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#231587 by jsantos
Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:17 am
Wow! We finally have moderators! Congratulations to George and Mike. I haven't been around so, hello everyone.

New developments on venues that allow cover bands to perform unauthorized licensed music: ... ble-damage

Not sure if the story is legitimate but worth a discussion.

#231588 by J-HALEY
Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:31 am
Thank goodness Texas passed laws against frivolous lawsuits like this! This is the epitome of frivolous! To think that a little half ass cover band could hurt BMI or any of their big time artist is about like saying a gnat is costing NASA money because it could possibly fly into outer space!

#231593 by Cajundaddy
Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:31 am
Under current law, it is the establishment owners responsibility to pay a licensing fee to BMI which insures that the original artist receives royalties from the commercial use of their work. I think this law works and is reasonable and fair. It sounds like this Cleveland bar is refusing to pay the fees, challenging the law so it goes to court.

They do differentiate between a commercial enterprise and playing cover songs at a backyard party.

If a guy writes a hit song and it becomes huge, (Brown Eyed Girl, Sweet Home Alabama) I think he earned a bit from all of us who cover their hit songs so the bar can sell more drinks. The songsmiths need our support in this I think.

#231601 by GuitarMikeB
Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:36 pm
From the article, it sounds like the original bar owners are 'make a buck fast' guys who start up businesses then sell them off.
I agree with J7, this is a requirement for any establishment that wants to play music (live or through a service) - get a BMI and ASCAP licnese. For smaller places, it is $200-300 a year, for larger places it can be a couple of thousand. It sounds like BMI has done all they can 'in a friendly way', now are taking it to hte next step. Hopefully the current owners/management will settle before it actually goes to court, because they WILL lose and incur a lot more cost than if they just paid to begin with. Of course they coudl also default by not showing up and have a lien or 'cease and desist' court order slapped on them.
I have registered all the songs on my albums with BMI, not that I expect to get any royalty money) - it's totally free to do as an artist, but a 'publishing company' has to pay to do so.

#231633 by jw123
Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:22 pm
LOL, there is a McDonalds in Memphis across from a very famous studio that has BMI and ASCAP stickers on the window.

The story is reps for BMI and ASCAP go to this studio and ate in the McDonalds and heard music played and threatened a law suit, and made them pay a fee.

If it had been me, I would have just stopped playing any music in there!

SItuations like this, you really dont want to be an example.

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