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Music industry crack down gets ridiculous

Posted Wednesday, August 1, 2007, at 1:21 PM

I just found a story about a case that I thought was worth sharing because I think it's very important.

Apparently the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), is suing a number of restaurants, bars and night clubs for playing their music. Not selling it, just playing it.

ASCAP says that playing the music, even from a purchased cd, is a violation of copyright law if they are not paying royalties.

Ok...I understand the argument against downloading music and the whole bit about intellectual property rights and they're right. But, this is a bit much.

When people go out to bars and hear music they are also being exposed to music they may not have heard. That's how you make new fans. You have to get the music out there.

With the increasing cost of cd's and downloads, people don't want to buy an album for $18 when they don't know if they're going to like it or not.

The real money is made on the tours and from merchandise sold at shows. FAR more than is made on albums.

Pick on the record companies, not the people who are exposing potential new fans to your music. The record companies are the real thieves in the music business.

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Maybe we should start playing really old music that is no longer copyrighted. I bet they'd holler even louder if we stopped playing their music at all. I can see charging royalties if you're making some money off of playing their music, but elevators and restaurants????

-- Posted by Ducky on Thu, Aug 2, 2007, at 12:30 PM

Oh yes. For many years ASCAP has had their own force of snoops who do nothing but travel around and inspect public businesses to find out the music they are playing and then hit them up for royalty fees. Hard to believe, but ASCAP even contends that royalties are owed on the soothing music played when you ride in a hotel elevator!

-- Posted by FJGuy on Thu, Aug 2, 2007, at 12:22 AM

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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