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RE: OT: ASCAP/BMI and music licensing

Here's my 2 cents' worth... I've belonged to ASCAP for a few years now, and
I've even been mentioned in their Playback magazine, but even though they
seem like nice people, overall I'd say they have been as useless to me as
teats on a boar, or screen doors on a submarine. I may have to look into
some of their membership discounts more closely, because that may be the
only way I can benefit from membership; I certainly am not going to get a
nickel from their f**ed-over measurement system.

> [Original Message]
> From: hazard factor <artists@hazardfactor.com>
> To: <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
> Date: 5/20/2005 2:48:47 PM
> Subject: RE: OT: ASCAP/BMI and music licensing
>  I totally understand this viewpoint, and the one that punishes musicians
> who do cover tunes...what if the original music the performer is playing
> licensed though (just extremely unknown?)? There are lots of original
> performers around here that belong to BMI and ASCAP. While my check from
> ASCAP is small, I do, however have access to pretty good dental insurance
> well a gear insurance and discounts on lots of other stuff. 
> These days, if you have a bar, you have to pay to show NFL games, etc..it
> part of the costs of doing business. In the end, I would rather see money
> to professional musicians rather than sports teams. Looking at it from 
> other side, if a coffeehouse pays ASCAP, they *just might* realize that
> music is worth paying for. If they refuse to pay, why play there?
> I have done many free shows at coffeehouses, performing for grateful
> who genuinely are living week-to-week, and want to support original live
> music. 
> I have also played for owners that drive up at 12am in their Very
> Car, count the money, grumble a bit, and then leave $10 less than we
> upon for the musician (me). If this guy has to play ASCAP, BMI or any
> organization, I honestly don't care. (BTW, I refused future bookings at
> place).
> There are no easy solutions, but if ASCAP can help me out when I had all 
> wisdom teeth pulled last year (a few $k, normally, about $700 for me),
> does help.
> Dave Eichenberger
> http://www.hazardfactor.com
> > 
> > The 60's may be "so over", but the idea of intellectual 
> > property has taken a serious hit in recent years.  BMI and 
> > ASCAP are still clinging to a business model from decades ago 
> > when the means of production were much more concentrated than 
> > they ever will be again.  And most local musicians will never 
> > see any significant money from BMI or ASCAP because it's got 
> > no efficient way of measuring what music is actually being 
> > played and performed and because most grass-roots musicians 
> > receive negligable airplay.
> > 
> > I suspect that there's a lot of small venues who aren't going 
> > to pay for performance licenses and are just going to stop 
> > having live music, which isn't good for music, and probably 
> > not good for the music industry in the long run.  You can't 
> > choke off the minor leagues like that without seeing a 
> > dropoff in the talent pool a few years down the road.  As far 
> > as I'm concerned, BMI, ASCAP and the Musician's Union are 
> > worthless to me.  The only time I hear about them is when 
> > they take opportunities away from musicians, because there's 
> > more of us on the bottom than the top.
> >