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Re: OT: ASCAP/BMI and music licensing

I find the business model of ASCAP and BMI infuriating.  I think there
is no question that it is built around the mega-hit platinum pop
model, and stifles eclectic and obscure music. I can't help but think
that stealing is good for music in many respects--I love the blues,
and how could anything like the blues develop in this kind of climate?
Yes, there is such a thing as intellectual property, and bootlegging
and selling illegal copies (of the latest Star Wars movie for example)
is clearly wrong.  But's it's important for the development of music
for musicians to be able to play each other's riffs, phrases and
songs.  I'd go so far as to say sampling and deconstructing each
other's music is important for the development of modern music (do I
need to point out performers like Carl Stone and John Oswald?). Where
do you draw the line?--I don't know but definitely not where it is
right now.

On 5/20/05, ArsOcarina@aol.com <ArsOcarina@aol.com> wrote:
> Travis, et al,
>  In a message dated 05/20/05 2:48:37, tiktok@sprintmail.com writes:
> 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:
> http://www.rakemag.com/printable.asp?catID=46&itemID=9106&pg=all
>  Well, all I can say to them is more power to them. This is not news.
>  Intellectual property rights, recording, publishing and performing 
>  were not invented yesterday. It's only been in recent years, when 
>  piracy has become so egregious and ubiquitous that we now tend to hear 
>  of the guys who collect royalties for us (if we've bothered to join BMI 
>  ASCAP and have been lucky enough to get airplay) as THE BAD GUYS.
>  I do not make a living from my music but I DO get a tiny little 
>  check from ASCAP which I am mighty pleased (and even proud) to have.
>  If I didn't get that I'd hardly get paid for my music at all -- most 
>  being what they are (and my music being what it is -- rather "difficult
>  listening" anyway). If one venue in five pays anything I'd be amazed. 
>  If I didn't have CDs to sell at gigs I'd make no profit at all (if you 
>  call that profit). Heheheh.
>  I am not an ASCAP/BMI "nazi." I believe there should be some "wiggle
>  room" for the small fish in the pond -- performers and coffee-shop 
>  whose impact, individually, is so small as to be inconsequential (and 
>  other artists who want to cop a riff and/or slice 'n' dice something 
>  a totally new piece). But doggone if I think it'd be a good thing if 
>  that's a mighty big "if") someone were to use MY music in a way that 
>  made THEM money and I never even get so much as a "thank you." 
>  I have to scratch and fight for every nickel I get already in my day 
>  just to keep going and doing this thing I love to do -- which as you 
>  know is soooooo darn expensive . . . and, at the end of the day, to put 
>  meals in the mouths and a roof over the heads of my family. I am
>  glad there is someone out there like ASCAP watching out for my 
>  interests in an active, even aggressive way. 
>  Perhaps it's easy for me to say 'cause I don't do covers publicly . . . 
>  never have done them outside the confines of my own home. If I were a
>  looping "folkie" or pop "standards" (top 40, rock, jazz or country)
> musician 
>  perhaps I'd feel very differently. As listeners, music surrounds us and 
>  given away freely everywhere every day. This tends to make us think 
>  it ought to be free for us too in every other situation. Or, maybe, 
>it's so
>  a part of our environment that we think it's "ours." We think of
> proprietarily
>  of it even when it's not ours. 
>  Last time I checked, the '60s were soooooo over. The notion that all 
>  should be free and no one should own anything in a total hippie 
>  paradise is one that easily collapsed as soon as those hippies grew up,
>  got jobs and had kids (been there, done that, bought the t-shirt). 
>  Speaking of coffeshops, I am quite sure the reason that $tarbuck$ sells 
>  the musical artist anthology/collection CDs it does in its franchises is
>  so they can cover all the bases, have the music, pay the royalties due, 
>  and sell a few CDs too (to defray costs) on top of it all. I know that 
>  are a company a lot of us love to hate as the "Walmart of coffeehouses,"
>  but you have to admit it's a pretty smart scheme. And . . . the artists 
>. .
> .
>  or their heirs and estate managers get paid (as they should).
>  Best regards,
>  tEd (r) kiLLiAn
>  "Different is not always better, but better is always different"
>  http://www.pfmentum.com/flux.html
>  http://www.CDbaby.com/cd/tedkillian
>  http://www.guitar9.com/fluxaeterna.html
>  http://www.garageband.com/artist/ArsOcarina
>  http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=2845073
>  http://www.netmusic.com/web/album.aspx?a_id=CBNM_17314
> http://www.indiejazz.com/ProductDetailsView.aspx?ProductID=193
>  Ted Killian's "Flux Aeterna" is also available at: Apple iTunes,
>  BuyMusic, Rhapsody, MusicMatch, MusicNet, DiscLogic, Napster,
>  AudioLunchbox, Lindows, QTRnote, Music4Cents, Etherstream,
>  RuleRadio, EMEPE3, Sony Connect, CatchMusic, Puretracks,
>  and Viztas. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Blah, blah, blah. So???
>  "Just because nobody understands you doesn't mean you're an artist."

Art Simon