[Dixielandjazz] Re: Public Domain (was BMI licensing)

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Sat Mar 27 20:58:14 PST 2004

In a message dated 3/27/04 4:31:59 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
bhaesler at bigpond.net.au writes:

> I get angry about it all too.
> However, my query is this, unless the situation is different in the US.
> How many actual songs/tunes played by jazz bands are still in the 'public
> domain'?
> Not too many I suspect. The music publishing 'vultures' snatched up all the
> early stuff years ago and re-copyrighted it as their own.
> I suggest that a PD list would provide a very short and boring working
> repertoire.
> Very kind regards,
> Bill

Hi Bill:  et al.

Yes the vultures did do exactly that, however if you hold steadfast to your 
theory of making them prove that they own each and every song you played or the 
band played they canno't or will not do it, they would actually have to work 
to do that and the amount of money they would collect form any band or small 
organization would not even pay for the legal fees of their staff lawyers to 
come after you and try.

Also the copyright laws are so screwed up and unintelligible for most folks 
to understand ( even the judges) that they won't even bother trying most of the 
time.  I know because I went to court back in 1981 with some illegal 
bootleggers in Chicago, Illinois and won the case and there had never been a case of 
it's kind in the history of the record industry filed in Chicago before that.   
I had the case ramrodded by the RIAA for my little record label, and brought 
in one of the distributors of a major International label and they could not 
even prove their ownership of the thousands of titles they distributed.   Since 
I only had about four release on my label at that time and I had prodeced all 
of them personally and with ownership of all of the original compostions 
embeded thereon they could not deny me.

I still however did not win the case on copyright infringment, I won it on 
Grand theft charges for the thousands of illegal copies of my material the guys 
had and were selling, some to my own customers at less than 1/2 my wholesale 

The judge took one look at the 700 pages of fine print of the copyright 
revision laws edition number however many and said if you expect me to read this 
you are all nuts, not in this lifetime.  I have more important things to deal 
with in this court like rapes and murders, Take the Grand Theft and you win, 
shut down their businesses and destroy all the equipment and merchandise you have 
confiscated and I will put them in jail for a year and give you $5,000.00 for 
your troubles.   RIAA is still using this proceedure for prosecdution of 
illegal duplicators and bootleggers.

Case closed.


Tom Wiggins

And yes just like all the independent bands and rockers I too now just ignore 
all of them
and do not evenbother to register with either of them for collecting any 
money for me which I would never see anyway.   I hope some day I find them 
collecting some money for me without my authorization, than I can sue their asses for 
a million dollars of back royalties that they will not be able to prove they 
did not collect.  aha!

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