I sent the first part of the thread to some organizers in Maine (prior to Bill Cowie
weighing in on NEFFA's approach.)
ASCAP has been a hot button topic in our state. As Bill mentioned, a dance organizer was
approached by the town (which owns the hall used by the dance) after the town had been
approached by ASCAP.
At the annual meeting of DEFFA we talked about it briefly, including mentioning that Larry
Unger's tunes are registered with ASCAP, and others are registered with BMI. Below is
what DEFFA president John McIntire emailed me.
Here's to sharing info and specific details for the good of all!
Oh, and on that note, I wanted to request that if others are willing to share more details
of their specific knowledge or experience, the do so, even if it seems like
'extraneous info.' I think we'd all benefit from having it out there in the
knowledge base. (Even if it's not an issue for a given dance series now, it might
come up later, and having some of those details in the SW archive would save both
re-inventing the wheel and repeatedly making separate individual requests for more info.)
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2012 23:04:37 -0400
Subject: Re: ASCAP on Organizers Digest, Vol 36, Issue 1
Chrissy & all,
Thanks for the info from the organizers list.
I believe that the approach taken by CDSS & NEFFA have been the most
successful & and adaptable. That is, in NEFFA's case, to own what they know
they use.....i.e. the Beatles sing-along, and make a token payment. CDSS has
taken the issue away from the local agent by asking the national ASCAP for a
list. Since the local agent gets a commission, they lose interest and the
national doesn't respond. Being defensive doesn't look to me to be a good
idea. I expect most bands don't have a clue if they play music covered by
ASCAP (or BMI). And I'm not certain that public domain music puts them in the
I expect to be working on this for the next few months on DEFFA's behalf in
order to put out a statement that Maine organizers & bands can use. It will
likely mirror the attitude that CDSS exhibits. If someone wants to pass all this
along to other lists, so much the better.