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Author Topic: ASCAP/BMI license fees for restaurants/clubs  (Read 9328 times)

BruceB

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ASCAP/BMI license fees for restaurants/clubs
« on: March 24, 2011, 11:13:30 pm »

I know I'm not a regular around here, but I have lurked for years, posted some. Suffice it to say I've been in the music biz for 40+ years(musician,recording engineer,producer) and this is really bugging me now.

So, I show up for our newly established(1 month) thursday night jazz gig at a small restaurant in our small town in Maine. I am told after the first set that next week is our last as the ASCAP guys have informed them of the license fee of $1400.00/year to have live music. I know we can get around this(can't we??)by performing only original songs. I know the owners well, there's no hard feelings, but I feel this is just shakedown tactics on the part of ASCAP. These folks just can't afford that fee plus paying us and I get it. They also own another restaurant /bar down the street and do pay the fee there as they have a DJ, it's clear it's all covers/recorded playback.

Anybody else irritated by this practice? It's a bit over the top IMNSFHO. I looked up the ASCAP website, found a clause saying there is exemption for worship services- how about we have Thursday Night Jazz Service at  xxxxx restaurant.  Any ideas??? ...Tired of Being Dicked Around......

Thanks All,
Bruce

ps:clause:

2. What is a public performance?

A public performance is one that occurs either in a public place or any place where people gather (other than a small circle of a family or its social acquaintances.) A public performance is also one that is transmitted to the public; for example, radio or television broadcasts, music-on-hold, cable television, and by the internet. Generally, those who publicly perform music obtain permission from the owner of the music or his representative. However, there are a few limited exceptions, (called "exemptions") to this rule. Permission is not required for music played or sung as part of a worship service unless that service is transmitted beyond where it takes place (for example, a radio or television broadcast). Performances as part of face to face teaching activity at a non-profit educational institutions are also exempt.
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thomas jones

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Re: ASCAP/BMI license fees for restaurants/clubs
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 11:33:05 pm »

I believe the artists and/or composers of the copy written material that ASCAP, BMI, et al deem to protect are receiving a small (very small) fraction of what is collected. As so many facets of our lives the illusion becomes marketable under the law.
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Nobtwiddler

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Re: ASCAP/BMI license fees for restaurants/clubs
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2011, 07:33:09 am »

I've owned a few nightclubs, and pubs in my day.
And I'm also a Ascap member.

My clubs policy was all original live music performed 4 nites a week.

The "reps" would come in unannounced, sit down and hang for hours.
And if ever a band played a cover song, they would then come up to the bar asking for the owner, me.
This is when they would always say that based on the size of my club, number of nights with live music, I would have to pay $$$ in fees each year.

I showed them our advertisements about all original music, and simply stated the facts,
Hey I didn't play the "Beatles" song you just heard,  they did, go ask them for the money.

Now get the &#($&@#% out of my club!

The last time they said they would sue me..
I said go ahead and try.

Nothing ever happened!

This has happened in all of my joints since the late 80's, and they do try to strong arm you!

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017hnoor

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Re: ASCAP/BMI license fees for restaurants/clubs
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2015, 07:51:02 am »

Anybody else irritated by this practice? It's a bit over the top IMNSFHO. I looked up the ASCAP website, found a clause saying there is exemption for worship services- how about we have Thursday Night Jazz Service at  xxxxx restaurant.  Any ideas??? .
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NOOR

Jim Williams

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Re: ASCAP/BMI license fees for restaurants/clubs
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2015, 11:01:23 am »

The lack of music sales has also hit the lawyers hard.
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Kamilla

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Re: ASCAP/BMI license fees for restaurants/clubs
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2015, 07:49:47 pm »

Thank you for your posts! Very interesting!
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DarbyOhara

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Re: ASCAP/BMI license fees for restaurants/clubs
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2016, 08:06:04 am »

Anybody else irritated by this practice? It's a bit over the top IMNSFHO. I looked up the ASCAP website, found a clause saying there is exemption for worship services- how about we have Thursday Night Jazz Service at  xxxxx restaurant.  Any ideas??? .

They also scour the web for owners hosting music too and send them notices for fees... regardless of what the content is.  I had a website a few years back that hosted just my original music... I received several letters threatening with cease and desist if I didn't pay their fees.  With the way the music distribution and marketing is today... they want to control it all.
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