" money.

                             

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                              Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:23pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              They've done that to other businesses. This one is no different.

                               

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                              Prisoner 201, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:01am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              "According to BMI, the royalty collection agency made numerous attempts to collect a yearly fee from Foster's (currently $6,060), but had no success..."

                              So yes they wanted money way before they sent their investigator to check if he was even playing any BMI music.

                              Did you even read the OP?

                               

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                          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:55pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          And they could only find four instances, did the investigator spent a month there? was it only a day?

                          How do we know the agent was not lying is there safeguards to assert his honesty?

                          Yah right LoL

                           

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                          Gwiz (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:14pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Based on my personal experience dealing with ASCAP and SESAC, as well as the the facts of this case re: BMI (i.e., they sent an investigator who confirmed BMI music was being played before filing suit), I think you are wrong.

                          I really don't recall which OSACA (Official-Sounding Acronym Collection Agency) is was, I tend to lump them all together anyways.

                          To be fair, the "pay just in case" stories had to do with places that have open mic kind of platforms.

                           

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    You said: " that $6k was for 4 songs as far as I can tell."

                    Nope, that is not right, that is part of the FUD that Tim is trying to put out there. The 4 songs in question are what was found during a short survey of the music played in the establishment, likely done one a single visit. Since it is unlikely they spent 8 hours a day for year in there to check, the 4 hours were during the sample people (likely a couple of hours, someone can correct me if wrong) and as such, there is extrapolation.

                    If you play 4 songs in 2 hours, and you are open 14 hours a day, you play 28 songs per day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year... a little over 10,000 song plays by that sample alone. That sample could be high, might be low. We don't know.

                    BMI's licensing is based on size of the establishment and type. I suspect if the owner had communicated with BMI, the license would have been lower, or could have worked with BMI to figure out what music is covered, and to avoid playing that music by removing it from their internal playlists.

                    As for the rest of your rant, while it is hard to prove, I suspect that more pizza and beer was sold because there waqs music in the establishment than songs sold because people heard the song there. Whatever marginal benefit might come to the copyright holder pales when compared to the income of the restaurant as a result of having "good atmosphere".

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:51pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Nope, that is not right, that is part of the FUD that Tim is trying to put out there. The 4 songs in question are what was found during a short survey of the music played in the establishment, likely done one a single visit. Since it is unlikely they spent 8 hours a day for year in there to check, the 4 hours were during the sample people (likely a couple of hours, someone can correct me if wrong) and as such, there is extrapolation."

                      Extrapolation...and you accuse Tim of FUD.

                       

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                Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Would the Pizza place lose $6000 a year of business if there was absolutely no music in the place?

                I wouldn't think so. The music may add atmosphere, but I doubt patrons who went for the food would walk out if music wasn't playing.

                Would the Pizza place make the same amount of money if there was no music?But hey, let's not let reality get in the way of bashing BMI!

                Well, let's not let your perception of BMI as some sort of paragon of virtue get in the way of the ridiculous reality of public performance licensing.

                 

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                  Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Frick. A glitch ate half my comment.

                  Would the Pizza place make the same amount of money if there was no music?

                  It's at this point that you'd like us to get all speculative and grant that, yes, music would help with atmosphere and etc. The problem isn't so much with the music. I will fully grant that music helps build atmosphere. However, unless this is a music-first business, I don't see how anyone can honestly feel that BMI deserves payment for its "contribution."

                  Yes, I know the public performance laws are on the books, but this only explains why BMI is entitled to whatever fees it can extract. And that "why" has nothing to do with BMI adding some sort of value and everything to do with public performance overreach.

                  I don't think anyone could look at a new restaurant and declare that music will make or break it. I also think that most people would look at this situation and wonder why an outside group is asking for money for music that was already paid for, whether it's a radio broadcast, piped in with the cable or residing in a DJ's bag/laptop.

                  For most people, the logical thought is that the music has already been paid for and that should be that, especially in the case of background music for a restaurant. But of course, it's never that simple. Someone, somewhere, is always looking to get just a little more money out of the same piece of music.

                  Music helps create an atmosphere. BMI does nothing other than show up after x number of months and demand payment. The value BMI adds is absolutely nothing. The proprietor already had music on hand. It wasn't like BMI brought him a selection of 6.5 million tracks to use as he'd like in exchange for $6,000/yr. He would still have to pay the cable company or satellite radio or house bands or DJ or buy the CDs/mp3s himself on top of paying BMI.

                  It's rent-seeking behavior that most business owners will view as a "necessary evil" if they're feeling especially gracious.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "However, unless this is a music-first business, I don't see how anyone can honestly feel that BMI deserves payment for its "contribution.""

                    Lol.

                    My house isn't a "windows-first" business. I don't see how anyone can expect me to pay for the contribution of the windows company!!

                     

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                      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Honestly: what is BMI's contribution?

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:42pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        They make it easier for songwriters to license their works to a broader market, and easier for those performing music to get licenses that cover a broad array of works.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:58pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          I think he wants to know their contribution to society not to a minority group.

                          Besides I don't understand why people should get paid for past works when nobody else gets paid that way.

                          When secretaries and cooks start receiving residuals for their contributions then I will agree with these absurd scheme that is called copyrights.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:34pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            If it were your way McDonalds could buy a breakout hit from a small band for $0. 99 on itunes and advertise that you could hear it in their restaurants across the county for free. Copyright is an imperfect system of preventing exploitation of artists. If artist's works had no protection artist's would be less inclined to record and share their work because in doing so they would lose all control of it.

                            Example: right after Johnny Cash died a company wanted to use "Ring of Fire" to advertise a hemorrhoid creme. Copyright meant Cash's grieving wife could say no.

                             

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                              JMT (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:56pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              "If it were your way McDonalds could buy a breakout hit from a small band for $0. 99 on itunes and advertise that you could hear it in their restaurants across the county for free."

                              Great strawman. Not once has anybody mentioned advertising their background music, so your hypothetical is nonsense.

                              "Copyright is an imperfect system of preventing exploitation of artists."

                              And yet record labels have a long and inglorious history of using this imperfect system to exploit both artists and the public.

                              "If artist's works had no protection artist's would be less inclined to record and share their work because in doing so they would lose all control of it."

                              You know that's a load of BS but nobody expects you to admit it.

                               

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                            Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 5:09pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            The reason why we musicians "get paid that way" is becuase our jobs are different from yours. We don't just work for one company, so we don't get one paycheck every 2 weeks like you do. Our "paycheck" is pretty much whatever we earn from selling albums, gig/show sales or getting paid a single flat amount of money to do a project. (by project, I mean something like being hired to do a score for a movie or video game) So it's not really ridiculous that we get payed royalties or have copyright around.

                            People like you drive me crazy in arguments...you don't bother looking up facts and just spew whatever bullshit comes to mind. Maybe if you actually bothered to google the music industry or how musicians make money, you probably would have figured out all the stuff I just told you yourself.

                             

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                              nasch (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 9:10pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Both arguments are flawed IMO. He's saying you shouldn't get royalties because not everyone else does. You're saying, more or less, you should get royalties because that's how it is. The question ought to be whether the copyright system that allows you to enforce collection of royalties results in a better outcome for the whole society.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 9:58pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                I'm not saying it's just how it is. All I was saying is that things like royalties are one of a musician's income streams. I don't really see how "the whole society" is harmed in any way because of copyright. When someone works their ass off to create something, they should also have the right to legally protect it from someone else who might steal it or claim the idea as their own. And I'm not just talking about music here; I'm pretty people like the author of a book wouldn't want their story stolen by somebody else.

                                If you like the music you are listening to, you should let that composer or artist get those royalties (instead of bitching about how everyone else doesn't) so they can keep making more music. This shit isn't free to make after all.

                                 

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                                  nasch (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 5:41am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  I'm not saying it's just how it is. All I was saying is that things like royalties are one of a musician's income streams.

                                  How is that different?

                                  I don't really see how "the whole society" is harmed in any way because of copyright.

                                  It's hard to understand something when your livelihood depends on not understanding it.

                                  When someone works their ass off to create something, they should also have the right to legally protect it from someone else who might steal it or claim the idea as their own.

                                  We were discussing copyright, not theft or plagiarism. I've never heard anyone claim theft and plagiarism are not a problem.

                                  This shit isn't free to make after all.

                                  Your argument presumes that copyright and royalties are the only way to fund music creation, which is false.

                                   

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                                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    "How is that different?"

                                    Let's see here. Most people that have "normal" jobs get one paycheck from the ONE company they work for every other week, which equals ONE income stream. Maybe if that person has a money making hobby or two, that's two more. A musician could have more than 10 or 20 of these depending on what they are working on at the moment. Example: One of my theory professors regularly plays gigs and does musical odd jobs like copyist work and arranging. That right there could be at least 5-10 income streams depending on how many gigs and odd jobs they have going on at the moment...some teachers even have up 10 or 15 students ON TOP of all of that, which means that many more paychecks. You name one "normal" job where someone working for a single company gets more than 5-15 paychecks on a REGULAR BASIS and maybe I'll believe you when you say it isn't different.

                                    "It's hard to understand something when your livelihood depends on not understanding it"

                                    Lol. That doesn't answer my question. Tell me HOW society is harmed if an artist/composer wishes to utilize copyright laws to protect their work from theft and plagiarism. Because I really don't see what the problem is with that. If you work to create a great piece of creative material, you should also have the right to legally protect it. I'm sorry some people would love for every bit of entertainment to be free, but it doesn't work that way when people have to work their ass off to make it.

                                    And really? Musicans don't need to understand copyright laws in order to make a living? That's pretty damn funny. If anything, it's the opposite. It would be pretty damn stupid for someone like a composer for example, to be hired to write for something like a video game without knowing who retains the copyright and if that said copyright allows the composer to profit off of the sales of their music.

                                    One thing I will agree with though, is that copyright can be ridiculous sometimes. (Yes RIAA, I'm talking to you here) I agree the record companies shouldn't be able to sue for bajillions of dollars just because someone is pirating a few songs for their own personal use, although I also have to say that profiting from piracy should be a crime. People definitely shouldn't be allowed to pirate/buy one copy of a cd or a game and burn copies with the intent to sell them.

                                    "Your argument presumes that copyright and royalties are the only way to fund music creation, which is false."

                                    Ok, I should have been clearer there...lol. I know those aren't the only ways to fund music creation. But you can't deny that it's at least a decent chunk of money, and maybe even a huge chunk for someone who manages to get played on the radio all the time. If people are gonna argue that royalties should be done away with since it's free advertising, (which it is...not gonna argue against that fact.) then there should be some kind of playlist at the business playing music where consumers could check it out to know who was the artist/composer of that song they loved so much.

                                     

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                                  nasch (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 8:14am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  (replying up higher to avoid the comments getting too narrow)

                                  Let's see here. Most people that have "normal" jobs get one paycheck...

                                  You're still just explaining how things are, not explaining why we should have copyright and royalties.

                                  Tell me HOW society is harmed if an artist/composer wishes to utilize copyright laws...

                                  I'm not going to go pore through all the research, but here are some ideas.

                                  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1474929
                                  http://observatory.designobser ver.com/entry.html?entry=15078
                                  http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/310
                                  http://www.techdirt.c om/articles/20090406/1527374409.shtml
                                  http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110914/01111015943/owners- old-abandoned-hotel-threaten-guy-who-photographed-it-with-copyright-infringement.shtml
                                  https://torr entfreak.com/i-dont-care-about-your-profits-and-it-enrages-me-that-you-think-i-should-110911/
                                  http: //authorsguild.org/advocacy/articles/authors-3.html

                                  I could go on.

                                  Musicans don't need to understand copyright laws in order to make a living?

                                  I didn't say that. I said that it would be hard to understand how much copyright harms society when you're making your living by using copyright. Likewise, if you told me computers are harmful to society, I would have trouble accepting that, in part because that's how I earn my living.

                                  But you can't deny that it's at least a decent chunk of money...

                                  Nobody is denying that, the question is whether that's the best way to allocate society's resources.

                                  ...and maybe even a huge chunk for someone who manages to get played on the radio all the time.

                                  Which is almost nobody, proportionally.

                                  there should be some kind of playlist at the business playing music where consumers could check it out to know who was the artist/composer of that song they loved so much.

                                  That's a GREAT idea. I wonder if anyone's done it (other than with jukeboxes).

                                   

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                                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:32pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    "You're still just explaining how things are, not explaining why we should have copyright and royalties."

                                    You asked me how it's different, so I answered. But whatever...I'll answer your new question. :P (and ignore the fact that you didn't answer mine) The reason why we should have copyright is pretty damn simple if you ask me. If someone can't profit off of their work, there is a damn good chance they won't bother making it at all. (again, not just talking about music here...this shit even applies to stuff like scientific research too!) Yeah, there are always the few who will do it anyway just for the joy of doing it. The majority of people though, will want to make money off of what they are doing. Copyright allows people to profit off of their work, and more importantly lets them be seen as the creator of that work under the law. This is why getting rid of it would make people much less likely to innovate new things. Regardless of whatever that might be, money is needed to research and/or produce a product...and I'm guessing nobody is about to go out and invent something without ever making money off of it.

                                    "I could go on."

                                    Please do. If you think copyright harms society so much, then please suggest a different way people like musicians and inventors can still make a liveable profit off of their work, and protect it from people who might want to steal their ideas while also being fair to everyone. Because alot of people I talk to about this just find copyright unfair for the fact that they have to actually pay $5 or $10 for a digital album.

                                    "Nobody is denying that, the question is whether that's the best way to allocate society's resources."

                                    Society's resources? It's not like the radio stations are taking taxpayer money or demanding you personally fork over money...those stations pay licensing fees out of their own pocket to unions like BMI and ASCAP so they can play anything they want. Not to mention that said unions distribute those funds to the artists under them.

                                     

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                              nasch (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:46pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              (and ignore the fact that you didn't answer mine)

                              What question did you want answered that I didn't answer? I didn't mean to ignore any.

                              The reason why we should have copyright is pretty damn simple if you ask me. If someone can't profit off of their work, there is a damn good chance they won't bother making it at all.

                              That assumes that copyright is the only way someone can profit from their work, which is an assertion that is, at best, unproven.

                              If you think copyright harms society so much

                              Did you look at any of those sources I provided? What did you think of them? Do you think they demonstrate some of the ways copyright harms society?

                              then please suggest a different way people like musicians and inventors can still make a liveable profit off of their work

                              Some ideas that don't rely on copyright:

                              http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/jw513/if_major_broadcasting_companies_relea sed_high/
                              http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110124/01172312783/why-you-should-be-paying-attention- to-kevin-smith.shtml
                              http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091119/1634117011.shtml
                              http://www.techdir t.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20110818/03462515572/response-to-felicia-day-how-video-gets-funded-f ragmented-digital-world.shtml
                              http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2011-07-01-stalder-en.html
                              http://l efsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2011/06/03/from-ricky-wilson-of-the-kaiser-chiefs/

                              I'm sure I can find more if it would help.

                              and protect it from people who might want to steal their ideas while also being fair to everyone.

                              First, it's not possible to steal an idea, and second, exclusive control is the means of copyright, not the end. If we can accomplish the same end with different means with fewer harmful side-effects, then we should.

                              Society's resources? It's not like the radio stations are taking taxpayer money or demanding you personally fork over money...those stations pay licensing fees out of their own pocket to unions like BMI and ASCAP so they can play anything they want.

                              Yeah, and all that money would have gone somewhere else were it not for these systems in place. So is it best to have money in the hands of performance rights organizations, or in wherever the market would decide to send it?

                              Not to mention that said unions distribute those funds to the artists under them.

                              They have a terrible record of distributing funds. They send them only to the top most popular artists, regardless of who's being listened to, and do everything they can to keep as much as possible for themselves. I mean, if you're pro-artist, these guys are really, really not on your side. Unless you're a mega-hit musician.

                               

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                            PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 8:51am

                            Thief?

                            Another Anonymous Coward Wrote on 8/17/2011...

                            "esides I don't understand why people should get paid for past works when nobody else gets paid that way."

                            If it's never performed again, NO, no residuals/royalties.
                            It's like syndicated television though..The studios SIGNED a contract to pay actors, directors, etc. EVERYTIME their work is displayed..Without it, they'd be NO new television NO new music. NO nothing..

                            Sounds like another deadbeat wanting something for nothing.

                             

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                              Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 9:54pm

                              Re: Thief?

                              No point in actually trying to EXPLAIN that fact to people...they just assume we musicians get the same 2 paychecks a month everyone else does so they can justify getting shit for free.

                               

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                                nasch (profile), Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 10:32pm

                                Re: Re: Thief?

                                they just assume we musicians get the same 2 paychecks a month everyone else does so they can justify getting shit for free.

                                I don't think people pirate music because they think musicians are on salary.

                                 

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                                  Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 2:28pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Thief?

                                  "I don't think people pirate music because they think musicians are on salary."

                                  No, but they DO pirate it because they assume "one silly little album" isn't going to hurt the artist. That might be true if it's some A-lister signed to one of the major labels, but a small indie band or composer WILL be hurt by people pirating their $5 album. I bet if people saw just how little their favorite artist makes off albums due to piracy, they would probably be more inclined to stop being a thief.

                                   

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                                    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 2:39pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thief?

                                    Seriously...we don't tell you guys if or how you get paid at your job, so why do you pirates always bitch about a $5 album price or royalties? That is a VERY fair price for an album. But then you'd say "sell stuff that isn't reproducible." Well, what ISN'T reproducible? Idiots upload concerts onto youtube even though they aren't supposed, stickers/badges can easily be reproduced as well, and I'm willing to bet someone could probably bring a artist's or composer's logo to some mom and pop t-shirt printing place and reproduce the shirt.

                                    This problem isn't just gonna be for music anymore in the near future...with the advent of 3D printers, ALL SORTS of companies will have to deal with people just printing off an action figure or something instead of buying it. Yes these printers are too expensive now, but like all other technology they will eventually become cost effective for every day people to own one. So what will the pirates' argument be then? Because you certainly can't use the bullshit excuse of "it's not a physical thing" or "we're doing you a favor by giving free advertising."

                                     

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                                    nasch (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thief?

                                    No, but they DO pirate it because they assume "one silly little album" isn't going to hurt the artist. That might be true if it's some A-lister signed to one of the major labels, but a small indie band or composer WILL be hurt by people pirating their $5 album.

                                    The big label bands get little or nothing from an album sale, and the indies are the most likely to embrace infinite distribution, so it's only a small section of the industry hurt by piracy: independent bands who refuse to adapt to piracy.

                                    Well, what ISN'T reproducible?

                                    You can probably find some examples by searching this site or the web for terms such as "scarce goods".

                                    Idiots upload concerts onto youtube even though they aren't supposed

                                    Watching a concert video is not at all the same experience as going to a concert. I'm surprised you would mention this.

                                    stickers/badges can easily be reproduced as well, and I'm willing to bet someone could probably bring a artist's or composer's logo to some mom and pop t-shirt printing place and reproduce the shirt.

                                    That could be a challenge, but I think many fans are willing to pay for authenticity.

                                    This problem isn't just gonna be for music anymore in the near future...with the advent of 3D printers, ALL SORTS of companies will have to deal with people just printing off an action figure or something instead of buying it.

                                    Yep, they will introduce new efficiencies that more industries will need to adapt to. I predict many companies will fail to see this coming and fail to adapt.

                                    So what will the pirates' argument be then? Because you certainly can't use the bullshit excuse of "it's not a physical thing" or "we're doing you a favor by giving free advertising."

                                    First of all, the argument is not "sell something physical" it's "sell something scarce". There's a difference. Second, why are you assuming this 3D revolution will even be about piracy? While there will be some copyright issues, I would think a much bigger "problem" will be people printing substitute goods instead of buying from a store.

                                    Once it takes off, there will be plenty of people contributing designs to the public domain for all kinds of useful goods. Then what will your argument be? Because you certainly can't use the bullshit excuse of "intellectual property". ;-)

                                     

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                                PappyCaligula, Oct 23rd, 2011 @ 11:31am

                                Re: Re: Thieves and Wages

                                I get exactly what you're saying that musicians are lucky to get their money after the one gig.

                                Mojo Nixon's "Where the Hell's My MONEE?" sums it up well..

                                I might seem a Judas, being of Southern Bred and Born BUT if you're using something without paying for it, you are breaking the LAW as in STEAL-ING!!!..

                                 

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                        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:41pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        They provide no service to the restaurant; they provide a service to the artists. The restaurant pays for the right to play the music and BMI sends that money to the artist (in theory.)

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:50pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          The owner of the patent on the window design is paid for the use of it-analogous to copyright. The installer of the window is paid for labor- analogous to live performance. It is a very similar even though you're trying to argue that ideas and corporeal objects should be treated exactly the same.

                           

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                      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      More to the point:

                      Do you pay the windows company x amount of dollars per year for every year that you have the house?

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Not if we agree to another arrangement. That doesn't really address the ridiculousness of your prior comment, does it?

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:59pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Why not, do you pay royalties to the window manufacturer?
                          Have you ever heard of somebody having to pay window manufacturers for using their windows without permission?

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:48am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Did you read my comment? Why would I pay something other than what I've agreed to with the provider?

                             

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                              Gwiz (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 8:08am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Did you read my comment? Why would I pay something other than what I've agreed to with the provider?

                              Funny, in the case we are talking about the restaurant owner did not originally agree to anything and BMI provided nothing. So where is the correlation to your example?

                               

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                      HothMonster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      do you pay a yearly fee to someone so you can keep your windows? or did you buy them once and are free to use them to keep out all kinds of weather no matter how many people are in your house? If so i want to talk to you about your floor licenses

                       

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:21am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I have a feeling...

                Wow, don't let solid reasoning get in the way of bashing someone who's rightfully bashing BMI.

                 

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                nasch (profile), Aug 31st, 2011 @ 6:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Would the Pizza place make the same amount of money if there was no music?

                Do you really decide where to have pizza based on whether they play music? I couldn't even tell you which pizza places in my town play music and which don't.

                Oh wait, now you're going to tell me the music subconciously contributes to my impression of the restaurant's atmosphere, right?

                 

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                HJ, Jan 23rd, 2013 @ 12:49pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No, b/c bashing the creeps at BMI is my favorite pastime! Gee, is there going to be an organization to go after libraries next? I mean, they actually publicly display books, and you can sit there and read books...

                Why shouldn't the author get a cut for all their hard work? And what about loaning the books for (gasp!) no charge???? The author definitely needs a cut of that b/c that's lost book sales!!!!

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "$6,000 a year isn't really a "low cost," especially if it seems to be something you shouldn't need to pay for. "

              Maybe not for you. But they weren't asking you. Do you know anything about this company? It might be a very low cost in comparison to their receipts. They also might have offered to settle for less than $6,000 a year.

              Anyway, the rest of your comment makes clear that this is just an "I don't like copyright" story. Nothing to see here. Move along.

               

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                Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Maybe not for you. But they weren't asking you. Do you know anything about this company? It might be a very low cost in comparison to their receipts. They also might have offered to settle for less than $6,000 a year.

                Nope. It looks like one of its letters offered to let Forsters settle for less than the $40,000+ of the lawsuit. BMI was willing to just take $12,000+ for 2009-2011. (Of course, BMI will be needing another $6k in 2012. And 2013. And etc.)

                Anyway, the rest of your comment makes clear that this is just an "I don't like copyright" story. Nothing to see here. Move along.

                I think this has more to do with your failed windows analogy than my antipathy towards BMI.

                 

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            bw, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 3:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            My bar is being shaken down by ASCAP. Their "spy" has clearly NEVER been to my establishment, there are a list of offenses that are simply not true. So their spy is being lazy (never attended), or lying. Sorry for being anonymous, I don't want BMI getting tipped off and shaking me down as well. (no joke!)

            These assholes just keep throwing shit at the wall, something will stick sooner or later. including extortion

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "did something as presumably innocent as fire up the radio or play CDs in their establishments"

          Small businesses all over the place would be super screwed if these companies really went after all of them.

          I can think of over a dozen shops and restaurants in the town I grew up in. If you asked their owners, there is no way they're paying a license fee to play cds and the radio for their customers.

           

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          HothMonster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 11:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Based on this report (from who? -- do people just go into restaurants and hear music and then send a letter out to royalty collection agencies under the assumption that the business owner doesn't have the correct license? The story behind this would be equally interesting.)"

          I imagine some minimum wage employee with a list of all business licenses issued for a given area and a list of all the people paying BMI from the same area and he has to make the 2nd list look like the first.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "BMI started sending letters demanding that Fosters secure a license. Since these licenses aren't free, it's a "demand for payment." "

          From my cursory look at the letters, they did no such thing. They said "you don't have a license needed to play BMI music." They didn't say "you played BMI music and now you owe us money and must pay or get sued."

          Of course, AS IT TURNS OUT THEY DID PLAY BMI MUSIC!

          "I think that most people, generally speaking, are not aware of BMI, ASCAP, SESAC and any other number of acronyms and their services."

          That may be true, but people in the restaurant industry certainly *should* be aware, and I think are more aware than the average bear. And they sure as hell ought to educate themselves if they get a million letters informing them of BMI's existence and role.

          "I would think that Fosters' owner, when suddenly presented with a bill for $6,000 did everything he could to work around it, like any business owner would."

          I understand that you want to imagine hypothetical facts that make your good guy look good and the big, bad copyright owners look bad, but why don't we stick to actual facts? I see nothing indicating the guy tried to work with BMI or avoid using BMI works. Can you explain what you're talking about when you say "it looks as if he actually made effort to point out where he thought he was exempt and tried to find cheaper licensing?" Thanks.

          I never called anything piracy, so I'm going to try to stick to the topic at hand, instead of unrelated tangets, ok?

           

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            Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            They said "you don't have a license needed to play BMI music." They didn't say "you played BMI music and now you owe us money and must pay or get sued."

            Why would BMI say that if it wasn't trying to collect fees? And, as it turns out, the restaurant was playing BMI music. Of course, BMI hadn't verified that at this point. I don't see how informing someone that they need to pay for a license is different than demanding money.

            "Can you explain what you're talking about when you say "it looks as if he actually made effort to point out where he thought he was exempt and tried to find cheaper licensing?" Thanks."

            P. 14 "You point out the music performed in your organization is all original and you are questioning the need for a BMI Performance Agreement."

            P. 17 "Since we have been unable to resolve the issues that prevent the completion of your BMI Music License, we are returning your license and check to you."

            P. 25 "Thank you for your request of BMI musical works..."

            P. 31 "I understand you are licensed, or are considering licensing with another performing right organization and are questioning the need for a BMI Music License."

            I never called anything piracy, so I'm going to try to stick to the topic at hand, instead of unrelated tangets, ok?

            You didn't. I was responding to the other AC who posted in response to your original comment.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If you're going to pretend BMI said something they didn't say, then I'm not going to continue discussing this with you.

              The facts were that the company had performed BMI music. BMI had reason to believe this, but didn't say the company had done this, or owed money, before sending an investigator, but informed them they were not allowed to play BMI music without a license.

              So, BMI says nothing inaccurate, as far as I can tell, the other company does ("we only play originals, dude"), and yet BMI is somehow the bad guy in your mind.

              Makes perfect sense.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Of course BMI had reason to believe they played their music even if the owner tried really hard to use another collection agency and the problem lies in the fact that licensing of music is so messy there is no single authoritative database that can be used to get a clear picture of how the environment looks like, one artist can multiple contracts, can grant numerous licenses and nobody can really tract that without an authoritative database.

                So the owner could have believed in good faith that by using another licensing agency was ok and not really seeing the need to pay anything to another one.

                This is a form of fraud against the public that is what it really is.

                 

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:15am

        Re: Re:

        Still too fucking dumb to realize who actually wrote the article? Figures.

         

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      djheru, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

      Re:

      I think that most people's beef is that the don't believe that playing a recording of a performance by an artist is the same as "publicly performing songs".

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:37pm

      Re:

      Is the scheme involved that is appalling.

      BMI, ASCAP and others collect money don't distribute it fairly, are controlled by jerks and have this incredible power to make anyone who enjoys music feel pain.

      Maybe it is best if people just stopped using music altogether or find legal free alternatives that those idiots don't control.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:43pm

      Re:

      Big deal think of every business you know that plays music.

      Now imagine every single one having $30,000 is public performance rights per year.

      How many business are left that play music after that?

       

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      HJ, Jan 23rd, 2013 @ 12:39pm

      Re:

      Yeah, next they'll be suing libraries on behalf of authors for publicly displaying books, and loaning them out.....

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:38am

    BMI began sending communication regarding the restaurant's lack of proper licensing back in September of 2009, but it wasn't until May of 2010 that BMI even bothered to visit Fosters to verify that the business was actually playing unlicensed music.

    So they probably had reason to suspect/know that the infringement was happening in September 2009. And that's why they began sending communication. But rather than investigate this and report facts, you go right into the FUD.

    Only after failing to get Fosters to write them a check for its "services" does BMI even bother to see if it's barking up the right legal tree.

    You don't know what evidence they had before they sent in their investigator. But why let facts get in the way when you're FUDing stuff out?

    To make matters worse, even if BMI was successful in extracting a "music license" fee from Fosters, there's nothing preventing ASCAP or anyone else adding to the restaurant's Accounts Payable folder.

    Pure, faith-based FUD.

    Despite BMI's claims that "lawsuits are rare" (undoubtedly, they prefer settlements), this statement paints a much different picture: [BMI] has sued Alley Cat and Andrew Blair's, both in Charlotte, Sharpshooters Sports Bar in Jacksonville, Forty Rod Roadhouse in Mint Hill and White Owl Tavern in Mooresville. WRAL News found a total of 38 suits filed across the country this year.

    38 lawsuits, sure, but out of how many would-be licensees? Without knowing the total number, it's hard to prove that 38 is not "rare." Again, you don't bother with facts when spreading your FUD.

    At the end of the day, a Pyrrhic victory is still a victory, no matter how much goodwill gets destroyed in the process.

    Of course, you don't explain how it's "Pyrrhic." God forbid you actually have real arguments.

     

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      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:03am

      Re:

      God forbid you actually have real arguments.

      And yours are...?

       

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:34am

      Re:

      So they probably had reason to suspect/know that the infringement was happening in September 2009. And that's why they began sending communication. But rather than investigate this and report facts, you go right into the FUD.

      How does this change the fact that BMI didn't directly investigate this until months later, when it appeared that Fosters wasn't just going to cut them a $6,000 check? Are you claiming that Sept. 2009 comes after May of 2010? Is that where I've screwed up my reporting?

      You don't know what evidence they had before they sent in their investigator. But why let facts get in the way when you're FUDing stuff out?

      And you know what evidence they had? Please share. The documents vaguely indicate a "report."

      Pure, faith-based FUD.
      Riiiiiiight. Because no one would ever charge anyone more than once for the same piece of music.

      38 lawsuits, sure, but out of how many would-be licensees? Without knowing the total number, it's hard to prove that 38 is not "rare." Again, you don't bother with facts when spreading your FUD.

      You're killing your own argument. If you don't know the total number, it's hard to prove that 38 is "rare."

      Of course, you don't explain how it's "Pyrrhic." God forbid you actually have real arguments.

      The second half of that sentence explains how it's Pyrrhic.

      Do you honestly think that at some point a long history of aggressive tactics, shakedown-esque behavior and providing a "service" that most people would find extraneous, if not completely ridiculous, will never come back to bite these performance rights collection groups in the collective ass at some point? Or are you just expressing your confidence in BMI's continued operation as a part of the industry that is best known for attempting to shakedown the Girl Scouts, people who listen to the radio at work, declaring one-to-one streaming and cellphone ringtones to be "public performances," and forcing TGIFriday's to sing that horrendous license-free birthday song?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Why should they need to send a personal investigator before contacting the restaurant?

        I have yet to see you explain this.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Proof is one reason off the top of my head.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Why do they need proof of use of BMI music to send a letter that doesn't claim the restaurant was using BMI music?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:06pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Because they know how convoluted licenses are and that probably they probably have some of their music there even if the owner believed in good faith that using the list provided by the other agency was correct.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Wat?!

              Why are they sending a letter at all then?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:51am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Because they suspect he is using their music (turns out they were right) and want to let him know that a license from a single agency won't cover their music.

                 

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          Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          See comment above mine.

          If I'm in the business of legitimately claiming licensing fees, I'd make sure I had my facts in order. I wouldn't just start asking for fees and only make the effort to get proof when it became apparent I wasn't going to be able to collect.

          In other words: 1. Get proof. 2. State claim. Seems more logical and less underhanded.

           

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            HothMonster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Im not sure we have lien rights, but lets foreclose on that house.....

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Please point me to the letter where they claimed entitlement to licensing fees before determining that the company was using BMI music.

            I may have missed it. thx.

             

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              Any Mouse (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Page 6 of the linked document. From 2009, before they'd even verified that BMI music was being played on the premises. The tone of the letter, and the WORDS, threaten lawsuit unless they get a license.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:58am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                That letter does not say he has used BMI music or owes them money. It does say BMI *may* refer the case to attorneys for *appropriate action*

                Turns out the appropriate action was to investigate, which showed the guy was lying, and then follow up with another letter.

                THEN, they sued after he ignored those follow ups.

                It amazes me the lengths to which people will go to find fault with any copyright owner.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:00pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  He was lying, yes, of course, he couldn't possibly have either not known it was BMI covered music or thought he was covered by other licensing, of course, yes, it's so simple to just KNOW things, like he was lying, it's all so obvious.

                  It's beyond me why anyone would deal with such business-hobbling douchebaggery as this at all.

                   

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    Steve, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Why even have them?

    I think it also highlight how ridiculous it is you need to pay someone a license fee for playing their music in public. To be quite honest, would they prefer their music not be heard?

    I see it as advertising... Someone is not going to come to a place of business just to hear a specific song every day because thats where they heard it and like it...they'll go and buy the CD. You could just as easily find music that does not require a license, then patrons at that bar/restraunt would buy the other artists music.

    tl,dr: Let people play music for free in any commerical space as it more than likely generates sales for the artist or don't and lose out on potential sales.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:04am

      Re: Why even have them?

      It is a kind of advertising for them, but remember the music publishing industry is kind of spoilt compared to the rest of the world.
      Getting their titles played on the radio is a major advertising boost for them but they still get radio stations to pay them for it despite the fact that even though it is now illegal, when they really want an extra boost they will pay the radio station to give them the airplay, and then presumably charge them for doing so.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:01pm

        Re: Re: Why even have them?

        and the best bit is of course, when a business has a radio on for workers or patrons to hear.
        Then the industry not only gets paid for the free advertising the radio station is giving them by the radio station, but they take another bite from the workplace as well despite the fees being charged to the radio station being based on the estimated audience which includes workplaces.

         

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      DandonTRJ (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:33pm

      Re: Why even have them?

      The way the copyright holders see it, the music is added value to the business, value created through use of their copyrighted works. They would rather be compensated for that use than forego license fees and hope the "advertising" somehow makes up for it. Like it or not, public performances are part and parcel of the copyright bundle; the fact that businesses continue to play copyrighted music when they don't have licenses [triggering BMI/ASCAP action] shows an implicit recognition that the real value of the performance is to the business rather than the artists they're "advertising" for. Like you said, the businesses could easily find other music to play, and they're welcome to do that. But if they want to play in the copyright owner's yard, they need to abide by the owner's rules.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:05pm

        Re: Re: Why even have them?

        Yup, that's how they see it.

        Let's hope the wallpaper, flooring, paint manufacturers, garden centres, statue makers, table and chair manufacturers etc. don't try and see it the same way.
        Licencing could really get out of control.

        If a restaurant, store or other workplace is playing cd's then they bought the cd's and the equipment to play them, I cannot think of a single good reason for them to pay a licencing fee for having the gall to use them.

         

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      Foster Hagey, Sep 1st, 2011 @ 11:51am

      Re: Why even have them?

      No it isn't advertising. The same way eating a BigMac isn't an advertisement for McDonalds. You got to pay for that shit.

      If the music is part of the experience of the restaurant, then it needs to be paid for. If the music wasn't important to the experience then the restaurant should have just put on the radio. The public performance license is already paid for at the broadcasters level with radio.

      BMI has never lost a case. They don't go to court unless they are justified.

       

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      Taylor, Dec 29th, 2011 @ 10:57am

      Re: Why even have them?

      Exactly. That's completely logical, however BMI wouldn't be able to make millions of dollars in lawsuits, so that notion doesn't interest them.

       

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    Carl Barron_agpcuk (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Plain stupidity fines so high can't afford to pay

    More than just excessive profit, just plain stupidity as most people can't afford the fine.

    Signed Carl Barron Chairman of agpcuk

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:07am

    Can you have the radio playing in a restaurant/store without paying a fee?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

      Re:

      there are certain exceptions for establishments below certain square foot thresholds, but generally you gotsta pay up.

       

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    Ikarushka (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Elevator music

    I'm a copyright minimalist, but giving the cruel reality, I don't understand restaurant owners who are risking these type of lawsuits, as well as those who pay ridiculous fees to parasites. Unless it is a themed restaurant, the music there is no different from "elevator music", its goal is to create ambiance, and not necessarily should consist of masterpieces. There are plenty of garage bands who can get the job done for a fraction of fees MAFIAA charge, and both business owners and musicians would be happy: the latter would probably make more money that way...

     

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      khory (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

      Re: Elevator music

      It's because most small business owners have very little to no knowledge of copyright law or music licensing. They are focused on the hundreds of other problems associated with running a restaurant. They think that they can simply turn on the radio or play a CD. And why not? The radio is freely broadcast and they bought the CD.

      When someone comes to them asking for thousands because the played the radio it sounds absurd to them.

      My father owned a restaurant when I was growing up. I think about how he would have reacted if someone had walked in and demanded he pay a license like that. I think he would tell them how crazy that sounds and then physically throw them out the door.

       

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      Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:44pm

      Re: Elevator music

      Or, switch to Jamendo for $80 a year...

       

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    ervserver (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:35am

    RIAA

    I've been sending a bill to RIAA for many months for having their music broadcast from my stereo receiver. It's my receiver and if they insist playing their music through it I demand a rental fee

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:55pm

      Re: RIAA

      I like this idea.

      I am going to start invoicing BMI for whatever I can think of and see how fast they start cutting me checks.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Frankly, I am a bit surprised that BMI endured being "blown off" for such an extended period of time.

     

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    Mike, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    I usually like the techdirt stuff, but this is gibberish. Bars, restaurants, etc. well-know that they need a license from BMI/ASCAP to perform music (or play a CD) in their commercial establishment. Most business or people playing hold music do too (why do you think hold music is usually lame).

    The BMI/ASCAP license fees are a pittance compared to individually licensing the music from artists. This business owner was just stupid.

    Moreover, if he/she really wanted to avoid paying the license he/she was welcome to piggyback on the license of most rental/leased jukeboxes.

    In addition, so what if they sent a whole bunch of letters before sending an investigator? One can suspect a license was need from lots of circumstantial evidence like advertisements, word-of-mouth, etc.

    Finally, the fact it was only over a few songs is not indicative of the overall infringement. It just means they had a rock-solid case on those songs and they were the ones with the right to license it.

     

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      I usually like the techdirt stuff, but this is gibberish. Bars, restaurants, etc. well-know that they need a license from BMI/ASCAP to perform music (or play a CD) in their commercial establishment. Most business or people playing hold music do too (why do you think hold music is usually lame).

      The BMI/ASCAP license fees are a pittance compared to individually licensing the music from artists. This business owner was just stupid.


      If I hadn't been reading Techdirt for 4+ years, I wouldn't be aware of BMI, etc. and its license requirements. I think a lot of people are unaware of this, business owners or not.

      Not being aware of something is not the same thing as being stupid. Check out khory's comment above (which I'm quoting):

      It's because most small business owners have very little to no knowledge of copyright law or music licensing. They are focused on the hundreds of other problems associated with running a restaurant. They think that they can simply turn on the radio or play a CD. And why not? The radio is freely broadcast and they bought the CD.

      When someone comes to them asking for thousands because the played the radio it sounds absurd to them.


      I think this is generally more realistic when it comes to discussing small businesses, especially those who are new to the entertainment field. Of course BMI's fees would be cheaper than individually licensing the music. But NO ONE individually licenses music to play in their establishment, especially if it comes via the radio, or with their cable subscription or in their DJ's record selection. It honestly never occurs to most people that these need a "public performance license." And when someone shows up out of the blue demanding thousands of dollars for something they've already paid for, I can easily see why they'd blow BMI, etc. off for as long as they could.

      Finally, the fact it was only over a few songs is not indicative of the overall infringement. It just means they had a rock-solid case on those songs and they were the ones with the right to license it.

      So, in other words: Four songs = $30,000. It may be that the judge agreed this was indicative of overall infringement, but this is what BMI had and $30,000 is what it's getting for them.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

        Re: Re:

        "If I hadn't been reading Techdirt for 4+ years, I wouldn't be aware of BMI, etc. and its license requirements. I think a lot of people are unaware of this, business owners or not."

        But you're not a restaurant owner, are you. Also, after getting the first 10 letters, you might educate yourself.

        Most of these agencies give their licensees numerous opportunities to work something out before ever suing, just like this case. Someone's supposed ignorance of how the law works in their business is not excuse to begin with, but I have a hard time believing that even you would say such ignorance is an excuse after getting numerous letters explaining the situation.

         

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          HothMonster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Dear Asshole Above Me ^^,

          I work for the American Society for Words and Letters. It has come to our attention that you have not been paying your license fees for using our words, phrases and letters in a public space.

          We are copyright holders for an extensive collection of words and phrases created by an variety of artists over the last 300 years. We hold all phrases coined by Shakespeare (i.e. "Foul play" and "Fight fire with fire"), Voltaire ("Common sense is not so common"), Hemingway ("Courage is grace under pressure")and many phrases you take for granted. We are constantly expanding our catalog and at this time hold rights to such new phrases as "Nyan Cat" and "Streisand-effect."

          Despite owing us 6,000$ for every year you have been able to speak we will happily accept 15,000$ for all past due licenses as long as you are willing to pay next years license upfront.

          We are sure you can appreciate the value of paying for such a license. The most obvious value being we won't sue you for not paying us. We buy up as much of other people's content as possible and even fund the creation of new content just so we can own it forever after it is made. By paying for this license you are allowed to continue using objects of your culture as you see fit.

          Now please bend over.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            See, the problem is that you're full of shit, and I can learn this through a minute of research. So I can safely ignore your BS.

            Similarly, this restaurant owner could have learned (and perhaps did learn) that BMI was not full of shit in a minute of research. So he should not have ignored them.

             

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              Trolls-R-Us, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              the problem is that you're full of shit


              you know, that's really kind of funny cause... you seem to have the same exact problem

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:52pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                If there's anything I've said that's untrue, you're welcome to point it out.

                His statement was obviously, intentionally untrue.

                 

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                  Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:46pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Yours is worse. It falls to

                  "Well, they had to pay for 4 songs and excessive amount"

                  There's no logical basis that the 4 songs harmed the artists, nor that $31K needed to be paid for them. Now the shop is closed and there's no way to collect those funds. If I have to go on, there's so many problems with your argument I'd be surprised if you've read the site in regards to BMI.

                   

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          Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Someone's supposed ignorance of how the law works in their business is not excuse to begin with, but I have a hard time believing that even you would say such ignorance is an excuse after getting numerous letters explaining the situation.

          That's where the part about all the efforts the business owner made comes into play.

          See also:

          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110815/11503015533/restaurant-owner-ordered-to-pay-bmi-3 0450-illegally-playing-four-unlicensed-songs.shtml#c1196

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    It's funny...

    I bet sales would increase drastically if commercial / background music wasn't fee / licensed thus forcing numerous businesses to simply NOT play music at all. It is of course completely conjecture but I would imagine that the more places there were that played your music, the greater the sales for said music would actually be.

    Guess I'm silly that way. :D

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    EXTORTION! plain and simple!

    R.I.A.A. Real Ignorant Assholes of America

     

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    vince, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    re re re

    ok, i kinda actually agree to this one lol

    They sent numerous letters to the owner of the place, all he had to do was reply we dont play music here (which would be odd) and they should have stopped. Would he have prefered they came to his place straight off heard the music and then taken them to court instead of giving them a chance. I used to work in a michelin star french restaurant and they knew you needed a licence to play songs in public an all they played was old french stuff.

    then again that is in england where they make every household pay hundreds of dollars a year to watch free to view tv (tv licence to fund the bbc)

     

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    fb39ca4 (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:07pm

    So movie nights are illegal?

    So those movie days at the public library I went to when I was younger were illegal? And there is apparently a movie night every other week at a park near where I live, they have a giant inflatable screen, and anyone can come and watch, so those must be illegal too. Not to mention the movie night at summer camp...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:54pm

      Re: So movie nights are illegal?

      Those movie nights in the park may very well be licensed.

       

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      Foster Hagey, Sep 1st, 2011 @ 12:12pm

      Re: So movie nights are illegal?

      Those movie nights are usually in public or municipal parks. The City or county does pay a license for all parks in their control, but not on a movie-by-movie individual use basis.

       

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      PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 7:13am

      Re: So movie nights are illegal?

      YES, they were illegal. You get a "single-use" license for copyrighted material. That's why it says at the beginning of a DVD, "NOT for public viewing" (without permission).

      Unless it's public domain, like alot of old cowboy flix, it's a violation without written permission..Mostly movies are on a per screening basis. Example.."Gone with the Wind", in a 200-seat venue still charges 750 bux for the rental AND one showing. Even if the library had licenses from all three services for music, that wouldn't cover a major movie.

      What really pissed me off was when a local small town started showing DVD's for "FREE" at their local park while a tax-paying local theater owner was struggling to make ends meet by charging 5 buck admission. The owner didn't turn in the city for fear of repercussions but I am PROUD I did...AND that crap stopped after that one year!.

      People need to get out of this "free lunch" mentality especially in government towns.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 10:57am

        Re: Re: So movie nights are illegal?

        You should be proud that you did that! That move probably did save the theater owner's business and the jobs of whoever works there. (and in THIS economy, it's damn good some jobs are still there) I certainly wouldn't mind paying 5 bucks to see some of my favorite movies in a theater setting...wish I had a theater like that where I live.

         

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        nasch (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 4:39pm

        Re: Re: So movie nights are illegal?

        You get a "single-use" license for copyrighted material. That's why it says at the beginning of a DVD, "NOT for public viewing" (without permission).

        Not to say you're incorrect, but looking at a content disc is a terrible place to get information about copyright. For example, many CDs were (are?) printed with a message that says you're not allowed to lend it, which is not a right covered by the copyright statute.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:56pm

    Running a restaurant and not knowing about music licensing would be like running a restaurant and not knowing about liquor licensing.

    There's no way the owner thought "What's BMI? I'm so innocent!" when he/she got that first letter. If they were that much of a dummy then there's no excuse for not googling it. Furthermore it isn't like his or her other option was silence. There is no license required for artists to play their own works; if the owner was supporting local artists playing original music instead of hiring cover bands BMI would have had no case. Lastly the argument that the restaurant *might* not have been playing music from the BMI catalog does not hold water; the investigator verified it and only then did BMI sue.

    Playing music in the background of a restaurant is advertising for the artist. However, to expect artists to be grateful for it when it is done without their permission would be like buying a print from a painter, copying it a hundred times, wallpapering your restaurant with it and expecting the painter to be thrilled to hear about it. The restaurant is deriving value from the artist's work and the artist should see a piece of that value.

    The PRO's (BMI and ASCAP) have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to getting an appropriate amount of their take to the appropriate artist. But in their defense their task of collecting for the performance of every song in their catalog used to be completely impossible and nowadays is still logistical nightmare.

    The system is broken but declaring that anybody can use music that an artist poured their heart and soul into for any for-profit purpose is not the solution.

     

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      JMT (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:16pm

      Re:

      Describing background music as a "for-profit purpose" is massively overstating the benefits gained by establishment owner. Do you really think that the fees BMI et al charge are an accurate reflection of the net financial benefit the played music creates? Sounds like another example of overvalued content to me.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:29pm

        If you think it's overvalued the appropriate course is not buying it. God forbid you don't have access to someone else's music eh?

         

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          JMT (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:28am

          Re:

          True, and I don't buy much any more, but my music buying habits are completely irrelevant to this discussion about background music in a restaurant. Try to stay on topic.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 7:46am

        Re: Re:

        C'mon, you just know that everyone going to a restaurant chooses the restaurant on the basis of what radio station or cd's they are going to be playing.

        Even if some odd people don't go to a restaurant for the background music it still helps to create the ambience, in the same way as the décor and furniture do, so obviously it makes sense to have to pay a license fee for people to experience those things.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:45pm

    Quote:
    Six months later, other music copyright companies began calling the Halls and demanding money. Most days there would be three or four phone calls from each company, Hall said. Finally, unable to afford the fees, she had to call most of her musicians -- those who did not play original music -- and tell them they would not be allowed to continue performing.

    Source: http://www.nowpublic.com/ascap_bullying_coffee_shops_over_cover_tunes


    Quote:
    Which they don’t. John Hay, of Phoenix law firm Gust Rosenfeld, has expertise on trademarks and copyrights. The corporate and commercial law attorney explains that these licensing companies are justified in the eyes of U.S. Copyright Law. The chance of a business owner ever winning a lawsuit against ASCAP or BMI is near impossible.

    Source: http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2008/08/license_to_kill_the_music_asca.php


    Quote:
    Last week, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) sent a fundraising letter to its members calling on them to fight “opponents” such as Creative Commons, falsely claiming that we work to undermine copyright.

    Source: http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/22643


    Quote:
    HOW ONE INDEPENDENT MUSICIAN DEFEATED BMI
    It was Memorial Day, and I had just finished the most successful stand of my career on the fringes of the music business. I had been playing acoustic music at a restaurant in the Hudson Valley for almost a year. I was their house musician, appearing on holiday weekends and whenever there was a special event that drew hordes of tourists to the town. I knew that I was in some kind of trouble when the owners, Joe and Kim, asked me to step outside. They did not appear to be angry with me. If anything, they seemed about to cry. "Weíre going to have to stop the music for now," said Kim. Then she asked me if I had ever heard of BMI. I knew that BMI is a worldwide publishing empire that, along with ASCAP, owns the performance rights to "virtually" every song published in the United States. I also knew that their ubiquitous agents demand and collect licensing fees on an annual basis from owners of restaurants, coffeehouses and bars where copyrighted music is performed. "But I didnít sing any cover tunes," I protested. "I just played a four-hour concert of all original and traditional material." "It doesnít matter. BMI is demanding a license even for Irish music," said Kim. "We never heard of BMI before. We don't know anything about it. Would you take care of this for us?" "I'd be happy to," I answered. "I know the origins of every song that I sing." I hoped that BMI would concede my right to sing original and traditional material, and that I would get my job back. Stunned, in shock, I sat down to eat my grilled salmon salad, the best thing on the menu. I told a friend what had happened, and I asked him: "What does BMI stand for, anyway?" "World domination," he said. BMI also stands for "Broadcast Music Incorporated." I found this out when Joe brought me a copy of a letter he described as "threatening." The letter advised Kim of her "need for a BMI license." It claimed that "whatever music you perform to benefit your business, its public performance requires a license." It specifically mentioned Irish music. This was not just one little irate BMI employee trying to make a name for himself. The letter was written by Craig Stamm, Director of General Licensing at BMI headquarters in Nashville.

    Source: http://www.woodpecker.com/writing/essays/phillips.html


    Quote:
    In fact it is probable that a vast majority of ASCAP members never recieve any substantial royalties.

    Source: http://www.woodpecker.com/writing/essays/royalty-politics.html


    Quote:
    "Basically, we don't know," said Dave Ascher, the SESAC Music Licensing Consultant who sent the letters. "To make a long story short, there's no way, logistically, for us to know whether on a day-to-day basis they're playing SESAC music."
    But, just in case, you need to pay up. Of course, rather than doing that, the venues are just giving up on live music, providing fewer places for musicians to perform, hone their craft, and build up a following (and a business model).

    Source: http://blindman.15.forumer.com/a/ascap-closing-down-live-music-venues_post35872.html


    Quote:
    Birds sing, but campers can’t - unless they pay up
    Something is missing at Diablo Day Camp this year. At the 3 p.m. sing-along in a wooded canyon near Oakland, Calif, 214 Girl Scouts are learning the summer dance craze, the Macarena. Keeping time by slapping their hands across their arms and hips, they jiggle, hop and stomp. They spin, wiggle and shake. They bounce for two minutes. In silence.

    "Yesterday, I told them we could be sued if we played the music," explains Teesie King, camp codirector and a volunteer mom. "So they decided they'd learn it without the music." Watching the campers' mute contortions, King shakes her head. "It seems so different," she allows, "when you do the Macarena in silence."

    Source: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/communications/ASCAP.html


    Quote:
    Suffolk bar liable for copyright infringement against music performance watchdog ASCAP

    Source: http://epichoney.net/2009/06/11/suffolk-bar-liable-for-copyright-infringement-against-music-performa nce-watchdog-ascap/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:53pm

    BMI/ASCAP/SESAC are parasites

    A friend of mine bought a bar several years ago. He was not aware of the BMI/ASCAP/SESAC mafia beforehand, but learned quickly. He was contacted by all three agencies fairly soon after he took over the bar. This was most likely due to the companies' doing regular searches of changes in ownership from public business records. When they see a new name on a liquor license, they send out a soldier to collect.

    My friend's bar has a commercial jukebox which is appropriately licensed. He also has a couple of LCD TV screens that I believe are licensed for public use. The part where BMI/ASCAP/SESAC got involved was the stage on the back of the property where he'd have local bands play live music on Fridays and Saturdays.

    My friend has always enjoyed the local music scene and wanted to establish his bar as a destination with a repertoire of popular acts. Even though nearly all the bands play their own material, none of which exists in BMI/ASCAP/SESAC catalogs, the licensing cartel continued to pursue him and threatened legal action if he didn't sign contracts with them. Their reasoning was that occasionally a bad might play an audience request and perform a song that actually was part of their catalog.

    These conversations went on for the better part of a year and as a smart business owner, my friend started keeping logs of which songs were played on which days. He offered to make the logs available to the music mafia and in turn requested that they provide him with a list of songs in their catalogs. He agreed to pay royalties on any catalog song that was performed on his premises.

    It seems pretty clear that he was negotiating in good faith, and recognized BMI/ASCAP/SESAC's right to receive payment for material in their catalogs. However, all three refused to license their material on a song-by-song basis and all three refused to provide him with a list of songs in their catalogs. He would have to either enter into a blanket licensing agreement with each cartel member or face legal action.

    The stack of letters in my friend's office that represents this battle is sobering. He's a small-business owner who's barely keeping his head above water (his Dad helped write the letters) and has no interest in infringing anyone's content. But by having any musical performance at all on his premises whatsoever--regardless of whether those performances generated royalties--he was being strong-armed into paying a few thousand dollars a year to licensing companies that provided absolutely zero benefit.

    He was faced with a choice of shutting down the live music, or agreeing to blanket licenses with the music mafia. In the end, he chose to pay the protection money rather than be run out of town.

    BMI/ASCAP/SESAC are parasites. Pure and simple. They don't sue often since the mere threat of a lawsuit is usually enough to make people pay. The case mentioned above will be trumpeted by the mafia as an example to keep others in line: "Pay us now, or pay the dentist later when we knock your teeth out. It's your choice."

     

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    thought experiment, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:49am

    thought experiment

    Just a quick thought experiment (I know it's not exactly matching the scenario in the story), according to current laws, if the restaurant owner was playing the radio he should have paid for a license. But let's pretend every customer was listening to a personal radio with headphones all switched to the same station, nobody would have to pay anything, despite the fact the exact same number of people would have been hearing the exact same 'public performance' at exactly the same time. Have I got that right?

     

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    Some guy in Raleigh, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 5:57am

    This actually put Foster's out of business. They closed at the beginning of August.

     

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      PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 9:45am

      No it didn't

      Foster's had other problems..This unwillingness to PAY for what they used was symptomatic of the "Suthern'" belief system in getting something for nuthin'. The Phree-Lunch Philosophy=Theft=Plantation Mentality.

      I'm helping to bust venues that don't pay the musician they hire. Just a wee bit of enforcement on my part.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 7:12am

    BMI recently introduced a system that allows performers to submit playlists from their live performances. The playlists are used to send money to the appropriate songwriters and publishers. The system is improving.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:07am

      Re:

      Interestingly, Mike had an article on here about a similar system that tries to track actual performances (might have been from ASCAP), but he viewed THAT as some great offense as well.

      Damned if you do; damned if you don't.

       

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        Jay (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 5:14am

        Re: Re:

        So these corporations have been here for how long?

        And how much are they paying the little guys?

        The system is broken and you still want to defend it?

         

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    Legolas2112 (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:20am

    BMI Vivaldi

    Those are the clowns that got all upset over me mixing Vivaldi's 'Spring' into a video of wildflowers and other spring like things. I would think he's been dead long enough to not really care about royalty checks!

    Publicly playing songs? What about being at the lake and cranking some tunes? What about driving around with your stereo up? Could BMI come looking to sue you for that? Will they come after the makers of amplifiers and speakers for aiding and abetting illegal public performances of music? lol!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 6:14pm

      Re: BMI Vivaldi

      The problem with that probably isn't Vivaldi wanting royalty checks...lol. The dude HAS been dead since the 1600's. xD The orchestra that made the recording though, (and possibly his estate if he has one?) are the people that probably want their money. You can't really blame them...that is probably one of their main revenue streams besides donations and ticket sales. Orchestras don't really have the "let's just sell some cool t-shirts and stickers" option like other musical groups do...not a lot of their patrons would buy that sort of thing. At most of the orchestra concerts I've been to, their version of merchandise was selling season tickets, special programs and cd's.

       

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    BMI must die, Aug 19th, 2011 @ 3:22am

    using their logic

    wouldn't having magazines available in a barber shop also fall afoul of (a) copyright issue? As with music, they are making an item available to someone who did not pay for it and I am not a library... (sorry if I gave a copyright scum an idea)

    What happened to the flat rate the radio station pays to BMI, etc, isn't THAT the licensing fee?

    I have a tiny biz, 6K a year is more than my RENT!

    and what proof does BMI present to verify that they are the legal rights holder? Last I heard, you could not transfer part of the rights, meaning that BMI should be able to do anything with music they want, not just enforce licenses.

     

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      Karl (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 11:47am

      Re: using their logic

      I have to butt in here, because there's a lot of (understandable) ignorance in this post regarding PRO's ("Peforming Rights Organizations," such as ASCAP or BMI).

      wouldn't having magazines available in a barber shop also fall afoul of (a) copyright issue? As with music, they are making an item available to someone who did not pay for it and I am not a library... (sorry if I gave a copyright scum an idea)

      Authors do not have a "performing rights" under copyright law, as songwriters do.

      But yeah, don't give anyone ideas.

      What happened to the flat rate the radio station pays to BMI, etc, isn't THAT the licensing fee?

      Yep. And, if you're a smaller venue, you don't have to pay BMI (or anyone else) for playing the radio. That's by law; the PRO's don't have any say in the matter.

      You will have to pay for "on-demand" music (iPods, jukeboxes) no matter what, since nobody pays performing rights to manufacture CD's or MP3's. (They do pay mechanical royalties to songwriters, but unlike performance royalties, these are statutory rates set by law.)

      I have a tiny biz, 6K a year is more than my RENT!

      PRO's fees are pro-rated according to the size, and type, of the business, as well as what type of music is played (live, jukebox, etc). I'm not sure what BMI charges, but ASCAP's rates start at $300/year, and BMI usually charges slightly less. If Foster's was charged six grand a year, likely they had some live performances going on - the licensing for live music is significantly higher.

      and what proof does BMI present to verify that they are the legal rights holder? Last I heard, you could not transfer part of the rights, meaning that BMI should be able to do anything with music they want, not just enforce licenses.

      PRO's are not legal rights holders. They collect royalties on behalf of the rights holders. They only represent songwriters and publishers who (voluntarily) sign with them; and each songwriter can only sign with one.

      In fact, you owe those royalties to every songwriter whose music you play. But working out royalty rates with every single songwriter individually is a complete nightmare. The PRO's were formed partly to deal with this; one license covers their entire "stable" of songwriters. The other reason, of course, is that if songwriters tried to enforce their copyrights individually, they wouldn't have the ability to do it. So, in a way, PRO's are kind like labor unions for songwriters: they're a tool for collective bargaining.

      In theory, they're not a bad thing to have around. They're much better for artists, for instance, than any of the RIAA members. It's how they operate that is bad and getting worse. Even before "rogue sites" became an industry buzzword, they were generally screwing over the majority of their membership to cater to the Top 40 musicians in their ranks. But since the internet started up, they've really gone off the deep end - shaking down smaller and smaller venues (who they wouldn't have bothered with ten years ago); claiming Creative Commons is "anti-copyright;" etc.

      One of the big issues, of course, is that they go after venues who don't play their music. They basically threaten anyone who runs a music venue, even if that venue only plays avant-garde music with no "songs" to speak of.

       

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        PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re: using their logic

        Here HERE.. Tell these Dixie DeadBeats until they're punkin' heads get the message..

        It's like tipping the Pizza Delivery guy/gal..They risk hide and hair (and use their own gas) because someone is too lazy to do carry-out...If you don't tip, then my question to them is...."How much would it cost for a TAXI to deliver that pizza?"...AND if you don't pay the Taxi driver OR for the meal in a sit-down resturant, YOU GO to JAIL!!!..

        BMI and the other music agencies only sue for monetary compensation. I'd like to see where equipment in unlicensed venues is seized and repeat offenders are jailed!

        Stealing is STEALING..Yea, even in Dixie..

        BTW, I'm helping to "bust" three crab-infested dives right now for music infringement and got my sights on two more..WHY?. Because musicians that play aren't getting paid..AND crooks like these, who profited because of live music NOW...NEED...TO....PAY!!!!

         

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          nasch (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: using their logic

          BMI and the other music agencies only sue for monetary compensation. I'd like to see where equipment in unlicensed venues is seized and repeat offenders are jailed!

          Because that would help musicians a lot.

          Because musicians that play aren't getting paid..AND crooks like these, who profited because of live music NOW...NEED...TO....PAY!!!!

          Who exactly do you think is getting paid by these PROs, the small-time struggling musicians?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 6:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: using their logic

            "Because that would help musicians a lot."

            Well, considering those are the venues that usually refuse to pay a decent amount of money for gigs, yes. It would. There are restaurants and other businesses that will literally try to get away with paying $75 or less for a 3+ hour gig (or even better, some won't pay the musician at all but let them put a "tip jar" on the piano)...get the hell out of here. A fair price for that sort of thing is at LEAST $250-300.

            "Who exactly do you think is getting paid by these PROs, the small-time struggling musicians?"

            The "small-time struggling musicians" are only in that situation usually because they don't bother learning how to market themselves or run a business. (and probably aren't a member of a PRO in the first place, which would explain why they aren't getting paid like you say.) I would know this since an amusing amount of people in my classes think all they need to do to make money is just shred on their axe or play Beethoven in their studio all day! If someone's music gets played often on the radio or tv, or any other medium that is classified as a public performance, the PRO actually does pay them.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 6:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: using their logic

              Another thing I forgot to point out...you are forgetting about the benefits that PRO's give musicians. I'm betting a lot of people claiming the PRO's aren't looking out for musicans don't know about the benefits. In ascap's case, they give members discounts on insurance for health and musicial equpment, just to name a few:

              http://ascap.org/benefits/

               

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              nasch (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 10:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: using their logic

              There are restaurants and other businesses that will literally try to get away with paying $75 or less for a 3+ hour gig (or even better, some won't pay the musician at all but let them put a "tip jar" on the piano)...get the hell out of here. A fair price for that sort of thing is at LEAST $250-300.

              Is there something preventing the musicians from demanding that price? Could it be a simple situation of supply and demand? Is there some reason these rates shouldn't be worked out via a free market?

              If someone's music gets played often on the radio or tv, or any other medium that is classified as a public performance, the PRO actually does pay them.

              In other words, the top half percent of acts. So you do get it.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: using their logic

                "Is there something preventing the musicians from demanding that price? Could it be a simple situation of supply and demand? Is there some reason these rates shouldn't be worked out via a free market?"

                That "something" is just the fact that in recent years, probably thanks to most people getting a lot of entertainment for free by piracy, people have developed the mindset that entertainment should either be free or dirt cheap. Before that, (we're talking not even 5 to 10 years ago here) musicians could still get fair compensation with no trouble at all at live gigs. Now, you have people agreeing on one price, then after the job is done pulling a "I know we agreed on x, but you'll take Y and like it." AFM (musician's union) does have contracts to help with this, but I'm guessing a lot of restaurants and whoever else provides these small gigs don't want to bother with a contract.

                "In other words, the top half percent of acts. So you do get it."

                If somebody REALLY wanted to get on the radio (or even the internet radio) they could as long as they actually knew how to market themselves. That is why people signed to labels are always on the radio...because the labels market that act effectively. But a lot of "normal people" musicians don't want to bother with that, so that's why only the "top half percent" get royalties. Of course you can't get paid royalties if you aren't doing anything to get them in the first place. The benefits though, are usable by every member however. You should look at that link I posted earlier...even if somebody doesn't sign up with the intention of collecting royalties, (as stupid as that sounds...lol) those are some pretty good benefits for a one time $35 fee. That figure is for ascap though...don't know how much bmi or anybody else charges.

                 

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                  nasch (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: using their logic

                  That "something" is just the fact that in recent years, probably thanks to most people getting a lot of entertainment for free by piracy, people have developed the mindset that entertainment should either be free or dirt cheap.

                  OK, still waiting to hear why the market shouldn't set prices.

                  Now, you have people agreeing on one price, then after the job is done pulling a "I know we agreed on x, but you'll take Y and like it."

                  Now you're talking about fraud, which is completely outside the scope of any copyright discussion.

                  If somebody REALLY wanted to get on the radio (or even the internet radio) they could as long as they actually knew how to market themselves.

                  I don't believe you. I think you're completely making that up. Other than small local/college stations playing local bands, I think that is just false - referring to terrestrial radio. Obviously all it takes to get on "internet radio" is to set up a site streaming your own music. But I'll admit I'm wrong if you can prove it.

                  Of course you can't get paid royalties if you aren't doing anything to get them in the first place.

                  Like having your music played at bars and nightclubs? That doesn't really count I guess.

                  You should look at that link I posted earlier...even if somebody doesn't sign up with the intention of collecting royalties, (as stupid as that sounds...lol) those are some pretty good benefits for a one time $35 fee.

                  Then that is great. That doesn't change the royalty payout situation, but apparently some of the money goes to a pretty reasonable purpose.

                   

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              PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 9:57am

              Here HERE!!

              "Well, considering those are the venues that usually refuse to pay a decent amount of money for gigs, yes. It would. There are restaurants and other businesses that will literally try to get away with paying $75 or less for a 3+ hour gig (or even better, some won't pay the musician at all but let them put a "tip jar" on the piano)...get the hell out of here. A fair price for that sort of thing is at LEAST $250-300."

              AND it's usually the richer resturants that are ripping the artists off...Like the one here in South Carolina. Pays ALL his workers sub-minimum, hires mostly cons (including a registered pedophile!) while his extended drunk-ass family EACH, from age 16 up, get a NEW Lexus OR Tahoma EVERY YEAR..Sometimes twice in a year..

              They offer the musicians.....Beer and a "DISCOUNT" on pizza..Wow...

              This is a family the licensing agencies AND US DOL needs to "take down" for about 30 YEARS of ripping everyone off!

               

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                nasch (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

                Re: Here HERE!!


                They offer the musicians.....Beer and a "DISCOUNT" on pizza..Wow...


                If that's such a terrible deal, why would the musicians accept it?

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

                  Re: Re: Here HERE!!

                  "If that's such a terrible deal, why would the musicians accept it?"

                  A professional musician would never take such a ridiculous offer like that. It's the lowballing hobbyists (where the quality of service is obviously MUCH lower than the pro) that will do gigs for a low amount that cause venue owners to do bullshit like that. And if you try to get some of these smaller venues to sign an AFM contract to prevent fraud, they might just tell you to gtfo.

                   

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                    nasch (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 6:00pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Here HERE!!

                    A professional musician would never take such a ridiculous offer like that. It's the lowballing hobbyists (where the quality of service is obviously MUCH lower than the pro) that will do gigs for a low amount that cause venue owners to do bullshit like that.

                    So is that a problem that needs government intervention, or is it OK to let people come to a price?

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 6:06pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Here HERE!!

                      It should be ok to let people come to a price...assuming that price is a FAIR price to all parties involved. But when you have projects like indie video games for example, that will pay everyone else EXCEPT the musician because "the budget ran out," that is when intervention should happen. Maybe not the gov't, but certainly legal action especially if both parties agreed to a price beforehand.

                       

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                        nasch (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 6:30pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Here HERE!!

                        It should be ok to let people come to a price...assuming that price is a FAIR price to all parties involved.

                        Who decides what is a fair price if not the two parties involved with the transaction?

                        Maybe not the gov't, but certainly legal action especially if both parties agreed to a price beforehand.

                        Of course if one thing is agreed and something else is done, that's breach of contract or fraud, but that's a different topic (that you keep bringing up).

                         

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            PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 9:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: using their logic

            Yea, they ARE getting their royalties and that helps promoter MORE original music..More live music, etc.

            As a personal note, it helps to get rid of those god-awful cover bands in red-neck dives (Exclusing legitimate Americana/Country-AND-Western establishments)

            Also, don't most of us wish that Karaoke just "die".?. It has to be licensed as well..

             

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    songwriter, Aug 20th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    copyright vs publishing

    It seems that some of you commenting are not truly aware of what's going on here and are terribly misinformed. BMI is performance rights organization of songwriters and publishers. They are not a record company nor are they involved with them. They collect performance fees for any writer or publisher whose songs have been performed in public places of business. They are not being abusive in any sense of word in this case, they are just trying to protect the artist and publishers they represent from being abused themselves. And unfortunately, this happens a LOT these days.

    Now people who own restaurants have the option of playing the radio for FREE, which a high percentage of them do, play their HD TV's, or to play artists CD's over their PA systems. There is no fee for anyone to play songs from any CD in public UNLESS it is in a place of business that is selling something to the public. This means that as a restaurant, you are playing artists songs to help you sell your products, which also means you are profiting from playing artists music in your establishment. As I said before, they ALWAYS have the option of just playing the radio, but some don't do it because they feel they can get away with it, thereby ripping the artists off.

    To also clarify another fact, BMI has never charged ANY artist anything other than a fee of 3% to collect all performance fees due them. So, every 4 months, BMI sends a check out to each artist for 97% of the fees they collected on their behalf. With record companies, the artists don't see a dime. For artists it just boils down to this, if you own a place you sell food or other products at, play the radio for free because THAT'S your right, it won't cost you a cent, and you'll never hear from BMI or ASCAP. But as a business owner, you don't have the right to use my music to make a profit for yourself, and rip me off by not paying me for the use of my music in your place of business. That's just plain wrong, and those of you on this post should now understand why.

     

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      PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 10:20am

      Re: copyright vs publishing

      Thanks for putting it so succinctly bro'...I will correct one thing however..

      You advertise the BIG GAME on social media at your place, GUESS what?. If you haven't paid for the license(s) to do so, WELL, you're just asking for major trouble from more than BMI

      If you play your personal account XM radio in the resturant..Ditto what I just typed above.

      Solution?. If you're on a really low budget, lease a juke box..You're covered PLUS you make money off of it too..
      Otherwise, just be the BEST resturant/bar you can food/drink/SERVICE-wise. Locate near a major venue and benefit from the crowds at a properly licensed, PROFESSIONALLY promoted/performed event

       

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    Paul, Aug 21st, 2011 @ 8:02pm

    Can the restaurant turn on a radio station? Is this allowed?

     

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      PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 9:31am

      Radio Stations

      Under 3000 sq feet YES, in the kitchen, definately, and usually if it's an alternative station. However, a single-user XM/Siirius account does NOT give you the right to play it. Nor does Pandora OR any of the other streaming stations, free or commercial.

      I know of a resturant that got caught lying using a 14 buck a month XM account (The Folk Channel or whatever it was called) on their main PA system. )

      Their Business Accounts:
      Customer Service: 1-866-596-7040
      Sales: 1-866-596-7044

      Starting at $29.95 a month..Here's Siirius/XM's disclaimer however...
      Don't hassle with royalties, we take care of it for you
      As a service to our customer we take care of royalty fees for legal play Including ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Other commercial music license fees paid for most establishments unless you operate an establishment that charges an admission or membership fee (e.g. a theme park, skating rink, dance club, health club, etc.) or uses music sources other than a receiver not provided by our company (e.g. CDs, DJs, live music, terrestrial radio, etc.). We provide our customers with all of the necessary licensing with all of our business music packages to the following licensing companies.


      BMI...Ascap.....Sesac...

      This rube in South Carolina didn't want to pay an extra 15 bux a month for his XM". NOW because he 1)Lied 2)Now says he just REFUSES to acknowledge BMI's authority, he's facing a suit (and knowing this cretin', the same one who gives beer to DRUNKEN So-called musicians in exchange for actual compensation to talent.)I hope they make an F'n EXAMPLE oh his a** so those "used to getting a free lunch" realize the value of MUSIC to their business and voluntarily call the licensing services and start being "legal"..

      Sometimes you gotta' step on toes..Some people though, you gotta' step on their NECKS...

       

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    Fred Gaspro, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 7:17pm

    BMI

    It seems to me that BMI, like Sony has gotten to big for their "Web Site".
    They should pay heed as the hackers who are now the protectors of the internet might just pick them out and make sure they understand that they are not as BIG as they think they are.

     

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    Kai Lofthus, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 1:10am

    Why does restaurants/bars etc play music?

    Because music attracts customers and creates an atmosphere. The alternative to playing digital music or CD's would be to hire artists and musicians. Wouldn't the bars and restaurants themselves have objections to someone using their premises to do business without buying something to drink and eat as well?

     

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    PappyCaligula (profile), Sep 30th, 2011 @ 4:41pm

    Stealin' is Stealin'

    BMI was only doing what has been THE LAW for almost 100 years.
    But those that claim that they shook down this resturant be warned. You're just like the thiefs (especially in the South) who shortchange their employees in all these "employment at will" states. I am hopeful Ascap and SeSac start hammering down on these club and resturant owners for theft of product.
    A musician is an independant contractor offering you a service. Just like a Plummer OR Carpenter. But in the South, we still hold onto the "Plantation Mentality" ie IF we can find a slave to work for nothing, well that proves how smart we are..NO it just proves you're a THIEF who ain't got caught yet.

    Yea, try pulling some crap like this with the famous "Joe the Plumber" (from politics fame)..

    Personally, it's too bad we can't return to the days where a white collared,pencil-pushing lackey manager trying to pull a fast one on one of his employees got introduced to a healthy dose of "Loading Dock Justice". I once had to do this on one job. Got suspended for 3-days BUT I never had anymore trouble out of that shrimp during my tenure of 11 years there. (We got bought out)

    This resturant was "STEALING off the MUSICIANS Table" and the courts returned a verdict that was "Fair and Just"..

    Yea, that kinda' scares some of you Repugnacrat NumbNuts when a contract cuts the other way (instead of being only one-sided in your favor) don't it?!!!

     

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    PappyCaligula (profile), Sep 30th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

    Taste of REALITY

    Cut and Dried...


    Q:If others perform music in my place of business, can I, the owner/operator, be held liable for copyright infringement?


    A: YES. The Copyright Law of the United States, and subsequent case law, clearly states that the owner or operator of an establishment where music is publically performed is required to obtain the advanced authorization required for the performance of copyrighted music on the premises.

    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

     

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    PappyCaligulat, Oct 2nd, 2011 @ 3:15pm

    NOPE...but...

    Sometimes it bears repeating...In this day and age, especially in the South, we don't "get it". I mean, the "Plantation Mentality" goes way beyond some richie rich's who cheat their employees. When I promoted shows, I always had so-called "friends" hit me up for "free tickets". I mean, I did give comps away but mostly took the "street team" approach with my acquaintances so they could not only watch the show but actually get paid for helping.

    In the so-called Bible Belt, too many hippocrits think they shouldn't have to pay for much. Person across the street from me told me "As long as I've got money to pay my bills I'm happy" BUT when she heard I was having a show, FIRST damn question was "Is it FREE?"...

    The whole philosophy again, especially in Dixie is "If I can get a fool to do it for nothing, WELLLLL, that makes me the smart one doesn't it"?..

    Cheating it stealing ESPECIALLY in the realm of wages!
    Like borrowing your neighbors lawn mower without asking permission. No difference between these club owners trying to "Be Slick".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2011 @ 11:23pm

    To the person that said it isn't possible to steal an idea...lol! If you come up with an idea for an invention, then I go ahead and sneak behind your back and patent it first, how is that not stealing an idea? Or in the case of music, if you wrote a melody and I ripped it off and turned it into my own piece, how is that not stealing either? Just because it isn't a physical object doesn't mean it can't be stolen. Stop trying to justify reasons to get stuff for free...I really don't understand what problem people have with paying 5 or 10 bucks for an album if all the songs are really great. Free isn't fair to all the people that worked hard to deliver that content to you.

     

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      nasch (profile), Oct 5th, 2011 @ 6:00am

      Re:

      If you come up with an idea for an invention, then I go ahead and sneak behind your back and patent it first, how is that not stealing an idea?

      Because I would still have the idea too.

      Or in the case of music, if you wrote a melody and I ripped it off and turned it into my own piece, how is that not stealing either?

      Because I would still have the melody too.

      Just because it isn't a physical object doesn't mean it can't be stolen.

      Quite true, it's possible to steal money without moving anything physically for example. Ideas, not so much.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2011 @ 8:37pm

    "Because I would still have the idea/melody too."

    Maybe you would, but it wouldn't really mean crap after I patented it and profited first now, would it? I mean, the reason you probably made that invention in the first place was probably to monetize it after all. Look dude...copyright definitely isn't perfect, (this is coming from a musician btw) but abolishing it definitely isn't the answer either. If copyright were reformed so people could still make a good amount of money off their work and protect it from any theft, but not allow the RIAA goons to sue for 100k for 1 pirated song, I would probably support it.

    People seriously need to stop justifying their stupid reasons for getting shit for free when they should be paying for it...is a fairly priced (2.99-6.99 depending on # of songs for example) album from an indie artist REALLY too much money for people to spend? Don't they realize that the artist won't make any more content if they can't make decent money from it? I'm not exactly talking millions here, but a liveable salary really isn't too much to ask for.

     

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      nasch (profile), Oct 7th, 2011 @ 6:39am

      Re:

      You seem to be mixing up patents and copyrights, and though they're related, they can't be treated interchangeably. It's a little confusing.

      If copyright were reformed so people could still make a good amount of money off their work and protect it from any theft, but not allow the RIAA goons to sue for 100k for 1 pirated song, I would probably support it.

      How in the world could you keep people from copying your music? Seriously, let's say you could immediately have any law you could think of. Can you think of any law that would actually be effective in stopping copyright infringement? If not, then what is the point?

      People seriously need to stop justifying their stupid reasons for getting shit for free when they should be paying for it.

      The thing is, you can say that until you're blue in the face, but it just doesn't change anything. Thousands of people have been saying it loudly and publicly for years, and it isn't helping. So you can keep saying it, or you can stop relying on copyright and start doing something that works better. It's really not about whether other people are doing something wrong, it's about how you can best make money. And in the long run, selling copies of your music isn't it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2011 @ 5:59pm

    "You seem to be mixing up patents and copyrights, and though they're related, they can't be treated interchangeably. It's a little confusing."

    Yeah, I did kind of do that...lol. But it still doesn't answer my question. If I took your idea for something like an invention or piece of music, copyrighted/patented it first so I could profit off of it and not you, how is that not stealing an idea? Because under the law, I would technically be the person that thought of it and not you.

    "How in the world could you keep people from copying your music?"

    I'm not gonna lie; you can't. But I guess we can thank all the dumb ass labels for adding DRM to everything for that. The only reason people dl for free (well at least most of the people I know that do this anyway) instead of buying is because of the DRM bullshit. I totally agree that after you've bought things like music or movies, you should be able to transfer it to any format you want as long as you don't intend on profiting from it or putting it on a site like pirate bay.

    As for effective laws against copyright infringement, there are already laws...the government/companies/people that own the copyright just choose, for some dumb reason, not to use them. Which is probably why people keep downloading all their entertainment instead of paying the few bucks for it. If it became something like a small fine (comparable to a parking ticket maybe?) where someone would have to pay the fine and the price of whatever they pirated, I imagine that would probably do a better job of preventing piracy than the current "DERP DERP lets sue someone 80k for pirating 3 songs!"

    "or you can stop relying on copyright and start doing something that works better."

    What would you suggest entertainment creators do differently then? You are the one making this argument, so I'm just curious what you would do. People have just been telling musicians for example, to just perform everything for money. While that is a better way to make money, it takes BIG money to book those venues and produce the merchandise to sell at the show...assuming the artist/composer is in a genre where this is actually applicable that is. Live shows for some genres (like classical and electronic for example) aren't what would be a live show for a rock band. Don't really think people would buy a shirt with their favorite virtuoso that just performed their favorite concerto...lol.

     

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      nasch (profile), Oct 9th, 2011 @ 8:38pm

      Re:

      If I took your idea for something like an invention or piece of music, copyrighted/patented it first so I could profit off of it and not you, how is that not stealing an idea? Because under the law, I would technically be the person that thought of it and not you.

      It's not stealing my idea because I still have the idea, it's really that simple. You might have stolen the monopoly privilege that should have been mine, but that is distinct from the idea. And a patent doesn't go the person who thought of it. It used to go to the first inventor, but now with the new bill I understand it will go to the first person to file a patent.

      As for effective laws against copyright infringement, there are already laws...the government/companies/people that own the copyright just choose, for some dumb reason, not to use them.

      Wait, what? We read about people using them all the time, in this very story for example.

      If it became something like a small fine (comparable to a parking ticket maybe?) where someone would have to pay the fine and the price of whatever they pirated, I imagine that would probably do a better job of preventing piracy than the current "DERP DERP lets sue someone 80k for pirating 3 songs!"

      Most likely, though you can't abandon due process. That process is probably expensive enough to make that enforcement option unattractive.

      What would you suggest entertainment creators do differently then?

      Not to sound rude, but I'll let you do that research. You can search Techdirt for things like business model, make money, and sell scarcities. Or similar searches on the web.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 5:59pm

    Dude. YOU are the one that made the argument of doing something differently...so you need to tell us what YOU think should be done differently. Any idiot can point to articles; I want your opinion.

    And you make it seem people exercise the law all the time...if that were true, either piracy would have ceased by now since all the files would have been pulled off of websites, or the system would have been reformed to be fair to everyone.

     

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      nasch (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 7:18am

      Re:

      Vaguely speaking, sell scarcities. Digital content is infinitely reproducible, so sell something that isn't. Physical goods, time, attention, the creation of something that hasn't been created yet, etc. It will vary by different fields and different artists.

      And you make it seem people exercise the law all the time.

      Every time a compulsory license fee is paid, copyright is being exercized. Every time I have to sit through an FBI warning on a movie, copyright is being exercized. Every time I have to pay more for a medicine, patent law is being exercized. Yes, it happens every single day.

      As for the parking ticket idea, it might have an effect, I don't know. There are people who would encrypt their traffic and keep doing it, though I don't know how many. The question is, would it get anyone to buy who isn't buying, or just drive them to free alternatives? It would also pretty much put a stop to open wifi, so that's another problem with the idea.

      Also, there's a "reply to this" link which will make this easier to follow in threaded mode.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 12:23am

        Re: Re:

        I meant the actual enforcing part when people pirate stuff...the companies bitch and moan, but usually don't bother to find out who those pirates are and sue them unless they are profiting from it a lot. (like that one online video game store who got shut down for making 50k+ a year off pirated games)

        I think the ticket idea could work tbh. If someone had to choose between a $5-10 album or a couple hundred dollar fine, they'd probably just buy the album. What do you mean by open wifi though? If you mean the free wifi some businesses and cities have, I don't really see how something like this could stop it.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 12:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Derp. Now I remember what open wifi is...lol. (can't edit last comm since I'm on an iPhone)

          Quite frankly, I think open wifi SHOULDN'T be allowed. If I'm paying for my Internet, other people shouldn't be able to mooch off of it for free...you pirates aren't willing to pay for ANYTHING, are you? It's kind of fucked up to think that mooching off of something somebody else is paying a monthly fee for is actually ok. If you want free Internet so bad, places like Starbucks and mcdonald's have it. Don't be a d-bag and mooch off of someone who is spending their hard earned money on their Internet.

           

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          nasch (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you mean the free wifi some businesses and cities have, I don't really see how something like this could stop it.

          The businesses would have two choices: 1. don't allow open wifi 2. pay the tickets for their customers who infringe. Guess which one they would do? If you want wifi at a coffee shop, you would have to sign up with your credit card or driver's license or something.

          There would also have to be a fair system to deal with false positives. There would be tickets issued constantly for 1. stuff that that the claimant doesn't hold the copyright for, 2. stuff that was posted by the copyright holder to be downloaded, or at least appeared to be posted by the copyright holder - such as musicians posting their own music even though the label holds the copyright, and the big one 3. things that could be fair use. Honestly, I don't see how the system you propose could adequately deal with fair use defenses.

          Quite frankly, I think open wifi SHOULDN'T be allowed. If I'm paying for my Internet, other people shouldn't be able to mooch off of it for free.

          That makes no sense. If you don't want others using your connection, secure your wifi. If I want to allow my neighbors to use my connection, why should I be forbidden from doing that?

          It's kind of fucked up to think that mooching off of something somebody else is paying a monthly fee for is actually ok.

          If you invite them to do so by leaving your access point open, then of course it's OK.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 6:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "That makes no sense. If you don't want others using your connection, secure your wifi. If I want to allow my neighbors to use my connection, why should I be forbidden from doing that?"

            Lol. If YOU want to be an idiot and give a $60+ a month service to your entire neighborhood for free, go right ahead. Don't come crying to me when a) your connection gets slow from 5000 people being on it or b) when YOU get in trouble for someone else's pirating. That is your choice...I should also not be forbidden from choosing NOT to share something I pay money for.

            "If you invite them to do so by leaving your access point open, then of course it's OK."

            I don't leave my access point open...but it's still not ok to use someone else's connection. It's practically profiting from other people's stupidity. Yeah, it's their own fault...but that doesn't mean you should do it. In fact, I'm pretty sure the person who owns the access point could actually take you to court over it since you are stealing their service.

            "There would also have to be a fair system to deal with false positives. There would be tickets issued constantly for..."

            There's a BIG difference between dl'ing free tracks from an musician's website & fair use, versus pirating. The former is obviously a legal way to get things for free and use them however you want, (again, provided you don't profit) the latter is just getting stuff for free illegally because you don't want to pay for it. You can give me whatever justifications or sugar coating you want to; but don't try to hide the fact that you are STILL illegally obtaining stuff for free.

             

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              nasch (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 10:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If YOU want to be an idiot and give a $60+ a month service to your entire neighborhood for free, go right ahead.

              Oh, so you do think open wifi should be allowed? Because that is the opposite of what you said earlier.

              In fact, I'm pretty sure the person who owns the access point could actually take you to court over it since you are stealing their service.

              Sadly, there are jurisdictions where people have been charged with I think a civil offense for using open wifi. The example I have in mind was a business, no less. I think this is on par with being charged with a crime for using a drinking fountain you find in a public place.

              Honestly, how am I supposed to know the difference between someone leaving his wifi open because he wants to, someone leaving it open because he doesn't care, and someone leaving it open because he doesn't know any better? One of those situations should make me a criminal?

              There's a BIG difference between dl'ing free tracks from an musician's website & fair use, versus pirating.

              But many copyright holders are completely careless - at best - in distinguishing between those scenarios.

              The former is obviously a legal way to get things for free and use them however you want, (again, provided you don't profit)

              And yet, music labels have issued DMCA takedowns and labeled such sites as rogue copyright infringers. I see no reason to think they would behave better if they were given less oversight.

              You can give me whatever justifications or sugar coating you want to; but don't try to hide the fact that you are STILL illegally obtaining stuff for free.

              I was explicitly talking about legal uses of content, or at worst uses that would reasonably appear legal to a layperson. Was I unclear in my wording, or are you intentionally changing the subject?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Oh, so you do think open wifi should be allowed? Because that is the opposite of what you said earlier."

                Guess I should have been more specific. As long as businesses and people like me aren't forced to let moochers onto our service WE pay for, then I really don't care.

                "Sadly, there are jurisdictions where people have been charged with I think a civil offense for using open wifi. The example I have in mind was a business, no less. I think this is on par with being charged with a crime for using a drinking fountain you find in a public place. "

                It's not the same. A business is giving people free wifi to give their CUSTOMERS a service while they are in the store. If some douchebags decide to just sit outside the store and not buy anything while having an all day WOW raid, then the business has every right to ask them to leave or pursue civil fines if those people refuse to leave. It's not that hard...if you are at a coffee shop that offers free wifi, do the right thing and throw them a few bucks for a drink.

                "But many copyright holders are completely careless - at best - in distinguishing between those scenarios."

                I do agree with that...the difference is VERY obvious. Now, if the law more clearly defined these things, the RIAA goons wouldn't have any reason to keep taking down youtube videos and the like.

                "I was explicitly talking about legal uses of content, or at worst uses that would reasonably appear legal to a layperson. Was I unclear in my wording, or are you intentionally changing the subject?"

                Well, I didn't really mean to change the subject. All I was doing was pointing out that all these justifications and reasons are still for getting things for free when they really should be paid for. In the case of music, if the compensation the artist gets is the issue (which it usually is for most people I've spoken to) there are plenty of sites like bandcamp and even itunes (yes, this is true. they give 60%.) that give the artist most of the money.

                 

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                  nasch (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 4:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  As long as businesses and people like me aren't forced to let moochers onto our service WE pay for, then I really don't care.

                  OK, though forcing anyone to run open wifi wasn't mentioned anywhere.

                  If some douchebags decide to just sit outside the store and not buy anything while having an all day WOW raid, then the business has every right to ask them to leave or pursue civil fines if those people refuse to leave.

                  Absolutely. I was referring to a case where someone was arrested and charged by the police even though the business owner didn't take any action. The cop just saw him there using the business wifi without being a customer and decided to arrest him.

                  Now, if the law more clearly defined these things, the RIAA goons wouldn't have any reason to keep taking down youtube videos and the like.

                  You mean they wouldn't be able to get away with it? Because they would still have all the incentives they have today.

                  All I was doing was pointing out that all these justifications and reasons are still for getting things for free when they really should be paid for.

                  No. No, it is not. Pointing out problems with a system that would catch up people unaware they're breaking the law (for example, downloading a track from an artist website that the artist uploaded without the label's permission) is absolutely not trying to justify getting stuff for free that should be paid for. Same thing with other situations that are actually legal that I mentioned earlier.

                  You ARE changing the subject when you say that. I have been pointing out scenarios where people are doing something legal or apparently legal but could get hit with a fine for it, and you go back to "but piracy". That is not what I am talking about.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 8:37pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Absolutely. I was referring to a case where someone was arrested and charged by the police even though the business owner didn't take any action. The cop just saw him there using the business wifi without being a customer and decided to arrest him."

                    Well, they might have been right in that case...it might be considered theft of service in that state.

                    "You ARE changing the subject when you say that. I have been pointing out scenarios where people are doing something legal or apparently legal but could get hit with a fine for it, and you go back to "but piracy". That is not what I am talking about."

                    Lol...sorry then. Really didn't mean to pull a straw man there. Guess I didn't get what you were saying. But yeah, as long as it's fair use for NON-COMMERCIAL purposes, and credit is given to whoever made the material, I have no problem with people using it.

                     

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                      nasch (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 9:19pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Well, they might have been right in that case...it might be considered theft of service in that state.

                      Yes, I think that is actually the law there, wherever it is that happened. My point is it's a stupid law. The service is right there for anyone to use. It's much better to have a few jerks who use it without buying a donut than to put someone in jail for something that doesn't even do any measurable harm.

                      But yeah, as long as it's fair use for NON-COMMERCIAL purposes, and credit is given to whoever made the material, I have no problem with people using it.

                      Fantastic. Now, considering their mixed record on DMCA takedowns, can you see that record labels, movie studios, and the like would have little to no concern for issues such as fair use and non-commercial use when issuing tickets for ISPs to pass along? Given how other legislation has gone, I think we can be pretty sure there would be no meaningful penalties for false positives in such a system.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "Yes, I think that is actually the law there, wherever it is that happened. My point is it's a stupid law. The service is right there for anyone to use. It's much better to have a few jerks who use it without buying a donut than to put someone in jail for something that doesn't even do any measurable harm."

                        Actually, it's not for ANYBODY to use. Those businesses offer it to customers...maybe people using it without buying anything aren't physically harming anybody, but they sure are costing that business money by using their connection.

                         

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                          nasch (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 9:23am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Actually, it's not for ANYBODY to use. Those businesses offer it to customers.

                          Well, yes, it's not intended for use by just anybody, but I mean it's easily available to anyone in range.

                          they sure are costing that business money by using their connection.

                          How's that? Unless the business pays for internet access by the megabyte, I can't see how it's costing them any money.

                           

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2011 @ 6:09pm

    "Most likely, though you can't abandon due process. That process is probably expensive enough to make that enforcement option unattractive."

    If it were administered similar to a parking ticket, how would it be too expensive? ISP's would probably be more than happy to monitor this stuff and send out emails to offenders to avoid getting sued themselves. And it wouldn't be abandoning due process either; if the ISP has concrete proof someone is illegally pirating stuff, they can turn over that evidence to the proper authorities so they can give the person that fine. Violating due process would be demanding that information from an ISP with no concrete evidence to back up suspicions.

     

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    PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 7:26am

    So called "Music Mafia"

    Those that call the licensing agencies "The Music Mafia" represents the "I shouldn't have to pay for it" mentality to a "T"...It's the time proven law. Regret to hear that because "your friend's" bar was so small, he "believes he should be given a pass..If he was having bands outside, that represents a pretty LARGE crowd potential. He, the bar owner should profit, but NOT the musician is his way of thinking.

    The law is the LAW...Been since 1917...It's just down here in the South, the "get it for free" crowd are getting caught.

    Change comes slow here, if it ever comes at all, BUT I've found that those places that don't want to pay the license fees usually don't have a good history of paying the band. OR try the "donation" route...A musician shouldn't have to RELY on 20 bux worth of tips when the GREEDY bar owner makes a grand off of his/her playing..

    Sell booze..You need a license..Operate a business in general..Need a license..Drive a car, own a dog, FISH and hunt, requires a license..

    Want live music?. PAY..FOR ..THE.....DAMN......LICENSE!!!..Or else, lease a juke box and be done with it!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 8:46pm

    "OK, still waiting to hear why the market shouldn't set prices."

    How can the "market" (aka the customers at a restaurant) set prices when they aren't directly paying for the musician to perform there? They may be paying for the food they are eating, but it's ultimately up to the restaurant owner how much or how little to pay the musician.

    "I don't believe you. I think you're completely making that up. Other than small local/college stations playing local bands, I think that is just false - referring to terrestrial radio. Obviously all it takes to get on "internet radio" is to set up a site streaming your own music. But I'll admit I'm wrong if you can prove it."

    Those types of stations are what I meant by the radio. But I do believe sirius XM does have either an indie music channel or plays music from indie artists signed to one of the indie labels. (I think the specific channel on their list that plays these is octane)

    "Then that is great. That doesn't change the royalty payout situation, but apparently some of the money goes to a pretty reasonable purpose."

    Now that I think about it, the "royalty payout" isn't just for big time artists...sometimes when composers get contracted to write music for documentaries and similiar tv programs, some tv stations will just have their payment be the PRO royalty check. Complete bs if you ask me, (seeing as how they themselves aren't paying for service they want) but at least the composer still gets money.

     

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      nasch (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 9:25pm

      Re:

      How can the "market" (aka the customers at a restaurant) set prices when they aren't directly paying for the musician to perform there?

      The negotiations are between the musicians and the venue owners. I thought you knew that.

      it's ultimately up to the restaurant owner how much or how little to pay the musician.

      Oh, you do know. :-p So, back to the original question: why is it necessary to interfere with the pricing in this market?

      Those types of stations are what I meant by the radio. But I do believe sirius XM does have either an indie music channel or plays music from indie artists signed to one of the indie labels.

      And how much of BMI's royalty payout calculations are based on college stations and XM?

      Now that I think about it, the "royalty payout" isn't just for big time artists...sometimes when composers get contracted to write music for documentaries and similiar tv programs,

      Writing music for TV shows? That can't be a big swath of the music industry there, can it? Don't they go for established composers generally, or do they just hire someone from a music college or garage band?

      some tv stations will just have their payment be the PRO royalty check.

      I got lost here, can you explain what you mean?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2011 @ 7:39pm

        Re: Re:

        "why is it necessary to interfere with the pricing in this market?"

        Maybe not for EVERY venue, but it might be necessary on smaller venues that try to pull the bullshit I explained in previous comments.

        "And how much of BMI's royalty payout calculations are based on college stations and XM?"

        Maybe not a lot from college stations, but probably a lot from XM. I mean, sirius practically HAS become the radio to have since most car dealers put it in their new models. They still collect royalties regardless if it's collected from company A or company B.

        "Writing music for TV shows? That can't be a big swath of the music industry there, can it? Don't they go for established composers generally, or do they just hire someone from a music college or garage band?"

        Actually, it is a "big swath" of the music industry. Unless it's a huge pomp and circumstance event like Planet Earth or some of Nat geo's 3 hour documentaries, those stations usually just contract composers from what would be considered the middle class of the industry. Some stations with a smaller budget though might go for a student or indie band.

        "I got lost here, can you explain what you mean?"

        Alright...basically, the TV network themselves don't pay the composer. But every time the show gets aired, obviously royalties are due. The PRO collects them and gives them to the composer...so the royalty money is basically their payment for composing the music for the show.

         

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          nasch (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 9:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Maybe not for EVERY venue, but it might be necessary on smaller venues that try to pull the bullshit I explained in previous comments.

          Right, but like I said that is fraud. Aside from that, do you see a need to prevent musicians and venue owners from coming to whatever price the market will bear?

          Alright...basically, the TV network themselves don't pay the composer. But every time the show gets aired, obviously royalties are due. The PRO collects them and gives them to the composer.

          Well, the PRO collects them and then gives them mostly to whoever is getting the biggest radio play.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 3:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "How's that? Unless the business pays for internet access by the megabyte, I can't see how it's costing them any money."

            Umm, maybe because internet is a PAY TO USE SERVICE? Obviously if a non-customer uses it, the business is losing money. Businesses have to pay a LOT more for internet than you and I do just because of the sheer number of people using it.

            "Right, but like I said that is fraud. Aside from that, do you see a need to prevent musicians and venue owners from coming to whatever price the market will bear?"

            What price do you consider "market bearing?" People aren't paying for music anymore, so they can't expect to get $10 concert tickets too. Or what about musicians playing in a restaurant, where there really is no market? (in the sense that nobody is paying just to see the music)

            "Well, the PRO collects them and then gives them mostly to whoever is getting the biggest radio play."

            No they don't. If you are a member and ANY of your work gets played through any medium, you get the same 4 checks a year any other member does. I'm a composer, so I think I know what I'm talking about. People get paid like this all the time for getting contracted to compose music for a tv show...try researching the music industry and how composers get jobs before assuming only A-list musicians get the money. A-listers definitely will get paid MORE since their music is played more, but that doesn't mean all the other members get nothing.

             

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              nasch (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 5:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Umm, maybe because internet is a PAY TO USE SERVICE? Obviously if a non-customer uses it, the business is losing money. Businesses have to pay a LOT more for internet than you and I do just because of the sheer number of people using it.

              Mostly they have to pay more for better quality of service. Do most coffee shops and similar establishments pay by the megabyte? If not, I ask again - how does it cost them money to have one additional person using the service?

              No they don't. If you are a member and ANY of your work gets played through any medium, you get the same 4 checks a year any other member does.

              Good, I hope you're right.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 6:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Mostly they have to pay more for better quality of service. Do most coffee shops and similar establishments pay by the megabyte? If not, I ask again - how does it cost them money to have one additional person using the service?"

                That's the problem though; there ISN'T only one extra person; I've seen quite a few people sit in places like starbucks or that offer free wifi sit there for hours on the internet without even buying anything. I doubt businesses pay per MB, but they probably do get charged extra if a bunch of extra people decide to connect.

                 

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        PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 10:27am

        College Stations

        College stations pay a non-comm/edu rate to the licensing agencies if they're not already covered under the blanket of the instituition's licenses.

        Here you go..College stations..Staffed by committed volunteer from students, to retirees...Depend on fund-raisers and grants..Maybe one or two actual paid staff..
        They pay and HONOR the license fees..AND give the struggling newcomer the recognition larger, for-profit stations won't do anymore. AND these same stations, also are the ones that more often than not, raise the money to SPONSOR and PAY musicians what they deserve at the Student Union OR other on-campus venue.

        Heh, it costs 600 bux a year to have a beer resale license in South Carolina. But you don't want to PAY the musician eh?

         

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          nasch (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 5:16pm

          Re: College Stations

          Heh, it costs 600 bux a year to have a beer resale license in South Carolina. But you don't want to PAY the musician eh?

          Who are you addressing who said they don't want to pay the musician?

           

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    PappyCaligula (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 9:17am

    Apples and Oranges

    "It's not the same. A business is giving people free wifi to give their CUSTOMERS a service while they are in the store. If some douchebags decide to just sit outside the store and not buy anything while having an all day WOW raid, then the business has every right to ask them to leave or pursue civil fines if those people refuse to leave. It's not that hard...if you are at a coffee shop that offers free wifi, do the right thing and throw them a few bucks for a drink."

    AND most do charge a one-drink (like a dollar cup of coffee) pay to hang...AND to keep snot-nosed teens from bothering collegiate and older paying patrons, require them to atleast buy a refill every four hours or so.

    Here's the problem of this discussion..FREE WI-FI is Not licensed...MUSIC IS..SO those trying to sidestep the issue of PAYING the fees for music need to STOP their BULL-SHIT and stick with the discussion at hand..
    SO far, I've heard nothing from the pro-thievery crowd to nullify the standing agreements that have been in effect since ATLEAST 1917...Performers have the right to copyright and ANYONE useing their work, has the OBLIGATION to pay for it..

    AND for the nimrod that tried to make this into a Libertarian issue accusing government intervention in the free-market, let me say that in South Carolina, and particularily with Ms Nicki Shindawa Hailey, our "goober-nish", she herself INTERVENED in the Boeing vs Mechanics Union...ON-THE-SIDE of BUSINESS when it is CLEAR, this was between the workers and the company..Her action then spawned the action where the NLRB came down on her ass and BOEING (which in sworn confidential and proven documents came to South Carolina to ESCAPE a BINDING ARBITRATED agreement) for basically picking "the winner"..

    The courts are government BUT remember the "blind lady" holding the balance?. That's where the plantiff and defendant work-it-all out..

    AND it's no wonder that political ignoramous' like Nicky "It's a Great Day in South Carolina" Hailey try to pervert law in favor of political interests..

    To conclude and STAY FOCUSED the REAL issue once more..You have public performances of film and/or music in your PLACE of BUSINESS, you are REQUIRED.....TO.....LICENSE!!

    Side Note:..One of the big issues that BMI is attacking now, PER, the musician's REQUEST, is to investigate "Gentleman's Clubs" IE "Titty and Nudie Bars", to see if music is being misused by the dancers WHO as Independent Contractors for the most part, are required to license AND seek PERMISSION as well..Alot of country artists do not want their songs used in a "nasty way"..Rocker's?. No problem for the most part.
    I know that strikes some of you Southern "IF I ain't cheatin' I ain't smart" Dunderheads as UNFAIR to the poor titty dancer, BUT "BY Permission" means what it MEANS!..
    AND no, the idea that "It's easier to ask for FORGIVENESS than ask for permission doesn't apply at ALL here so get that OUT of your punkin' head NOW!"

    now get this all of you mostly Southern Dunderheads that getting something without paying for it is being SMART, NOT stealin',

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 5:24pm

    "Watching a concert video is not at all the same experience as going to a concert. I'm surprised you would mention this.
    "

    To some, you would be right. But quite a few people would probably choose the youtube vid over concert tickets for hundreds of dollars.

    "That could be a challenge, but I think many fans are willing to pay for authenticity."

    Assuming those fans #1 priority isn't the cheapest thing out there, then you are right. But after spending hundreds of dollars on the tickets, and even more money if they traveled to get there, not a lot of people would be jumping at the chance for a $40 t shirt or a $5 sticker even.

    "Yep, they will introduce new efficiencies that more industries will need to adapt to. I predict many companies will fail to see this coming and fail to adapt."

    How can everyone "adapt" though? Why should someone pay for something like a hammer or an expensive appliance if they could get it for free? It is human nature to want something for nothing, regardless of if it's actually right to do so. This is going to kill a LOT of jobs...and don't think for a second these companies aren't gonna use their poor profit due to the printers as an excuse to lay people off. Because they are already using bad profits as an excuse to do that now. You pirates probably love the idea now, but I hope none of you work for a company that produces goods...because you WILL have the "oh shit" moment when your company can't afford to keep you.

    "Why are you assuming this 3D revolution will even be about piracy? While there will be some copyright issues, I would think a much bigger "problem" will be people printing substitute goods instead of buying from a store."

    How is that not piracy? They would essentially be getting the product for free, just like people are doing with music and other media. It will be very interesting to see what the gov't response to the 3D revolution will be...for the sake of jobs, I hope they do make it illegal to print off products instead of buying them.

    "Once it takes off, there will be plenty of people contributing designs to the public domain for all kinds of useful goods. Then what will your argument be? Because you certainly can't use the bullshit excuse of "intellectual property". ;-)"

    Hey, don't get me wrong here; if somebody wants to give a product away for free instead of monetizing it and NOT have the funds to keep improving it, then by all means let them. Public domain is for people who don't care about monetizing their product, and copyright is for the smart people that realize selling the product leads to having money to keep improving on that product. The problem I see here though, is that since there wouldn't be a copyright on the ideas, companies could legally steal the idea and attempt to sell the item themselves. But good luck competing with free! Because the whole 90% freeloaders 10% superfan supporters/generous rich people business model everyone expects the entertainment industry to deal with probably isn't going to work for every other industry. I don't exactly see everyone running out to donate to their favorite tool manufacturer or something.

    What I mainly have a problem with is that people could potentially take something like a $5,000 flatscreen tv and essentially pirate it for free...and when everyone does it (because everyone WILL, unless the gov't actually does something about it) companies will go bankrupt, which leads to massive job loss, which will lead right back to the same economic shithole we're in today.

     

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      nasch (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 9:37pm

      Re:

      for the sake of jobs, I hope they do make it illegal to print off products instead of buying them.

      Public domain is for people who don't care about monetizing their product, and copyright is for the smart people that realize selling the product leads to having money to keep improving on that product.


      If you actually believe these things, I don't think this conversation is worth the time. Nothing I say will be convincing to you anyway.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2011 @ 5:41pm

    "If you actually believe these things, I don't think this conversation is worth the time. Nothing I say will be convincing to you anyway."

    What? It IS true. People aren't gonna be inclined to pay the maker of a 3d printer design if it's offered for free under the public domain. And when an inventor doesn't have the funds to keep maintaining a project...well, it goes dead!

    Seriously, you don't think it would be wrong for someone to take a VERY expensive item, like the $5,000 flatscreen tv I mentioned, and get it for dirt cheap or even free? Companies can be efficient all they want to; but people are NOT going to continue buying these products if they can get the same thing for free or next to nothing. You say this convo isn't "worth the time." Well, prove me wrong then. Do you have any ideas as to WHY people getting a lot of goods for free wouldn't kill any jobs? Because I really find it hard to believe stores and companies can continue to run their business if next to no one is buying their product.

     

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      nasch (profile), Oct 25th, 2011 @ 7:07pm

      Re:

      Seriously, you don't think it would be wrong for someone to take a VERY expensive item, like the $5,000 flatscreen tv I mentioned, and get it for dirt cheap or even free?

      Of course it wouldn't be wrong. If someone is offering the plans for cheap or free, and I have a printer that can print it, you're telling me it would be unethical to print myself a TV? Why?

      Do you have any ideas as to WHY people getting a lot of goods for free wouldn't kill any jobs?

      I never said it wouldn't kill any jobs. My point is that fighting against increased efficiency has never worked. The efficiencies win out in the end, and the fight just enriches the entrenched industries threatened by the disruption, at the expense of someone else, sometimes everyone else.

      This could prove to be a hell of a disruption, but my concern is not how do we stop it - because we can't - but how do we get ready for it. Can you look at prohibition, the war on drugs, and the fight against copyright infringement and tell me with a straight face that it will work this time?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2011 @ 8:14pm

        Re: Re:

        "Of course it wouldn't be wrong. If someone is offering the plans for cheap or free, and I have a printer that can print it, you're telling me it would be unethical to print myself a TV? Why?"

        Because you are taking money out of the tv manufacturer's pocket. If a company makes a product with the intent to sell it and make money, and someone comes along and illegally offers that product for cheap or free, how is that not wrong? Now if you are talking about someone who designs their OWN ORIGINAL blueprint for a tv and chooses to allow people to have those plans for free or cheap, that is their choice and is acceptable if that person really chooses to do so.

        "This could prove to be a hell of a disruption, but my concern is not how do we stop it - because we can't - but how do we get ready for it. Can you look at prohibition, the war on drugs, and the fight against copyright infringement and tell me with a straight face that it will work this time?"

        How can companies "get ready for it?" Because they CAN'T compete with free or next to nothing prices...the people that put their own designs out for free (as well as the ones who will be putting pirated designs) don't have to pay for production or staffing costs. And the average consumer won't pay for something if they can get it for free and know they can get away with it. Obviously SOMETHING needs to be done, because I don't see all of those jobs being replaced by the printer companies or people who will be producing the designs.

         

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          nasch (profile), Oct 25th, 2011 @ 8:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If a company makes a product with the intent to sell it and make money, and someone comes along and illegally offers that product for cheap or free, how is that not wrong?

          Why do you just assume it's going to be illegal? No, I wasn't talking about anything illegal, because you didn't mention that in your question.

          How can companies "get ready for it?"

          I don't care about companies getting ready for it; I predict they won't. Lots of companies will go out of business, I think that's nearly inevetiable assuming this trend really happens. I want the society to be ready for it. How? I'm not sure. I hope people smarter and more knowledgable than me can figure that out, because it could be pretty painful otherwise.

          Obviously SOMETHING needs to be done, because I don't see all of those jobs being replaced by the printer companies or people who will be producing the designs.

          Yes, but that something shouldn't be the banhammer. Do you have a solution in mind?

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2011 @ 11:02pm

    "Why do you just assume it's going to be illegal? No, I wasn't talking about anything illegal, because you didn't mention that in your question."

    I'm not really assuming anything. Is it not illegal to obtain a company's product(s) for free through illicit means? In this case, illicit meaning someone just copying something like a sony TV instead of actually buying it.

    "I don't care about companies getting ready for it; I predict they won't. Lots of companies will go out of business, I think that's nearly inevetiable assuming this trend really happens. I want the society to be ready for it. How? I'm not sure. I hope people smarter and more knowledgable than me can figure that out, because it could be pretty painful otherwise."

    You should care...we are talking about pretty much 80 or even 90% of all big business failing to exist in the near future. Big business is where all the jobs come from. I really don't understand where this free lunch mentality is coming from! Are people just gonna start saying they're doing the business a favor by providing "free exposure" for their product, like they already do with pirated media? I would hope the possibility of most big business ceasing to exist would get people to not do it seeing as most people would probably be out of a job, but you never know.

    "Yes, but that something shouldn't be the banhammer. Do you have a solution in mind?"

    Actually, it should. Especially if it kills jobs by pretty much ending most big business. I think it should be where people can be free to tinker on random open source LEGALLY free products/projects, but on the same side of the coin making it a crime to copy a company's product(s) to avoid paying for it. But if you have a better suggestion that you think could save the companies and jobs, I'm all ears.

    The 3d printer for personal use (well, at least according to youtube vids I've seen by manufacturers) was made with the intent to give people a quick way to make temporary replacement parts when stuff breaks around the house, while they wait for the real deal in the mail...it would be such a shame to see a product meant for good to be abused by a bunch of fuckwits that want something for nothing.

     

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      nasch (profile), Oct 26th, 2011 @ 7:28am

      Re:

      I think it should be where people can be free to tinker on random open source LEGALLY free products/projects, but on the same side of the coin making it a crime to copy a company's product(s) to avoid paying for it. But if you have a better suggestion that you think could save the companies and jobs, I'm all ears.

      You actually think that would work? Even if it were 100% successful, it might - at most - slow down the crisis a little bit. Just like any infinite goods, there are going to be people producing and releasing them for free for a variety of reasons. Others will produce and sell them for very modest prices. How is your solution going to deal with that? If this phenomenom takes off, I cannot imagine a scenario, eventually, that doesn't involve a plethora of cheap and free high quality designs for 3D printers.

      it would be such a shame to see a product meant for good to be abused by a bunch of fuckwits that want something for nothing.

      I seriously do not understand a world view that looks at making something instead of buying it as an abuse. I've never even heard raving internet lunatics claim we have a moral duty to buy things from corporations. Even the fringe elements seem to admit that it's OK to choose not to buy things, as long as you don't obtain them illegally.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:34pm

        Re: Re:

        "You actually think that would work? Even if it were 100% successful, it might - at most - slow down the crisis a little bit. Just like any infinite goods, there are going to be people producing and releasing them for free for a variety of reasons. Others will produce and sell them for very modest prices. How is your solution going to deal with that? If this phenomenom takes off, I cannot imagine a scenario, eventually, that doesn't involve a plethora of cheap and free high quality designs for 3D printers."

        It might work, it might not...but I don't see what else would save all those jobs at companies that produce goods. Because some dude doing those designs out of his garage isn't gonna replace the thousands of jobs these big companies provide.

        "I seriously do not understand a world view that looks at making something instead of buying it as an abuse. I've never even heard raving internet lunatics claim we have a moral duty to buy things from corporations. Even the fringe elements seem to admit that it's OK to choose not to buy things, as long as you don't obtain them illegally."

        I'm not claiming that we have a moral obligation to buy things from companies. What I AM claiming is that if we make those things ourselves with 3D printers instead of buying them, it will eventually lead to all those companies going bankrupt, which will effectively do away with a LOT of jobs which probably AREN'T going to be replaced with something else. And it won't just be the companies making products that will get rid of jobs; the stores selling the products will probably do the same.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Get bored nasch? Haha. Seems like nobody here wants to follow the "don't run from an argument" statement that people always scream at us AC's.

           

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            nasch (profile), Nov 6th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I didn't really see anything I needed to respond to. Your last point was that you have no idea if banning 3D printing will save jobs, but we should do it anyway because it might. I don't think I really need to point out the flaws there. :-)

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2011 @ 2:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well, that's not really the idea I meant to portray. I don't think they should be banned, but I think they should at least be delayed until society and businesses are ready to replace those jobs. Because at this particular point in time, we really can't afford many more people on gov't assistance.

               

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                nasch (profile), Nov 7th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I don't think they should be banned, but I think they should at least be delayed until society and businesses are ready to replace those jobs.

                I get what you're saying, but that's a dangerous path. The businesses most threatened have a huge incentive to lobby regulators to stretch this "temporary delay" out as long as possible. With little lobbying power on the opposite side, it would be easy to have a new industry that's permanently crippled. Not to mention the fact that it would risk sending the entire industry to some other country that's willing to encourage it.

                I think it would be better to spend efforts on figuring out a way to mitigate the harm.

                 

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 7:32pm

    Stores can get licensed music for like $18/mo from cloudcovermusic.com. No reason to put yourself at the mercy of BMI/ASCAP.

     

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    bjams1974 (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 3:52pm

    Re:

    The best thing for any business owner is to have licensing in place for any music that they play. I work for PlayNetwork and we provide custom, personalized music for over 70,000 business locations today.

    For less than $500 per year you can get your own personalized music and PlayNetwork covers all of the licensing associated with that music; not just ASCAP, but BMI, SESAC and all licensing for every song played in your establishment.

    When you sign up with us there are no more conversations with any of the PRO agencies.



    Feel free to email me if you have additional questions or go to our web site
    http://www.playnetwork.com/#/contact/



    bjames@playnetwork.com

     

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    identicon
    HJ, Jan 23rd, 2013 @ 12:35pm

    BMI Soprano-like Shake-Downs of Small Business

    This organization represents the cokeheads and other deviants in the music business to extract from small business big royalty payments for simply playing music...

    I mean, does a library have to pay the authors every time they loan out a book?

    They sent me a letter, purportedly from one of their lawyers claiming to have already filed against my company with the American Arbitration Assoc. (AAA) in Manhattan.... There was no contact number for this 'lawyer' in the letter, only the BMI customer service number...

    Funny thing is, when I called the American Arbitration Assoc. in NYC, they said nothing had been filed. They were very nice & said they would keep a watch & follow up in a week. They did, BMI still hadn't filed anything... On top of that, what their so-called 'lawyer' claimed regarding their selection of an arbitrator, is a VIOLATION of AAA rules regarding selection of the arbitrator (it's supposed to be that both parties have to agree or the AAA will make the selection)! I couldn't even find the BMI-selected arbitrator on the AAA's approved list!

    From my experience, it appears that BMI will lie & stoop as low as possible to bully small business.

    When I discussed what happened with one of their rocket-scientist 'Associate Directors' in the licensing dept., he went on like I was talking about the American Automobile Assoc.

    I thought to myself, are you that much of a noob? I mean, the guy hadn't even READ the licensing agreement he's supposed to be representing! He absolutely refused to explain BMIs lying, by saying, 'that's another dept.'

    I couldn't be bothered peeing on a BMI rep if he were on fire!

     

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    Small restaurant owner, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 2:57pm

    The problem with this country!!

    I just had a rep from ASCAP leave my Sports Bar so that is why i had to Google this for myself and found this forum. That is what is wrong with this country...ambulance chasing piece of shit lawyers that are NOT protecting or care about these artists whatsoever!! They see an opportunity to make money that they didn't earn. I served my country for 6 years in The Marine Corps and now i may get sued because commercials that air during sporting events may have music in them. The production company pays the artist for the right to use their song in their commercials....why in the hell does every restaurant who plays said sporting event, owe money to air it? BMI in my opinion is no better than the Mob extorting money from business owners for protection!! BMI didn't make, produce, or sell the music but they feel they are owed something for it. Nothing like a business having to close its doors and all it's employees losing their job in this economy due to these greedy assholes!!! Good job America on protecting its small business owners!! Makes me sick.....

     

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      nasch (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:22pm

      Re: The problem with this country!!

      i may get sued because commercials that air during sporting events may have music in them.

      ASCAP asked you for money because you have TVs in your bar that play commercials with music in them? That is pure bull****. I wonder if that guy is even from ASCAP, you may want to call them and check*. That might even be beyond what they would try to pull.

      * look up their number, don't use any number he gave you

       

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      Tired of the ridiculousness too, Mar 15th, 2013 @ 5:16am

      Re: The problem with this country!!

      Exactly how I feel about the situation too! I have the Mob a.k.a SESAC after me right now. I paid BMI but now am not sure if I even had to. I don't broadcast ANY original artists and am not sure what my obligations are. Still investigating but detailed information is hard to find. Who EXACTLY do the 'big three bosses' represent? That's a mystery! But the disclaimers are everywhere that the 'represented lists' on THEIR websites aren't complete so you better just pay to avoid trouble. REALLY? Another nail in the small business owners' coffin.

       

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    TM, Feb 4th, 2013 @ 4:06pm

    you know.. it's just pennies for a business to pay... so in a given day, they have pay 10-20 bucks.. really.. that's too much? It's just as easy as getting a blanket license. I get paid from BMI. And my music costs to make... So it only racks up when you don't do it the right way. You play music so that your customers moods change and they purchase what you're selling on your restaurants. hmmm. So you're making money with the help of our work. It only makes sense to pay us. And I read a comment, that read "we have to pay all these coke heads"... really.. I'm not a coke head. lol.. too funny... And a business shouldn't go out of business if you pay your bills. you make $500 a day, yeah you can pay $10 bucks a day or $20. No big deal. wait a long time and pay $6,000. We all want to earn.

    Just like you guys work. We work. And what we do is not easy and it's not cheap. So... blessings to everyone.

     

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      nasch (profile), Feb 4th, 2013 @ 4:22pm

      Re:

      you know.. it's just pennies for a business to pay... so in a given day, they have pay 10-20 bucks.. really.. that's too much?

      To me, it's not the price that's objectionable, it's the practices of BMI and their ilk. Threatening stable owners for playing music for their horses, threatening business owners without visiting the premises to see if they're playing music, threatening venues even if they're not playing BMI-covered music, and so on.

       

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    Ken, Jan 10th, 2014 @ 8:14am

    This is totally about who owns the catalogue of songs which are in most cases totally independent of the song writer. Its about people with money (or companies) buying rights to songs and by using a law run amuck extending it out to infinity to milk every penny out of each and every song, yet acting as if they are looking out for the song writer or composer. So an artist pays to perform or record a sing, a radio station pays to replay the song, a restaurant turns on the radio and ends up paying because they are playing what everyone else has already paid for, you go to a bar and a song is playing and you start dancing with your girl or boyfriend. Hmmm, public performance or performing. I guess you better pay up? Oh and you are in a park with your 6 year old and start singing a tune you heard on the radio or even bought the CD for, OMG public performance. Pay up! Ludicrous beyond belief. Bottom line is for most of the those listed at the latter part of my rant nobody is paying to go to the bar or restaurant or park or even dance studio to listen to that song. They are going to eat, drink, talk, enjoy the park, so this business that has been created is out of control and perhaps the saddest thing is that the song writers aren't a big recipient of this as it would seem. Mostly publishers and investors. And no, they don't no they rarely actually have evidence that someone is playing a song that they own, it is assumed that any restaurant, bar, public gathering, dance lesson studio, etc., etc. is playing the music so the letters and calls start. If you fold and pay, all the better. If you ignore or challenge and they think you are making enough money at your business that there is something to gain, they try to find proof. Who wins here, it suppressed small businesses of all kinds that are barely holding on and many small upstart musicians living on starvation pay die off, small venues that give an opportunity for a start to those artists can't afford to pay, so they fail. More radio stations that play the same 20 songs over and over and over. Its all about greed not what is right for the arts.

     

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    johnn, Feb 1st, 2014 @ 9:09am

    Wow, you guys don't know law

    I see all kinds of questions and even more fallacies asserted as fact on here. There are simply too many to address. This thread is full of it.

    I invite all of you to brush up on your Intellectual Property law, licensing in particular. You guys really don't know how Performing Rights Agencies work, do you? Restaurants can't just shop around and choose ASCAP or BMI...it depends on what music they want to play.

    I invite you all to read and study more about it. The Beverly Hills Bar Association has produced an excellent source: The Musician's Business and Legal Guide

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 3:59pm

    I wonder if they ever send letters and spies to the Hells Angels clubhouse?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 4:02pm

    ANONYMOUS needs to hot these three rip off companies and hit them hard!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 4:02pm

    hit

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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