If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Cleveland Scene)   Cover band caused "great and incalculable damage" according to BMI   (clevescene.com) divider line 240
    More: Fail, Medina, BMI, cover bands, performing rights, Rick Springfield, music licensing, brown eye, statutory damages  
•       •       •

16532 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Mar 2014 at 9:46 AM (17 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



240 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all
 
2014-03-23 10:18:16 AM

RY28: MaudlinMutantMollusk: DON'T PLAY FREE BIRD, MAN!

Thats odd . Freebird hasn't been cover band material for at least 20 years now .


Apparently the cover band in TFA missed the memo
 
2014-03-23 10:18:47 AM

ryano913: Does BMI have a network of undercover moles in every bar? How do they know this happened? Any proof?


This is how people in witness protection make a living. They work on commission. It's usually the guy yelling "Play Melacholy Baby."
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-03-23 10:19:03 AM

Lokkii: The only people complaining about this lawsuit  are those who have never created anything of value.


oh dear. you need to shut up and go sit down over there.

//produced dozens of DVDs...
///just TRY to properly license music as a "little guy" and see how far you get
 
2014-03-23 10:19:24 AM

ryano913: Does BMI have a network of undercover moles in every bar? How do they know this happened? Any proof?


They probably look at the business license listings of cities and counties, check their records for matching entries in the license database, and after they find a gap, start looking at Facebook to see if there's evidence of activity.
It doesn't cost much to send a local college kid down to do an initial investigation and email a cell-phone video clip.
After that, they can start sending letters asking for their toll.
I think the three major licensors have territory divided p pretty well and cooperate, sharing each other's databases to see if there's any non-overlaps.
 
2014-03-23 10:21:47 AM
I've played in bands (bass, mostly) and had done countless covers over the years until I was at a happy hour with my brother-in-law, who is an attorney.  We were listening to some Joe Schmo playing a Jimmy Buffet song, when he opened my eyes to the BMI issue.

/even played "Free Bird" once as a retort, after some drunk frat boys called out for it, as a lame joke
 
2014-03-23 10:22:00 AM
I've been playing in cover bands for most of my adult life. I've played the Bitter End, Maxwell's etc... but mostly I play in dive bars in Northern NJ/NYC. Am I understanding this correctly that those little corner bars have to pay a fee to BMI?
 
2014-03-23 10:22:37 AM
That makes me want to go download some tunes.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-03-23 10:22:44 AM

darch: I've been playing in cover bands for most of my adult life. I've played the Bitter End, Maxwell's etc... but mostly I play in dive bars in Northern NJ/NYC. Am I understanding this correctly that those little corner bars have to pay a fee to BMI?


Answer: yes... if they want to be within the law.
 
2014-03-23 10:23:00 AM

browser_snake: No news here. If you have a bar that has music of any sort, you need to be a BMI member. They are seeking statutory damages, which means there's a standard amount of liability that's awarded so often, it doesn't even need to be documented in the lawsuit paperwork - they just cite the statute.


Not quite music of any sort, we have a local bar that hosts live bands, the rule is no covers, only original compositions so you can imagine how bad some of the music is (though you do get the occasional gem mixed in), regardless they received a demand letter from BMI who claimed to own copyright on several of the songs, they backed down when they found out that the bar kept recordings of every performance and had copies of all the named bands copyright filings on their songs. One semi amusing thing that happened was that a couple of the bands that BMI named in their original demand letter as having played covers of BMI songs filed Slander of Title suits against BMI, never did find out what happened with those
 
2014-03-23 10:24:47 AM
They had it coming, any band who plays "talk dirty to me' by Poison. Should be sent to Gitmo or somewhere equally heinous.
 
2014-03-23 10:24:54 AM

TV's Vinnie: To a copyright lawyer, someone somewhere out there singing a song IS the end of their sad f*cking world.


To Al Franken it is. He was placed into the Senate to ensure the entertainment industry is protected. He is why we will lose Net Neutrality too.
 
2014-03-23 10:25:00 AM

d23: Secret Agent X23: ryano913: Does BMI have a network of undercover moles in every bar? How do they know this happened? Any proof?

That's exactly what they do. I know someone who does this--go to the bar for an evening and then file a report on what music was played. The reason this bar got caught is just that they got unlucky enough for BMI to send someone there. I don't know what the basis is for deciding where to send these folks.

For "church" venues at least, there is a recording period every 3 to 4 years where the venue has to file a report about what music they used as well.  Don't know about bars, but it wouldn't surprise me if they have to do something similar as this is how BMI decides how many pennies they are going to pay songwriters.

I suggest everyone reading this thread go read about how much other groups are actually paying songwriters.  This isn't about paying artists, this is just like 99% of everything else in U.S. society right now: it's about corporate greed and that's it.



All of these licensing companies expect bars to pay a fee if they have ANY noise playing in their establishment. Even a radio in the kitchen is subject to their discretion. They will contact bar owners, daily, and remind them that they should be paying dues to make sure they are covered in the event one of the songs licensed by them is played and customers can hear it.

Nights, like this one, where a bar owner isn't paying "dues", and one of these companies just "happens" to be in attendance....well...this is the result.
 
2014-03-23 10:25:31 AM
Something that could easily be avoided by not playing any of that stupid music. Or either, pay, play something original or do without any music.
 
2014-03-23 10:26:18 AM

durbnpoisn: Wow... I never even knew this was a thing. I wonder if its up to the band to notify the venue if they intend to play a cover when they normally to all original.


Yep, even churches have to pay to allow people to come in and sing gospel songs or be in violation.
 
2014-03-23 10:26:41 AM
Are there any bigger drama queens than the giant music licensing organizations?

No. No there are not. Even Perez Hilton and Chris Crocker look at this shiat and go "Whoa, man, settle down."
 
2014-03-23 10:27:22 AM
Lawyers never lose.
 
2014-03-23 10:28:18 AM
♫ Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Soandso!
Happy Birthday to you! ♫

img2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-03-23 10:28:53 AM
♫ ♪ Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,  ....... ♪

www.maricopa.gov
 
2014-03-23 10:28:57 AM
I'm pretty sure that number zero is perfectly calculable.
 
2014-03-23 10:29:43 AM

Nemo's Brother: To Al Franken it is. He was placed into the Senate to ensure the entertainment industry is protected. He is why we will lose Net Neutrality too.


Come again?
 
2014-03-23 10:29:58 AM

edibobb: That makes me want to go download some tunes.


Yup, makes me want to go through my music collection and torrent all the BMI stuff.
 
2014-03-23 10:30:36 AM

d23: darch: I've been playing in cover bands for most of my adult life. I've played the Bitter End, Maxwell's etc... but mostly I play in dive bars in Northern NJ/NYC. Am I understanding this correctly that those little corner bars have to pay a fee to BMI?

Answer: yes... if they want to be within the law.


Sheesh- I pride myself on being pretty aware of stuff, but this one made it right past me. Had no idea.
 
2014-03-23 10:31:04 AM

AltheaToldMe: Nemo's Brother: To Al Franken it is. He was placed into the Senate to ensure the entertainment industry is protected. He is why we will lose Net Neutrality too.

Come again?


I was still wiping off my monitor

/WTF?
//That's not what I've heard
 
2014-03-23 10:31:07 AM

ryano913: Does BMI have a network of undercover moles in every bar? How do they know this happened? Any proof?


Yes.  Not in every bar of course, but they make rounds.  We have a haunted house ride we run at Halloween in Oxford, AL, and in the queue area we have a stereo playing songs like Monster Mash and Thriller and what not.  There was a dude that showed up and started writing stuff down in a notebook and acting weird and out of place.  After a little while, he went back to his car and started calling people.  A few days later the BMI thing showed up in the mail.  It was fairly benign, mostly just asking us to either cease playing BMI music, or buy a license, which was a few hundred dollars.
 
2014-03-23 10:32:45 AM
I will say it appears that the bar screwed up.

But I think there is a bigger problem. These types of actions have caused a lot of places to stop having live music. That is bad. I think there are too few places where you can see people performing. There should be rules so that musicians, who do not earn the majority of their income from entertaining, can earn an exemption for the bar/venue. Because there is no way a band like in the FTA caused anyone to seek them out.

I can see BMI deserving a cut if the main reason you filled the house was the music. And as a amateur musician I fully see the artists point of view. But when your rules have the effect of reducing the pie for everyone, then there is a problem.
 
WGJ
2014-03-23 10:35:00 AM
The real crime here is BMI collecting $944 million and only distributing $814 million to songwriters, composers, and music publishers. And I'm guessing the publishers get most of that money as well.
 
2014-03-23 10:35:13 AM
-Horatio, a corporate giant is setting it's sights and lawyers on a small bar in Medina.
-Slow down. There are two sides to this case:.....*puts on sunglasses*  funky and cold.

/brb, have to write some checks for licensing rights for this comment
 
2014-03-23 10:35:47 AM
Great and incalculable damage. The incalculable part means they don't want to calculate it. If they did the damage would amount to $1,
 
2014-03-23 10:36:16 AM

edmo: Do they have a sales tax license? Liquor? Business? Do they steal ESPN?


Does the Alcoholic Beverage Commission demand a fee per drink, over and above the original license fee, if the bar is very successful?  If patrons drink more, does the ABC get more?  Same with the business license.

Make it a flat fee, and the licensing agencies (BMI, etc.) should be non-profits!  Why should BMI get $130M in profit?  Shouldn't that money go to the songwriters????
 
2014-03-23 10:36:21 AM
For the record, most bar owners aren't aware of this silly law for one reason. The source of their music (jukeboxes) are provided by 3rd party vendors who obtain these licenses for them. I would think if the jukebox has a license it should cover any live music played there as well. Problem solved.

/also, support your local scene. Don't hire parrots.
//also problem solved.
 
2014-03-23 10:37:29 AM
I don't get why some people are upset. If you own a commercial venue that draws a financial benefit from someone else's property, it seems only normal that you should have to pay them a share. It's not even a large share.

A friend of mine who used to own a bistrot had to pay a license because he had the radio on.
 
2014-03-23 10:37:43 AM

italie: d23: Secret Agent X23: ryano913: Does BMI have a network of undercover moles in every bar? How do they know this happened? Any proof?

That's exactly what they do. I know someone who does this--go to the bar for an evening and then file a report on what music was played. The reason this bar got caught is just that they got unlucky enough for BMI to send someone there. I don't know what the basis is for deciding where to send these folks.

For "church" venues at least, there is a recording period every 3 to 4 years where the venue has to file a report about what music they used as well.  Don't know about bars, but it wouldn't surprise me if they have to do something similar as this is how BMI decides how many pennies they are going to pay songwriters.

I suggest everyone reading this thread go read about how much other groups are actually paying songwriters.  This isn't about paying artists, this is just like 99% of everything else in U.S. society right now: it's about corporate greed and that's it.


All of these licensing companies expect bars to pay a fee if they have ANY noise playing in their establishment. Even a radio in the kitchen is subject to their discretion. They will contact bar owners, daily, and remind them that they should be paying dues to make sure they are covered in the event one of the songs licensed by them is played and customers can hear it.

Nights, like this one, where a bar owner isn't paying "dues", and one of these companies just "happens" to be in attendance....well...this is the result.


This is exactly why the background music over the speakers in my place is via a  SiriusXM Business Internet Radio player. If anyone asks I can tell them to EABOD's, we're legal. The subscription covers royalty fees and allows me to play it in our business.
 
2014-03-23 10:38:13 AM
My town (Hoboken, NJ) has the most bars of any similarly-sized town in the country and most of them don't have live music anymore. It's a shame. Am thinking that this silliness might have something to do with it.
 
2014-03-23 10:40:41 AM
What is a Kasbah and did they rock it ?
 
2014-03-23 10:41:29 AM

Nemo's Brother: TV's Vinnie: To a copyright lawyer, someone somewhere out there singing a song IS the end of their sad f*cking world.

To Al Franken it is. He was placed into the Senate to ensure the entertainment industry is protected. He is why we will lose Net Neutrality too.


wow, all by his lonesome? he's really powerful.
 
2014-03-23 10:42:33 AM

darch: My town (Hoboken, NJ) has the most bars of any similarly-sized town in the country and most of them don't have live music anymore. It's a shame. Am thinking that this silliness might have something to do with it.


Also live music is freaking expensive. Most places that do it these days have the band play for the door. Bars that don't charge cover generally lose their asses on a band.
 
2014-03-23 10:43:25 AM

Geoff Peterson: For the record, most bar owners aren't aware of this silly law for one reason. The source of their music (jukeboxes) are provided by 3rd party vendors who obtain these licenses for them. I would think if the jukebox has a license it should cover any live music played there as well. Problem solved.

/also, support your local scene. Don't hire parrots.
//also problem solved.


Bar owners are most certainly aware. BMI and the rest make them very aware. Often to the point of harassment.

This has become a big point of contention as most jukeboxes now support the in house TV's/PA/etc. Bar owners and licensing companies are in a battle over this, as the license only covers items provided by the juke. Bar owners are expected to pay a fee on top of that for anything that that might be put over the amps in the juke from an outside source like a TV/satellite radio/etc. Bar owners are often not doing so, sometimes with right...sometimes not.
 
2014-03-23 10:43:31 AM

capt.hollister: I don't get why some people are upset. If you own a commercial venue that draws a financial benefit from someone else's property, it seems only normal that you should have to pay them a share. It's not even a large share.

A friend of mine who used to own a bistrot had to pay a license because he had the radio on.


So the rights holders got paid by the radio station *and* the bistro *for the same broadcast*. You said it yourself, but you're confused.

Hm?
 
2014-03-23 10:43:45 AM
If they can't calculate the damages, then the suit should be dismissed.

"Your honor, we can't even calculate the damage!"

"Then how do you expect this court to assess damages? Case dismissed."
 
2014-03-23 10:45:08 AM

Geoff Peterson: darch: My town (Hoboken, NJ) has the most bars of any similarly-sized town in the country and most of them don't have live music anymore. It's a shame. Am thinking that this silliness might have something to do with it.

Also live music is freaking expensive. Most places that do it these days have the band play for the door. Bars that don't charge cover generally lose their asses on a band.


Absolutely. I actually just play for free these days. If the bar buys back, all the better, but I find that it's not really worth it to argue with the bar owner. I just set up, pound the fark out of my drums and leave.
 
2014-03-23 10:45:45 AM

Mirandized: If they can't calculate the damages, then the suit should be dismissed.

"Your honor, we can't even calculate the damage!"

"Then how do you expect this court to assess damages? Case dismissed."


No, you set policy.

"Incalculable" means $0.00 and the case becomes a benchmark.
 
2014-03-23 10:47:20 AM

WGJ: The real crime here is BMI collecting $944 million and only distributing $814 million to songwriters, composers, and music publishers. And I'm guessing the publishers get most of that money as well.


In many cases, the songwriter IS the publisher. And as far as the money is concerned, BMI administers songwriting royalties for thousands of artists all around the world, calculating usage and distributing payment. And they don't charge the artists a penny for it up front. So I for one have no problem with them taking some off the top for administrative expenses.

/BMI songwriter since 1991
 
2014-03-23 10:48:26 AM
Dont songs become public domain after a certain amount of time
 
2014-03-23 10:48:31 AM
I ain't got no problem with writers getting royalites.  Publishing is one of the last reasons to commecially relase music in an era where, as soon as you've sold 100 CDs, there's 2938745985748 copies available for free.  "Great and incalcuable damage"?  From some band covering CCR and Van Morrison in a beer joint in Medina?  Oh, Prunella, how you DO go on.
 
2014-03-23 10:50:33 AM
Maybe small bar owners should get together and file a class-action against BMI. It sounds like a classic protection racket.
 
2014-03-23 10:50:58 AM

Mirandized: If they can't calculate the damages, then the suit should be dismissed.

"Your honor, we can't even calculate the damage!"

"Then how do you expect this court to assess damages? Case dismissed."


Sort of related: I was on the jury in a civil case recently where the plaintiffs wanted a cash settlement, but pointedly avoided saying how much they wanted.

"What were your damages, exactly?"
"Whatever the jury thinks is appropriate."

How about zero? Does zero work for you? We told them to get farked. If you want monetary compensation, at a minimum you should be able to say how much you want.
 
2014-03-23 10:50:59 AM

italie: Bar owners are most certainly aware. BMI and the rest make them very aware. Often to the point of harassment.


This is true. I stand corrected.
 
2014-03-23 10:54:35 AM
Justin Beiber was singing songs on YouTube.   Sue him.  He has lots of money
 
2014-03-23 10:55:15 AM

BluVeinThrobber: Dont songs become public domain after a certain amount of time



When Copyright Protection Becomes Public Domain
The data below will let you know when you can safely use a piece of art or music without permission because it is now in public domain after copyright protection expiration, or how long the copyright protection will last.

Published before 1923 - now in public domain

Published from 1923 to 1963 - When published with a copyright notice © or "Copyright [dates] by [author/owner]" - copyright protection lasts 28 years and could be renewed for an additional 67 years for a total of 95 years. If not renewed, now in public domain.

Published from 1923 to 1963 - When published with no notice - now in public domain

Published from 1964 to 1977 - When published with notice - copyright protection lasts 28 years for first term; automatic extension of 67 years for second term for a total of 95 years.

Created before 1/1/1978 but not published - copyright notice is irrelevant - copyright protection lasts for the life of author and 70 years or 12/31/2002, whichever is greater

Created before 1/1/1978 and published between 1/1/1978 and 12/31/2002 - notice is irrelevant - copyright protection lasts the life of author and 70 years or 12/31/2047, whichever is greater

Created 1/1/1978 or after - When work is fixed in tangible medium of expression - notice is irrelevant - copyright protecion lasts for the life of author and 70 years based on the the longest living author if jointly created or if work of corporate authorship, works for hire, or anonymous and pseudonymous works, the shorter of 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation.
 
2014-03-23 10:57:06 AM

italie: BMI, ASCAP, SECAM....can all go to hell. The tactics they use are nothing short of old-school mafia "protection" scams.


I have dealt with all three, buy a license from any of them and want to cancel it. fark no, you have to show proof that you either A.Went out of business and will no longer play any music, B.Provide a PLaylist of songs you will be playing so they can make sure your in compliance and not playing any of their covered songs, C. Provide the contract for the other Licensing company your going to be using. If you cant do 1 of these 3 they tell you to fark off and keep giving me all your money.
 
Displayed 50 of 240 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report