One point that often comes up (from all sides) in discussions about draconian copyright laws is the fact that, rather than worrying about copyright, new musicians can just ignore the legalities with no one being harmed. If only that were true. Earlier this year, we wrote about how those licensing policies in the US and overly aggressive enforcement by ASCAP and BMI meant that fewer and fewer venues were willing to host open mic nights
, significantly harming how many young musicians get their start. Over in the UK, where venue licensing rules have reached such ridiculous levels that a woman playing the radio for her horses has to buy a performance license
from PRS, it appears that politicians are finally recognizing there's a problem. A new government report is saying that such aggressive licensing policies are holding back young musicians
by making it too difficult for venues to allow live performance of music:
"The licensing requirements are still too bureaucratic and costly, particularly for non-commercial groups such as sports clubs, not-for-profit establishments and organisers of occasional events. Our report calls on the government to relax restrictions in this area, which in some cases are unnecessarily draconian, and in others simply absurd."
So, it's important to remember that while you'd like to think those who recognize such draconian laws are bad can just "opt-out," it's not always so easy. The wider impact of these laws can seriously stifle opportunities for new musicians.