Here in the UK, all venues that present live music and/or DJ-led nights are legally obliged to pay fees to the Performing Rights Society (PRS) and Public Performance Limited (PPL). Even a cafe or shop playing background music has to cough-up! The tariff for these fees vary - a shop or regular venue would probably pay an annual fee based on the capacity, whereas the promoter for a mega stadium gig would pay a one-off fee based on a % of the gate revenue.julius wrote:To be totally legal, a venue has to pay BMI/ASCAP a fee in order to play licensed music. I'm pretty sure no dance venues do this.
As for the issue of DJ's using mp3 files or burning CDR's...
A couple of years ago, during a sound-check before a club night started, someone saw me putting a compilation CD that I'd burned into the CD deck. They informed me that if the MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) came round, I'd get busted for 'piracy'. Not true - as long as I bought & own the original/oficial record company issued recording, and I'm not 'boot-legging' it - but it did make think about the issue.
I believe that most DJ's are quite happy to purchase their music 'legally', and only use the technology to convert their tunes to mp3 files or burn CDR compilations in order to save space/cut the weight & number of flight cases they have to carry to gigs, and/or to increase the number of tunes they can choose from.
At least, that's the way it works for me, and I'd happily go to any court in the land to defend that position.
In fact, IMHO, the ability for DJ's to carry a larger 'library' of music with them can only be beneficial to promoting more sales, and I personally look forward to the time when I can afford a laptop system that I can load-up with 20,000 tunes!
Having worked in record shops, for bands and for record companies in the past, I'm absolutely 100% in favour of writers and performers getting paid their royalties and, now that they can also get their money from legal downloads as well as from traditional record and CD sales, I can see no reason for honest DJ's to be concerned. The only ones who should be worried are the people who burn and then sell copies or compilations.
BUT, I hear you asking, what happens when happy dancers plead with us to make/sell them a compilation CD? (and I'll bet that happens on a regular basis to every DJ reading this). Well, I have no problem at all in explaining to them that I just won't - it's completely illegal, and my reputation means a LOT more to me than a quick tenner. And I've never had an argument about it. Instead, I simply offer to give them a list of songs and artists that I recommend and that they might like to buy for themselves.
Hey, I'm no saint. I'll admit that, among my collection of (literally) thousands of CD's & records that I've bought over the years, I have a total of 3 tunes that I don't actually own the originals of, on 3 CDR's that were given to me. I'm still trying to find original copies of them on eBay, so in the meantime, go sue me!