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  • Jun 12th, 2010 @ 2:53pm

    re $7

    Yeah, $7 a day sounds like no big deal when you phrase it that way. Neither does $10. Or $15. Or $20 with the right contrasting point.

    But $150 per month is starting to sound more like a utility bill. $1800 per year is more like a major expense than daily spare change-

    - when you're talking about these smaller businesses now being targeted.

    I'm not hearing any clubs with stages or regularly paid bands complaining, even the lowballers.

    I'm seeing a lot of formerly exempt amateur and beginner-level free gigs being targeted by the city as well as the PROs and dropping live music altogether.

    $7 a day adds up fast. It's nothing to sneeze at.

  • Jun 12th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    re; addendum- house concerts

    The city of Las Vegas requires house concerts to have entertainment licenses and all performers to have business/performing license, additional license if you sell CDs.

    $125 or more upfront, then $25 per $12000 yearly gross income twice a year.
    So, $50 per year to play your originals at open mics or house concerts, more if you sell CDs.

    The biggest problem here- no distinction between amateur or pro players or ancillary or featured music.

  • Jun 12th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    re; BMI, ASCAP and NAB

    Here's what's true about this controversy-

    The minimum of over $300 instantly modified by details that raise it quickly, times 3 agencies expecting it, even if a venue limits itself to original music.

    The 'PROs' are going after venues that were considered below the threshold, as in, yes, there used to be one. A 50 seat coffeehouse with a guy hosting an open mic for free or even a small restaurant with, say, a jazz trio or folk duo was exempt at least in practice if not actual literal policy.

    This is a recent push by the licensers to capitalize on what they see as lost musical revenues by music users, which is, of course, theoretical bean-counting strategy applied completely out of context.

    To show you how greedy they are, the 'PROs' are backing a bill in Congress- The Performance Rights Act (PRA) to make royalty payments mandatory for all the local and non-profit radio broadcasters that used to be exempt.

    Just like the coffeehouses and home concerts. This opens the door to eventually charge every business with a radio playing out loud.

    Meanwhile, broadcasters are fighting back with nuclear weapons. The NAB is backing the 'Local Radio Freedom Act' (LRF), which would banish any new royalties for any 'sound recording user' not already paying under previous guidelines. Not just radio- stores, malls, restaurants, small tv stations.

    This will immediately lead to lawsuits from major users for unfair exclusion.

    Then, the real royalties that the PROs are there to collect, mainstream radio, tv and film, will disappear as each industry sues to be exempt. As a BMI member who's done TV work, these are the royalties I joined for and they're endangered.

    Meanwhile, NAB says radio shouldn't pay because it publicizes musicians for free and, besides, only the rich ones and big labels get the money.

    Since radio has long restricted airplay to nationally programmed services and hit acts, this is a paradox at best.

    BMI et al are pushing for more revenue by 'taxing the peasants' because they can't monitor internet playback and are desperate to replace the funds they perceive as lost in the new medium.

    The broadcasters want to lose the baggage of paying royalties altogether, and cost-cutting at small business levels is foolproof defense against those 'evil, selfish, millionaire rock stars'.

    The PROs push is making this a walk in the park for broadcasters.

    Oh, and the city of Las Vegas is also pushing all venues and anyone who performs at all or sells a CD to have a business or performing license- even amateurs who play at open mics.

    Meanwhile, we are lucky to be paid the same $50 Ray Charles made in 1949.

    But, it's all okay because you can 'choose not to have live music' and it's a moot point.

    Because why? Performing music at all anywhere is such a privilege that we should gladly pay to do it?

    Well, AC, once we're gone, there's only you left to gouge. Asked a Brit lately about the 'BBC TV license fee'?

    Ready to pay for the stereo in your car?