Connecticut Town Tells ASCAP, BMI, SESAC To Get Lost Over Royalty Bills

from the get-lost! dept

Three years ago, the town of New Milford, Connecticut got a bill from ASCAP demanding $280 in licensing fees, because the local town center sometimes will have music playing. Even at that amount, the mayor felt it was ridiculous, since it was a municipality playing music for non-profit community purposes. So the town council voted to ignore the bill, tabling it "indefinitely." As far as I know nothing else has happened between ASCAP and New Milford, but reader Bill Waggoner recently alerted us to the news that BMI and SESAC -- the other two collection societies in the US -- sent bills to New Milford as well. BMI's was a whopping $3,000. SESAC's was $1,500.

After being asked about it, BMI realized that it had made a "mistake" in calculating the bill, and lowered it to $305 (funny that they don't make mistakes in the other direction, do they?). However, the town council has told them to go take a hike. "They're not going to get that either" was the quote from council member Roger Szendy. The town's mayor, Patricia Murphy, says she's standing up for the principle of the whole thing, claiming that it's silly that a municipality should have to pay. BMI apparently says it's not going to sue, but it hopes that the city will "do the right thing."

I'm guessing that BMI (and ASCAP) realize it would be a public relations nightmare to sue a municipality, but if other cities start taking similar principled stands, you have to wonder if they'd reconsider.

Side Note: As regular readers know, it's our common practice to link to our source for information on stories. In this case, however, our main source is The News Times. I had the story about this open in my browser for a few days before getting around to writing it up. Then I discovered that The News Times locks up its content after a few days. So... I can no longer actually get to the article or send any traffic to the newspaper site. Perhaps I don't quite get the economics of news publishing, but I would imagine ad traffic from a bunch of our readers visiting their site would greatly outweigh the expected value of people actually paying $3 to read the article (yes, that's what they want). Oh well. I guess it's just their loss.

Filed Under: collections societies, connecticut, new milford
Companies: ascap, bmi, sesac


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  1. identicon
    Roshan, 9 May 2013 @ 1:43am

    Body Mass Index, What is it ?

    A personís body mass index is a number calculated based on their height and weight. It is used for a comparative analysis of people with similar heights. The body mass index is a brainchild of a Belgian statistician and mathematician named Adolphe Quatelet who created the BMI sometime from1830 to 1850. To calculate the BMI, divide the personís weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared.

    History of Body Mass Index
    The Body Mass Index has been in use as a medical benchmark for obesity and is the statistical estimate for Adiposity. It is also the standard employed by the WHO (World Health Organization) for its obesity statistics.

    This number was introduced to the public through the governmentís efforts to promote sanguinity, nutritional knowledge, and healthy eating habits. This simple statistic has rendered itself very important since it can adapt itself to continuous changes inherent in a community and can indicate the economic development on a nutritional basis.

    The BMI was promoted as a simple rule of thumb that any individual of a particular height can calculate at home. It might not be the best possible indicator with regard to weight and health, as it can be unreliable in children, athletes, and the elderly.

    Itís quite simple to get an idea for the approximate type of body weight using the BMI. Roughly, an individual with BMI of 19 or less can be classified as underweight and is liable to suffer from malnutrition and other such eating disorders. A BMI of 25 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 would classify as extremely obese.

    The US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported that about 59 % of American men and 49% of American women are overweight and over 2% of men and 4% of women were reported to be extremely obese.

    These alarming reports only prove the BMI to be a more critical in America today rather than just an easy index for a self- check. It is to be noted that the BMI is not a fully reliable statistic by itself and hence health and nutrition recommendations to an individual cannot be made using just the BMI.

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