[Dixielandjazz] Re: Copyrights

David Richoux tubaman at batnet.com
Fri Jan 28 09:46:08 PST 2005

In a related area of tracking radio air-play, the RIAA (along with 
ASCAP/BMI - I guess) wants every station to provide something like 17 
pieces of information about EVERY song played! Not just the artist, 
track and album name - they wanted release dates, sidemen, publisher 
and all sorts of other "useful" data. The AFM supports this reporting 
(it is often mentioned in the national newsletter) but I don't see how 
it will really help the average union member.

Those of you who are in to discography know how hard it is to come up 
with this sort of information - most major label CDs don't  provide it 
and older music in our library certainly does not have the information. 
  A lot of the music we get at KFJC is self-published or produced in 
other countries. It would take a staff of people (that we don't have) 
to document and report to the RIAA. We, along with a few other 
non-commercial stations petitioned the RIAA for relief and now we just 
pay a minimal "non-reporting fee." The chances of any RIAA money 
actually getting to most of the musicians we play are infinitesimal!

Dave Richoux

On Jan 28, 2005, at 8:18 AM, Bigbuttbnd at aol.com wrote:

> Bill:
> With regard to radio. My understanding is that ASCAP/BMI/SESAC 
> (hereafter
> refered to as ASCAP) use a log system where each radio station keeps a 
> daily log
> of the tunes it plays. ASCAP only samples SOME of the radio stations 
> in a
> given market and then totals those on a national basis to determine 
> exactly who
> should be paid and how much. For years the system has been flawed 
> because there
> were o too many radio stations to keep track of. Maybe Hank Williams 
> got
> played on lots of stations that were not sampled and Michael Jackson 
> got played on
> lots of stations that were sampled... at the end of the quarter Michael
> Jackson might receive more money for airplay than he deserved because 
> he represented
> 10% of all songs played on sampled stations (and therefore, 10% of all 
> songs
> played!)   Since Hank Williams didn't show up in the sample, his 
> estate didn't
> get paid anything. Not very fair.
> Television seems to be handled differently. I've read that TV handles 
> the
> royalties on a case by case basis - PAY AS YOU GO. You play "Your 
> Cheating Heart"
> on a TV show... Hank Williams' estate gets paid, and usually a much 
> higher
> fee based on a much bigger audience. Merv Griffin wrote the "Thinking 
> Song" for
> Jeopardy so he could get paid every time it was played. Paul Anka 
> split his
> royalty for "The Tonight Show Theme" with Johnny Carson as an 
> incentive for
> Carson to use the theme.
> I have no idea what 'formula' ASCAP uses to determine who gets paid 
> what for
> live performances. There is no way to keep track of every musicians' 
> playlist
> at every venue in the country every hour and day of the year! So 
> Michael
> Jackson is probably getting paid when we play a Jellyroll tune at a 
> concert!
> I'm all for composers being paid. But ASCAP needs to find a fairer way 
> to
> determine what is being played and who should receive the money. Many 
> musicians
> (including some on this list) feel that the 'gray area' in this 
> blanket license
> crap is an open invitation for ASCAP to scrape a lot of money off the 
> top...
> and who would ever know? The 'formula' is so nebulous.
> I often hear musicians on this list relate stories about ASCAP coming 
> after
> them for fees, which surprises me. ASCAP's real leverage (other than
> knuckle-busting in a back alley) is through the courts, which 
> consistantly rule in their
> favor. In that scenario the collector is following the 'money trail', 
> looking
> for an entity that has assets, like a venue. Most musicians don't have 
> the
> kind of assets that look attractive to a lawyer trying to collect big 
> money in a
> lawsuit. I've never heard of ASCAP going after the performers in a 
> legal
> action... rather the venue owners.
> Well... that's all I know and it ain't much...
> ~Rocky Ball
> Atlanta, GA
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