[Dixielandjazz] RE: Right to play tunes

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Thu Feb 12 13:30:34 PST 2004

In a message dated 2/12/04 10:02:21 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
barbonestreet at earthlink.net writes:

> The US music copyright laws are badly in need of some revision, IMO. 
> Totally unworkable, they make criminals of virtually every musician, and club 
> owner, and venue where live music is performed, as well as all of the producers 
> and users of fake
> books.

No question about it, however in this country full of too many lawyers, who 
feel compelled to sit and write new laws every day, no one to my knowledge has 
yet ever sat down and erased any of the old ones on the books already.   

Like music there ain't nothing new in law, just look it up somebody said 
there oughta be a law and there more than likely already is, just too many of them 
and they can't be found any more.  It has become easier to just write a new 

This is why BMI & ASAP go for the easy money, there is no way in Hell 
they could track down every musician performing the songs they register, so they 
go for the obvious sources of revenue, venues, clubs, television, radio and 
even Muzak, in elevators, juke boxes, and any place that uses music, or presents 
music related entertainment, including live theater.

They force all venues to pay a licensing fee that covers all acts that 
perform there just in case they perform one or more of their licensed songs, 
Unfortunately however they often collect money bogusly from the venues presenting 
original acts performing their own music not licensed to BMI or ASAP, now where 
does that money go?  Collecting royalties from these folks is about the same 
percentage as winning the lottery.

The same place than most of the other money goes that those organizations 
collect in the name of their artists, in the administrative pockets of the 
collecting organizations.  And it is in the millions annually just like all the 
other beauracracies in this country sat up with good intentions perhaps but long 
since outlived their usefulness and have just become cash cows for those that 
operate them.


Tom Wiggins

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