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Author Topic: Help...please?
putzmeister11
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Here in Indianapolis, there is a scare from the all-powerful BMI for 'copyright infringement' supposedly for running karaoke--
I am dealing with a club owner that is afraid to do shows because he thinks he will get fined or sued (or shot)... I have been trying to tell him that you can't get sued over karaoke because the discs that are used are not music produced by the original artist...and that if the rights to use the music aren't paid for, then the karaoke companies can't use them...so we are covered. Am I right? Can anybody shed some light on this for me?

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Lonman
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If the club owner isn't paying for publishing rights via BMI, ASCAP, etc, then yes he will be liable & possibly fined. Just because you bought the music, doesn't mean you get to play it without proper licensing. Karaoke falls under the enhanced recorded music catagory. http://www.bmi.com/licensing/forms/ede.pdf . Karaoke manufacturers must obtain a copyright to reproduce the music - doesn't matter if it's the original or not. There are many karaoke makers operating on a not so legal level. Try to find an address or contact info on any of them All Hits, Helluvadisc, Sweet Georgia Brown, etc.......WHY? Figure it out. The ones that are most likely paying their fees are the ones that have full contact, addresses, websites, etc.
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DanJ
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Basically, bars, restaurants, and I beleive even stores, have to pay royalties for having music. It's not a big deal, and most bars will likely only have to pay a couple hundred dollars per year at the most. Licensing paid in the purchase price of a CDG is only for the reproduction of the song, not public performing rights.
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Sheyenne
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If bar/club owners, etc pay for the licensing, when you do a private party in one of these venues, will this cover the licensing issue also? If not, then does the KJ/DJ have to have a license from all of these entities? If the event is not in a a bar, fraternal organization, etc., do you need a license from BMI, ASCAP? So far have not done a private party, but after the first of the year will possibly be doing a few. Thanks for any advice or information.

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putzmeister11
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Thanks a lot for your help...So if he pays the money to BMI, does he have to pay anyone else? Any other agencies have rights money coming? Is he responsible or am I (Since I do shows in other clubs, too)?
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toastedmuffin
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I wonder if BMI other agencies might ever decide to make KJs/DJs get a license to operate mobile rigs. With proper enforcement, it might be worth it to cover our own backsides, then leave it up to a bar that we are playing in.

TM


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glmmantis
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It's my understanding that the person who "authorizes" the event or show is responsible for the fees. So the person that pays you is responsible for securing any necessary coverage.

Yes, there are other agencies that secure licensing for their publishers.
ASCAP, BMI, There's another named after the man who started the Co. Name escapes me at the moment.And a couple of smaller ones, I think.

In 13 years I've only heard of two instances where any of my accounts were contacted by either ASCAP or BMI. And I'm right on I-95.

I had a mgr show me a trade article once about a new type of license for small clubs.
It was very cheap.Like $50.00 a yr.

Lee


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Sheena
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Putzmeister is right, BMI has been all over Indy, I can't tell you how many of our singers have asked me if we have our license and have had to explain the rules to them. If you are concerned, just ask the bar owner if he/she has paid their dues, then you won't have to worry about it, unless you are using burnt disc, then that one is all on you. We are very strict about that one, all of our music is legal and we won't play and personal disc of our clientele if they are burnt so I feel really safe.

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Ace S. Whyld
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Hey Putz'! Where are your shows in Indy? Me and Sheena are always looking to relaxe at another show when we get some time off. Sometimes it's nice to be on the other side of the sound rig for a night.

And BMI is hitting more than Karaoke places. If the bar has bands, juke box, TV, what ever, they are whatching them. All the Napster/internet sharing fueds are carring over to everything now. Of coarse I can't blame the artists. But man, ease up a bit. The record industry is suffering more from nothing worth while coming out than from pirates. Just my .02


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glmmantis
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Picture this.


Ascap and BMI enforcing the karaoke clubs.Not just for music in general, but for legitimate libraries of karaoke music.

Would SC have a problem with this? I think they would welcome it.


Different animal though. Ascap and BMI are there for the copyright owners. SC doesn't get royalties from performances of their soundtracks. They PAY for the use of other peoples property.

Hypothetically though, If ascap and BMI were to make (inform) clubs responsible for the media used at karaoke shows, I think ALOT of KJs and club owners would be more legit.At least the pirates would be alot more nervous.

Would this be stretching the collection of royalties too far? I think the publishers and copyright owners would be happy to know they are being protected from KJs who "steal" their music.

Just getting out the word that pirates are putting club owners at risk could go a LONG way.

If club owners COULD be held responsible for making sure their KJs had legitimate libraries, what a wonderful world that would be.


Like Ascap and BMI aren't busy enough!


I know I'm dreaming but...

ok time to sleep.

Lee


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DanJ
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It's not an entirely different animal though. As you say, BMI and ASCAP are there to protect the copyrights of their repective owners. The karaoke manufacturers aren't the only ones hurt by karaoke piracy. These agencies should be checking the legitimacy of the music being played in clubs (and not just karaoke music, but DJ's as well), in addition to just making sure these places have their proper licensing.

This sounds so simple that it's probably been thought of already, but maybe the karaoke industry could try to work with BMI/ASCAP in trying to catch karaoke pirates. That would involve more than just Sound Choice though, and I think BC has indicated in the past that other manufacturers weren't too interested in putting some money where their mouths are on this.


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glmmantis
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I also heard the same thing. At this point the biggest weapon could be educating club owners about pirates. I bet MOST don't even know there's a problem on this end. I know a couple that don't care.I told them. They had no reaction.

I have personally (indirectly) provided an amount of work to pirates, greater than the amount of work I currently have. I've taken days off in the past and had to find someone to fill in for me. Not knowing they had complete hard-drives of pirated music(CAVS).The clubs wanted to add other nights I wasn't available, so who did they call?

I told these clubs' owners.

Anyway, IF they THOUGHT they COULD be liable for damages,for using pirated music in their club, I think they'd pay more attention to whats goin on.

An easy way to do this would be to have ASCAP and BMI put a little flier in their yearly renewals that they send out to clubs.

It'd be too easy, but, can it be done?

Lee


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Lonman
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ASCAP, BMI, etc. aren't looking for "original" discs, that is not what they are about. They want to make sure that artists are getting their royalty payments for songs being played - be it karaoke, band, dj, jukebox, tv, piped in music, etc....They could care less on how the music is being reproduced, as long as the reproduced music is properly licensed by the club/establishment - ie band, karaoke, dj, etc.. They are not copyright police. Publishing rights & copyrights are not the same - they can work hand in hand though.
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marty3dj
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I'm aware of some bar owners that have been contacted re: performance licenses. I view it as an issue for them and their lawyers to deal with.

------------------
Marty
Sounds Great! Entertainment
Bartlett, IL


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stacy
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BMI has been all over WI since the first of the year too. The only thing they were looking for around here was to make sure the bars paid for the license.

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