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ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: Max'sKansasCity ()
Date: June 6, 2013 02:39

[www.tmz.com]

""BMI, the famous music licensing company, has filed lawsuits against 12 bars and restaurants around the country, claiming the establishments have been playing their songs without paying a licensing fee. And it gets a lot worse. For every BMI song that gets played on a bar jukebox or by a DJ without the proper fee being paid, BMI is entitled to $150,000 in damages. So "Love Child" could literally put a bar out of biz.

As for how BMI picked the places to sue -- it appears to have been pretty random. Some of the targets are The Fox Hole in West Jordan, Utah, Mojo Main in Newark, Delaware, Whiskey River Ranch, (we think it's in Springfield, Oregon), Whiskey Bones Roadhouse in Rochester, Minnesota, Kildare's Irish Pub in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Pig 'N' Whistle in NYC.

BMI is obviously sending a message to hundreds of thousands of bars and restaurants across the US of A -- playing "Free Bird" ain't so free after all. ""

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: 71Tele ()
Date: June 6, 2013 02:44

This is a tough issue...Bars are supposed to use "non commercial" formats to play music, not just turn on an iPod or a CD player. I sympathize with small bars, but they are using a product for free that isn't free - it's someone's creative copyrighted work. Songwriters are already struggling due to the low royalties that digital music brings, literally pennies in many cases. I have no sympathy for big eveil record companies, but I feel like creative people should be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The rich rock start types are a tiny minority of people who need to live off their work. It is impossible to police every bar or commercial situation where music might be used. Unfortunately the only way BMI can change behavior is by random enforcement so people get the message.

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: Max'sKansasCity ()
Date: June 6, 2013 03:00

This is a tough issue..thumbs up I dont know the answer, but these bars are probably finished, $150,000 per song played? They will probably declare bankruptcy or something.

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: 71Tele ()
Date: June 6, 2013 03:04

Quote
Max'sKansasCity
This is a tough issue..thumbs up I dont know the answer, but these bars are probably finished, $150,000 per song played? They will probably declare bankruptcy or something.

Well, there has to be a sense of reasonable balance. In my world, people like MLB always end up looking like fools when they employ heavy-handed tactics to go after little guys who are (in some cases) innocently using a broadcast or logos. Are they really asking for $150,000 per song in the suit?

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: Max'sKansasCity ()
Date: June 6, 2013 03:13

Quote
71Tele
Quote
Max'sKansasCity
This is a tough issue..thumbs up I dont know the answer, but these bars are probably finished, $150,000 per song played? They will probably declare bankruptcy or something.

Well, there has to be a sense of reasonable balance. In my world, people like MLB always end up looking like fools when they employ heavy-handed tactics to go after little guys who are (in some cases) innocently using a broadcast or logos. Are they really asking for $150,000 per song in the suit?

Thats what it says, it seems crazy to me... but...

""For every BMI song that gets played on a bar jukebox or by a DJ without the proper fee being paid, BMI is entitled to $150,000 in damages.""

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: andrewt ()
Date: June 6, 2013 03:38

Sounds like another public relations winner!
Like when SOCAN in Canada wanted to bust wedding receptions for the same thing.
The bullsh!t part of it is, the money collected from these blanket fees gets disbursed to artists based on that artist's percentage of total record sales, so more money ends up with the Celine Dions of the world and jack sh!t for the little guy.

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: Max'sKansasCity ()
Date: June 6, 2013 03:44

Quote
andrewt
Sounds like another public relations winner!
Like when SOCAN in Canada wanted to bust wedding receptions for the same thing.
The bullsh!t part of it is, the money collected from these blanket fees gets disbursed to artists based on that artist's percentage of total record sales, so more money ends up with the Celine Dions of the world and jack sh!t for the little guy.
Yup what a bunch of crap.

HEY!!! You played my (client's) song !!!
NOW YOU OWE ME A HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!
For every time you played it

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: jazzbass ()
Date: June 6, 2013 03:58

Where does this leave the lowly cover band?

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: Max'sKansasCity ()
Date: June 6, 2013 03:59

Quote
jazzbass
Where does this leave the lowly cover band?
Another day older and deeper in debt.

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: stonehearted ()
Date: June 6, 2013 04:12

I've never heard of this kind of fee requirement--a fee every time something gets payed on the jukebox? I thought it was a matter of the bar buys the record to play on the jukebox, and that's the end of it. The record sale counts once.

This lawsuit could easily be defeated though, or even thrown out, as the "public performance" fee requirement may not come into play here because these bars and restaurants happen to be privately owned establishments. Wedding receptions also are private functions--when was the last time you walked into one that you were not invited to?

Take for instance Corporation A. Corporation A may be a publicly traded company, but when you walk into the place or take a job there, your rights as a citizen do not apply there.

Even if this lawsuit is successful, it will be impossible to enforce on a nationwide basis. The BMI royalties people just happened to be in the establishments named in the lawsuit, and like the mystery shopper companies hire, there are not enough to go around to check up on every drinking and dining establishment in the nation, so cover bands in the local bar are likely safe as well.

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: 71Tele ()
Date: June 6, 2013 04:39

Quote
stonehearted
I've never heard of this kind of fee requirement--a fee every time something gets payed on the jukebox? I thought it was a matter of the bar buys the record to play on the jukebox, and that's the end of it. The record sale counts once.

This lawsuit could easily be defeated though, or even thrown out, as the "public performance" fee requirement may not come into play here because these bars and restaurants happen to be privately owned establishments. Wedding receptions also are private functions--when was the last time you walked into one that you were not invited to?

Take for instance Corporation A. Corporation A may be a publicly traded company, but when you walk into the place or take a job there, your rights as a citizen do not apply there.

Even if this lawsuit is successful, it will be impossible to enforce on a nationwide basis. The BMI royalties people just happened to be in the establishments named in the lawsuit, and like the mystery shopper companies hire, there are not enough to go around to check up on every drinking and dining establishment in the nation, so cover bands in the local bar are likely safe as well.

With all due respect, the fact the that an establishment is privately owned doesn't entitle it to commercially benefit from someone else's copyrighted product without a fee - there's no controversy about that. Also, juke boxes have always earned royalties for the songs played on them. The issue here is whether or not BMI is overreaching in an attempt to force bars and restaurants to fairly pay the license for the music they use.

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: Thrylan ()
Date: June 6, 2013 08:46

Sounds heavy handed and nutty to me.

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: June 6, 2013 09:26

Actually it doesn't say BMI are going for $150,000 per song from these places - it says they are entitled to that much
if the minor fees that are supposed to be paid regularly are not paid (which is not a lot to ask for using someone's work).
For people who are surprised by this, this site explains how it works, at least in the US: [entertainment.howstuffworks.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-06-06 10:32 by with sssoul.

Re: ot: BMI sues, bars may be put out of business for playing music without paying.
Posted by: andrewt ()
Date: June 6, 2013 14:46

To play devil's advocate...if someone buys a car to start a taxi business, should the company that sold them the car get a cut of every fare?



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