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A cover band these days? No way in hell! BMI sues bar...

luke

Fractal Fanatic
It's a simple cost of doing business. I use to own an equipment rental business and paid $100,000 a year I liability insurance, which I thought was ridiculous, until I became the Controller of a sixty-six truck transport company that was paying $60,000 a month!

If your business is not viable with its associated expenses, that's your problem, change your occupation.
 

s0c9

Moderator
Moderator
I see where you're coming from with the all original thing.

This is why I don't rely on my all original band as a source of income. If it actually makes some money, that would be awesome, but it actually costs money to make an all original band break even, but that's just fine with me, I enjoy playing live, and it makes me happy seeing how much people enjoy our music. I use my studio work, songs I've sold, collaborative stuff, that kind of thing as my musical income, which is why this issue is something I care about. My band might be on local radio soon, and that might generate some small revenue, but I'd just be happy to see it expand our fan base, so more people can hear the stuff we've written.

I know it seems like some wide eyed idealist thing, but it's really not. It's just that put a lot of work into the shitty side of the music life, so it's nice to have a band that does what I want, no matter the final results.
Please don't take my commentary on playing originals in any negative manner.
I have A LOT OF RESPECT for ANY musician that decides to go down that path.
I know a few.
It's just not something I have a desire to do.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
This is the kind of thing that some people that are musicians sadly do not understand. It is the only legal way of doing things right.

I for one have worked in a gaming company making a... well kind of a karaoke game but essentially all of the songs were covers and not the originals. Not only did we have to pay for the rights to play those cover songs to PRS but we also had to separately pay for the rights to use the artist's names. Then we wanted to use their album covers and that once again is something we had to pay for separately to a different company. All these things had monthly payments. That is the only legal way to use copyrighted music.

And that is a good system these days. F.ex. think about an artist like Skrillex. (You don't need to like his music.) The way he made it big was through SoundCloud and simply posting his songs there and things went viral. Now... he didn't have a record label so for those first songs that made him famous he (himself said in an interview) hasn't made any money. So although he was on top of the charts he didn't make money with those songs. If you have a record deal your label will take care of this stuff for you. If you don't know what you're doing then you're not getting paid for your success.
 

BrainalLeakage

Experienced
Please don't take my commentary on playing originals in any negative manner.
I have A LOT OF RESPECT for ANY musician that decides to go down that path.
I know a few.
It's just not something I have a desire to do.

No, I didn't take it as a negative thing at all. Like I said, I get it. Personally, I wouldn't be doing an original band either, but three years ago, I happened to walk into a perfect storm, and I've been riding it to see where it goes. It's one of the best, and also scariest things about this industry, every so often, the right things change at the right times, and it gives a new perspective, and that point, you either follow the rabbit, or you don't. This time, I did, and I'm pretty glad I did.
 

NeoSound

Fractal Fanatic
I do think the laws are a good thing but greedy corporations enforcing them are not. BMI should have reported it and let the system handle it.
 

BrainalLeakage

Experienced
I do think the laws are a good thing but greedy corporations enforcing them are not. BMI should have reported it and let the system handle it.

BMI, IS the system. BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, look them up, it's their job to enforce these cases.

Also, yes, after my death, my family is ENTITLED to any compensation from anything I registered for copyright during my life. For like 50 years or more, depending.

It really surprises me how misunderstood this VERY important information is among musicians.

All of this information is freely available, and it's really important to know if you ever create ANYTHING. Music, art, poetry, even a font, anything thought of as creative.
 

Zwiebelchen

Fractal Fanatic
Yeah, it's certainly the big evil music industry that is to blame, not the incompetence of the bar owner.

Surprise surprise! We also have to pay royalties to the original music authors if we want to sell a cover. Who knew?


And even if the bar owner didn't know that the music box fee did not cover live gigs:
After receiving 19 letters and 15 phone calls, I'd say he could have at least taken the time to read up on that, right?
So he intentionally took the risk and got busted. Excuse me if I'm not feeling any sympathy here...

I'm actually surprised he doesn't take the $30.000 settlement deal. Depending on how long he has been doing live concerts there, he probably evaded a much larger sum already.
 
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NeoSound

Fractal Fanatic
BMI, IS the system. BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, look them up, it's their job to enforce these cases.

Also, yes, after my death, my family is ENTITLED to any compensation from anything I registered for copyright during my life. For like 50 years or more, depending.

It really surprises me how misunderstood this VERY important information is among musicians.

All of this information is freely available, and it's really important to know if you ever create ANYTHING. Music, art, poetry, even a font, anything thought of as creative.

In FY 2013, BMI collected more than $944 million in licensing fees and distributed $814 million in royalties.

This info from Wikipedia, they only profited 130 million that year from the artist they were protecting and the people that were giving the Artist' exposure.

This is a complex subject and there isn't a 100% black and white way to look at it, if you use common sense. Everything around us came from someone's idea.
I think most true artist having to choose between money and having their craft out there would want the latter. No matter how beautiful the piece of art - without a viewer what is it worth? Isn't it the viewer that makes it value what it is?
 

BrainalLeakage

Experienced
In FY 2013, BMI collected more than $944 million in licensing fees and distributed $814 million in royalties.

This info from Wikipedia, they only profited 130 million that year from the artist they were protecting and the people that were giving the Artist' exposure.

This is a complex subject and there isn't a 100% black and white way to look at it, if you use common sense. Everything around us came from someone's idea.
I think most true artist having to choose between money and having their craft out there would want the latter. No matter how beautiful the piece of art - without a viewer what is it worth? Isn't it the viewer that makes it value what it is?


I'm not exactly sure where you are coming from on this, it has nothing to do with anything you quoted from me.

I was trying stress the importance of understanding copyright, and your talking about exposure, money, and value. That really has nothing to do with copyright.

Again, it really bothers me that so many musicians are ignorant on this issue, it's not even very complicated.


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NeoSound

Fractal Fanatic
It is complicated - if we use the same principle for amp sims that are an approximation of something, just as a coverband does an approximation of a song, shouldn't we be paying for rights to use the amp sim and then a license fee when we play in public? It's exactly the same thing. All of the double standards make the world a much more complicated place than need be.
 
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mwd

Power User
Every song written has it origin in someone else’s song. I think every person here has either had a buddy duplicate a cassette or played a cover song knowing full well the artist wasn’t getting any money. If you turn on your car radio or home stereo, with more than yourself present, you are in the entertainment business. Everyone has taken a lesson or studied a tab knowing full on the creator was not compensated. If you’re having a fund raising car wash with a boom box blasting…. I mean where does it stop?

We played every weekend, back in the day, without compensation by the bars, or ourselves, to the artist and no one raised a stink. We had thousands of songs to choose from and bands pick what they considered to be the best of the best. The mere fact that these songs were being exposed to the public benefited the original artist… not harmed them. People came in, heard a song they liked, and went out and bought the album. No one ragged about it.

Times have changed. Digital media and propagation of the internet has made free music readily available and major corporations are hurting because of it. You don’t have to buy an album anymore you can buy the one decent song on it.

A band making a living on other peoples material is one thing. I do not condone piracy or theft of someones creation. ’Someone’ should pay their due but IMHO we must be careful not to over correct. Doesn’t matter if it’s a greedy bar. We will wind up prim and proper, above board and unemployed.

(In my small region) bands started overpricing themselves (for bar owners liking) so the bars just quit having bands.
 

JRod4928

Experienced
It is complicated - if we use the same principle for amp sims that are an approximation of something, just as a coverband does an approximation of a song, shouldn't we be paying for rights to use the amp sim and then a license fee when we play in public? It's exactly the same thing. All of the double standards make the world a much more complicated place than need be.


FAS' amp models are replicating amp manufacturer's products so accurately that I'm sure there will be some conflict in the future because FAS is essentially 'copying' their product. As a result, FAS is biting into the revenue of the amp manufacturers. It's only a matter of time before amp manufacturer's start to fight to 'get back' their piece of the pie. JMHO.

To your point - the same thing is happening here with live music at venues - and it is a double standard.

Where there's money, there will be conflict.
 

brianv4

Fractal Fanatic
I saw that coming a mile away. You're wrong, and I don't give a shit enough to explain why. I'll leave you all to get in the weeds about it and never resolve anything.

Apparently you're a musician, to what extent (songwriter, performing artist, bedroom player etc) I don't know but you're comment doesn't make sense to me. Why shouldn't an artist be paid for his/her work??? I agree that the industry has a lot wrong with it, (don't even get me started on award shows) but do you only play your own music for yourself and possibly your social network following? I don't get it...
 

BrainalLeakage

Experienced
The more posts I read in this thread, the more it enforces my point.

Copyrights, and publishing - learn about these things. The modern "free music" movement only enforces the need to be more diligent about learning about these things, because labels are no longer in charge of all of this stuff, you are. Which is good, as long as you learn and understand it.

Copyrighting is not about money, it's about protecting your work, and having the right to decide what happens to it, you can still give it away for free all you want, but it gives you the right to say, that is mine, and yes, or no you can, or cannot use it. It keeps unethical producers from stealing it and copyrighting it as their own, that's totally a thing. It happened to me, which was an eye opener. No, it never made it out the door so it isn't on some pop album somewhere (karma), but yes I totally lost that song, and cannot do anything about it, legally.

Publishing, you want exposure? (Copyright then) publish your works, it opens up a whole new world of exposure. BMI, ASCAP, SECAC, they don't just chase bars around for unpaid fees, they also make your songs available to people in TV, the movies, the other sides of the music industry you wouldn't normally have access to, commercials, indie movies, all of that, and more. But, you don't have to publish your works, and you CAN copyright without publishing, but why anyone would is beyond me. Publishing is the best part.






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