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RE: OT: ASCAP/BMI and music licensing

I am not eligible for ASCAP healthcare, and I do understand the need for
performers to perform. I have no problem with performers playing for free,
or getting paid- it has to do with the agreement between the venue and the
artist- they may have their reasons for whatever they decide. 
Cafes here in the Tampa area certainly use live music as a way to keep 
business going on the weekends- if you shut the music off, and take the art
off of the walls, certainly business would suffer. I don't think the
argument is about playing for free- the café would have to pay these
organizations for playing CDs- even local ones who happen to be affiliated
with the performing rights organizations. Even if a TV was on, they have to
pay a different organization. If you own a business, it just seems this is
the cost of doing business. 
As a professional musician, ASCAP has helped me- even if it is a pain to
business owners. No, I don't think ASCAP is entirely fair, and personally, 
am distrustful of big organizations. 
As a looping artist, it is even harder to find gigs, and many places are
small mom & pop shops. I don't mind playing for free there, but if they do
use music to keep people spending money in their business, I don't mind if
they have to pay ASCAP.

Dave Eichenberger-

> Yeah, but as you resent the cafe owner collecting money at 
> the end of a night and driving home in his Merc, there are 
> plenty of coffeehouse musicians who aren't eligible for ASCAP 
> health care who aren't going to be moved by your dental care 
> windfall at the expense of their monthly gig.
> The reason to play places that don't pay you is that the need 
> to play music is great, the number of musicians willing to 
> play for no direct monetary compensation is large, and the 
> number of paying places is small.  I mean, they don't pay the 
> painters who hang their art on the wall for a month either, 
> but artists need exposure, whereas cafes don't really need 
> local art and music.