Restaurant forced to unplug live music nights because of licensing woes.

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by Mike
Posted November 18th, 2009 at 9:14 am

Many people wouldn’t make it through life if it weren’t for music. It feeds the soul. Why am I rambling about music again? Because I like music and the laws that govern music, licensing, copyrights, etc. are so backwards in this country it’s disgusting. Maybe, just maybe my voice along with many others will show the world how truly corrupt these types of organizations are.

Case in point: Bo Diddley’s restaurant in St. Cloud, Florida. The big stink simply deals with your usual greedy licensing company thinking they own everything with a musical note in it. The real kick in the pants is that unlike many other bars and karaoke joints, Bo Diddley’s doesn’t cover much licensed/popular music at all. Aside from a few songs here and there, most of the artists and songs performed at the venue are original creations. So you can understand the surprise and frustration the owner of not only Bo Diddley’s, but also several other local live music restaurants felt when they received several letters from one of the three, big North American licensing companies all demanding several years of back payment on live music licenses for covering licensed music…

  • The three companies: Broadcast Music Inc. ( The American Society of Composers), Authors and Publishers, and SESAC

The final kick-in-the-back-of-the-head-when-you’re-alread-down moment is that there is no legitimate or fair way for any of the licensing companies to track or even know how much each establishment plays licensed music so that an appropriate fee can be negotiated. For all anyone knows, they could be paying roughly hundreds to thousands of dollars to a company that has absolutely no right or claim over it.

It’s really sad how backwards, unimaginative, and “crabby because artists are realizing they don’t need some washed up middleman” middleman are destroying music.

It’s a very compelling and thought provoking article. For it’s entirety, head on over to The SC Times

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