[Dixielandjazz] BMI licensing

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Sat Mar 27 13:41:41 PST 2004

In a message dated 3/27/04 9:01:13 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
willc at highstream.net writes:

> I disagree with any suggestion that you claim only PD music is played at
> HAGS. It isn't true and eventually lies will bite you in the tender
> part.
> Also worth noting is that demands are merely the prelude to negotiation
> and that you might do a better deal with ASCAP (which has a much
> larger library anyhow).
> Kindly,
> Will Connelly

Hi Will,

I pretty much agree with your post, but would not bother to try and make a 
better deal with ASCAP, if you give into one of them then you are dead meat for 
the others as well and are only letting ASCAP do the dirty work for them to 
move in and extort more money from you for their own coffers.

As to telling them that you only present PD music, and having it come back 
and bite you in the butt, I also disagree, because at the average age of the 
OKOMers and Jazz Society memberships, and using the stall tactics most of us will 
be long gone before they ever bite any butts in this field. :))

I would however suggest that societatis do the following: Set up an event and 
with a band or group of bands that will agree to perform ONLY PD material for 
that event and then video tape the entire performance for evidence and PR 

Now make certain that the day of the event you invite the BMI and or ASCAP 
Representatives to come to the event, allegedly to collect their fees, now when 
they come try to capture them in the audience on the video tape or even 
talking with your directors, etc., about the benefits of being part of their 
organization.  In other words kiss up to them and pretend to be interested in 
complying with their demands but give them nothing but lip service.  To further your 
case invite and arrange for the local Television human interest reporter or 
consumer protection reporter or such to attend as well with their camera crew to 
film the OLD FOLKS still out having a good time.  Let them catch the BMI & 
ASCAP guys red handed trying to shake down the old folks for listening to PD 
music.  Tell them to ask each representative in the room from BMI & ASCAP to 
identify any song that they heard today as being one of theirs so you can make the 
proper accounting to pay the fee and give it to them at the end of the 

Since you are not playing anything But researched PD material if they ask you 
for anything at all they are attempting to extort money from you for material 
that they clearly do not own.   

This should get rid of them permanently, as they certainly do not want any 
adverse publicity in the media about their little (BIG) extortion game.  If the 
owner of the venue has paid them a licensee fee already, then ask them on 
camera why you must pay for it again since they are already collecting the fees 
from the venue, do not be intimidated, just be firm and make them prove every 

They will get the message, no if all Jazz Societies and promoters did the 
same thing we could actually beat them and send them back to their legitimate 
functions where we have no problem with them collecting the fees for Broadcasting 
on Radio and Television.

I'll bet if you looked far enough they even have a licensing fee on the 
manufacture of all radios and TVs just like they now have on blank audio and video 
tapes.  Enough is Enough,
we should be Mad as Hell and just not take it anymore.

Just like TAXES FOLKS:

It is illegal to EVADE them but perfectly LEGAL and Acceptable to AVOID them.
I believe that is the principal this country was founded upon.  Something 
about Tea in the Boston Harbor comes to mind from way back in the olden days.

Cheers, and Jeers,

Tom Wiggins

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