Record Companies are out of control...this is getting ridiculous.

Jul 26, 2005
10,362
1
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Central PA
#1
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003815486_royalty01.html

Music suit creates discord

By Kristi Heim

Seattle Times business reporter


A Seattle restaurant is among more than two dozen venues swept up in a music-licensing crackdown for allegedly failing to pay royalties to play copyrighted music in public.

Without a special license, owners of bars, clubs and restaurants could be sued for playing any one of 8 million recorded songs, even from their own CDs.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) says that equates to performing copyrighted music without permission, and the group is going after local businesses that haven't paid them for the privilege.

On Monday, ASCAP said it had filed 26 separate infringement actions against nightclubs, bars and restaurants in 17 states. Among them is a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle against the Ibiza Dinner Club downtown.

The group sued to spread the word that performing such music without permission is a federal offense, said Vincent Candilora, ASCAP senior vice president for licensing.

On Tuesday, Ibiza owner Abi Eshagi said he had not received information from ASCAP regarding a lawsuit and insisted his restaurant did not violate any rules.

ASCAP says that besides broadcasting songs over the radio, television and Internet, the definition of performing copyrighted music includes playing it "any place where people gather," with the exception of small private groups.

For restaurants, that includes playing songs as background music, by a DJ and even music-on-hold over phone lines, according to ASCAP's Web site.

"As long as it's [played] outside a direct circle of friends and family, it is considered a public performance," Candilora said. "A musical composition is somebody's property."

ASCAP alleged that a DJ at Ibiza played three copyrighted pop songs without paying a licensing fee, which Candilora calculated would have cost Ibiza $979 a year, considering the size of the venue and the type of performance.

"I think it's absurd," said Eshagi. "Not only DJs have bought that music, I also subscribe to an online music-use service, and I'm also paying the cable company for the same thing. I don't know how many times we have to pay for a song."

ASCAP, whose 300,000 members include such artists as Coldplay, Dr. Dre, Avril Lavigne and Elvis Costello, has investigators working in cities across the country to identify new restaurants, bars, theme parks or other establishments where music is used, Candilora said.

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They visit venues to find out what songs are being played, then check to see whether the owner paid for a license.

While many business owners may not be aware of it, such legal action is becoming common, said Eric Steuer, creative director of Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that has been critical of current copyright laws and supports alternative licensing plans.

The hardball legal tactics resemble when the recording industry sues students, Steuer said.

"What I don't think many venue owners — nor probably the majority of DJs — understand is that almost all of the music that they play requires a performance license," Steuer said. "I think that there's a misunderstanding that because music is 'indie' or not widely known, that it's OK to play."

Many DJs get music free from record labels so they can play and promote it, Steuer added. "I'm sure that they'd never imagine that they're committing a federal offense by playing this stuff without paying for the right to play it."

ASCAP is seeking up to $30,000 in damages per infringement from Ibiza. Candilora said the group has tried for two years to get the restaurant to comply with its requests.

Eshagi said he plans to fight. He said he was contacted by an ASCAP representative by phone and had asked the group to send a list of songs they claimed were infringed.

Eshagi said he told ASCAP he pays for two music-subscription services.

"I don't really know what is the basis for [a lawsuit]," he said.
 

HummerTuesdays

Another girrrrl!!!
Apr 24, 2005
7,347
0
261
On the road to ruin
#2
"I think it's absurd," said Eshagi. "Not only DJs have bought that music, I also subscribe to an online music-use service, and I'm also paying the cable company for the same thing. I don't know how many times we have to pay for a song."
:clap::clap::clap::clap:
 

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
Nov 17, 2006
9,749
1
333
right where I wanna be
#3
ASCAP says that besides broadcasting songs over the radio, television and Internet, the definition of performing copyrighted music includes playing it "any place where people gather," with the exception of small private groups......

"As long as it's [played] outside a direct circle of friends and family, it is considered a public performance," Candilora said. "A musical composition is somebody's property."
So if we play our cd's at work, with people who are outside a direct circle of friends & family, does that mean ASCAP can come after us?

ASCAP is pushing the envelope on this one
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
41,806
9,232
768
#4
So if we play our cd's at work, with people who are outside a direct circle of friends & family, does that mean ASCAP can come after us?

ASCAP is pushing the envelope on this one
yep. actuality if you read it a certain way, if your walking down the street with a boom box on your shoulder, ala 1985 they want you to pay.....

i really think in the end there going to fuck themselves, eventually some one is going to fight back and there going to lose then all hell is going to break loose it just cant come soon enough.
 

mikepop

cdnonafan
Jan 26, 2005
3,552
2
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toronto
#5
Get a crowd of deaf people to testify they were customers in the restaurant.
 

weakside

He was stupid. I was lucky. I will visit him soon.
Dec 9, 2004
3,871
0
0
California
#6
Now that people aren't buying CD's they are trying anything to recoup revenue.
 

mascan42

Registered User
Aug 26, 2002
18,729
5,602
768
Ronkonkoma, Long Island
#7
ASCAP says that besides broadcasting songs over the radio, television and Internet, the definition of performing copyrighted music includes playing it "any place where people gather," with the exception of small private groups.

For restaurants, that includes playing songs as background music, by a DJ and even music-on-hold over phone lines, according to ASCAP's Web site.

"As long as it's [played] outside a direct circle of friends and family, it is considered a public performance," Candilora said. "A musical composition is somebody's property."
So does this officially make the boombox illegal? How about blasting the car radio at tailgating parties?
 
Jul 13, 2006
12,836
1
0
Arkansas
#8
So does this officially make the boombox illegal? How about blasting the car radio at tailgating parties?
Well actually it is. The music that you buy only pertains to a singular personal license for you to listen in your home.

Even if you have a local band and you do nothing but sing covers of bands while making money (like at a piano bar) then you're supposed to get a license for public performance.

No one does that, but if you ever had anyone from ASCAP, BMI or another licensing organization frequent the place then they can check to see if you have a license to be performing the songs you're playing and if you don't then you're going to be sued.

Like the grocery stores that have PA systems with music either have to buy an inhouse broadcast license or they will buy knock-off music because if they even just turned on XM radio or something in their store then they'd be in violation of public use of copyrighted material from XM.

But you can find plenty of bars or little stores that will do that exact thing. I've seen plenty of places around here that just play XM radio in their place.


It's a confusing and sticky area with lots of paperwork and check writing. But if you don't obtain a performance license then you open yourself to get fucked. That's why I can't just use any sort of music that I want to in my documentary films. I either have to get a composer to perform pieces for me for a few hundred dollars, or I can put basic music together myself, find unsigned musicians to allow me to use their music in exchange for crediting or I can call up BMI and pay them about $10,000-20,000 per song. Even a popular Beach Boys song for use in a film/commercial will run you about $20,000.


And depending on the application, you can use samples of music up to 00:20 worth under "free use." But you can still be taken to court over that nowadays even though you might be in the clear to use it, it will still cost you attorney and court costs if a record company gets a hair up it's ass.


I'm glad I took those media law courses :)
 

FellowTraveler

Frank Reynolds is my hero
Jul 24, 2005
1,976
196
513
#9
Like the grocery stores that have PA systems with music either have to buy an in house broadcast license or they will buy knock-off music because if they even just turned on XM radio or something in their store then they'd be in violation of public use of copyrighted material from XM.

But you can find plenty of bars or little stores that will do that exact thing. I've seen plenty of places around here that just play XM radio in their place.
I think that XM has a business service where you pay a higher rate for license to play in public.