BMI Says Club Is Too Sexy For Standard Fees, Voids Check, Sues For Non-Payment

from the 'irreparable-damage'?-if-only dept

BMI is back doing what BMI does best: hauling in the "rent." This time BMI is going after a nightclub in Michigan for not taking advantage of its "services."
Broadcast Music, Inc., the music licensing group, is suing the Lady Godiva's nightclub and its owner, Mark London, claiming the club has violated copyrights. BMI filed a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, alleging the club played songs by artists Rivers Cuomo ("Say It Ain't So"), R. Kelly ("Ignition") and Amy Winehouse ("You Know I'm No Good") without paying the proper music license fees. The suit claims the songs were played at the club -- without BMI permission -- on September 27, 2010.
As has been shown before, BMI needs nothing more than a few songs to build a claim against a business and it got the songs it needed. The filing (embedded below) is light on details but runs long on hyperbolic doomsaying. It would appear from BMI's own wording that unless Lady Godiva's rogue actions are stopped, the very future of performance rights groups is in peril. Check these out (page 4):
The specific acts of copyright infringement alleged, as well as the Defendant's entire course of conduct, have caused and are causing Plaintiffs great and incalculable damage.
Holy hell! A single nightclub in Grand Rapids, MI (Pop. 188,040) has broken BMI's calculator with its alleged course of conduct! Somebody needs to stop Godiva before its kills/breaks math again! But who?
Unless this Court restrains Defendants from committing further acts of copyright infringement, Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury for which they have no adequate remedy at law.
It's worse than I thought! BMI will have to go on the Injured Reserve List! For life! How many among us have carelessly "infringed copyrights" without thinking of the little people, like BMI, ASCAP and so many other battered acronyms? Who will nurse their "irreparable" wounds? Will BMI have to resort to vigilante justice to collect its fees? Is that the way we really want it? Limping performance rights organizations operating outside the law? I submit to you that we do not.

But that's only half the story (and what a half it is...) According to Lady Godiva's owner, Mark London, attempts were made to pay the licensing fees, but BMI tried to change the agreement.
London tells WZZM 13 News that BMI is seeking to have him sign a licensing agreement registering his club as an adult entertainment business, which he says it is not. He says that while his club does feature women dancing it is not a topless venue, as a 2006 Grand Rapids city ordinance no longer allows nudity.

London says he is in good standing with ASCAP and other licensing agencies. But when he sent checks to BMI to pay for music rights, London says the group voided the payments.
So, suddenly, "enough" just isn't enough for BMI. It wants more and it isn't shy about dragging a business into court until it's happy with the dollar amount. Understandably, BMI's filing says nothing about this dispute over categorization and relies solely on the testimony of three well-known tunes. This is a pretty thin filing for BMI, which probably explains the overwrought language.

BMI may have an incredible success rate with its lawsuits but trying to convince a judge that a business that could not possibly be an adult entertainment business is, in fact, an adult entertainment business is going to be a pretty tough sell, no matter how much supposed ongoing "irreparable damage" is involved.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    crade (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 11:36am

    Wow, it's a good thing I paid my protection money to BMI when I did, it looks like I may not get another chance.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 11:50am

    A single nightclub in Grand Rapids, MI (Pop. 188,040) has broken BMI's calculator with its alleged course of conduct!


    The calculator isn't broken - it's just the same one that BMI uses to calculate artist payments.

     

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    Mike42 (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 11:59am

    Wait - BMI charges different rates for different businesses? Bare boobies cost more?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:11pm

      Re:

      I speak from experience when I say that bare boobies cost more than covered boobies.

       

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      reboog711 (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:07pm

      Re:

      The difference might be that background music has a different rate than music used in a performance.

      So, background music is one rate. And music that the girls dance to is a different rate.

       

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        Someantimalwareguy (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:28pm

        Re: Re:

        So, background music is one rate. And music that the girls dance to is a different rate.
        So you are saying that if a number of attractive women sitting at the bar suddenly jumped up and decided to dance to a favorite tune while not working for said bar, would require higher licensing fees?

        At least it would keep me from having to embarrass myself when asked to dance the next time...Sorry honey, this bar didn't pay the dancing fee so we will just have to sit here and enjoy our drinks...

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:08pm

      Re:

      Yes. They have lots of different licenses tailored to different types of venues (e.g., sports complexes, nightclubs, restaurants, etc.).

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:16pm

      Re:

      Boobies, like culture, should be free.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    I love it when you guys are intentionally dense.

    "The specific acts of copyright infringement alleged, as well as the Defendant's entire course of conduct, have caused and are causing Plaintiffs great and incalculable damage."

    The damage isn't just in the doing, it's in others seeing them do it and thinking they can get away with it to. The old "slippery slope", or perhaps on par with jealously protecting a trademark. If you stop protecting it in all ways, others will think it is okay and the problem compounds itself.

    As for the variable fees, consider it the difference between someone playing background music (say a jukebox in a bar) compared to live performance to music. There are different classifications to keep the fees in line for smaller, less music centric establishments.

    Don't give up your day job Tim. You don't have the same ability with moral outrage that Mike has, and you certainly don't know when to draw the line before you slide into parody of your own ideas.

     

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      PrometheeFeu (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:21pm

      Re:

      Is it your argument that adult clubs are music-centric businesses?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:28pm

        Re: Re:

        Adult clubs (strip, nudies, topless, and "teasing") require music to operate. Can you imagine a stripper without music? It just doesn't work. They require music to operate.

         

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          HothMonster, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          i thought stippers ran on money, i guess i should start sticking cds in their underwear

           

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          PrometheeFeu (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          While that is the traditional way things have been done, most people do not go to strip clubs to enjoy the music. They go for the naked people. To claim that music is central to the strip-club experience one is paying for is either misguided or revealing of certain sexual predilections. ;)

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You're free to open your own music-less strip club if you think it'll work out. I don't think it will. Nor do I think a strip club that plays only local unsigned bands' originals would do all that well.

             

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              John Fenderson (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Oh, I have no doubt whatsoever that such an establishment could work very well. Yes, you'd need some kind of background track, but nobody is going to a strip club for a high quality musical experience. A half-wit on a Casiotone would do the job well enough. Or even just somebody pounding out a rhythm on a pair of bongos.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:56pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ...or use music licensed from other sources LoL

               

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              RadialSkid (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Nor do I think a strip club that plays only local unsigned bands' originals would do all that well.

              Says who? As long as it has a beat that the girls can move to, nobody will give a damn whether the artist is "signed" or not.

               

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          mike allen (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          public performance is public performance whether it is from a juke box or a live band or a DJ on stage. There should be no difference in price the volume level is no different.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You're free to set the terms on the licenses to your own copyright protected works. Others want to set different terms, and are free to do so (within certain antitrust limits).

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 7:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              within certain antitrust limits

              [citation needed]

              By definition copyright creates a monopoly so they can set any price or terms that they want. I think you may have been talking about collusion, something the RIAA is also guilty of.

              keep shillin'

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Volume level isn't the issue, it's how it is linked. A club with a DJ would pay X, but music used as part of a performance by an artist pays X+Y. It's the nature of the deal.

             

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      Gabriel Tane (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:22pm

      Re:

      So, the slippery slope defense is what you're using to justify them resorting to a description of "great and incalculable damage"

      Now I'm really picturing the guy from Cube.

      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110921/16024816045/bmi-says-club-is-too-sexy-standard-fees-vo ids-check-sues-non-payment.shtml#c78

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:27pm

      go away loser troll

      rts

       

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      HothMonster, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:28pm

      Re:

      "The damage isn't just in the doing, it's in others seeing them do it and thinking they can get away with it to. The old "slippery slope", or perhaps on par with jealously protecting a trademark. If you stop protecting it in all ways, others will think it is okay and the problem compounds itself."

      so how do patrons know whether they paid BMI or not?

       

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      Terard, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:29pm

      Re:

      If these nightclubs don't pay their dues to BMI, Amy Winehouse might stop making new music.

       

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      PrometheeFeu (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:37pm

      Re:

      "The damage isn't just in the doing, it's in others seeing them do it and thinking they can get away with it to."

      Last I checked, you are not responsible for the potential future actions of others. Should OJ Simpson be sent to jail for "felony getting away with murder" because everyone thinks he did it and people might therefore believe that they too could get away with it?

       

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      Chosen Reject (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      The damage isn't just in the doing, it's in others seeing them do it and thinking they can get away with it to.
      I know every place I walk in that has music playing proudly displays the "We paid BMI for this music" placard. It makes me know that I'm in a trusted music playing establishment. If they aren't displaying that placard, I make sure to leave posthaste, as I don't want to be frequenting any shady and disreputable venues.

       

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      Some Other AC (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:27pm

      Re:

      While your basic argument holds water, it fails to accommodate for the statement by the clubs owner.
      "But when he sent checks to BMI to pay for music rights, London says the group voided the payments."
      Now, I submit the possibility that he is lying. However, if he has the voided/cancelled payments or statements from BMI relating to this, then BMIs standing in this case is about as solid Jell-O on an August day in Texas.
      Please take the entire article into consideration before posting. It will make your one side arguments much more appreciable.

       

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      Fickelbra (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:31pm

      Re:

      "The damage isn't just in the doing, it's in others seeing them do it and thinking they can get away with it to."

      Praytell how exactly others would hear the music and instantly know it isn't properly licensed. I also don't know anyone who goes to a strip club and talks about the music.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:39pm

      Re:

      BMI wasn't complaining about "LIVE performance to music" (they knew it was a nightclub and licensed it accordingly), they were complaining about "NUDE performance to music"...except the performance WASN'T nude! (Scantly-clad, perhaps, but NOT nude!)
      Add to that the fact that payment, as agreed to by both sides in a signed contract, WAS made, but BMI refused to accept it, and you have a company acting in bad faith.
      Y'know, boy; if you had half a brain, you'd have half a brain more than you have now.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:45pm

      Re:

      I always thought that BMI was causing irreparable damage to society by acting like they did now you just proved.

       

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      IronM@sk, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 6:12pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:18pm

      ROFL. Nice one shill. I like how you intentionally ignore (much like BMI's legal filing) the fact that THE CLUB PAID its fees to BMI to play the music. And you call US intentionally dense. LOL!

       

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:20pm

    Inconceivable!!

    "have caused and are causing Plaintiffs great and incalculable damage."

    But don't worry, Your Honor, we'll help you calculate how much this scum (SCUM!) should pay us.


    Damn... now I'm picturing the idiot savant from Cube... "astro-nomical..."

     

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    I'm confused

    How is playing a song copyright infringement? Failure to pay public performance fees true, but copyright infringement?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:12pm

      Re: I'm confused

      The owner of the copyright in a musical composition enjoys the exclusive right to publicly perform the composition. If someone else does it without the copyright owner's authorization, it's infringement (with some exceptions).

       

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        surfer (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:18pm

        Re: Re: I'm confused

        what about the tunes I listen to in my head, do I have to pay BMI to think about a song I know by rote? if I am in public and think of an old Beatles song, is that a public performance too? what if I only thin about the first few verses?

         

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        Skeptical Cynic (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:33pm

        Re: Re: I'm confused

        But is it public when it happens on private property? ;-)

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: I'm confused

          It certainly can be. In fact, I'd say most public performances are held on private property (as opposed to government property).

           

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            HothMonster, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused

            you can tell he is a real for the people kind of guy when he refers to public property as government property

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 3:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused

              I'm not sure what you're getting at.

              You frown upon the notion that government property = public property?

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 3:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused

            So when anybody try to remove somebody from a public event on the basis of private property should they be sued for infringing on the first amendment?

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:43pm

        Re: Re: I'm confused

        "The owner of the copyright in a musical composition enjoys the exclusive right to publicly perform the composition. If someone else does it without the copyright owner's authorization, it's infringement (with some exceptions)."

        Except the club HAD the permission (a signed contract with BMI) and had paid for it!
        BMI refused to cash the checks!
        Who's in the wrong, boy?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: I'm confused

          I obviously don't know all the facts here, but it sounds like BMI is saying they had permission to do X but they were really doing Y.

          If they were publicly performing the songs outside the scope of their license, then that's unauthorized.

          From what little I know, there seems to be a gray area both factually and in terms of what the licensed covered, as to whether they were authorized.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:57pm

        Re: Re: I'm confused

        I wonder why?

        Those people should enjoy nothing.

         

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    MAC, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Copyright...

    Playing the song constitutes 'use' and use of copyrighted material without permission is against the law.

    Let's say you come up with a software widget that makes existing cars get 100 miles to a gallon. Barring the oil companies either buying you out or killing you; you obtain a copyright to the software.

    Some numbskull gets hold of your software and incorporates it into his new fuel injection machine.

    You have been violated! They are using your stuff. How would you feel?

    Like sueing the numbskull thats how.

    So it is with the artist and those who represent them...

     

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      HothMonster, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:36pm

      Re: Copyright...

      ...

       

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      Dan Smith, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:46pm

      Re: Copyright...

      Justify your argument how you like. You Douche bag lawyers and copywright asshats only have one thing in mind when suing clubs/people/companies. Money - Not that any of it actually gets to the artist. F*ck you and your system. You have bloodied the law waters with this stuff too long. If you really represented the artist, please show how much of these law suits reach them and what you got in compensation. Is the money comparable? If we knew a majority of it went to the artist, we would give back to them. but we know better.

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:52pm

      Re: Copyright...

      Let's say you come up with a software widget that makes existing cars get 100 miles to a gallon. Barring the oil companies either buying you out or killing you; you obtain a copyright to the software.

      Well, I for one would release my software under the GPL or similar OSS license for the betterment of humankind in the first place. Monetary gain isn't the only reason for creating something.

      [Side note]: There is no "obtaining" of a copyright - it's automatically copyrighted the moment it's created.

       

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      Jay (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:53pm

      Re: Copyright...

      Next thing you know, he's going to say that the music played constitutes a public performance...

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:07pm

      Re: Copyright...

      Now let's say you had a set fee for its use and he wrote you a check for it. Now imagine you decided you want more money so you void his check for the already agreed upon amount and sue him for infringement. How would you feel?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:15pm

      Re: Copyright...

      "Playing the song constitutes 'use' and use of copyrighted material without permission is against the law."

      This is not true. Copyright does not grant an exclusive right to "use" a protected work. It gives an exclusive right to do specific things (e.g., copy, distribute copies of, publicly perform, display), but a vague exclusive "use" right is not included.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:59pm

      Re: Copyright...

      MAC, I feel sorry for you here. Trying to teach people here how the law works (when it works against their freetard mentality) is like pulling teeth. They just don't care.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:01pm

        Re: Re: Copyright...

        It doesn't help when you get the law wrong.

         

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          Chosen Reject (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Copyright...

          Obviously you didn't read Title 66 section 5 paragraph 3 subsection A number 1, which reads "When the law is on the side of freetards, the law is automatically replaced with the legal fancies of the nearest copyright maximalist."

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:20pm

      Re: Copyright...

      Except that your gas-saving device is actually useful and contributes to society.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:47pm

      Re: Copyright...

      That is the part which I find absurd, it should not be against the law ever to play anything.

      Musicians should go to work doing live gigs and that is it.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:50pm

      Re: Copyright...

      I know your type, is the guy that brings the ball to a ball game and when think they can make up the rules after, and once being told to fuck off they get all upset.

      That is why I rip every musician that it is in the top 100 all the time.

      I do it for the principle, those bums should get a real job.

       

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      B Pickel (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 10:13pm

      Re: Copyright...

      MAC, I think your example of using a software in that scenario starts simular but falls away from this issues raised/concerned within the article

      As per your scenario I can see where your coming from;
      I made/designed/created something(in your case a widget) and now someone was obtained it without compensation and has packaged it with other ideas/equipment that you
      a) Hadnít thought of.
      b) Had thought of but couldnít/hadnít implemented.
      c) Had thought of and is currently working on releasing it.
      And then option d) Had thought of it and already has a released version competing in the market place.

      Now as you go down thought the options you will find that people become more irate about this violation (often called theft) is generally because of the more money they potentially lost. What they donít see (or turn a blind eye to)is that as you go further now the list the original something (widget) now has a larger marketplace to be used in or even demand for more or possibly improved versions to replace it. You can sue them or you can approach them and try to strike up a licensing\subscription\product pricing deal with them (you know offer them first access to upgrades or quicker/better support of the product).

      Now if your just chasing the ďentitledĒ money the first approach of suing them seams the best way to obtain the cash, but the second approach is a much more sustainable long term approach.

      The issue I get from the article is not that they didnít purchase the music but that there was conflicting beliefs on the terms set up in the original licensing agreement.

       

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      Richard (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 1:25am

      Re: Copyright...

      Some numbskull gets hold of your software and incorporates it into his new fuel injection machine.

      You have been violated! They are using your stuff. How would you feel?


      1. How would you know that it was not his own code?

      2. Personally I wouldn't feel that bad about it. This whole "feeling you've been violated" thing is frankly very bad for the person concerned. Getting all proprietorial about things is bad for moral and mental health. If you suffer from this affliction I suggest you seek help.

       

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    Bengie, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Slow driving

    "great and incalculable damage"

    In the same way that I am caused "great and incalculable damage" when stuck behind a slow driver. My time is worth money and they're consuming my time.

    I must sue them for 10 times my estimated life's salary.

     

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      rubberpants, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:40pm

      Re: Slow driving

      If it's incalculable, how do they know it's "great". By definition, we don't know what it is. I could be $0.00. It could be "chair."

       

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        Bengie, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:53pm

        Re: Re: Slow driving

        Like of how they claim Limewire caused over 90 trillion in damage to the music industry..... ROFL..

        But yeah, I like your point about "incalculable" effectively being "null". It is an unknown value.

         

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        ltlw0lf (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 3:16pm

        Re: Re: Slow driving

        It could be "chair."

        When it goes above "apple," let us know... $1,apple.00 is a lot of money.

        [Forgive the Dr. Who reference...]

         

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    MAC, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Thank God!

    Thank God that we don't have to deal with this when we are playing copyrighted material privately.

    The reason they don't go after private is
    1) The law does not allow it.
    2) You don't want to piss off your largest customer base.
    3) It was just plain impractical however, with modern technology, it is now feasable to figure out who's playing what.

    Let's just hope some A$$ H0!! lawyer does not get some bright idea and lobbgy congress, they've got enough on their plate to screw up...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Tim, when you mock what you don't understand, you look worse and if you simply admit that you don't understand something.

    The language you quote is legal terminology basically arguing that money damages won't be sufficient to repair the harm BMI or its artists have suffered, so the court shoul issue an order stopping the club from playing BMI songs in the future.

    It has nothing to due with the *amount* of harm BMI or its artists have allegedly suffered.

    At any rate, who the hell plays "Say It Ain't So" at a strip club?

     

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      surfer (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:23pm

      Re:

      they should get a player piano and load it with public domain music, then invite slime like BMI over, but increase the cover charge for them by 100000000000%

       

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:34pm

      Re:

      The language you quote is legal terminology basically arguing that money damages won't be sufficient to repair the harm BMI or its artists have suffered, so the court shoul issue an order stopping the club from playing BMI songs in the future.

      The fact that it's legal language doesn't make it any less hyperbolic.

      Mark London sounds like he'd be more than happy to stop playing BMI music. He even sounds like he'd be fine paying for the "privilege" of playing music from BMI's roster. He just doesn't see the need to pay the higher adult entertainment rate since his club is clearly not an adult entertainment venue. If bikinis make your nightclub a strip club, then you had better start carding down at the beach.

      At any rate, who the hell plays "Say It Ain't So" at a strip club?

      That's a valid question and I'll admit that I don't readily have an answer. Perhaps the BMI investigator requested it.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:55pm

      Re:

      I don't know about you, but when I see that kind of hyperbole in an official document I just wonder how the fuck that those idiots passed the bar.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 3:17pm

        Re: Re:

        Irreparable harm is a term of art. If you *don't* see it in a complaint, then there's case to worry about the practitioner's skill.

        I agree that they should have just stuck with "irreparable" instead of throwing in "incalculable."

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 5:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Does not worry you that hyperbole is integrated in the law already like it is something normal?

          How can something be incalculable and irreparable?
          If you can't calculate something, measure it or quantify it how can one assert that it is irreparable?

          Hence logic in the law profession apparently is long gone.

          Term of art or not there is a problem with those kind of fillings and it is not a minor one.

           

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      JMT (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 5:29pm

      Re:

      "The language you quote is legal terminology basically arguing that money damages won't be sufficient to repair the harm BMI or its artists have suffered..."

      You say Tim's mocking makes him look worse, and then you offer thatas an explanation? Geez, no wonder the general opinion of copyright supporters and lawyers is falling so fast.

       

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    TheStupidOne, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    So if strip clubs have to pay more for the music license do I have to pay extra if I listen to Pandora while watching porn?

     

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    iamtheky (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:29pm

    "but runs long on hyperbolic...."

    That is exactly how I know I'm reading a Cushing post.

     

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 3:37pm

      Re: "but runs long on hyperbolic...."

      Others have noted that "runs long..." is also a Cushing keynote.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re: "but runs long on hyperbolic...."

        The PETA post was filled to the brim, surprised any references got in there at all, then you point out the hyperbole in others in your very next post. The runs long aspect flickers, the overt subjectivity is always on.

        The third person reference is new, though that may balance it all out.

         

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    Jeremy7600 (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    Great and incalcuable damage? What is this "great" "harm" that BMI or the artists suffered that can't be paid back?

    And how it is great and incalcuable if I have never heard those three tracks (and I haven't) but heard them there first and decide I want to hear more so I buy one of the three albums from whence the songs came?

    You guys are off your fucking rockers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    I find it shocking that people passed a law that allows one entity to engage others on the assumption that there are some kind of harm but it cannot be quantified or measured and so people use the hyperbole "incalculable damage.".
    Of course it is incalculable and some would say inexistent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 1:47pm

    Get it right Mike. How many babies did they kill by playing those songs?! HOW MANY?!?!

     

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    innerg2012 (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:04pm

    I have altered the deal, pray I do not alter it any further...

     

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    Jz (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    "are causing Plaintiffs great and incalculable damage."

    Obviously if someone presupposes 'incalculable' with 'great' then they haven't understood what it means not to be able to calculate an amount. Perhaps it is legaleze shorthand for 'lawyers need more money'.

    'Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury for which they have no adequate remedy at law.'

    No. Really no. It will be incalculable and irreparable until they are asked how much money they want to make it all better. One song in one nightclub does not construe an apocalyptic nightmare of unimaginable horror worth the income of a small nation.

     

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    lucidrenegade (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 3:57pm

    Phone number?

    Does anyone know the phone number for BMI? I need to know if I have to pay a license fee when I masturbate to "The Devil Went Down to Georgia".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 5:01pm

    Great and incalculable damage

    wow, contradiction much? its incalculable but they know its great and it caused damage?

     

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    Any Mouse (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 6:20pm

    Tim, you embedded a disclosure filing. Could you embed the filing you are quoting out of, instead? Or link to it?

     

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    Any Mouse (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 6:22pm

    Tim, you embedded a disclosure filing. Could you embed the filing you are quoting out of, instead? Or link to it?

     

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    Karl (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Performance fees

    I'm actually not opposed to performance fees at all. If your music adds value to a business, it's only fair that you be compensated, to some small degree.

    The different "tiers" of payments are set by BMI themselves, and are an attempt to pay less or more depending upon the role the music plays in the business. (Thus, live music requires a much higher rate than a jukebox, since live music is more of a "draw.") It stands to reason that strip clubs pay a higher rate than others, since the music is a much bigger part of the act (they are "dancers," after all).

    Likewise, the language (while hyperbolic) is pretty standard fare for legal documents, and it uses such phrases as "irreparable injury" because those are the phrases that show up in the statutes.

    Where it gets ridiculous is in the fact that BMI refused payments, and sued, based on the mistaken idea that the club is a strip club, when in fact it is unlawful for them to be a strip club. If this is true, then obviously BMI has its head up its ass.

    Does it mean BMI will lose the case? Dunno. Under the letter of the law, the club probably should have not used the music until after the deal was already worked out. On the other hand, since they obviously made good-faith efforts to resolve the issue, I'm betting the judge would only fine them for innocent infringement at most.

    Of course, I have other problems with BMI... mostly in how they distribute the money to artists. If you're a member, pretty much the only way you'll get paid is if you have a Top 40 hit on the radio. (They are better than ASCAP, but that's a small comfort.)

    And, obviously, PRO's need to stop shutting down music at the smaller, and especially non-profit, establishments. For one thing, that helps nobody, especially not the PRO's. For another thing, often the PRO's do this when the venue in question doesn't even play their music.

    That doesn't appear to be the case here, though.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 5:13pm

    I'm too sexy for BMI, too sexy for BMI...it's just not the same.

     

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    PappyCaligula (profile), Sep 30th, 2011 @ 4:29pm

    Pay UP...

    BMI, Ascap, and Sesac right to sue for compensation goes back to atleast 1917...Just like pirated software, pirated music is stealing and has been for over 90 years per Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes landmark decision on licensing.

    Music must be licensed. Period. Without a license. You will eventually be found. Why did this all come about?. Because crooked owners of establishments both large and small, promised musicians and artisans PAY and didn't deliver!

    What we need is more compliance to keep the riff-raff, small and large out of thinking they're doing a musician a favor by letting them play at max for tips thrown their way while same musicians efforts make the unscrutable thief a ton of cash!..

    Venues would benefit as well if they just did it legal.
    They'd atleast show some measure of respect for those who work hard on-the-road to entertain them.

     

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