Topic: Copyright and the BMI gestapo  (Read 10127 times)

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Bob Pettit

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Re: Copyright and the BMI gestapo
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2010, 07:55 PM »
So you believe that a "start-up" should get a free pass and not pay any fees to BMI/ASCAP while the other venues nearby are paying these fees? Perhaps you could extend this generosity to allow them to sell liquor without a permit, serve food without health inspections, and collect money from patrons without paying local, state or federal taxes.

That doesn't sound fair to me at all; you're penalizing other business owners that abide by the rules and giving an unfair advantage to those that don't want to pay for their BMI/ASCAP licenses.

Just my opinion, but yes, a free pass to all ... I'm for a laissez faire hands off policy by the gov, there is is way too many rules, way to many licenses, the government has a choke hold on free enterprize.

They say Hong Kong is now the freeist economic place in the world, ironic the Red's are beating us at our own game.

A good place to draw the line is this BMI/ASCAP rackett. They don't have the right claiming an 'arrangement' to traditional songs that no one knows who wrote them. Come on, the start up joint isn't playing top 40 ... they don't need a license, and if the law says they do, then the law is wrong.


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Chris Whitten

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Re: Copyright and the BMI gestapo
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2010, 04:51 PM »
A good place to draw the line is this BMI/ASCAP rackett.

Well firstly, rather odd you advocate cutting laws that benefit musicians, but don't mention all the other bylaws that bars and clubs must comply with.
What I find with many of these marginal businesses is that they don't question the dollars they must spend to comply to health, safety, alcohol licensing, business taxes, accounting etc, but think musicians should be an exception.
Secondly, you call it a 'racket', but I've personally benefitted for many years as a result of the diligence of the Performing Rights Society (which is the UK equivalent of BMI/ASCAP). I know many, many other musicians who have benefitted likewise.

Bart Elliott

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Re: Copyright and the BMI gestapo
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2010, 05:02 PM »
Secondly, you call it a 'racket', but I've personally benefited for many years as a result of the diligence of the Performing Rights Society (which is the UK equivalent of BMI/ASCAP). I know many, many other musicians who have benefited likewise.


Chris Whitten

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Re: Copyright and the BMI gestapo
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2010, 10:11 PM »
Who you callin' stoopid?  ;D ;D

Bob Pettit

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Re: Copyright and the BMI gestapo
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2010, 08:14 AM »
Secondly, you call it a 'racket', but I've personally benefitted for many years as a result of the diligence of the Performing Rights Society (which is the UK equivalent of BMI/ASCAP). I know many, many other musicians who have benefitted likewise.

The fact that there is money to be skinned is a poor argument over whether this practice is 'right'.

I'm sure your check from the PRS won't be reduced if the BMI/ASCAP extortion is stopped regarding the live performance of traditional and original songs.

In my view it is a bad precedent. You mention all the other licences and fees an upstart business faces, and that's the point exactly. Why should they face yet another (particularly a $1000 per year for doing something that probably doesn't pull in that much business) fee that is fundamentally unjust?

Just my no brain all heart opinion ...  :)

Bart Elliott

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Re: Copyright and the BMI gestapo
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2010, 09:16 AM »
The fact that there is money to be skinned is a poor argument over whether this practice is 'right'.

In my view it is a bad precedent. You mention all the other licences and fees an upstart business faces, and that's the point exactly. Why should they face yet another (particularly a $1000 per year for doing something that probably doesn't pull in that much business) fee that is fundamentally unjust?

Why? Because I deserve to be paid when someone uses my creative work!

The club and band make money when they perform, and yet the person that wrote the music they are performing is left out in the cold. If it where not for the PROs, we would never see a dime.

I'm not arguing poor collection tactics from any organization (eg. IRS, PRO, etc.). I don't think any of us LIKE the scenario Robyn has shared. What I'm personally saying is that if someone uses copyrighted materials to operate a business, they need to have a license (permission) to do so; it's the Cost of Doing Business.

I'm all for the little guy ... because I'M ONE OF THEM! That small business club owner is no different than me; we're both trying to have a revenue.  But I'm certainly not interested in working for free ... and that's what I'd be doing if it were not for the PRO.

If people were honest and had integrity, we wouldn't need the PRO. But alas, people want it for free if they can get away with it.

For me, bottom line, I want the process and how the PRO collects the fees to be done with more integrity (no bullying), but I also want the licensing and collection process to remain.

I have little compassion for any club that refuses to pay for the music licensing. Don't have the money, don't open the business. To operate the business that plays music without the appropriate license is essentially stealing from me. Not cool.

Again, I agree with Robyn in that the method BMI used was wrong; completely wrong. If they are going to make a claim that the arrangements are copyrighted, they had better have the proof upfront. For a PRO to act like a bully and see what they can get away with is wrong.

Music is my livelihood; it's how I feed my family. Although the mailbox money I receive from ASCAP is small in comparison to my other music revenue streams, it's still money owed me ... and I deserve to receive it.

Chris Whitten

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Re: Copyright and the BMI gestapo
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2010, 05:33 AM »
Why? Because I deserve to be paid when someone uses my creative work!


That says it all.
I have to keep reminding people of late that 90% of musicians don't receive sick pay, holiday pay, legal rights in the workplace, sex discrimination legislation, employer pensions etc...
But when we do earn a bit of money, we seem to be fair target for criticism.  :(

Bart Elliott

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Re: Copyright and the BMI gestapo
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2011, 10:04 AM »
How You Can Clear Cover Songs, Samples, and Handle Public Domain Works

 http://www.ascap.com/playback/2011/01/features/limelight.aspx]http://www.ascap.com/playback/2011/01/features/limelight.aspx

Rusty Beckett

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Re: Copyright and the BMI gestapo
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2011, 06:34 PM »
I'd like to know, it is the responsibility of the bands to find out if the bar or club they're playing in has paid the BMI/ASCAP fees?  Does BMI or whoever collects these fees come down on the bands or the places hiring the bands?  I'm an amateur player these days and very aware that the pros rightfully deserve getting their dues for their work.

Chris Whitten

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Re: Copyright and the BMI gestapo
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2011, 12:37 AM »
Does BMI or whoever collects these fees come down on the bands or the places hiring the bands? 

It's the venue's responsibility.

Donald Field

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Re: Copyright and the BMI gestapo
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2011, 07:36 PM »
Zero club I do not pay their license fees to their national professional sympathy. I have this "argument" on both sides; both as a composer (I still do), as a club booker...