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Author Topic:  royalties for jams, club performances
Darrell Criswell


From:
Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 14 Apr 2018 4:46 pm    
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I stopped in a Musical Heritage Center outside of Nashvile that does instruction and jams. The owner told me she didn't let people do country songs at jams because they would have to pay royalties. She said they used to play country songs but BMI had stopped by, asked for the songs they played and made them pay royalties. She said they keep calling and asking for songlists.

I wonder if anyone else has heard of this and if bands at clubs or steel shows are ever sought after and made to pay.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 12:46 am    
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Doesn't sound right, in fact it sounds really off kilter. The required fee that venues pay is a "flat fee" and covers ALL music, not a set list or specific genre's.

The fee schedule is based on how many days or nights the establishment may have music etc, there are several rates in the fee structure. I have never seen a fee structure asking for a set list or a list of COUNTRY SONGS . The fees are based on how often you have music, not which songs. Man, that would be perhaps the biggest nightmare known to planet earth . " I'm sorry, you can't play Silver Wings but you can play Release Me. "

Its a Music Use License not a Music Style License.

https://www.bmi.com/licensing/entry/bars_and_restaurants

So what kind of music is allowed ? What do they play at the jams ? Very odd, at least to me. Sounds like they are controlling the MUSIC and the PLAYERS rather than the genre of music.

Maybe it's only jams of original music or NON song related, un-ending jams over a chord structure.
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 4:15 am    
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Tony Prior wrote:

So what kind of music is allowed ? What do they play at the jams ? .....
Maybe it's only jams of original music or NON song related, un-ending jams over a chord structure.


I've heard of coffee shops and other small venues trying to go to public domain and original music only after BMI came knocking. My guess is this venue is doing something similar to avoid having to get any kind of licensing. It never seems to last though, and most of them just do away with live music altogether.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 6:35 am    
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Bill Sinclair wrote:
My guess is this venue is doing something similar to avoid having to get any kind of licensing. It never seems to last though, and most of them just do away with live music altogether.


Sounds about right, but I don't really blame them when the rates for licensing can be thousands of dollars a year.
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 7:25 am    
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I suppose if you can prove that all your tunes are licensed through ASCAP and/or SESAC, you can tell BMI to take a hike?
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 10:02 am    
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I dunno, Jim? That depends on whether or not the venue owner has paid one performing rights organization a fee in lieu of paying some other one a fee...everybody has their hand out.

From their website:

Quote:
We do have a successful track record in the lawsuits we take out against bars, restaurants and clubs that infringe the copyright of our members. In past cases, several venues that could have paid ASCAP a license fee of between $1000 and $7000 a year ended up paying between 25 and 100 times that amount in damages. It’s not a surprise that judges would decide in favor of ASCAP songwriters in these cases - after all, Federal law is on their side.


So, let's see...if the licensing fee range runs (as they said) between $1,000 and $7,000 a year, I guess we could take an "average fee" as something like $3,500 to $4,500 a year? Not a fortune, but certainly not chump change, either. Rolling Eyes


Last edited by Donny Hinson on 16 Apr 2018 2:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 2:36 pm    
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How would they handle the countless songs which have been popular in more than one genre? Is that the rock version you're playing, or the country version? Is this song blues, or country blues? And so forth.
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 2:37 pm    
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Don R Brown wrote:
How would they handle the countless songs which have been popular in more than one genre? Is that the rock version you're playing, or the country version? Is this song blues, or country blues? And so forth.

Style doesn't matter, only who published it (even more so than who wrote it).
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Darrell Criswell


From:
Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 2:41 pm    
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Do most or any clubs that have bands pay any royalty fees? Or is that the responsibility of the band?
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 2:46 pm    
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The clubs are supposed to pay a flat, annual fee to the licensing companies (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) to cover any tunes that might be played (either live or by radio, TV, etc) in their premises. It is not the band's responsibility.
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Ken Pippus


From:
Lake Oswego, OR
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 4:04 pm    
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One of the local music stores had a longstanding bluegrass jam, which was cancelled when BMI announced that they were going to present them with a large bill for presumed royalties owed.

Thanks, guys.
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 5:23 pm    
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Jim Cohen wrote:
Don R Brown wrote:
How would they handle the countless songs which have been popular in more than one genre? Is that the rock version you're playing, or the country version? Is this song blues, or country blues? And so forth.

Style doesn't matter, only who published it (even more so than who wrote it).


I still don't get it. It says they could not play country songs, but apparently other types were ok? What about..oh...Travis Tritt playing "Honky Tonk Women"? He may not be "old country" but his version can be considered a country song. But it's a Rolling Stones song and you can't get any more "rock" than them. So would the owner have a problem with that?

How about "Why Me Lord?" Play that and if she objects, say it's a gospel song not country. The examples are endless, and the ban on country is silly IMHO.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 2:54 am    
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Don R Brown wrote:

I still don't get it. It says they could not play country songs, but apparently other types were ok?... and the ban on country is silly IMHO.


Looking at it another way (kinda reading between the lines), there's a distinct possibility that the "owner" either disliked country music, or didn't care for the typical country bands that had been showing up lately.

Sorta like a prospective employer telling you you're "over-qualified" when they really think you're too old. Confused
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 4:32 am    
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Yeah, I think she was giving you a line. That's not the way licensing works. Style and arrangement is irrelevant.
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 4:32 am    
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Donnie, you may have something there.
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Joe Casey


From:
Weeki Wachee .Springs FL (population.9)
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 7:23 am    
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There was a time when club owners would tell me that they were approached by reps with similar demands. It lasted for a while then we never heard anymore about it. Knowing most of the club owners I sort of got a message ,tHEY MADE AN OFFER THAT THE REPS COULDN'T REFUSE.In anycase as a member of one of the music organizations. I got very little back from my membership after tons of juke/airplay I remember one check for 108.00. I remember it because it was my first and only for "Still in there trying". I still have it uncashed. LOL and the date on it is august 1980.
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 10:51 am    
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We just received the annual renewal notice from SiriusXM, for my wife's car.

Package Base Price $131.88

US Music Royalty Fee $25.19
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Darrell Criswell


From:
Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 11:39 am    
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Jim Cohen "I still don't get it. It says they could not play country songs, but apparently other types were ok? What about..oh...Travis Tritt playing "Honky Tonk Women"? He may not be "old country" but his version can be considered a country song. But it's a Rolling Stones song and you can't get any more "rock" than them. So would the owner have a problem with that? "


The owner told me they had gone to playing jams with old time, irish, and celtic music which I assume is in the public domain.

I also find it hard to believe that the bars and restaurants I have gone to with bands or even duos or individuals performing routinely hand a check over to BMI ASACP etc,

And what about churches, most of the praise music and the newer gospel stuff is licensed/copyrighted isn't it, do they pay?


Last edited by Darrell Criswell on 17 Apr 2018 11:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 11:43 am    
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I suspect she doesn't like country music and was just feeding you a crock of bull to justify continuing on with other types of music. I'm tellin' ya, there is NO importance to "style" in all of this. ALL that matters is who the publisher of the song is, and which agency (ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC) they are registered with. That is it.
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Darrell Criswell


From:
Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 12:09 pm    
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Jim Cohen wrote:
I suspect she doesn't like country music and was just feeding you a crock of bull to justify continuing on with other types of music. I'm tellin' ya, there is NO importance to "style" in all of this. ALL that matters is who the publisher of the song is, and which agency (ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC) they are registered with. That is it.


I am totally convinced she was telling the truth, she had no reason to lie. I checked the BMI site and she is right, places like this are susposed to pay. Restaurants and clubs are also susposed to pay, I have a link to the form to determine the fee they should pay and its astronomical.


Last edited by Darrell Criswell on 17 Apr 2018 12:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 12:10 pm    
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No one is disputing that they are supposed to pay. They absolutely are. I'm just saying that they don't pay based on style of music. Not. At. All.
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Jim Fogarty


From:
Phila, Pa, USA
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 1:30 pm    
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Darrell Criswell wrote:
The owner told me they had gone to playing jams with old time, irish, and celtic music which I assume is in the public domain.

I also find it hard to believe that the bars and restaurants I have gone to with bands or even duos or individuals performing routinely hand a check over to BMI ASACP etc,

And what about churches, most of the praise music and the newer gospel stuff is licensed/copyrighted isn't it, do they pay?


This is the key. If they are only playing traditional and public domain tunes, they MIGHT be able to get away with it. It's not style, but whether they are copywrited and administered.

Bars and restaurants absolutely pay. The PRO's collect royalties for music played over the stereo system and TV/radio, etc, as well.......not just the occasional live performance.

FWIW.....any musician who has a problem with the PRO's doing their job and making sure the writers get paid should only work for free from now on........since you're so free to dismiss other people's legit income.
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John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 1:32 pm    
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Who is the recipient of these payments after all is sliced and diced?
This to me is a huge, gangster like scam perpetrated by these organizations.
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Darrell Criswell


From:
Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 2:18 pm    
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John De Maille wrote:
Who is the recipient of these payments after all is sliced and diced?
This to me is a huge, gangster like scam perpetrated by these organizations.


Have you seen the price of real estate on music row and the areas these music executives live in and their lifestyles?...it takes a lot of money
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Jim Fogarty


From:
Phila, Pa, USA
Post  Posted 17 Apr 2018 2:35 pm    
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John De Maille wrote:
Who is the recipient of these payments after all is sliced and diced?.


Songwriters.

The venues make money by using their work. Why shouldn't they get paid?
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