TD, your lack of understanding on this issue is breathtaking and ignorant.
Our PRO system is one of the few ways in the United States that creative artists get compensated for their work. When a work registered with BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC is played via Broadcast or in a Venue, the use of that work, protected under federal Copyright law (one of the few rights granted by the original framers of the Constitution), needs to be paid for. These organizations collect money from users of this content and distribute revenue to the copyright holders. It's not a perfect system, but it works for many.
Name another industry or business that insists upon getting its supplies and materials for free!
Would it be extortion if the coffee shop owner refused to pay for her coffee beans on the grounds that they should be free?
There are many alternatives to using licensed music if the venue uses music to attract customers, etc.
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