[LINK] music industry goes after public performance

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Mon Jun 15 13:57:25 EST 2009

On Mon, 2009-06-15 at 12:42 +1000, Chris Gilbey wrote:
> Love all the idealism about people making independent CD¹s, rapacious
> thuggery of content companies etc. That would be great!
> Unfortunately the reality doesn¹t get anywhere near the rhetoric.

Uh - all your well-made points relate to people playing *other people's*
music, either live or recorded, where indeed it is the case that APRA
gets its pound of flesh.

If I create original music, and either put it on a CD or play it live,
APRA has no hold on me unless I choose to give it one. That is, I can
play at a venue or permit use of my CD on my terms, not APRA's.

The rest of this message depends upon this assumption - so is it

> Any venue that has public performance of songs pays an annual license fee to
> APRA for public performance of songs.

Does this apply if the venue concerned plays only material for which
they have an independent contract with the artist? Provided the artist
does not have other contractual obligations that would let APRA in the

> that in the event of music being performed live, the artist is required to
> fill in a Œlog¹ of songs played, and submit it

Surely not if the only songs played are those that the artist has
absolute rights to.

> Tt doesn¹t matter whether a café has a live band or plays the radio or plays
> CD¹s. They still pay an APRA license fee. No exclusions.

Again, I strongly suspect (but stand ready to be corrected) that this
holds only if they play material they have not arranged the rights to.
An independent contract with someone playing their own works would not
require this fee.

> If a venue produced its own pre-programmed selection of music, that was
> hypothetically burnt on to a CD and then played because it set the right
> mood, they would properly have to pay a fee for the replication of the music
> and get a further license!

Not if the music they played - whether live or recorded - was music to
which they owned or had arranged suitable rights. Creating something
yourself gives you those rights (just buring a CD of other people's
songs doesn't, though).

And I think it is this point that is being made by others: That this is
a golden opportunity for musicians and authors of music to set up
separate rights structures that leave APRA out in the cold. If I am a
musician I can produce a CD of *my* unencumbered music for (say) a
restaurant, and charge them $1000 per year to use it instead of $10,000
per year. It's a no-brainer for the restaurant, and all that money goes
to the musician.

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)                   +61-2-64957160 (h)
http://www.biplane.com.au/~kauer/                  +61-428-957160 (mob)

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