I found this over at Trevor Lyman's site, the Liberty Crier. I posted about this earlier, as did Jeff Treubig: Podcasting Has Been Patented
Last August, a classic rock band named Alter Ego from Cleveland, Ohio got together to play a show at a bar called 69 Taps-Medina. The set list, like it is for a lot of weekend warriors, included songs like “Freebird”, “You Really Got Me” and “Mustang Sally”. Songs that are played countless times by cover bands all over the world.
But earlier this week, that bar, the company that used to operate it, and the two guys who controlled that company now face a massive copyright lawsuit in federal court from a music industry Goliath, Broadcast Music, Inc, better known as BMI — the powerful music licensing organization, and the company that holds the copyrights to 10 classic rock songs performed that night, who are alleging “ten claims of willful copyright infringement.”
I know that if you own a bar, restaurant or cafe you need a license from BMI to play music in your joint. A license costs a few hundred $$ per year. You might try to dodge it, but BMI has reps going around all the time trying to nail owners who don't have their "licenses," and then you'll be on the hook for thousands of dollars.
But this is the first I've heard of this particular scam.
Thanks for posting.
Then what, YouTube videos?
This could get ridiculous, oh wait, it already is.
It is claimed that there are three groups you have to pay off to avoid being sued depending on which cover tunes are played at your bar.
Someone else mentioned sports bars being shook down for violations due to the music played during the Super Bowl half time show. LOL
Moves like these are the pathetic last ditch effort of a dying industry.
Quit owning your stuff. Sell it or give it away to someone else. If you don't own anything then suiting you is a waste. Play the game that the big boys showed to us a long time ago. Control it but don't own it. There are many ways of shifting assets to another "person" that can be utilised. Do something don't just sit around waiting for something to fall on your head.
Open Source technology is the best equalizer to technology monopoly. Icecast is a Xiph.Org Foundation Open Source Internet radio broadcasting software. "Icecast, the project, is a collection of programs and libraries for streaming audio over the Internet." I have used this Open Source software. It works great! "The Xiph.Org Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to protecting the foundations of Internet multimedia from control by private interests." Imagine if the concept of sending audio from one computer to the next was patented. Icecast and Xiph.Org would not exist.
I despise patent trolls and copyright laws. They ruin innovation. On my website, I allow users to submit images, links that take screen shots of the page, forum posts, a classifieds section and more. If a patent troll would be able to dissect all the work I have done so far, what would be the point of me learning anything and especially on my own free time. We would have to work for the patent holders or pay the patent holders just for starting a business.
I believe information and innovation needs to be freely available for everyone to use, learn and add too. It is in all of our best interest, including the patent trolls, so we can improve human life.
We should be a beacon of knowledge. If I know something that you need help with, I would like to help all I can to teach you all I know. If you become a master at it and know more than me, please teach me what you have learned.
Thanks Michael Nystrom for this post. I agree we need to fight all patent trolls. It is sad that the big companies sell out instead of fighting for principles.
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