I’m planning to write a book. To kill two birds with one stone, I’m going to simultaneously fill out the FAQ section, and use that as the content for my book.
For the links that say “old blog”, I plan to make an updated version of that post. Until then, I’m linking to the version on my old blog.
The Federal Reserve Is Evil!
Fractional Reserve Banking Is Inherently Fraudulent
Is It Morally Acceptable To Walk Away From A Mortgage?
A Common Myth – The Federal Reserve Earns A Profit For Taxpayers And The Government
Monetizing The Debt (old blog)
Quantitative Easing Defined – Obfuscating Theft
The CPI Is Biased (old blog) (Also: Chained CPI, Cash For Clunkers, CPI Formula, Arithmetic Mean vs. Geometric Mean)
The Velocity Of Money
Negative Real Interest Rates
The Federal Reserve Caused The Great Depression (old blog)
Is The Federal Reserve Constitutional?
The Discounted Cashflow Paradox aka The St. Petersburg Paradox (old blog)
The Compound Interest Paradox (old blog)
History Of Banking
The Black-Scholes Formula Is Wrong! (old blog)
Gold Crushed The Stock Market Over The Past 15 Years
The Economy Is Worse Than You Think
What Is The Difference Between A Gold Standard And A Gold-Exchange Standard?
Answers To Common Pro-State Troll Criticisms Of A Gold Standard
Taxation is theft!
Property Is Not Theft
“Intellectual Property” Is Not Property
Music Licensing Cartels (old blog)
Bargaining Under The Shadow Of The Law
Divorce Law Is Biased Against Men
Answers To Common Pro-State Troll Criticisms Of “Taxation Is Theft!” (old blog)
Productivity Gains Are Not Evil
Code Smells And Conspiracy Smells (old blog)
The HIV/AIDS Conspiracy Theory
Do Vaccines Cause Autism?
Water Powered Cars And Zero Point Energy (old blog)
Pat Tillman (old blog)
Emotional Manipulation Tricks
Incompetence Or Evil?
School Is Brainwashing
Pascal’s Wager Fallacy
Problem! Reaction! Solution!, aka The Hegelian Dialectic
What Can Be Done About It?
Voting Is Pointless (old blog)
Common Propaganda Tricks
Lawyers Are Mostly Useless
Introduction To Agorism (old blog)
Answers To Common Pro-State Troll Criticisms Of Agorism (old blog)
The USA Is A Communist Country!(old blog)
The Amended US Constitution (old blog)
Important Erosions Of Freedom Since 1787
A List Of Political Prisoners In The USA
BMI filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in The U.S. District Court For The District of Massachusetts against me as principal owner of The Fresh Chef Inc. that operates Point Breeze Restaurant located in Webster Mass. I currently have an ASCAP license covering their artists but not one from BMI. My venue is a building first erected in 1888 and since added various spaces bringing a building capacity to 400. I offer recorded music in two of the three spaces and have a Serius Commercial Music package to deliver to my diners that music at a cost of about $350 per year(Serius pays the licensing fees) which is much less than the licensing fees BMI and ASCAp require with their blanket license calculation formulas. Those spaces have a seating capacity of only 200. I also offer live music in two of the three spaces that have again only a 200 capacity. The third space of my restaurant is closed off to the live music areas(used only for private functions) but BMI has only offered me a license for the entire premiss(400 seats) thus increasing the yearly fee to $4,426. ASCAP’S yearly fee is half that because they have allowed me to use the 200 capacity in their calculator formulas. I have told the BMI phone reps every time they called in 2013 that their calculator formula should not apply in a blanket form to my business yet they have gone forward with their lawsuit. My attorney feels we should settle,pay the copyright infringement fees, the $4,426 annual fee and therefore minimizing the lawyer fees for BMI’s firm. My question to you and your readers is shouldn’t there be a federal consumer protection statute forcing licensing agents to be held to a reasonable standard of fairness. It clearly is not fair to be charged for 400 people when the city licensing/building agent only allows 200 people to be in the space. We need help now because I believe my attorney is correct in his belief that we need to settle quickly. I wish someone could site some favorable case law in this regard. Thank you, JRA
Wait a minute, did you say Serius? Do you mean Sirius Satellite Radio?
For Sirius Satellite Radio, the fee you pay includes the license.
For live music, it’s much harder. You have to make sure that the band only plays public domain songs, or songs for which they own the copyright. This means no covers.
The short answer is: You’re probably screwed. Your attorney is probably correct by advising you to settle. The licensing extortion cartels know that they own the government and judges, and you aren’t going to win. If you contest the amount of the fee (but not whether you owe it at all), there’s a separate process for that.
Another point if they’re contesting your live music: Their agents use software to determine whether the song played is in their catalog. If the song really isn’t in the catalog, but sounds similar to one that is in the catalog, they may give false positives.
If you do contest the fee, make sure that you mention the Sirius deal, which means you already are paying them some money. They’re double-dipping if you’re paying via Sirius and also them directly.
Also, you can point out the unfairness of the fee schedule if you do contest it. You pay the same fee if your band plays 99% original music and 1% covers, or 100% covers. That is unfair. However, you’d have to know your bands were mostly playing original music if you go that route.
Another possibility is to settle, go along with it for a year (whatever the minimum is) and then cancel at the first opportunity. Stop having live music for a few months, and then when you restart make sure your bands only play songs that don’t require a license. It would require strict documentation.