Re: GSUSA & Music lawsuit threats
Tim Goncharoff (tgonchar@CATS.UCSC.EDU)
Fri, 23 Aug 1996 10:16:15 -0700
Yes, this is correct. It was reported in the Wall Street journal 2 days
ago and picked up by many papers yesterday. ASCAP has been cracking down
on clubs, restaurants, etc for the last few years and has just turned
it's attention to camps. Basicallly, anyone who collects money for a
service (as camps do) and provides music as part of their program (ditto)
is legally obligated to pay a royalty to the copyright holder. ASCAP
acts as the clearing house for these copyrights. They have a list
available which is 77,000 pages long and contains approximately 4
Many familiar songs are on their list, including Happy Birthday to You,
God Bless America, This Land is Your Land, Puff the Magic Dragon, and
countless others. Both words and music are protected, so if you're
singing a silly camp song to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the
Republic," you owe them money.
One paper reported on a girl scout camp where the girls were learning
the new dance craze, the "Macarena." Because they couldn't afford the
fees, the girls were learning the dance in silence, no words, no music.
There is some effort in Washington to exempt non-profits from this fee.
You might want to mention it to your representatives.
Sometimes it's hard to be law-abiding. Sigh.
Fri, 23 Aug 1996, Mark A. Michalski wrote:
> I haven't seen this discussed on the list yet, but was wondering if
> others had heard it in their locales?
> It was reported by a Detroit TV station (WDIV 4 NBC) that the Girl
> Scouts ( a local council/camp ) were being sued by ASCAP (music
> liscensing group) for unpaid royalties for allegedly singing some of
> their protected songs (such as Happy Birthday and others in their
> very large portfolio) at camp.
> They then interviewed local girls and there was some mention that
> the local council then asked that the songs not be sung at camp
> until it was worked out and that ASCAP normally charged a blanket
> fee ($450-$1100) for royalties to the songs.
> Has anyone heard of this in relation to camp songs?
> Yours in the spirit,
> Mark A. Michalski Auburn Hills, Michigan
> CM P24 TCC T188 Clinton Valley Council
> Chippewa Lodge <<--29--<<< Scuba Staff '97 National Jambo
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