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Thread: Hit songs licensed by sesac

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by K.M. Richards View Post
    There is a lookup function on the SESAC website but it is very clunky. A .csv file would be a lot easier for stations as it could then be imported into Excel and sorted however needed.
    Once again, they don't want stations to delete SESAC songs. So it's not in their best interest to make it easy.

    They'd rather you play one of their songs, the play shows up on Mediabase, and they can send you a bill.

  2. #22
    K.M. Richards
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    Once again, they don't want stations to delete SESAC songs. So it's not in their best interest to make it easy.

    They'd rather you play one of their songs, the play shows up on Mediabase, and they can send you a bill.
    You know, I wonder something in reading that.

    SESAC doesn't make looking things up easy, for the reason cited.

    So let's say I play "Red Red Wine" by Neil Diamond using a copy that was labeled as Tallyrand Music (BMI) as the publisher ... which was correct when the song was first released. SESAC discovers this via Mediabase or Nielsen BDS and comes knocking at the door. My attorney tells them to get lost because our copy is labeled BMI, not SESAC. They go to court and the lack of easy access to the SESAC database is used as a defense, and the judge buys that argument and tosses the lawsuit.

    Whatcha want to bet SESAC changed the database interface after that? I think they'd have to, because now there is a legal precedent saying they make it difficult for stations to comply with their licensing requirements.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by K.M. Richards View Post
    My attorney tells them to get lost because our copy is labeled BMI, not SESAC. They go to court and the lack of easy access to the SESAC database is used as a defense, and the judge buys that argument and tosses the lawsuit.
    Your argument is based on a false premise. Lack of knowledge of the law is no defense if you break it. Just because you didn't see the speed limit sign is no defense if you get pulled over for speeding. So the judge would tell you that the copyright holder owns the content you played, and you are fully liable, regardless of the database. You should have bought the insurance policy when it was offered. That's what a blanket license is.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    Your argument is based on a false premise. Lack of knowledge of the law is no defense if you break it. Just because you didn't see the speed limit sign is no defense if you get pulled over for speeding. So the judge would tell you that the copyright holder owns the content you played, and you are fully liable, regardless of the database. You should have bought the insurance policy when it was offered. That's what a blanket license is.
    It seems to me this goes against "right of first purchase". You purchase something and it's yours. Someone else comes in after the fact and demands a payment? It seems to me that any payments to SESAC from a formerly BMI licensed song should come from BMI, since you're already paying the latter for the rights.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by semoochie View Post
    It seems to me that any payments to SESAC from a formerly BMI licensed song should come from BMI, since you're already paying the latter for the rights.
    You don't purchase the use of music, you license it, and the license has a clear time frame. Not in perpetuity.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    Your argument is based on a false premise. Lack of knowledge of the law is no defense if you break it. Just because you didn't see the speed limit sign is no defense if you get pulled over for speeding. So the judge would tell you that the copyright holder owns the content you played, and you are fully liable, regardless of the database. You should have bought the insurance policy when it was offered. That's what a blanket license is.
    There is a legal term "entrapment" if SESAC doesn't make it "reasonable" to not violate the law (play they songs) then any first year law student should be able to win that case.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by secondchoice View Post
    There is a legal term "entrapment" if SESAC doesn't make it "reasonable" to not violate the law (play they songs) then any first year law student should be able to win that case.
    The "reasonable" is they call you and ask you to license their music. You ignore their offer and play their music without the license. You lose. The rest is immaterial. The fact is you're attempting to avoid payment, right? That's really what your primary motivation is, right? There's no entrapment when you're trying to avoid paying for something. You're attempting to turn the victim into the criminal.

    Just because you feel the website is clunky is no defense for breaking the law. Have you ever looked at how complicated the tax laws are? It doesn't matter. You break the law, and you are at fault, regardless of how hard it is to know the law. No one's forcing you to play any music at all.

  8. #28

    Join Date
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    That is the rub. If you mess up and get caught playing a song you are not licensed to play, the result is going to court and paying a big fine. Most radio stations, in order to stop the regular phone calls and the chance of messing up, just sign the contract and pay the monthly rate for the license. Lots of these stations don't even know if they play any of the licensed music but sign up anyway because it is the easiest solution for them. Folks like to think they won't get caught but you never know who is out there and when. I recall doing sales when one of the music licensing groups was in town catching shop owners playing the radio. Days later, ironically, Muzak made their sweep through town and signed up tons of new clients. So, if you think they are only out to collect from radio stations, think again. Chances are good there is someone out there on a regular basis that is visiting businesses and monitoring stations.

    Plainly put, the music licensing groups have crafted their plan and it is one where paying them is usually the easier way out no matter if you play their music or not. They have the team of attorneys and the expertise that the typical radio station or group owner does not and if they have a legitimate claim, even if by error, you can bet it will easily eclipse the cost of the license. And that is the craft of their plan.

  9. #29
    All this reminds me of the old "protection" racket.

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    1,794
    So, you catch that too. From their side, it is sort of like the police patrolling trying to prevent a break-in. To the radio station it can feel more like the former.

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