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Thread: Music in your tap room?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    158

    Its time for musicians to be licensed.

    I wish we could only hire licensed musicians. Let them pay the fees since they decide what music they are going to play. If a musician had to be licensed for a public performance, there would be fewer musicians and the licensed ones could charge more. If they play a song that they aren't licensed for, they pay the fine. It works for my doctor and plumber. Musicians I have talked to love this idea.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    365
    Yeah, I've never understood how it's MY problem if a musician plays a song they don't have the rights to play. They are technically the one violating the copyright, but somehow I have to pay the penalty.

    To me it's kin to suing a gun manufacturer because you got shot by some idiot during a robbery, while letting the robber himself go free...

    Commercial Pandora is only $25 a month and you don't have to listen to commercials so that's all we do now.
    Scott LaFollette
    Fifty West Brewing Company
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Allegan, Mi
    Posts
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by ChesterBrew View Post
    So, Russell, what I hear you saying is that my 1,400 s.f. (total floor area; public space is less than 700 s.f.) Tasting Room building that only has an iPod dual speaker base station setup is probably good to go w/o a license fee?
    You need to make sure you have the rights to play the music you play over the iPod base station. Owning a song for personal use does not permit you to broadcast it in a public setting or place of business. In the beginning, we opted to go with a TouchTunes jukebox because it cost us nothing out of pocket. Recently, I had that removed and I now believe that juke boxes aren't worth the trouble they cause in a taproom. However, the Pandora (for business), is legit. We use that, and Pandora owns the rights to the music, so you're good. There are some limitations, like how many times you can skip a song per hour.

    Went round and round with BMI, because for a period of time, our musicians played originals. You have to pay them if you have live music. If your musicians play cover songs, then they are turning profit off from material they do not own, and so are you with the additional beer sales.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,287
    We got nailed years ago by BMI, SEASAC, and ASCAP. We had a one-night-a-week open mic. This cause an avalance of letters with escalating hostility from these companies. They all have different artists in their portfolios so if you pay one, you should pay all. After all the calculations (based on our occupancy), that open mic night would end up costing us almost $20,000/year! Of course, we canned that idea. I went round and round with ASCAP, having several discussions with them. They DO send spies into your business. They call up and ask "Hey, do you guys have live music this weekend?", fishing for info. I'm also convinced they are sending out algorithms on the web to troll for "Live Music" posts.
    They will collect a fee if you are hosting live music, playing the TV, playing your ipod (mechanical music), playing a jukebox (charging to play mechanical music), or playing your local radio station (again, mechanical music) in your public spaces. Playing them in the kitchen or brewhouse for your employees seems to be okay.
    The bottom line is these songs and shows from the artists are copywrited works. You and I do not have the rights to allow a public performance of these copywrited acts for money or ambiance, which they will say leads to customers spending more money.
    It does suck but I can see their point. If some bar in my area started selling t-shirts with my brewery's logo or beer labels on them, you can bet your ass I would sick a lawyer on them pretty damn fast.
    We have cut out all live music because it is just does not bring in enough revenue to make the headache worthwhile.
    We do use XMforbusiness which pays a fee to the rights management companies for our usage.

    Prost!
    Dave
    Glacier Brewing Company
    406-883-2595
    glacierbrewing@bresnan.net

    "who said what now?"

  5. #20
    TheCarolinian Guest
    Would any of you mind sharing how much you have had to pay BMI or others?

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    252
    Check there website. It's a simple formula based on frequency of music and seating capacity. I'm around $350 per year but my space is tiny


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    21

    Update

    Thanks for the feedback and comments to you all.

    To give an update - I now have the Pandora for business service playing in the tap room. I don't have live music playing - the first and last time was not much of a turn out anyway. As far as I can see, I am in complete compliance. As for the BMIs and Ass-Caps of the world, I am up to 4 phone calls, 3 emails, and 2 letters. Since I can only mildly relate to this logic of collecting royalties, and did not appreciate the very first phone call that I received from these bottom feeders ending with a "you'll be hearing from our lawyers" - my approach is to provide no information whatsoever on my level of compliance. Really, they have no right to ask. If they want to spend the time, human resources, and money pursuing a very small brewery, be my guest. I'm keeping a tally of every attempt to shake me down and stress me out. It's a wasted effort on their behalf. Send goons - I'm sure they get paid by the hour. Yeah, maybe this all is dumb on my behalf, but if everyone stone walled them like this, it may change their approach. Right now, they are coming after the people who are the most vulnerable, because it's the path of least resistance. Not cool. Not right. My proposal for any brewery also just starting to receive threats, get yourself squared away, then let them spin their wheels. When I get ahead of the game and am in a better position to have live music and pay the "lawsuit insurance" fees to the PROs, I hope my irritation with them is gone. Right now, I'd rather pay a monthly fee to Pandora who actually provides something back. I'm just saying.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Chestertown, Maryland
    Posts
    459
    Well, we're now open to the public. And within the first day or two some guy in a suit walks in and orders a flight and is just acting... I don't know how to put it... suspicious. Maybe I'm paranoid but I suspect he was a lawyer scoping us out, particularly since we're located in small enough of a community that a) I didn't recognize the guy; and b) He was behaving like a stranger in a strange land.

    After Russel's reply to my own inquiry, we aren't playing music during business hours but do use the port on the clock radio for charging our credit card reader iPhone/iPod units. The radio interferes with our LED lighting (we get noticeable static when they're on) so I just play music from my personal iPod when I'm cleaning and when we're not open to the public. We're way too small to handle performances in our place, so that's not an issue. And, truth be told, when we get 20+ bodies in the place it gets loud enough that you wouldn't be able to play music before it becomes a music/conversation decibel level arms race. Not worth it. Hell, we don't even offer wi-fi. And the screen resolution is amazing on the real world anyway.

    If for some reason we get some sort of boilerplate letter in the near future, I'll be sure to let y'all know. And my reply to any said letter will be epic, I assure you.
    Kevin Shertz
    Chester River Brewing Company
    Chestertown, MD

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville FL
    Posts
    77
    Quote Originally Posted by rich24 View Post
    my approach is to provide no information whatsoever on my level of compliance
    I would suggest at least telling them that you have Pandora and no live music. You certainly don't have to be polite about it, god knows we aren't whenever they contact us, but you do want to avoid them initiating any legal action that you might have to respond to. They hire people via those "make money from home" internet ads to troll facebook, etc and they are generally pretty dumb and take all kinds of stupid things as indications of live music.

    We once called a pilot batch "every gose has its thorn" and posted a picture on facebook of one of my assistant brewers holding a guitar when we tapped it. Asscat saw it and started calling us. It took usabout a week to figure out what they were even referencing, since the facebook post was months old by the time they started harrasing us. My partner eventually called them back, explained that if they actually read the post it had nothing to do with live music, the guy in the picture doesn't even know how to play the guitar, we do not have live music, our liquor liability insurance prohibits us from even hosting live music, and we already pay pandora for the music we do play. They called back about three days later about the same post, as if they had never heard from us. He wasn't nice to them that time.

    We still hear from them every now and then via email or random form letter. We always remind them that we don't have live music, we do have commercial pandora, and that they have a standing invitation to eat a bag of dicks.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Posts
    746
    "picture on facebook of one of my assistant brewers holding a guitar" - that's hilarious!

    Live music is massively overrated and in general we've found it chases as many people away as it brings in. We'll still host it a couple nights a month, but we're scaling way back. Still paying AssHat and Body Mass Index about $2k a year for the privilege. But we also do a weekly trivia night that has music. And sometimes I just need to play whatever the hell I want in the taproom.
    Russell Everett
    Co-Founder / Head Brewer
    Bainbridge Island Brewing
    Bainbridge Island, WA

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville Beach, Fl
    Posts
    146
    Quote Originally Posted by I H8 UM View Post
    I wish we could only hire licensed musicians. Let them pay the fees since they decide what music they are going to play. If a musician had to be licensed for a public performance, there would be fewer musicians and the licensed ones could charge more. If they play a song that they aren't licensed for, they pay the fine. It works for my doctor and plumber. Musicians I have talked to love this idea.
    You can't possibly be serious! More regulation for god forbid music! Come on get real. I hope I am just not picking up on your humor.
    Luch Scremin
    Engine 15 Brewing Co.
    luch at engine15 dot com

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,287
    Just got off the phone with BMI. I found out that if you have TVs on in your public space, you need to pay them a fee for the incidental music that is included in commercials, sports broadcasts, movies, shows, weather channel, etc, etc, etc. If you have the TVs muted, you need to send them a signed, notarized affidavit stating the sound is always muted. If one of your employees or a customer turns up the volume, you then run the risk of BMI suing you for not having a license from them to turn up the volume! This even applies if you are already paying for a commercial account from your TV signal provider. Might be that I will be removing the TVs from our tasting room.

    Perhaps I need to take a page from the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld: customer walk in, no talking, no sounds, order beer, pay for beer, drink beer, move to the left, place empty pint on bar, exit quietly.

    NO BEER FOR YOU!


    Prost!
    Dave
    Glacier Brewing Company
    406-883-2595
    glacierbrewing@bresnan.net

    "who said what now?"

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    193
    Quote Originally Posted by GlacierBrewing View Post
    Just got off the phone with BMI. I found out that if you have TVs on in your public space, you need to pay them a fee for the incidental music that is included in commercials, sports broadcasts, movies, shows, weather channel, etc, etc, etc. If you have the TVs muted, you need to send them a signed, notarized affidavit stating the sound is always muted. If one of your employees or a customer turns up the volume, you then run the risk of BMI suing you for not having a license from them to turn up the volume! This even applies if you are already paying for a commercial account from your TV signal provider. Might be that I will be removing the TVs from our tasting room.

    Perhaps I need to take a page from the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld: customer walk in, no talking, no sounds, order beer, pay for beer, drink beer, move to the left, place empty pint on bar, exit quietly.

    NO BEER FOR YOU!


    Prost!
    Dave

    Jeez - I wonder if this holds true even if you follow the other rules about 'home use' such as keeping the size of the TV and number of speakers below a certain threshold....

    You have to be dead inside to be able to work that enforcement job.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Duluth, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    4

    What about playing records?

    As in, old school LPs?

    If the business purchased them for use at the business, would that be acceptable? What about having a "spin your own" night, where customers can bring in their records to play? I'm assuming the second case would not be kosher, but not sure on the first.

    Thanks

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    193
    Quote Originally Posted by CalebL View Post
    As in, old school LPs?

    If the business purchased them for use at the business, would that be acceptable? What about having a "spin your own" night, where customers can bring in their records to play? I'm assuming the second case would not be kosher, but not sure on the first.

    Thanks
    I dont think either would be kosher sadly. I dont think buying any music/video from the store gives commercial broadcasting rights.

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