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Help: nascap can they do this

Charcloth 25 Feb 00 - 11:33 PM
Amos 25 Feb 00 - 11:37 PM
DonMeixner 25 Feb 00 - 11:45 PM
Crowhugger 25 Feb 00 - 11:49 PM
GUEST,_gargoyle 26 Feb 00 - 04:04 AM
bob schwarer 27 Feb 00 - 07:43 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 27 Feb 00 - 08:09 PM
Sorcha 27 Feb 00 - 09:57 PM
Arkie 28 Feb 00 - 12:38 AM
Ferrara 28 Feb 00 - 08:04 AM
Charcloth 28 Feb 00 - 05:41 PM
Max 28 Feb 00 - 06:03 PM
DonMeixner 28 Feb 00 - 06:59 PM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 28 Feb 00 - 09:52 PM
Charcloth 29 Feb 00 - 04:27 PM
Sorcha 29 Feb 00 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,_gargoyle 29 Feb 00 - 10:03 PM
Sorcha 29 Feb 00 - 10:13 PM
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Subject: nascap can they do this
From: Charcloth
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 11:33 PM

At a small living history function I have performed at in the past. The NASCAP folks contacted the folks that put on the event & demanded they pay for the nascap liscence. Now the material being performed is public domain material with a few orginals tossed in alongside. Can they force these folks to pay when the songs are publick domain


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: Amos
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 11:37 PM

Not for copyright use, as far as I know. But it may not actually be in the public domain legally, depending on the details of the copyright. (I am not a lawyer...etc.)


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 11:45 PM

When I worked ever so briefly for ASCAP in the 70's anyone who had a set performance repretoire could insist on an audit and ASCAP had to comply. They'd send an auditor who would cross check every tune you did against their fils and look for stuff that isn't PD. Maybe this can still be done.

Or You could just tell em to Fuck Off.

lately I lean towards option 2.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: Crowhugger
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 11:49 PM

Often the melody and/or lyrics are public domain but particular arrangements are not. If they're giving you grief over using copyrighted arrangements, make your own and then go safely to option 2, above. IMNSHO. *BG*


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: GUEST,_gargoyle
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 04:04 AM

They (copyright police) can ask to see the material in your "fake-book"

If you have not "hand notated" them, in YOUR style (ie NOT copied chord for chord word for word from a published source) then you could be found to be in violation. (You should them ASK THEM to specifiy which particular piece is objectionable and to quote the version, performer and copyright date)

Let's say that you are performing "Hobo Bill" if your version is chord for chord, word for word, on a notation sheet directly the same as Jimmie Rodgers, in a recently published anthology....they may have you....

On the other hand....if you are performing from memory....i.e......you have NO "cheat sheet" just your the instrument and the song....there will be no problem; you are making an "honest buck" and not ripping anyone off.


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: bob schwarer
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 07:43 PM

Can they do this? It looks as if they did it.


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 08:09 PM

Remeber that they are in the business of selling lisenses--they don't know and don't care what you play, they just are out looking for income--it is up to you to decide whether you need their lisense or not--just like an extended warrranty--

Any way, I don't understand why some of you a)panic when these people call and b)refuse to take any action against them--It's not like there haven't been serious offers to help you--


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: Sorcha
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 09:57 PM

Probably, but since we play EVERYTHING from memory in public, there's not much any of them can do.....unless we're in a bar. Them they tried to come down on the bar owner for all the money he made while we were playing "what ever it was". I called both BMI and ASCAP and they dropped the whole thing. I am not averse to unions or people making money off their songs, but this is ridiculous. I should be a member of some union or other, but the fees are just outrageous for what I do. Most of what we play is really traditional, like "Redwing", and we are a 501-3-c group, so we make NO $$$, but they occasionllly harass us anyway. Also, a lot of what we do is free--schools, nursing homes, etc.


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: Arkie
Date: 28 Feb 00 - 12:38 AM

The music licensing firms will try to collect from any group performing music that comes to their attention. Since 100 per cent of their collections from live performances goes to the agencies they are especially diligent in this particular area. If you pay up or go out of business they are happy. If you can present a playlist verifying that the music performed is in public domain, they most likely will leave you alone. They do not pursue any case they are not likely to win. Been there.


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: Ferrara
Date: 28 Feb 00 - 08:04 AM

Arkie, how can you "verify that music performed is in public domain"? If they have a copyrighted version, how can anyone prove they didn't get at least the words and tune from that version? I'm starting to do small gigs where I play mostly parlor and music hall songs. In general, my rule of thumb is, "if it's in the Levy collection, it's public domain," at least for the words and tune. (All zither arrangements are my own....)

So. If a song pre-existed a particular copyright, what does that mean for performers? Can we sing it in versions that were published before the copyright? ???


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: Charcloth
Date: 28 Feb 00 - 05:41 PM

It sounds a bit like extortion to me


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: Max
Date: 28 Feb 00 - 06:03 PM

I think the license is only like $250 per year if you are not making any money. Paid in quarters I think.


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: DonMeixner
Date: 28 Feb 00 - 06:59 PM

When I worked for ASCAP they could and did get away with this very thing. Summer of 74. Rhiings may have changed since then but they had the backing of the Federal Government in many legal tests through the previous years.

The liscences were requored of the producers of the shows, NOT THE PERFORMERS. Legally the producers were causing the music to be played the performers were as guiltless as a recordplayer.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 28 Feb 00 - 09:52 PM

Charcloth, as you pointed out, ASCAP billed not your band, but "the event". As you seem to percieve, though, if you bring down liability on the event it might reduce your chances of being asked back.

Some of what others have already pointed out is as true as can reasonably be expected of internet chat (which being interpreted means: I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, etc. etc.) If the songs (words and music) are entirely in the public domain, or are original songs for which you have explicit permission from the copyright holder (not necessarily the same as the songwriter) then the festival (or whatever it is) owes nothing for the performance of those works. However, ASCAP can, and does, defend copyrights to "adaptations" and "arrangements" of public domain music, and at least some of these adapt./arr. copyrights are actually valid. So in your place I'd get documentation of the PD status of your band's entire PD repertoire. For the original pieces, if the rightsholder is not a member of your band, I'd get permission writing. If you do this for every piece you perform, the fair's organizers can tell ASCAP to take a walk (option 2 above).

If you didn't mind temporarily surrendering some of your band's flexibility perhaps the festival's organizers could do the grub-work and present your band with a list of pure PD works to perform during the event. This approach might or might not be reasonable, depending on your band's sensibilities and the nature of the event.

My guess is, anything that the Levy collection shows as having been published in 1922 or earlier is PD with 99.9% probability.

Arkie, you wrote: Since 100 per cent of their collections from live performances goes to the agencies they are especially diligent in this particular area. Are you saying that the live-performance license fees DON'T go to the songwriter members ??? If that's true, and is not a violation of the consent decree, I'm even more miffed at ASCAP and the Federal Government than I was before. If it's true and it is a violation of the consent decree, then I'm still miffed, at ASCAP for violating the decree and at the Feds for not enforcing it.

Sorcha, are you saying that your band, rather than the places where you have performed, has been pressured by ASCAP and BMI (or people claiming to speak for ASCAP and BMI) ?

T.


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: Charcloth
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 04:27 PM

The fees collected are allotted out by the surveys of radio play so the stuff performed wouldn't help anybody but top 40 #@%@#. This event is a historical event demonstrating life prior to 1840. Thus the songs are of that era which makes the whole idea of ASCAP's fees even more brazen


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 04:41 PM

Yes. We were playing at Old Fort Laramie, Wy, in a living history setting (OWNED by the Feds!) and the ASCAP spy guy showed up. He had been sicced on us by a jealous rival band (that plays all electric new country,i.e. copyrighted!). The head Queen Bee of that group was miffed because we had gotten a private party gig at a bar and her band "wasn't even asked"?? the party was for Nat'l Gaurd guys going back home from Camp Guernsy after summer camp, and the bar owner like US, not the RIVAL, so he doesn't even ask them to play. We basically told ASCAP to take a hike, and never heard another word from them.
It did, however cause me to look into joining the Union, both for myself and the rest of the band. We eventually decided not to (I still feel guilty!!) because of the expense involved for so many of us, sometimes 10, and the lack of benefits we would have rec'd. Also, we are 501 3-c anyway.


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: GUEST,_gargoyle
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 10:03 PM

Don't Join!!!


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Subject: RE: Help: nascap can they do this
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 10:13 PM

Garg--any particular reasons why not? I am pro-union from way back. I would really like to know why you say don't join. Is it because you are not a joiner, or do you have specific reasons?


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