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Brobdingnagian Bards Tales

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Bad news for College Station Nagians

I just got word that Sweet Eugene's Coffee House is ending live music for good. After ten years presenting some of the best music from around the nation, Sweet Eugene's is being forced to stop all live music. Why? ASCAP.
What is ASCAP?
ASCAP is The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. It's an organization that collects royalties for performers. Every time a copyrighted song is played on the radio or live, royalties are determined to go to the artists who wrote or recorded a song.

Okay, that's the simple explanation. Actually, there's a complex formula ASCAP uses. They pay out money to artists like us. On the one hand, it can be a great form of income for artists. On the other hand, it won't affect most artists. You see, they work on some arbitrary formula, radio and venues to find out what songs are played. From these samples, they distribute income to appropriate parties. Venues, like radio, must pay money to ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC if they present live copyrighted live music.

That's where Sweet Eugene's problem arises. Seems they were not aware of how Performance Rights Organizations' (PRO) worked. Consequently, they have determined that they will cancel all future shows at their venue.

As one of our favorite venues, I'm majorly bummed by this decision. But there's not a whole lot that can be done. So I guess in the meantime, it's time to start looking for a new venue in Bryan/College Station that will consider hosting our music.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Wednesday, June 18, 2003


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