sub specie aeternitatis

Music Publishers Society: Now Closing Local Restaurants

October 10, 2006

As an employee at a locally owned restaurant, this kind of story just makes me sick:

Restaurant Owner Says Songs May Cost Him His Business

Once again, the punishment for copyright violation is completely out of proportion with the crime. Between $750 and $30k PER SONG? $30k?! And this is for songs produced at least 30 years ago, one by an artist who has been dead for 36 years. Not to mention it was not the restaurant owner who played the songs, but a local band whose setlist he probably had no control over. I suppose he could have stopped the band as soon as they started playing, but that would risk losing bands from performing in the future. Of course, ASCAP did try to collect royalties from the Girl Scouts several years back so this really doesn’t surprise me. It just infuriates me.