"BMI usually tell venues that they need to pay anyway, just in case someone plays a single covered riff."
Under the law, this is "Prior Restraint" and is illegal. You cannot be compelled to pay a license fee because you *might*--at some fuzzy point in the future--use copyrighted material.
Reminds me of Al Capone's "protection" racket. I agree that prosecution of ASCAP and BMI under the RICO Act seems appropriate.
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