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(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  
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16552 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Mar 2014 at 9:46 AM (26 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-23 05:34:11 PM

BluVeinThrobber: The next big thing in bars.....Total Silence


Pfft. I was listening to that before you.
 
2014-03-23 05:41:01 PM

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


Probably has a handout of the gig in question, look up bar in database, see they aren't licensed and then maybe send someone over to the gig to verify or call the bar like someone said earlier.
 
2014-03-23 05:46:06 PM

DarkSoulNoHope:


I've never understood that "No Stairway" joke in Wayne's World, even all these years later >.<
 
2014-03-23 05:55:42 PM
Mustang Sally?!?! How farking cliche can you get??
 
2014-03-23 07:23:58 PM

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

Probably has a handout of the gig in question, look up bar in database, see they aren't licensed and then maybe send someone over to the gig to verify or call the bar like someone said earlier.


Let me explain it. Guitarists (or any musician) love to perform. They want people to see what they can do. Especially intermediate musicians. It's all, "hey guys, look how well I can play!" No where is this more prevalent than the local music store, where you can go in and "try out" $1500 Les Pauls you are never EVER going to buy. Now, there is a song that is actually pretty easy to play, sounds more difficult to play than it actually is to the untrained ear, and is about what might be considered advanced beginner, to intermediate skill level. Guess what song that is. Go ahead, guess.

/I play bass
//My stairway is old Iron Maiden tunes.
 
2014-03-23 07:25:34 PM

Myria: DarkSoulNoHope:

I've never understood that "No Stairway" joke in Wayne's World, even all these years later >.<


Opps was intending to quote this fellow. Your answer is above, friend.
 
2014-03-23 08:27:38 PM
Chicago Symphony Orchestra is just a cover band and rarely plays original stuff.

What a bunch of losers!
 
2014-03-23 08:52:43 PM

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

Probably has a handout of the gig in question, look up bar in database, see they aren't licensed and then maybe send someone over to the gig to verify or call the bar like someone said earlier.

Let me explain it. Guitarists (or any musician) love to perform. They want people to see what they can do. Especially intermediate musicians. It's all, "hey guys, look how well I can play!" No where is this more prevalent than the local music store, where you can go in and "try out" $1500 Les Pauls you are never EVER going to buy. Now, there is a song that is actually pretty easy to play, sounds more difficult to play than it actually is to the untrained ear, and is about what might be considered advanced beginner, to intermediate skill level. Guess what song that is. Go ahead, guess.

/I play bass
//My stairway is old Iron Maiden tunes.


Steve Harris is my hero.
 
2014-03-23 09:17:41 PM
eh ... here's the thing. and let me preface this with the fact that i've been playing in bands for a good 20 years now (goddamn, i got old) and am a member of BMI (i have writing credits on some of the songs on my my recent band's album), as well are many of my musician cohorts here in LA.

i'm far from a pro musician - pretty sure i make more in a day or two as a software engineer than i have in ALL those 20 years in bands - but some of my friends are. and some of them do quite well licensing their music to shiat like advertising, tv shows, film, etc. organizations like BMI protect these guys from having their work stolen and allow them to make a living doing what they love and what they're good at.

so say ... someone like michael bay is out at some bar in malibu and hears my pal terry rockin out some of his awesome bakersfield-country influenced jams, michael bay likes it, michael bay buys his album and wants to use a song in transformers 15 or whatever. because of an organization like, yeah, BMI, he can't just jack terry's music and use it simply because he's an unknown dude just doing his thing. he'd have to pay to use it. and that's great! that's how it should be. a musician is creating something of value just like anyone else.

they're an organization big enough and powerful enough to represent the small guy. otherwise, it's just some dude against some bazillionaire.

now, you get into areas like this that certainly seem silly on the surface. BUT, it's more of a precedence thing. if you draw a line that says "ok well, this is ok but this isn't" then that line's gonna get moved around until it's completely erased and then what? "oh blahblahblah john fogerty is a rich old rockstar he doesn't need the money!" but it mostly isn't about those guys (who are, in fact, members just like some dork like me is and deserve the same protection) it's about the millions of little guys no one's ever heard of that make their living writing music.

you can't play favorites, you can't make exceptions, you just have to enforce these seemingly stupid rules for the greater good.

tl;dr - it's not as stupid as it seems; the bar should follow the rules and this shiat wouldn't happen
 
2014-03-23 09:27:51 PM

Secret Agent X23: 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.


It's simple process of elimination.   BMI and ASCAP obviously have lists of establishments that have paid their fees, so all they have to do is visit establishments that haven't.   Every jukebox must have a paid license, so they do the same thing with those.    Restaurants and stores often pay Mood Media or SIRIUS XM because those companies take care of the fees for them through special contracts with BMI and ASCAP.    One time I was in a neighborhood bar and the employees unhooked their Sirius XM (business account) receiver and plugged in a cd player.   The owner dropped in and threw a fit.

The rules around playing broadcast radio and television are a bit more sensible since they include ways a small establishment can show TV without paying fees, even when those telecasts are a major draw.  But, that makes sense because broadcasters make money through advertising.  Their desire to have a large audience outweighs any concern they might have about a bars profiting from their sports telecast.
 
2014-03-23 11:31:19 PM

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.


Yep. The rules are asinine, but they're still the rules - violate them at your peril. These chuckleheads violated those rules, and will, of course, have to pony up.
 
2014-03-24 03:00:36 AM

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


Or people who don't think you should indenture people for the rest of your grandchildren's natural lives because of something you did once 20 years ago.
 
2014-03-24 09:04:25 AM
....belted out the standard classic rock tunes: "Jesse's Girl," "Fortunate Son," "You Really Got me," "Brown Eyed Girl" and, of course, "Free Bird" among other songs of that ilk that every cover band plays.

WRONG.

I play with a cover group and my group makes considerable effort to AVOID cliché songs such as these.

Plus Jimmy Buffet.  We refuse to  play any song that Jimmy Buffet gets near.

In fact, our band motto is "we ain't your Margaritaville kinda band".
 
2014-03-24 09:36:01 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.


Because Hoboken lost Maxwells, the only live music venue left with any bands worth seeing, and because extreme gentrification has ruined Hoboken. The place looks more like a Hollywood set these days than anything real.

ASCAP/BMI/SESAC - extortionists. Let's skip the middle-folks and pay the musicians directly. I'm not against having them get paid. I'm against sanctioned racketeering.
 
2014-03-24 11:00:57 AM
best... caver band... ever!
(Dread Zeppelin cut, extended 8 min version, poppity pops!)
 
2014-03-24 11:05:26 AM
cover
 
2014-03-24 11:38:33 AM
"Incalculable damage" means that after BMI win their trial on the merits and get their statutory damages, they're going to ask for a jury to decide how much they should get in punitive damages since the bar dragged its feet and essentially forced BMI to file the lawsuit. If they put an actual figure into the complaint, they'd be limited to that figure as a maximum possible award if (when) they win.
 
2014-03-24 11:48:02 AM

ristst: ....belted out the standard classic rock tunes: "Jesse's Girl," "Fortunate Son," "You Really Got me," "Brown Eyed Girl" and, of course, "Free Bird" among other songs of that ilk that every cover band plays.

WRONG.

I play with a cover group and my group makes considerable effort to AVOID cliché songs such as these.

Plus Jimmy Buffet.  We refuse to  play any song that Jimmy Buffet gets near.

In fact, our band motto is "we ain't your Margaritaville kinda band".


That's why there's only 10 people in your audience.

/I keed, I keed.
//Never heard Jessie's Girl live.
///No, I HATE that song, HATE it.
////DON'T LOOK AT ME!!!!
 
2014-03-24 12:06:58 PM

Geoff Peterson: That's why there's only 10 people in your audience.

/I keed, I keed.
//Never heard Jessie's Girl live.
///No, I HATE that song, HATE it.
////DON'T LOOK AT ME!!!!


We typically get goof reviews.  People constantly tell us how glad they are that we don't play the same songs every other band plays.

As to Jessie's Girl, I don't hate it....but I've never heard a group get the vocals right.  The harmonies are critical to the song, especially in the bridge.  Never heard anyone get close.
 
2014-03-24 12:21:32 PM

mediaseth: 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.

Because Hoboken lost Maxwells, the only live music venue left with any bands worth seeing, and because extreme gentrification has ruined Hoboken. The place looks more like a Hollywood set these days than anything real.

ASCAP/BMI/SESAC - extortionists. Let's skip the middle-folks and pay the musicians directly. I'm not against having them get paid. I'm against sanctioned racketeering.


Yep. 100% THIS. Only reason I still live here is that my wife loves it. All our friends are here and she doesn't like to drive- bingo- Hoboken it is. All it is now is entitled yuppie parents and entitled drunks. No more live music. We even lost the Whisky as a music venue.
 
2014-03-24 12:27:40 PM
My dad and his buddies used to play Beatles covers for open-mic Sundays at Victory Brewery.

It was awesome, we got a private back room for the performances, great food, great beer and an all-around great time with various different local musical acts (guitar, vocals, spoken-word poetry, etc.)

We got to enjoy it for a few fun months until suits showed up with cease-and-desist orders and Victory cancelled the events : (

This is why we can't have nice things.
 
2014-03-24 12:37:52 PM

ristst: We typically get goof reviews.


GOOF REVIEWS????

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

/should've been "good" of course....
 
2014-03-24 12:57:44 PM

non compos mentat: I'll just leave this here...  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a9aruzVcM8


And I'll leave this next to it.
 
2014-03-24 01:02:04 PM

bunner: Audio for live has reached a level of refinement that allows for studio quality sound at shows.

Lighting has become astounding in it's scope, applications and ability to make performances engaging, although the programming often seems to take away from the creative aspects of directing a show.

Staging, video, production values are all very well done, now.   No more stack of Altecs trying to put the singer over a wall of too loud guitar amps.  Brilliantly mixed, lit and directed shows abound.  And cost a f*cking mint for the ger and personnel.

And for what?  A form of music that is languishing on the shelves, producing very little viable new artists and is "supported" with mouse clicks that often generate nothing more than a few inconvenienced electrons.  So nobody is paying and nobody is getting paid.  And the downloaders say "but they should just give the music away and earn money from playing live1"  How?  By taking the money they made selling 3,000 CDs last year out of their trunk and planning, booking, managing and hiring production for a tour?

So what's left?  Royalties from publishing.  And that is why an hour and a half after a new cool song comes out from an emerging band, it's being used to sell toothpaste and cars.  "SELLOUTS!" cry the hip, true believers.  Who pay for nothing but two PBR's and the 5.00 cover so they can say "I knew them before they sold out."

Try paying for their CDs and the tours get better, the quality gets better, and they don't have to sell Proctor and Gamble products to eat and live indoors.  If I ever manage to get something on the radiom iTunes and brick and mortar outlets, I hoep there's some guy in a suit pestering the people who make money off of it for my lousy 27.00 royalty check.

The problem isn't "greedy labels or BMI".  The problem is people slapping down 16.00 for three cups of yuppie coffe and rolling their eyes when that way cool band they love asks for 9.00 for a copy of something it cost thousands to produce.


That's a fair assessment.

Would you like to join my cover band, 'The Inconvenienced Electrons'?
 
2014-03-24 01:35:49 PM
Case in point.

The Heavy.

Had really good song called "How You Like Me Now" that was immediately snapped up to sell cars with little muppet animals.

This got them on Letterman where they, along with the house band, PAVED the f*cking place.  I mean just paved it.   Letterman insisted they encore the same song, and they did so.  They were pronounced to be indeed, heavy and critics gushed and shows were planned and of course, this rocketed them to where they are now.  Off the radar for years and remanded to the cutout bin.  (To be fair, whoever mastered that brick should be rapped on the knuckles with a yardstick.)  So.  What happened?  "crucial" new band with one hit hit the heights, fell back to earth immediately and help sell a lot of Kias.  Which got them paid.
 
2014-03-24 01:36:38 PM

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

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


It is if the guitar player is drunk enough....
 
2014-03-24 01:39:20 PM

Honest Geologist: Would you like to join my cover band, 'The Inconvenienced Electrons'?


Shoot me a song list.  I prob'ly know the word to most of them.
 
2014-03-24 01:56:01 PM

bunner: And if you really don't value arts and music, paint every single thing you own white and put in a pair of earplugs and some sleep shades and spend your life in your lovely sensory deprivation tank.  Art keeps you sane, kids.  And it's cheaper than anti-psychotics and the doctor to prescribe them.  The guy who drew the crap on your cereal box got paid.  Cough up a few bucks for the band that did that song that benchmarks a time in your life.


And cough up a few more bucks for the recording industry, a few more bucks for the licencing agencies, and a few more bucks for the lawyers who will sue you if you don't cough up whatever amount of money they deem acceptable.
 
2014-03-24 02:00:59 PM

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

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

It is if the guitar player is drunk enough....


I do Stairway to Freebird.

It's the Freebird lyric sung with Stairway to Heaven music.  Believe it or not people LOVE it.  It's quite humorous.
 
2014-03-24 02:07:05 PM

Bonobo62: And cough up a few more bucks for the recording industry, a few more bucks for the licencing agencies, and a few more bucks for the lawyers who will sue you if you don't cough up whatever amount of money they deem acceptable.


I'm talking about buying CDs.  Supporting the record labels who still have enough money to support, provide touring gear hire and expensive promotion for their artist rosters isn't a bad idea, actually.  A lot of what they make from a successful artist gets plowed back into promotion and the like.  Not being able to do this is why all your favorite bands are promoting themselves with facebook posts, reverb nation, blogs and a buch of other stuff nobody reads.  The whole "ebul rec'd labels" thing isn't nearly as true as the now 20 year old indie ethos says it is.  It never was.  They're investment banks.  And they take a pretty fair return if their investment pans out when you look at other investment banking types.  Attorney are going to get paid any time any useful amount of money changes hands because people are weasels and attorneys are simply professional weasels.  If it wasn't for licensing, The Heavy, having sold a bunch of Kias, would now be shopping with an EBT card.
 
2014-03-24 02:16:15 PM

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

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

It is if the guitar player is drunk enough....

I do Stairway to Freebird.

It's the Freebird lyric sung with Stairway to Heaven music.  Believe it or not people LOVE it.  It's quite humorous.


Wow, cool. I never have listened to "The Dark Side of the Moon" while watching "The Wizard of Oz", yet either....
 
2014-03-24 03:03:51 PM

bunner: Honest Geologist: Would you like to join my cover band, 'The Inconvenienced Electrons'?

Shoot me a song list.  I prob'ly know the word to most of them.


Judging by just about every cover band I've ever seen, I think we're legally obligated or something to play 'Last Dance With Mary Jane'.
 
2014-03-24 03:11:44 PM

Cortez the Killer: Write anything we'd know?


lol. likely not. i was in various indie bands in the 90s. for a while, one was on a subsidiary of a major. we toured a lot and got some college radio airplay. nothing big. my BMI statements usually consist of snippets played on TV shows like "the osbournes" and "MTV's making of the video." crap they play in the background.

it is fun going through your statement to find stuff played in far-off lands like norway and the czech republic though.
 
2014-03-24 03:14:08 PM

Honest Geologist: bunner: Honest Geologist: Would you like to join my cover band, 'The Inconvenienced Electrons'?

Shoot me a song list.  I prob'ly know the word to most of them.

Judging by just about every cover band I've ever seen, I think we're legally obligated or something to play 'Last Dance With Mary Jane'.


I like Tom Petty.  I like a lot of his catalogue.  I don't much like singing it.  I came up with old school Stax / Volt / Motown / Tamla and a metric f*ckton of British invasion and some country.  You know, hits.  I'd rather chew glass than listen to or cover Steve Miller or ELO, but I think they're both formulaic to the point of abrasion.  I have a small collection of songs I try and take with me to any cover band I'm in because I think they kick ass and the crowds seem to agree.  Songs are made up of parts.  If eveybody learns their parts, you can have a really good band without all the drama.  Then again, I like Drowning Pool, Perl Jam, ABBA and the Carpenters, so my opinions should be widely discounted by the truly hip.   :  )
 
2014-03-24 03:15:44 PM

FlashHarry: Cortez the Killer: Write anything we'd know?

lol. likely not. i was in various indie bands in the 90s. for a while, one was on a subsidiary of a major. we toured a lot and got some college radio airplay. nothing big. my BMI statements usually consist of snippets played on TV shows like "the osbournes" and "MTV's making of the video." crap they play in the background.

it is fun going through your statement to find stuff played in far-off lands like norway and the czech republic though.


A singer / songwriter / comedian I did a lot of shows with got a royalty check for like 98¢ from S. Africa once.
 
2014-03-24 03:57:58 PM
Copyright should be 20 years. End of story.

There is no benefit to society for this crap.
 
2014-03-24 03:58:54 PM

bunner: A singer / songwriter / comedian I did a lot of shows with got a royalty check for like 98¢ from S. Africa once.


i've had a couple of those too.
 
2014-03-24 04:03:40 PM

pdee: Copyright should be 20 years. End of story.

There is no benefit to society for this crap.


20 years? bullshiat. if i write a song in 1992 and you perform it in 2014, i deserve to get paid.
 
2014-03-24 04:18:10 PM

pdee: Copyright should be 20 years. End of story.

There is no benefit to society for this crap.


Let's talk about somebody who wrote a hit song getting tree fiddy for a song they wrote 30 years ago that everybody sstill likes and it's benefit to society vs. a pack of corporate whores strip mining entire sectors of the economy and getting bonuses for their dismantling millions of people's futures.  Shall we?  You go first.  Oh, the humanity!  He wrote that over twenty years ago!  Thief!  Chiseler!  Leech!  *snort*
 
2014-03-24 04:20:04 PM
And for all he wai 1337 coders decrying the notion that people whould pay for music they like, but can't make themselves, um boosting cracks and warez is still cool, no?  I mean, if I glom a crack for a piece of code you wrote, you already got paid for it, so, whatever, no?
 
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