Mark Pettey wrote:
Actually, it is rare that musicians go after the rights, as they usually have to give up most of them to the publisher or recording company when the performances are "pressed". The rights they are able to retain are minimal at best. The "big brother" in this case are the organizations known as ASCAP and BMI, with BMI being the most vicious about collecting royalites. They prowl all the restaurents here in Florida, making sure that the owners have those little stickers on their doors indicating they pay the proper royalites for the music played inside. If only the musicians COULD get what they earned by writing the music in the first place, and if only magicians would show the consideration of not calling someone else's effect or routine their own, what a perfect world it would be.....
Vicious? That's funny. Maybe if some restaurant owners would get a serious case of kneecapitus it wouldn't be such a pain to collect royalties on behalf of writers who are rightfully owed the money.
As for the rest of your post, musicians are perfectly able to record, produce, press, distribute, and retain all rights to their work without including a label or copyright collective. There is no requirement to abdicate one single penny to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC or any other copyright collective or label.
Of course, that means a musician will have to fund the production and pressing himself. And then there's distribution to both retail, and radio & television. And, of course, there's marketing. In the unlikely event any establishment actually plays a cut from a CD, it's now the musician's responsibility to establish when and where the performance took place, and collect royalties on those performances.
Labels and copyright collectives provide a service on behalf of authors and performers. In exchange, they take their vig. No one is required
to sign on the dotted line if they don't feel the exchange is worth it.
John Escamoteurettes -- a blog.