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From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: MOH From Radio: Is it Lawful?
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 92 20:17:13 GMT
Organization: Dixie Communications Public Access.  The Mouth of the South.

K_MULLHOLAND@UNHH.UNH.EDU (Kath Mullholand) writes:

> Laird Broadfield writes:

> As a matter of fact, it is, and ASCAP, among others, is vigorous about
> filing suit.  They have collected from small restaurants with piped in
> radio music, and from small companies with radio MOH.  If a company is
> using radio, CD, records, or other unlicensed recordings for MOH or
> over a speaker system on a regular basis, I'd wager it's only a matter
> of time before they'd hear about it.

Actually they are more like bullies.  They come in acting like the
gestapo but when someone stands up to them, they back down rather
rapidly.  About two years ago, they came in on the restaurant owned by
a couple of my friends.  These friends are very wealthy and run the
restaurant as a hobby.  The ASCAP gestapo pushed a consent order under
their noses on the first visit.  I happened to walk in toward the end
of that encounter.  We discussed afterward and decided to call their
bluff.  After consulting with their lawyer, they did just that.  They
were going to argue that the music from the radio already had
royalties paid and that there is no practical difference between a
centralized music system and with sitting a radio on each table.
ASCAP sent a couple more threatening letters and then slithered back
into their hole.  Too bad.  My friend had the resources and the
determination to fight this one.

To another poster's assertion that commercial radio could not exist
without this royalty scan, I say rubbish.  Performers could not buy
that kind of advertising at any price.  The opposite assertion could
much easier be made, that the commercial recording business exists
only BECAUSE of the airtime the albums get.  Proof?  Name one album
that has achieved significant success without any airplay.

John De Armond, WD4OQC   Rapid Deployment System, Inc. 
Marietta, Ga                    

Subject: Re: MOH - Is it a Violation of ASCAP & BMI?
Date: 18 Feb 92 10:36:56 PST (Tue)
From: (John Higdon)

mfaurot@bogart.uucp (Michael Faurot) writes:

> I think radio stations have to pay some sort of fees to these
> organizations, but I'm not certain.

Radio stations pay these people through the nose! The fees are based
on gross (not net) station revenues.

> At any rate, could it be possible that by "re-broadcasting" this music
> it's violating the royalty contracts of the various artists?

BMI, for one, thinks so. I personally know of a radio station that got
stuck paying BMI extra money for putting ITS OWN PROGRAM on hold for
its business office. BMI actively looks for big businesses, calls them
and determines the radio station being used, and then attempts to
extort major sums. Did I say attempt? BMI has been successful in every
case it has gone after.

The workaround is to subscribe to a music service (such as Muzak) as a
source for MOH. The "licensing fees" are built in to the cost of the

BMI justifies all of this by claiming that "the poor artists and
composers need to be paid for their work." Of course if you look at
the distributions (after BMI withholds its "administrative costs"
[kaff-kaff]), the lion's share goes to those who already rake in
millions from record sales, performances, etc.

BMI and ASCAP are considered by broadcasters to be the biggest legal
extrortion rackets in the world. Being soaked by these people is the
thanks the stations get for helping artists promote their wares.

SESAC is another, lesser-known, money collector. One seasoned
broadcaster was visited by a representative from this group who
demanded his pound of flesh. "We do not play any SESAC recordings so I
am not paying!", was the reply. The "rep" went to the record library
and after about fifteen minutes managed to produce a SESAC-represented
disk. "What about this?", he inquired.

Whereupon the station owner took the record and immediately broke it
in two over his knee. "What about it? Would you care to find another?"
That station never did pay any money to SESAC.

John Higdon <> (hiding out in the desert)

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