[Dixielandjazz] Music Licensing Fees!! - BMI & ASCAP

G. William Oakley gwilliamoakley at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 26 16:49:32 PST 2004

Hi Doug:
BMI primarily licenses usage in the broadcast mediums, hence the BM
(Broadcast Music) portion of their name.  The amount cited is indeed
extortion and I would tell them to get stuffed.  If you want to be more
diplomatic tell them you play only public domain music,  you are not a
business,  you are a not-for-profit, and then tell them to get stuffed.  You
can go to their site and use a search feature to see if any of the material
you use is licensed by them.  SESAC and ASCAP will at some point sniff out
the possibility of dinging and you should tell them the same thing.  Besides
SESAC licenses primarily religious music.  They used to pursue me vigorously
and I just told them to demonstrate where and when I had used any of their
music.  They seldom can.  The facts that are not in your query i:e: do you
charge an admission fee?  If you do make sure it is understood that it is a
donation to a not-for- profit.  Are these members attending?  If not make
them members when they attend.  The position you want to take is that this
is a private affair playing public domain music in a private setting and not
a business. Then tell them to get stuffed?  I seem to be hung up on that.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Doug Burnley" <jazzhags at aol.com>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2004 2:51 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Music Licensing Fees!! - BMI & ASCAP

> HELP!!
>       I know this subject came up a couple of months back and
> I did review some of the responses in the archives.
>       For the past couple of months BMI has been applying their
> extortion tactics aimed at our Jazz Society, which meets once per month
> with an average of 175 - 200 attendees. I had ignored their mail and
> phone calls, hoping they would go away and find a more lucrative
> target.
>       No such luck, today I received a contract indicating we owe them
> $1241.10 per year, as many of you who are involved in Jazz Societies
> realize, we are a non-profit organization whose only interest is to
> promote and encourage OKOM, not to make money - if we cave in to
> their demands it could very well threaten the existence of our
> (Also there is ASCAP & SESAC which could insist on licensing).
>       Any words of advice?
> Doug Burnley
> Pres - Hot Jazz & Alligator Gumbo Society
> http://riversidejazz.com/hags
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> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
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