Got a letter stating I need to pay this group for lic. for music to be played in my restaurant. They have a very small group of people and I do not think I have ever heard any of them before. I tossed it. I got a letter today stating that they were following up and just sign and pay…
anyone get this?

SESAC is pretty small compared to BMI and ASCAP. Just don’t play any of their catalog and you don’t have to pay them a penny.

Where do you get your music that you play? If its from muzac or Sirius for business, the licensing fees are already covered

Pandora also has a commercial music service that takes care of the licensing. (!/everywhere/business )

Once you are on the radar to of one of these outfits they do not tend let go. Do your research, pick one of the licensed suppliers and move on.

I’ve been a professional musician 30+ years, a lot longer than I’ve been in the pizza biz. PLEASE, pay your ASCAP SESAC BMI fees.

You are using intellectual property owned by someone else. Even if it is a corporation, that entity probably pays something to the composers/arrangers/performers of the music. (Maybe not pre-1960s music as much as more contemporary things, for lots of reasons.) If the rights holders get no money, there is little incentive to create new works.

What if I walked in, grabbed one of your take-out menus, photocopied it and put MY name on it instead of yours? Same thing. Stealing.

Please pay 'em. Then you can have live music in your shop, whether you pay the performers or not. Although, I’d certainly encourage you to pay them, too.

This has bopped around Facebook for a number of years.

Craigslist Ad:
We are a small & casual restaurant in downtown Vancouver and we are looking for solo musicians to play in our restaurant to promote their work and sell their CD. This is not a paying job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get positive response. More Jazz, Rock, & smooth type music, around the world and mixed cultural music. Are you interested to promote your work? Please reply back ASAP.

A Musician’s Reply:
Happy new year! I am a musician with a big house looking for a restauranteur to come to my house to promote his/her restaurant by making dinner for me and my friends. This is not a paying job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get a positive response. More fine dining & exotic meals and mixed Ethnic Fusion cuisine. Are you interested to promote your restaurant? Please reply back ASAP.

I don’t think the issue here is whether or not we should pay the fees. I think the issue is the agency mailing out invoices to people for services that they may not even be providing. There is also the possibility that the original poster is already paying the required fees through his music provider if they are using one.

Although, I am a bit curious as to why we should pay all these licensing fees for local music if we were paying the bands direct? :?:

Things are tight in the music industry! We just got a phone call this week from a “Johnny” from the ASCAP accusing me of ignoring his letter and warning me that doing so was at my own legal peril.

My son is a professional musician, I know ASCAP…we are not in a position to owe them a penny, however I spoke calmly with Johnny explaining that we have had one CD of Celtic music on a loop pretty much from our opening day. It was my son’s group, we played it with their blessing, and the only band we’ve had perform live to date was this same group.

Johnny switched his approach to inquiry about their set list, did they perform all and only all original works? I assured him if ASCAP had a 16th Century Celtic folksong writer still in their stable I’d be happy to pony up for their (overpriced) $477 annual license. We parted as friends.

The thing is, we had placed a Craigslist ad not 3 days prior inviting local Irish groups to send an audition CD in, on the notion we MIGHT someday host a young group to explore their music with our customers. My job can suck somedays, but man, I don’t think as much as some poor guy that has to troll Craigslist and make threatening phone calls all day!

The funny part of the story is, the letter I supposedly ignored at my own peril? Yeah, it showed up 3 days AFTER our phone conversation. Doh.

OMG deaconvolker, That is exactly when we started getting the letters, It makes since now!

A little clarification.

  1. the music playing within our walls is commercial package from Comcast.
  2. We do subscribe to ascap, my question is why would I get an invoice from sesac when I am not even sure I played any artist from them. I did send in the letter back and have not recieved the next letter. But looks like Craigslist is the common factor.
    3)eupher61 this brings me to a couple things going off your Craigslist add, since I DO pay my Saturday band and I am responsible for my Liquor licensing, my health dept licensing. my retail licensing.
    AS A PROFESSIONAL musician than I should then hold THAT professional responsible for HIS licensing of the songs he is singing?
  3. I have catered a place for free in hopes of landing bigger fish
    and second I have lost more than one group because a few bigger establishments had spotters come in and listen to them and bring them to there place. So while the Craigslist ad may seem repulsive to some I remember a young girl I met in San Diego, i owned a pizzeria next to Java Joe’s. She came in once a week and worked for food and tips (she was a barista as the remaining part of the week before Starbucks made it cool).
    My last year in San Diego a record rep came in and heard her, turned her life around. All she needed was a stage and and an audience and SHE made her dreams come true.