Thursday, February 4, 2010

This sort of thing burns me up...

'Boss' strikes sour note: Bruce Springsteen sues midtown bar Connolly's for copyright infringement

Ok, who's the asshole? The artist, who's attempting to be compensated, in a very small way, for the use of the music he wrote? Or the bar that's been ducking a licensing fee for more than two years?

Let's just take Springsteen out of it. I found the article because of his involvement, but I'd feel the same way if it was The Rolling Stones, or Lady GaGa, or Reverend Horton Heat, or whoever. This is a matter of artists' rights, as far as I'm concerned. This would've been, reportedly, a $2700 licensing fee for the bar, if they just paid the damn thing...I'd guess (I really don't know, but I know what the drinks cost) a midtown New York bar could clear that on one weekend night.

Especially if they had a band playing live music...

I grow so weary of the idea that an artist loses the right to protect their interests if they are successful. It's an attitude driven by jealousy and the reality TV-era belief that we are all owed some share of fame and fortune. We're not, and just because someone has succeeded doesn't mean we get to pick bits and pieces off their work because we think they have enough. It doesn't mean they're wrong for pursuing the lawful execution of the rights to their creations. Acting to protect those rights is not wrong, and it's certainly not greedy.

I mean, the show in question occurred on August 9, 2008...over two years ago! I can imagine, this started as, "hey, you didn't pay your fees. I'm sure it was an oversight, so let's get you squared up." If you ignore that sort of thing, the situation gets worse and worse.

Other bars in New York comply with the law, why should Connolly's get a pass? Did Connolly's pay the band more because they weren't paying the ASCAP fees? I'm sure that's a silly idea. I can't imagine the owners of Connolly's didn't know how the system worked, and, apparently, they refused to comply...They got caught.

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