We were just informed, that our monthly jam at a local pub, which is a jam and not a paid gig, that we've been doing for past few years, has to stop as BMI have warned the pub about live music and copyright issues and threatened to fine the pub if such music continues.
I find it incredible & petty that BMI would go to such extremes.
What's next...will BMI stop us jamming in our own homes?
Is BMI only an issue in the US or do my UK brethren experience the same issues?
What a load of bollocks! :evil:
This sort of thing happens all the time. I've even heard of Irish folk jams getting shutdown by ASCAP which is ridiculous as 90% of what they're playing is public domain.
With that said, I think there must be a crackdown going on as the venue that used to host our jam said they also got shaken down by ASCAP. Fortunatley we were able to move somewhere else but I think this will continue to be a problem.
Another reason to play pre-war swing. Though apparently a lotta good it does....
pas encore, j'erre toujours.
Not sure what the fee is, but I'm guessing it's not prohibitive.
The worst thing about it is the majority of the money they collect goes to the machine and its lawyers. The leftover scraps get allocated to artists based on radio air play. So if I play gypsy jazz at a club, the tribute money to ASCAP/BMI/SESAC will go to Justin Bieber, Miler Cyrus or Alan Jackson.
From up here what's going on down in the USA is getting pretty extreme insofar as money goes. I hope that things settle down for you all down there
I'm up in Bellingham, north of Seattle, and was told about this by a friend who said a small venue couldn't let her play anymore -- a small one that barely has money to pay the musicians much less pay royalties -- for this very reason. With the comments about Seattle and Portland, too, I think Michael's exactly right about a crackdown. It's probably one of those "make money from home" deals where someone's going up and down the corridor strongarming pubs, retirement homes (yes! even retirement homes just trying to provide a little enjoyment for their clients), what have you. I understand artists need to get paid for the music they create, but if musicians are just jamming and not getting paid (or paid pennies) and are told by the venue that they can't play because the venue is worried about running afoul of lawyers, something's not right.