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I can't burn CD's for my girlfriends new restaurant!

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by PeterS, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. PeterS

    PeterS Three Time F1 World Champ
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    I was blown away with this one! I was going to burn a CD mix of music for my girlfriends new restaurant. What I was unaware that the 'music police' are out in full force and I am unable to do this! These groups are called ASCAP & BMI. Even the smallest restaurant owner (who struggles to pay the bills) has to pay royalties to these groups.

    " Permission is granted in the form of a yearly blanket license, that entitles a buyer to use anything in the ASCAP or BMI catalog during a calendar year. The price for this blanket license is determined by an elaborate formula that involves the demographics of radio and TV stations, concert ticket price, seating of the room, the form of music (radio, solo, band, show, theater, etc.) and number of hours per week music is being used."

    What do you think?
     
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  3. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

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    How many resturtant owners actually pay roylaties for playing CD's for background music?
     
  4. rodsky

    rodsky Formula 3

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    If you give her the CD's - in other words she owns them - would that make a difference? Maybe the issue is that she is playing music for other's enjoyment in a public place - similar to a radio station but on amuch smaller scale.
     
  5. PeterS

    PeterS Three Time F1 World Champ
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  6. tomw

    tomw Formula 3
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    I don't necessarily agree with it, after all, it's not like the customers at the restaurant are getting a tangible copy of any song to take away with them, if anything it'll only promote the artist(s) in question.

    The whole music copyright thing seems to have gone a bit mad recently, but I suppose with people downloading music left right and centre, the record labels are wanting to secure other means of income :).

    Tried looking for some music that is freely 'distributable'?
     
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  8. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Yes the Music Police and going wild, but they are within the letter of the current law. There is a difference between private use and playing said music within a commercial public business. Only solutions are pay up or go Muzak or the like.

    Do i feel the Music Police are going too far? YOU BET! But it seems the RIAA is making sure they alienate every single music consumer. So...

    SUPPORT INDEPENDANT LABELS :)

    Enjoy the Drive,

    Steven R. Rochlin
     
  9. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

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    On another note, does anyone use iTunes? Apparently i can have the itunes player and listen to any song that is on anyones computer on the network i am on and its legal. Since the iTunes player will just stream it from the computer it's on(i wont actually have a copy of the song on my computer), so its legal.
     
  10. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

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    I'll take the opposite point of view here. :)

    Musicians get paid for their music. Authors get paid for their books. Programmers get paid for their software.

    Chefs get paid for the meals they cook. Mechanics get paid for the cars they fix. Surgeons get paid for the operations they perform. Why should one profession be different from another?

    Why should you or I get out of paying for a piece of software, or a song, just because the musician might be rich and you and I are poor or struggling?

    The way the law works right now, you can buy a CD and listen to it all you want. You can play it for your buddies in your living room. But you can't play it for the customers in your restaurant, the people in your waiting room, or the guys at the bar. That is a "public" performance, and you have to pay a fee. You can play the RADIO for free, because the radio station is paying for the public performance. You can have the TV on a broadcast station, but you need a license (pay a fee) to have, say, HBO on. That's how the law works. If you or I don't like it, we can play music from musicians or labels that don't charge a fee for copies or for performance (equivalent of shareware).

    But just playing a CD in the restaurant is, legally, stealing. You wouldn't stick a CD in your pocket at Best Buy, you wouldn't lift the latest Grisham novel at B&N, why would you cheat at playing music? ;)

    Now, I'll be the first to say that I'm not a saint. I've done my share of illegal copying of music and software and videos in my sordid, tawdry past. And I'm not saying that I'll never do it again. But I won't be hypocritical and pretend that what I'm doing is not wrong or that I'm somehow "entitled" to it for free. Heck, I'm just a thief! :)


    vty,

    --Dennis
     
  11. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    can you get Cable which has Music channels (songs playing with no video) & put it on a music only channel? - if so, set it to Blues or Jazz and play.
     
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  13. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Peter, as one who has been ripped off for a copyright, more than once sadly, you feel a little different when the shoe is on the other foot.

    That said, ASCAP is way over the top going after business owners for playing background music. My beef has always been with people who rip off someone's creative work to make money. But, playing tunes as background noise, give me a break. I had a homebuilder client who once got nailed for paying music in his model homes. The problem is that ASCAP has got way too much money for a business owner to fight this. It is far cheaper to just pay and walk away.

    DrTax

     
  14. tjacoby

    tjacoby F1 Rookie

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    There used to be lots of amateur's posting some pretty decent tunes online, I used to use mp3.com - all legit. The new service at music.download.com's supposed to be online later this month - but have to see what their license policies are. I'm sure there's other sites, and would be interested if anyone had url's.

    For background music I doubt anyone would care if it was a name act or a quality independant act. I'm with Steven.
     
  15. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    tjacoby,

    Many thanks for the endorsement. For the record (disclosure), one of my Day Jobs is as Editor for www.EnjoyTheMusic.com and has been reporting on the RIAA and International music scene for a long, long time. Am a classically trained musician (drum set in kitchen), have toured, studeio time… and enjoy my DAW (digital audio workstation) in the office.

    Yes the RIAA is going a bit overboard, yet they are to date following legal channels. FYI: be glad the movie industry has not widely charged kindergartens with illegally showing movies in a public venue illegally.

    In the end we can all gripe and moan, yet there are legal alternatives such as Muzak, and i believe Cable TV has a contract for businesses to enjoy commercial free music "channels".

    Enjoy the Music,

    Steven R. Rochlin
     
  16. tjacoby

    tjacoby F1 Rookie

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    up here our kindergarten kids were asked not to bring specific copyrighted materials to the school (like Disney). Those days are here already.

    keep up the good work!
     
  17. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
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    This has nothing to do with the issue of downloading, burning or file sharing. ASCAP (which was started in around 1917 by Nathan Burkan) and BMI (its largest domestic competitor, started later) have long been collecting royalties for public performance of music, whether at bars, restaurants, retail shops, where music is played "for free," or at concerts, shows or other venues (trade shows) where there is a direct or indirect admission fee. Ditto broadcasters, TV, radio and now Internet "webcasters" who transmit copyrighted music to the public. The theory being, that if songwriters were responsible to collect money for public performance of their music, they'd never make a dime; so these "performance rights" organizations exist in virtually every country in the world, to collect the royalties for member writer/publishers from third parties who perform the music and remit a "share" based on a complicated formula to each member, based on actual use of their material. One gets a license to perform from their catalog, typically a "blanket license" which is a catalog-sized immunity; but since ASCAP and BMI have different catalogs, one typically needs a license from both. (There is a third, much smaller performance rights society in the US, SESAC which many people have never heard of).

    The "police" you refer to actually exist in two forms; there are representatives from these societies that check to see if music is publicly performed without a license- they also monitor usage so that the royalties paid to writer/publishers reflect actual usage. But, if you are really looking to get "busted" for this, its the federal marshalls that handle copyright "raids" and they are genuine well-armed cops. The cost of these licenses is suprisingly modest, and it ain't about copyright run amuck. Then again, this has been the law in this country dating back to before 1909, so its not like somebody just started doing this.

    Oh, by the way, there is an exemption in the statute for the use of a modest radio of the type one finds an employee playing for his own enjoyment. The exemption is codified in 17 USC Sec. 110. It stemmed from a case against a chicken restaurant in Pittsburgh called George Aiken's in which the man making the chicken used to play his radio. Case went to the Supreme Court. Court concluded that Aiken was allowed to play his radio, even though his customers also benefitted. The 1976 Act codified the Aiken case as the "outer limit" of an exemption drawn to prevent people from installing commercial or big "home" systems and pretending its their for their enjoyment, rather than the customer's. Keep in mind that Aiken involved playing the radio, not "originating" the programming through the use of tape or disc. The narrow question was whether such "passive" public performance should be actionable as an activity akin to a "retransmission." Clearly, where you originate the program, and perform it to a public audience, whether or not for profit, you are publicly performing within the meaning of the Copyright Law, and the Aiken exemption has no application.
     
  18. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
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    Back in my distant past when I owned a pub, we paid once a year for the music police, after they visited and told us we had to. I had no idea until then.

    Even better, if you use music on hold, that's subject to the fee too.

    If you have live bands at your club, pay up.

    And don't forget, if you have cable TV you pay the commercial rate, which is much higher than standard, and, no matter what, you can't have the movie channels.

    Now some of these rules may have changed, but I doubt it.

    In my time in this, they charged a fee based on the capacity of your place, the bigger the better as far as they were concerned.

    I believe there are some music services available by satellite that include the BMI or ASCAP fees.
     
  19. dherman76

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    WHART is totally correct. Being in the music business - we deal with these issues each and every day. ASCAP and BMI are music licensing companies in which artists license their music too and the companies police the music and make sure the artists are getting paid for it.

    How would you like it if you were a painter and someone duplicated your paintings to hang them up in their store/restaurant and you didn't get paid for it? Not too cool, eh? Musicians should get paid fairly for their work - and burning CDs for commercial purposes, such as playing them in a restaurant goes against what we are trying to stand up for.

    Check out: http://www.whatsthedownload.com/
     
  20. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
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    I'll take an opposing view.

    Once a public library buys a book, I can take it out for free, multiple times if I Want to for no additional charge. The author doesn't get multiple reading fees, the library doesn't pay extra for the book.And, it's a public place, right?

    And, if you argue that music brings people into your bar, then books also bring you into the library.

    I've paid the fee, I owned a bar, but I never exactly understood it. After all, I paid for it once, didn't I?

    Oh, and by the way, playing a radio for public consumption in a bar is still subject to the fee for establishments over 4000 sq feet, I think, or with 6 or more speakers, or some such crap.
     
  21. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ
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    I was just thinking iTunes. I have KCRW streaming under the ecclectic radio channel at all my photoshoots world wide, I don't pay any royalties ;) Or I click the real audio stream for kcrw.com under the programme Metropolis. Kinda funny to be listening to an LA radio station when you are in Milan shooting a layout and everybody is scratching their heads on how I get live radio from LA using my cellphone and laptop.

    Anyway, Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, and many major chains even Tower and Virgin Mega play cd;s in the background. I am waiting for their lawsuits... F^ck the music police, tell them to go after the big fish.
     
  22. BigHead

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    Actually, your analogy isn't quite correct. A better analogy would be - you bought the CD, you can bring it to your restaurant (or any restaurant) and play it for yourself as many times as you want. And any customer can borrow your CD and play it for himself. But you can't play the CD for everyone in the restaurant publicly. Similarly, you can borrow a book from the library, but you can't photocopy it for everyone in the restaurant.

    vty,

    --Dennis
     
  23. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

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    Lawsuits? I'd wager a case of Krispy Kreme that every Starbucks and B&N is playing corporate approved music, and that music is played under a paid license. It's not the big chains that violate the law, it's the small fish like you and me.

    BTW, as a photographer, how do you feel when someone "copies" your images without permission and puts them on a pay-to-view site, collects money and doesn't pay you? Just curious....

    vty,

    --Dennis
     
  24. whart

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    Timothy (TestShoot): The radio station pays for a blanket license to publicly perform music when it broadcasts. As far as Internet streaming goes, there was a litigation a couple years ago, in which the NAB argued that once a station has paid the license once, for its broadcast performance, it needs no additional license to stream exactly the same program on the Internet. But, that's not how the law reads, or how the Copyright Office intepreted the law, or how the courts eventually came out on the issue. Because the streaming "territory" far exceeds the original broadcast area, an additional license is necessary. I am sure that all the major chains pay handsomely for the privilege of playing background music. As to i Pod, once a song/recording has been downloaded, you are not publicly performing it when you play it for yourself. On the other hand, a central repository that provides on-demand streams at different times and places at the user's behest is publicly performing. The quirk with I Pod is that they have licensed music in such a way as to permit limited sharing, a feature which has given Apple's system greater market acceptance, but the right to do so is not inherent in the law, it depends upon the deal made with the music publisher and owner of the master recording.

    Sorry to get all technical on you folks, but this is what i do for a living. As to the carping about paying royalties, what's the alternative? Do you have enough talent to write and perform songs that are sufficiently interesting to keep yourself entertained? If not, you are using somebody else's "stuff." Since when did that become free?
     
  25. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    To add for those who are interested, the news and exact fees are available at http://www.enjoythemusic.com/news/0204/ . See Feb 23rd news article.

    Enjoy the Drive,

    Steven R. Rochlin
     
  26. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ
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    Thanks to stations like KCRW, I buy extremely expensive (paid $120 for a New Order CD EP) import CDs, pledge $2-300 a year to the station (they are public radio) and I don't think that playing in a restaurant, that someone brings an mp3 recorder to pirate the music, they are probably their for the food. I play their stuff at private photoshoots, not open to the public, I do not take or distribute the music they play publicly either. Nor do the participants of my shoots. The same can be said for musak and what you hear at the stores I doubt piracy is an issue at Walmart.

    Well I don't know what the big chains do, but rest assured that not every Tower Records plays only what is on the corporate agenda. As for the non-threatening Starbucks, it is run but 20 year old kids popping in FischerSpooner and Massive Attack across the street here, and I am sure nobody is paying a dime for that. As for my thing, in private exhibition, I do not mind people showing my images, it is when a magazine/website takes my photos of Carmen, or Paris and puts their name on it or does not pay a public display agreement fee, that I get miffed. As far as my art work, I only care that I get credit, because when I get something from a client, the client pays for the ad, and it does not hurt anyone when the ads are reproduced, because it would be hard to rip off a Dior ad campaign.

    After I get paid to produce my work, I could care less how it is distributed, and if I own the copyright, all I care is that I am given credit and contact info. I am not gonna charge a fan site for reproduction of my images so long as my credit and link are there.

    I ran 3 fashion house retail divisions, and we played music all the time and never had to pay anything.

    If they start suing mom and pop shops, pretty soon we will all be fat from eating at major fast food chains because the ambiance at restaurants has gone.
     
  27. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
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    I bought German made classical CDs to play in my office (Urology) to avoid problems with the music police... mdstrib
     
  28. PeterS

    PeterS Three Time F1 World Champ
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    OK. Try this one on. A cook in her restaurant brings his or her boom box and listens to HIS CD's that can also be heard in the dinning room. Is this not legal?
     

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