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Re: OT: ASCAP/BMI and music licensing

Playing devil's advocate... And I'm not sure why I am,
because I've been directly affected by this situation
personally - my favorite venues in which I play
regularly at one time or another have been hunted down
by the ASCAP / BMI reps, and the result was that the
venues eliminated music completely for a time rather
than pay ludicrous fees.  

On to my point: a coffeeshop is a business.  Music
acts (or other attractions) are designed to bring more
heads in the door to buy more product.  If they
didn't, the shop most likely wouldn't have those
attractions (as long as the musicians are being paid -
if they're playing for free then all bets are off ;). 

I don't think that having two fewer tables available
for the evening is going to have the affect you
mentioned.  Even if the musician doesn't personally
bring in a crowd, it's likely (if they're any good)
that they will at least retain the crowd that comes in
the door long enough to buy an extra drink or two
while they're there.  The theory also assumes that
every table would be filled for the entire evening,
which doesn't seem likely to me.

Just thinking out loud.  =)  


--- Travis Hartnett <travishartnett@gmail.com> wrote:
> Most coffeshops don't have a dedicated performance
> area (such as a
> stage) and just move a couple of tables out of the
> way to make space. 
> Thus, the number of paying tables available for the
> evening is fewer
> for music nights, so the music has to justify an
> automatic income
> decrease of say, fifty dollars from those tables
> over the course of
> the night.
> But, life goes on.
> On 5/21/05, Ronan Chris Murphy
> <looper@venetowest.com> wrote:
> > 
> > Ronan Chris Murphy
> > www.venetowest.com (Production & mixing: King
> Crimson, Chucho Valdes,
> > Steve Morse, Terry Bozzio, CGT...)
> > www.homerecordingbootcamp.com (Workshops around
> the world teaching the
> > art and craft of recording )
> > www.livesofthesaints.net (The hottest ambient
> noise duo since Sonny &
> > Cher)
> > On May 20, 2005, at 2:48 AM, Travis Hartnett
> wrote:
> > 
> > > I received an email from the booking agent at a
> local coffeeshop which
> > > now requires all performers to play 100%
> original music.  Now, to me
> > > this is a good thing, but the overall effect is
> chilling:
> > >
> > 
> > I am not an expert on this but some what well
> informed. Its really
> > pretty simple, you pay a blanket license to cover
> all of the artists
> > that BMI or ASCAP represent. Its apparent that the
> owner of the coffee
> > shop in question did not want to pay this. You
> also have the right to
> > not pay the blanket license and do a separate
> contract for each song
> > played in your public venue, but that sure seems
> like a lot more hassle
> > than a coffee shop pony-ing up a few hundred bucks
> a year or less.
> > Music is an integral part of the experience of
> most restaurants or
> > coffee shops and to pay a buck or two a day for
> that hardly seems
> > unfair. They make more than that off selling me
> one iced coffee.
> > 
> > As a guy that makes 100% of his living in music, I
> have to say I like
> > the idea of other business that benefit from our
> labor, kicking in a
> > couple bucks.
> > 
> > Ronan (BMI composer and owner of Veneto West
> Music, BMI)
> >

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