Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ASCAP goes after Waxhaw

Live music at Southsiders has apparently gone the way of the dodo. Southsiders posted the following update on Monday:
We got a visit from the American Society of Composers Authors & Publishers ASCAP. as a result of their insistance on outrageous fees, SouthSiders will no longer be able to provide live music. We're sorry as we now have to withdraw what little support we were able to provide our local musicians. To voice your concerns over this you may call Tara Isley @ ASCAP - 1-888-852-4105. Again we're sorry to our local talent.
I'm not sure how much the licenses cost, but if local establishments are bailing on live music because of it, it's too much.

Of course, it seems like there should be a way around this for local hotspots such as Southsiders and Maxwell's Tavern. Surely not every song is licensed by ASCAP. For example, back in the day, I was a huge Bob Dylan fan and still am to a lesser extent. Searching through ASCAP's Title Search, hardly any of Bob Dylan's songs are listed there. Assuming this isn't the result of a shoddy search engine and assuming the rest of the songs aren't covered by an ASCAP-like enterprise, there must be thousands of songs available for performance.

And of course, they should always be able to feature original compositions.

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