Check out this story: Restaurant owner says songs may cost him his business
Basically, this guy didn’t have the proper licenses for music performance, got called on it, and now has to pay for the violations.
Now, check out these Digg comments.
Basically, they treat this as a hidden tactic, a new way to screw people out of money. I particularly love the comments that are basically “FUCK THE RIAA!!”
First of all, the RIAA has absolutely nothing to do with the case. They are concerned with audio recordings. In this case, it’s all about performance rights, which means that if people are upset, they should direct their concerns to ASCAP.
Secondly, this is not a new tactic. This has been part of the deal ever since performance rights organizations were established. You want to cover a song on your CD? You gotta give the composer a cut. You want to have music performed for commercial purposes? You gotta give the composer a cut.
Third, people have to get over the idea of the arts inherently being free. They’re sick of record companies screwing artists, but they’re not upset when a guy doesn’t pay the license for the performing rights of a piece of music.
You can’t win. How are artists supposed to make money from their works? The works that so many people claim they should be compensated for making, thus, encouraging more artistic output?
If they couldn’t make money off of this, then it wouldn’t be called the music business now, would it? And if you can’t make money off of it, then there’d be nobody who’d make music professionally.
Some will ask “well, this guy is playing their music for free. It’s advertising for them.”
Well, what if you look at it like this:
- Restaurants and coffehouses need to attract customers.
- The offer open mic nights and other local artists.
- People come to see the performers and, while there, buy product from the establishment.
If you have a coffehouse and you believe that nobody will ever play covers, ever, then you are truly naïve.
Sure, it’s the performers that attract the clientele, but, minus whoever the performer asked to come that night, do most people stick around to hear originals?
Ask the performers how many CDs they sold after open-mic and you’ll get your answer.