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ASCAP, more crap

Paul G. 08 Apr 00 - 10:57 AM
Amos 08 Apr 00 - 11:16 AM
Ferrara 08 Apr 00 - 11:28 AM
Amos 08 Apr 00 - 01:24 PM
Mooh 08 Apr 00 - 01:48 PM
Charcloth 08 Apr 00 - 11:57 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Apr 00 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,guest, leeneia 09 Apr 00 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 09 Apr 00 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhranplayerwhodoesn'tknowanybet 09 Apr 00 - 03:08 PM
Jack The Lad 09 Apr 00 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 10 Apr 00 - 01:11 PM
Liz the Squeak 10 Apr 00 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Phil Cooper 10 Apr 00 - 11:25 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 11 Apr 00 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 11 Apr 00 - 02:56 PM
JedMarum 11 Apr 00 - 03:05 PM
Paul G. 14 Apr 00 - 07:02 PM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 14 Apr 00 - 07:40 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 Apr 00 - 06:24 PM
MMario 15 Apr 00 - 08:19 PM
MMario 15 Apr 00 - 10:11 PM
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Subject: ASCAP, more crap
From: Paul G.
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 10:57 AM

The following was sent to me by a friend and fellow performer...Kate performs original children's and family oriented music. The fun never ends...

Hi everyone. Something strange happened today. Next week I am booked for a folk concert at the library in Fernandina Beach. The concert is sponsored by the Friends of the Library and admission is free.

Today the library called me and said that they got a call from someone in ASCAP, asking if they had a license to hold a concert in their library. Evidently whoever it was gave the librarians a really hard time and they didn't know what to say.

They called me and I told them not to worry, that I was a member of BMI, owned copyrights on all my songs, and would only be performing original material. Then they said that I had to write a letter giving the library permission to have my concert, in which I would perform my original songs.

Has anyone EVER had anything like this happen before? I didn't know whether to be amused or annoyed! I thought they only went after the big boys and girls.

Comments?

Kate Carpenter www.MrsKate.com


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 11:16 AM

This is absolutely outrageous.


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: Ferrara
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 11:28 AM

Is there a daily columnist in Kate's town who would print this little story? Or better yet, who would call ASCAP and ask what the heck do they think they're doing?


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 01:24 PM

Mrs Kate's home page is here. . She is a working folksinger, contributing her own music to the river of our folksinging legacy, and this kind of bullying from a bureaucratic institution is unforgiveable.

I think Declan Mcullough might enjoy making some noise about this story, and if Kate doesn't mind, I will send it to him. He writes extensively about the confused and the stupid management of issues such as permissions, copyrights, encryption, Net taxes, and legal blunders, mostly relating to internet-driven changes. Please ask Kate if she would mind and if not I will at least send it to him to see if he wants to circulate it.

Amos


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: Mooh
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 01:48 PM

I see ASCRAP is no better papertrained than SOCAN. See thread re only in Canada.

Now in a William Shatner voice:

Look, there goes a sound wave we haven't taxed! There's one without a license! They're all around us, we must control them. Seize them! They must pay, they must pay!

I'm getting very tired now, time for a nap.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: Charcloth
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 11:57 PM

I am not suprised take a look at the stuff they tried to do with an event I perform at ( see previos thread nascap can they do this) [forgive the typo]


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 03:24 AM

Hey, aren't libraries public places? Do we need a licence to breathe yet?

Keep up the fight siblings!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: GUEST,guest, leeneia
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 08:26 AM

I have a friend who is an officer in a club which performs classical music. One day, an employee from ASCAP popped up and was very obnoxious about their Bach. When the members pointed out that Bach died in the 18th century and the copyright on his stuff has surely lapsed, the ASCAP guy said the publishers "owned the notes." (!?)

Well, if publishers can own notes, why can't I own letters? I am going to copyright the letters e,j and x. Which ones do you want?


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 08:57 AM

I've never heard of ASCAP going after libraries either. But once they did (assuming it was ASCAP and not some hustler pretending to be an ASCAP enforcer) for the library to ask Mrs. Kate for the letter was reasonable.

The story about ASCAP (again, assuming it was ASCAP) trying to collect a performance license for J.S. Bach's music is even creepier.

My $0.02: People who encounter rude or unreasonable requests from people claiming to be ASCAP enforcers should document the incidents carefully. Note the date and time, get the enforcer's name, and try to get the enforcer to put in writing the claims he is making on ASCAP's behalf. Otherwise ASCAP can simply deny the incident.

T.


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhranplayerwhodoesn'tknowanybet
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 03:08 PM

I belong to an organization here in Pittsburgh called Calliope: the Pittsburgh Folk music society. We present a series of concerts in a 600 seat hall as well as a number of smaller events, and we run a folk music school. At any rate we pay ASCRAP a fee for all our lecture hall concerts, even when a lot of the performers play there own material or public domain. I think a lot of it is just qa rollover effect. A lot of the money they collect they have no legitimate claim to but they know a percentage will just pay it rather than defend themselves. Worse still, the bulk of the money they collect go to a very small percentage of the artists whose material is covered. in other words Paul McCartney gets the check when you play a Utah Phillips song. The biggest power they have is that if you don't pay, they may put you under a microscope and look for any excuse to harass you. For example; if one of your artists does a workshop beforehand and teaches a Liz Caroll tune, or at a post concert jam session or whatever. If you have nothing for them to find, there is really nothing tyhey can do. In an earlier thread re: mudcat under attack, somebody suggested that Mudcat could probably get some pro bono legal aid in the matter. I would think a library would definitely qualify if there is any sort of neighborhood legal services organization in the area. I'd like to hear how things work out for you. Please post again, or if you don't mind, e-mail me at rrayburg@hotmail.com

Best of luck,

Rich


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: Jack The Lad
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 05:36 PM

We have the same crap in Israel- they are called AKUM here, (Association of composers and musicians in Israel)They hit you as soon as you advertise anything. They threaten and bully and the venue, however small, has to pay up,or be taken to court and bulldozed by their power lawyers. "It's the syme the 'ole world over- ennit? Jack The Lad


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 01:11 PM

They know that even successfully defending oneself against a charge of infringement (or successfully persuing a request for a declaratory judgement of noninfringement) can cost a fortune in time and money.

Click here for one opinion on how a recent victory in a declaratory judgement case was in fact a pyrrhic victory, even though the prevailing party was awarded $800,000 in attorney's fees.

T.


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 06:36 PM

Always, always, always get the details of the person making the complaint, get the complaint in writing and if they interrupt a gig, mid flow, tell the audience exactly what is happening - nothing like an angry mob who've paid to hear a concert and have been prevented, for getting to the bottom of things....

If they do come from ARCAP or whereever, they must carry idenficiation and authority with them. If they don't, then take their supervisors details and report them. A lot of these reps are just trying to bully, a little power corrupts even the most sane person. Face up to them, demand their details and you will probably get a result.

LTS


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 11:25 PM

every asshole needs an ascap


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 12:42 PM

as a songwriter who owns copy rights to my original material and who enjoys the benfits of copy right protection I find this ASCAP 'protection' of my rights to be ridiculous! These Gestapo tactics are unforgiveable.


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 02:32 PM

I guess this is a good place to link to Harvey Reid's essay again: http://www.woodpecker.com/writing/essays/royalty-politics.html

T.


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 02:56 PM

Interesting bit from the Reid essay:

"The promoter of a small bluegrass festival informed me that they were cited by ASCAP because a Bill Monroe song was performed: Monroe's music is all BMI, but the song in question, Uncle Pen, had been arranged and recorded by Ricky Skaggs, an ASCAP artist!" ("Problems with the System", 2nd item, about 2/3rds of the way down the document)

One wonders how ASCAP's listeners (or spies) can possibly be experts in all known arrangements of "Row Row Row your Boat" or any other song, and how they can tell which one, other than one which is unique and easily distinguishable, is being performed.

My (purely private opinion, not-legal-advice) guess is that, in theory, if a venue were sued for unlicensed performance of a copyrighted arrangement of R-R-RyB and the arrangement were insufficiently original, or insufficiently distinguishable from an arrangement which was licensed (i.e. from the other syndicate), the lawsuit would fail. But as noted above, even when you win, you might still lose due to the time and expense of defending against the complaint.

The point is: how do we even find out what level of training ASCAP gives its agents and the level of expertise it expects from its hired experts ? If we think ASCAP's standards in these matters are too low, how do we bring about reform ? Mr. Reid's essay suggests that we may wait long for any improvement.

T.


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Apr 00 - 03:05 PM

Okiemockbird -

Thanks for posting the link to that excellent article. It was very interesting and shed a lot of light on the published music watchdog process ... and unsdercores the urgent need to reform it. ASCAP has abused music industry people, especially those of us on the fringes of National popularity, for far too long. It threatens the existence of all but mainstream music, and is helps far fewer then it damages.


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: Paul G.
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 07:02 PM

Here is the end of the story from Kate, posted to the Friends of FLorida Folk list...

All's well that ends well.

Hi everyone. I played my gig at the Fernandina Beach Public Library last night. No ASCAP people were there to hassle me. I had a wonderful, intimate audience of about 25 people or so who listened to every word I sang. What a great place to play! I had a great time, and from the looks on their faces and comments, so did they.

For all of you performers out there who like to sing to people who will LISTEN to you attentively without blowing smoke in your face, I would suggest trying to get yourself booked into libraries. These programs are usually funded by the Friends of the Library. Sometimes they have adult series, and during the summer the focus is on children.

There has been a hassle in the past about selling my product. They didn't want me to sell my tapes and CD's in the library, because of policy. Well, in my county they took it to the County Commissioners, and decided to treat it like an author's book signing. So now they let me sell my stuff.

Thanks to all who have contributed to the discussion on ASCAP/BMI. I learned a lot.

Kate Carpenter www.MrsKate.com


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 07:40 PM

Paul G., I'm glad the concert went well. I hope we were helpful, or at least amusing.

I like the armadillo on Mrs. Kate's web page.

T.


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 06:24 PM

Here's one for ASCAP to get their teeth into....

The song 'Happy Birthday to you', although popularly believed to be public domain, is still actually under copyright, as the authors were still alive in the last decade.

So who is going to collect up on that one then? How many kiddies parties are going to be raided and the offending group of pre-schoolers dragged away to chokey because their pocket money doesn't cover the fines......!

LTS


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: MMario
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 08:19 PM

They have gotten their teeth into it. several restauraunt chains, etc were threatened with lawsuits because they were serving birthday cakes and having wait staff sing "Happy birthday".


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Subject: RE: ASCAP, more crap
From: MMario
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 10:11 PM


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