Wow. You need a lisence to play the radio at a restaurant!

Ryokurin

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http://www.timesdaily.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050303/APN/503030540 registration required.
When Decatur's Hard Dock Cafe owner began getting letters in September 2003 telling him he needed a license to play music at his riverside bar, he thought he was being scammed.

Now a national organization is suing him for playing music without permission, but he said nobody has told him about a lawsuit.

Owner Steve Conner said, "I heard something was on the Internet. That's how rumors get started."

A federal court official said this is not a rumor.

A representative of the U.S. District Court in Huntsville confirmed that Case No. OSCV140NE was filed Jan. 24 and assigned to District Judge C. Lynwood Smith Jr.

The court issued a summons to Conner and Riverwalk Marina LLC three days later. A court official said it has received no response. Both Conner and Riverwalk were listed as defendants, and there are six plaintiffs, all music publishing companies.

Vincent Candilora, senior vice president of licensing for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, said his organization began contacting Hard Dock on Sept. 24, 2003. He provided a list of contacts made or attempted.

"We only do this as a last resort when people ignore us," he said.

Hard Dock at Riverwalk Marina did not get permission from songwriters before it played their music to customers, according to ASCAP officials.

ASCAP named Hard Dock in one of 24 separate copyright infringement actions it filed at the first of the year, according to a representative.

"These establishments have publicly performed the copyrighted musical works of ASCAP's songwriter, composer and music publisher members, without receiving their permission to do so," ASCAP said in a press release.

By law, any public playback of material belonging to someone else is public performance. This includes the radio (in some cases), live bands, CDs, karaoke or any other form of playback. If used to enhance a business, licensing is required.

"From what I understand, there are about three companies, and each one of them tries to get you to pay $1,500 apiece just to play the radio," Conner said. "It doesn't make sense to me."

Three national organizations serve to protect songwriters' rights. ASCAP and Broadcast Music Group are the largest, representing about 98 percent of the market. The Society of European Stage Authors and Composers is the third. They are called performance royalties organizations, or PROs.

According to Jerry Bailey, director of media relations for BMI, businesses would not be charged to play the radio unless they had more than 3,750 seats. Live bands and CDs are a different story. He said the issue is complicated.

"We're not the easiest organization to understand, and neither is ASCAP," he said. "But we've been around since 1939, and ASCAP started about 25 years earlier."

Bailey said songwriters have an exclusive right to the performance of their songs based on federal copyright law. The industry developed PROs because no one could possibly contact every songwriter for the required permission.

If Conner had to contact each songwriter, he would have had to call Prince and ask permission to play "Purple Rain." This was one song mentioned in the lawsuit.

BMI, ASCAP and SESAC issue annual "blanket licenses," Bailey said. He said BMI represents about 300,000 songwriters and publishers in more than 60 countries with about 4.5 million compositions or songs.

"The typical restaurant pays about $600 per year for this license," he said. "You probably couldn't get the rights to one song for this amount if you went to the songwriter."

A business owner must get a license from all three.

Candilora said his organization allows businesses to use more than 8 million copyrighted songs and compositions. ASCAP represents about 200,000 songwriters and composers.

Both ASCAP and BMI pay about 85 percent of the fees they collect to the songwriters or copyright owners. The other 15 percent pays for operating costs.

"When I got mail from them, it just seemed like a scam to me," Conner said. "I can't understand how it could be legitimate."

Bailey said the PROs operate under consent decrees from the Justice Department. He and Candilora said their companies attempt to educate business owners, and lawsuits are a last resort.

Conner said he received letters, but that was all. As for personal contact, he said one time a person came to his office and demanded the money.

"He was really nasty, so I just told him I couldn't deal with him," Conner said.

A judge could order a business to pay between $750 and $30,000 per song for operating without a song license. Six songs are mentioned in the Hard Dock suit.

"If the court determines that it is a willful theft of the music, the judge could order a business to pay as much as $150,000 per song," Candilora said.

Bailey said BMI is looking at Hard Dock because it has not received payment from Conner, either.

ASCAP and BMI almost always win these cases. ASCAP had a 100 percent success rate in 2004.

In every case, it either settled for cash or a judge ruled in its favor, officials said.[/quote When Decatur's Hard Dock Cafe owner began getting letters in September 2003 telling him he needed a license to play music at his riverside bar, he thought he was being scammed. Now a national organization is suing him for playing music without permission, but he said nobody has told him about a lawsuit. Owner Steve Conner said, "I heard something was on the Internet. That's how rumors get started." A federal court official said this is not a rumor. A representative of the U.S. District Court in Huntsville confirmed that Case No. OSCV140NE was filed Jan. 24 and assigned to District Judge C. Lynwood Smith Jr. The court issued a summons to Conner and Riverwalk Marina LLC three days later. A court official said it has received no response. Both Conner and Riverwalk were listed as defendants, and there are six plaintiffs, all music publishing companies. Vincent Candilora, senior vice president of licensing for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, said his organization began contacting Hard Dock on Sept. 24, 2003. He provided a list of contacts made or attempted. "We only do this as a last resort when people ignore us," he said. Hard Dock at Riverwalk Marina did not get permission from songwriters before it played their music to customers, according to ASCAP officials. ASCAP named Hard Dock in one of 24 separate copyright infringement actions it filed at the first of the year, according to a representative. "These establishments have publicly performed the copyrighted musical works of ASCAP's songwriter, composer and music publisher members, without receiving their permission to do so," ASCAP said in a press release. By law, any public playback of material belonging to someone else is public performance. This includes the radio (in some cases), live bands, CDs, karaoke or any other form of playback. If used to enhance a business, licensing is required. "From what I understand, there are about three companies, and each one of them tries to get you to pay $1,500 apiece just to play the radio," Conner said. "It doesn't make sense to me." Three national organizations serve to protect songwriters' rights. ASCAP and Broadcast Music Group are the largest, representing about 98 percent of the market. The Society of European Stage Authors and Composers is the third. They are called performance royalties organizations, or PROs. According to Jerry Bailey, director of media relations for BMI, businesses would not be charged to play the radio unless they had more than 3,750 seats. Live bands and CDs are a different story. He said the issue is complicated. "We're not the easiest organization to understand, and neither is ASCAP," he said. "But we've been around since 1939, and ASCAP started about 25 years earlier." Bailey said songwriters have an exclusive right to the performance of their songs based on federal copyright law. The industry developed PROs because no one could possibly contact every songwriter for the required permission. If Conner had to contact each songwriter, he would have had to call Prince and ask permission to play "Purple Rain." This was one song mentioned in the lawsuit. BMI, ASCAP and SESAC issue annual "blanket licenses," Bailey said. He said BMI represents about 300,000 songwriters and publishers in more than 60 countries with about 4.5 million compositions or songs. "The typical restaurant pays about $600 per year for this license," he said. "You probably couldn't get the rights to one song for this amount if you went to the songwriter." A business owner must get a license from all three. Candilora said his organization allows businesses to use more than 8 million copyrighted songs and compositions. ASCAP represents about 200,000 songwriters and composers. Both ASCAP and BMI pay about 85 percent of the fees they collect to the songwriters or copyright owners. The other 15 percent pays for operating costs. [/quote
 

Ryokurin

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"When I got mail from them, it just seemed like a scam to me," Conner said. "I can't understand how it could be legitimate."

Bailey said the PROs operate under consent decrees from the Justice Department. He and Candilora said their companies attempt to educate business owners, and lawsuits are a last resort.

Conner said he received letters, but that was all. As for personal contact, he said one time a person came to his office and demanded the money.

"He was really nasty, so I just told him I couldn't deal with him," Conner said.

A judge could order a business to pay between $750 and $30,000 per song for operating without a song license. Six songs are mentioned in the Hard Dock suit.

"If the court determines that it is a willful theft of the music, the judge could order a business to pay as much as $150,000 per song," Candilora said.

Bailey said BMI is looking at Hard Dock because it has not received payment from Conner, either.

ASCAP and BMI almost always win these cases. ASCAP had a 100 percent success rate in 2004.

In every case, it either settled for cash or a judge ruled in its favor, officials said.
I understand if you are a radiostation where you can make a profit, but I had no idea that a restaurant had to pay to play the radio or other music. This is sad.
 
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smileynev

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fly said:
have you no common sense side that says that doesn't make sense?
It makes sense to me. Why should he profit from other people's work?
 

fly

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smileyfat said:
It makes sense to me. Why should he profit from other people's work?
You are the best devils advocate ive ever known.

Obvious reply: The resturant isn't profiting from the music.
 
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smileynev

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fly said:
You are the best devils advocate ive ever known.

Obvious reply: The resturant isn't profiting from the music.
like theacoustician said. It keeps people in their seats, creates an ambience, etc. People buy more when they listen to linkin park. They did a study on it and everything.
 

b_sinning

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Sounds like BS but I can understand the music companies saying that you're using music that you didn't pay for to better your atmosphere to help generate you profits. I'm still going say it's shitty because no artist is recieving any of the money generated from this. Just the record exec.s getting richer for bitching.
 

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theacoustician said:
If there's nothing in it for them, why do they play it?
But they aren't profiting from it. It neither helps nor hurts their sales. Would you NOT go to a resturant because they didn't play music?
 
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smileynev

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fly said:
But they aren't profiting from it. It neither helps nor hurts their sales. Would you NOT go to a resturant because they didn't play music?
I wouldn't go to chucky cheese if it weren't for the music.
 

Ryokurin

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smileyfat said:
I wouldn't go to chucky cheese if it weren't for the music.

But then again, other than music videos (which is likely promotional thus ok) they play their own music. So I take it that unless I want to pay 600-6000 dollars a year if I ever start a Chinese/Chicken/Waffles joint in the hood. I gotta play my own music too.


Bonus points if anyone gets the reference to the restaurant.