In many cases, DJs pay ASCAP/BMI fee directly for the recorded music that they play at
their events. Callers who used recorded music for “Alternative Contras” do the same. You
might check with your regular DJs to see if they are already paying licensing fees in
which case I think you would not need to pay again.
On Jun 16, 2016, at 10:01 PM, Jeff Raymond via Organizers
As I understand it various agents who work for a
commission send out letters dunning folks for ASCAP fees. This is quasi legal black mail
as mentioned by previous respondents many Contradance tune authors have never seen an
One can compose a letter that state all material played is copywriter free traditional
tunes are played with express permission from the copywriter holder.
This of course is a premise, I imagine that someone somewhere holds a copy write on a
version of Old Joe Clark.
Various dance troupe I've been associated with have found ways to deflect the leaches
from sending letters to ignoring them.
If you can imagine how much money they have accrued through this extortion it would be
tough to fight them if you were a business but if you are a 501(c)3 educational
organization you have a chance to ignore them.
If you gain insights please share them!
On Jun 16, 2016 9:24 AM, "Jeff Kaufman via Organizers"
On Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 2:29 PM, Amy Carroll via Organizers
Do not think that because it's a traditional dance form that the
music is all public domain. A huge amount of contradance
repertoire is copyrighted material. If you think otherwise, I
suggest paging through any of the Portland Collection books
(common contradance repertoire) and looking for the copyright
While most tunes played for contra dances are copyrighted, very few of
those are covered by ASCAP or BMI. Those agencies can only give you a
license for the music they manage the rights for.
Nearly all contra dance music, however, is written by people who would
like their music to be played at dances and don't want to limit that,
so unless someone has asked that others not play their tunes I
wouldn't worry about infringement there.
(For making CDs, though, you definitely need to write to people, offer
to pay them, and her permission.)
Thing is, if you want the artists who hold the copyright getting paid,
you have to submit set lists to ascap and bmi. That is the troublesome
part, and you can ask the artists to give one to you if they want. It
doesn't change what you owe ASCAP and BMI it just means they
have to redistribute the funds.
Even if you do this, no money will go to the large majority of contra
dance tune authors who don't participate in ASCAP/BMI.
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