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History of Licenses, Music Copyrights Clearance Organizations, Music Mechanical Rights Societies and Collection Agencies, Music Performing Rights Societies, The History of ASCAP and BMI.

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Are you a restaurant or a bar? Do you want to learn how to escape paying for the music you play. Learn how.

2015 #MUSICIANS Learn what % of fractional shares to each copyrighted musical composition is 'controlled by ASCAP.'

ASCAP, like other music-copyright outfits Broadcast Music Incorporated and Society of European Stage Authors and Composers, has a history of aggressively pursuing licensing fees, often exploring new legal ground. The company, a nonprofit that collects fees for “public performances” of music and then pays royalties to its songwriter and publisher members, is most known for threatening to sue the Girl Scouts over camp songs like “Happy Birthday” in the 1990s.

Australian Clubs Looking To Play Independent Music To Avoid Insane New Royalties.
We've been discussing how collections societies around the globe have been making a mad dash to get governments to tax more things or to simply massively expand existing collection taxes on music. One stunning example we gave was how the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) was pushing to increase fees by ridiculous amounts (in one example from $125/year to $19,344). Apparently, part of the setup is that clubs and restaurants have to pay a much higher per patron fee, and the number of patrons is based not on the actual number of patrons -- but on capacity. PPCA and others like them continue to insist that all of the value in a restaurant or club comes from the music, and thus those places should pay these extortionate rates, even if actual human beings don't come to fill up the place (so much for the music actually bringing in the crowds). But it looks like at least some clubs in Australia are pushing back. Sambo points us to the news that many are trying to build support for a protest effort where these clubs will only play independent music and avoid all music licensed to the PPCA. Of course, in the US, we've seen ASCAP and BMI tell clubs that do similar things that it doesn't matter -- since they might accidentally play their music. Still, it looks like these kinds of moves, that often would bankrupt these clubs and restaurants, are having an unintended consequence of helping to promote non-PPCA music. So, if you're a musician and you want to get heard in Australia, try licensing your songs under a Creative Commons license or something and highlight that anyone can play the music without having to pay a ridiculous PPCA tax.

It's estimated that ASCAP generates nearly $1 billion annually in songwriter and publisher royalties; the company retains less than 15 percent of that number to cover operating expenses.

ASCAP was founded 95 years ago by songwriters who heard their music played all over New York City. But how much do you pay? No one knows.

The Blanket License Enables Creation and Performance : enables licensed venues to pay an annual flat fee with the lowest transactional cost without having to take on the time intensive process of tracking and reporting on every song played.

One License Equals 8.5 Million Works, and Counting : By paying an annual licensing fee [ how much is that?] to ASCAP, a venue is legally entitled to play any of the pieces from the world's largest musical repertory. This means being able to publicly play more than 8.5 million musical works at any time, as much as they want.

Payments Are Based on Individual Needs : ASCAP determines license fees individually based on how a business uses music and its size, capacity, etc. Smaller operations may pay as little as a dollar or two a day.