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#257080 - 02/20/09 09:46 AM Re: RIAA Question to Gigging Arranger Performers
Jerry T Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 1002
Loc: Phila. 'burbs, Pa. USA
I was on the phone with ASCAP in Nashville several times, first to
find out how they - in Nashville, within a week of my starting the
gig, found out that I was playing a little pizzaria/restaurant in a
little town outside of Philadelphia (their method is top secret). I
tried to expalain that I would be playing mostly folk tunes that have
long been in the public domain. They wouldn't hear of it, and they
harrassed the restaurant owners several times a week - If there is
live and/or recorded (e.g. CD's) music - somebody pays a fee. Piped
in radio music is okay since the stations pay the fees as per the
playlists.
Ciao,
Jerry

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#257081 - 02/20/09 10:01 AM Re: RIAA Question to Gigging Arranger Performers
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7291
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
In talking to the reps from one of these organizations, they come to town and first check the entertainment section of the local paper and any entertainment guides...those little magazines found in the lobby of many establishments. They check out any places listed in these publications. And they check out any web-based entertainment guides. Then, they drive around looking at billboards and entrance signs for entertainment notices.

For years, I played an upscale restaurant (14 years, actually) and told the owners to not use the "week-ender" (a listing of entertainment venues in the local paper) to publicize the music. We had no problem. The year I left, a musician called in his own listing. Within weeks, all liscensing organizations had contacted the place. They now pay a total of $2750 a year for each of the two places they own.

In the case of the little restaurant I just left, the reps of the liscensing company were talking to the owners of a bar in the same shopping center. The bar owners said "there's a piano player at (restaurant name). Are you collecting fees from them"? Guess what? They went right down the street and the rest is history. This is about the 9th time music was discontinued at a place I worked as a result of actions like this.

R.

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#257082 - 02/20/09 10:58 AM Re: RIAA Question to Gigging Arranger Performers
btweengigs Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2204
Loc: Florida, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry T:
Piped
in radio music is okay since the stations pay the fees as per the
playlists.
Ciao,
Jerry


Believe it or Don't...but I know of an exception to the "radio rule".

We had a little family restaurant in town (70 seats) which used an easy listening FM station for background music. The owners were approached by ASCAP and were told that they were subject to a license fee because they had 5 speakers mounted in the ceiling.

The owners turned off the radio. Problem solved.

Eddie

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#257083 - 02/20/09 11:08 AM Re: RIAA Question to Gigging Arranger Performers
Stephenm52 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 5126
Loc: USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Riceroni9:
I suspect this question has been asked before but do any of you ever encounter the song-gestapo from RIAA or any of the PRO organizations such as ASCAP or BMI trying to get your venue to cough up for having you play copyrighted songs? I've heard some real horror stories on this subject and wonder how it impacts you guys?

Thanks for your replies.

Dave Rice


I had the identical thing happen about 2 years ago at a Coffee House I played at. The gestapo gang pulls into town checks out the local newspaper entertainment ads then swings into action. ( pretty much what Russ mentioned).

In the case of the coffee house I played at, the owner worked out a revised lower payment. I wasn't privy to the details so I don't know what he worked out.

To add insult to injury the local zoning board came down on the guy since this marina area coffee house wasn't zoned for entertainment. Another 6 months went by and the guy was allowed to have music. It did however put a real damper on that end of his business.

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#257084 - 02/20/09 11:28 AM Re: RIAA Question to Gigging Arranger Performers
ChicoBrasil Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/01
Posts: 993
Loc: Belo Horizonte,Minas Gerais,Br...
Here in Brazil, tax over copyrighted songs are payed by the customer that must show the bill payed before the gig.
One unique law : No tax payed:No music

Chico

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#257086 - 02/20/09 11:46 AM Re: RIAA Question to Gigging Arranger Performers
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14208
Loc: NW Florida
And, of course, just like always, a tiny, tiny fraction of that money collected ever gets into the hands of the musicians that actually WROTE the music...

If the Mafia came to your place of business and did the same thing, it would be called exactly what it really is....

EXTORTION....
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#257087 - 02/20/09 12:00 PM Re: RIAA Question to Gigging Arranger Performers
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7291
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Diki, Mafia is a good way to describe some of these guys. Funny thing about this recent event is, the day host of the little restaurant involved is a real "wiseguy"...just spent 14 years in prison (someone was trying to get him to "rat" on the mob)for money-laundering. He looks like Pauley on the Supranos...white hair around the ears and all. These guys had even him rattled.

The way they handle matters really is extortion.


R.

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#257088 - 02/20/09 12:19 PM Re: RIAA Question to Gigging Arranger Performers
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14208
Loc: NW Florida
Yep... the Mafia only WISHES in their wildest dreams it were the US Government.

They are small potatoes compared to the thugs in Washington
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#257089 - 02/20/09 12:39 PM Re: RIAA Question to Gigging Arranger Performers
Kingfrog Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1099
Loc: Myrtle beach SC
Whn I was doing my thing in Branson SESAC came in a made demands for back Payment from Legends, Seems Neil sold SESAC his library for a hefty upfront fee, SESAC went after us and Mikey Gilly down the street as Mickey was doing America and Sweet Caroline in his show which he dropped. He also removed some seats from his theater because the rate to BMI and ASCAP was dependent on Seat numbers.

The venue is responsible to pay songwriters their due and should. If you look at fee shcdules it really isn't all that much.


[This message has been edited by Kingfrog (edited 02-20-2009).]
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#257090 - 02/20/09 12:49 PM Re: RIAA Question to Gigging Arranger Performers
btweengigs Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2204
Loc: Florida, USA
I didn't realize SESAC was still viable. In the 70's I worked at a radio station whose owner was always complaining about SESAC. ASCAP and BMI didn't seem to be a problem for him.

At one point he had asked all the DJ's to check the record labels before spinning them. If SESAC appeared anywhere on the label, we were told NOT to play the record.

Eddie

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