[linux-audio-user] [ot] Is DJ-ing commercial use of music tracks?

Edward Barrow ej at selandre.co.uk
Sat Jan 24 11:08:31 EST 2004

On Sat, 2004-01-24 at 15:18, Mark Constable wrote:
> On Sat, 24 Jan 2004 11:58 pm, Frank Barknecht wrote:
> > Mark Constable hat gesagt: // Mark Constable wrote:
> > > But in this case Frank is not _necessarilly_ getting paid for the music
> > > itself but for his services as a DJ, so to me, this kind of usage is a
> > > lighter shade of grey and certainly not black or white commercial usage.
> >
> > Well, at least in the commercial audio work, you have to pay a musican
> > or composer for performing his/her music. I was playing dance music in
> > a band some years ago with a dedicated commercial approach, and we had
> > to list all music we played an evening for the GEMA and had pay for
> > being allowed to play them.
> Yeah but that's "old world" crud that helps keeps bookkeepers and
> lawyers in business. Perhaps in the days of expensive paper music
> manuscript and vinyl this auditing procedure had some vaildity but
> these days where the penny per beat ratio is so low it's obnoxious
> (to me) that these archaic payment restrictions still exist at all.
> > But this music had another license, which 
> > explicitly wasn't intended to promote "commons".
> Exactly, and I would like to think part of the "new world" game is
> to spread the exposure of this musical commons, not to tie it up
> and inhibit it with an artifical non-musical bureaucracy of paper
> work shufflers that have nothing to do with either the creation
> or the presentation of said music.
> These days, creating music is so ubiquitous that it's more of a
> priviledge for the artist to get their music exposed, at all, 
> rather than a priviledge for the listener to partake of the artists 
> work, or at least it's becoming moreso (again, in my view).
> I still put "commercial use of music tracks" squarely in the realm
> of direct sales of the product itself and not the associated payment
> for any person or service that "performs" the work. If not then this
> conversation will drift towards alternate payment methods for music
> in the commons and that would be just as obnoxious as the current
> system. That "obnoxous bureaucratic system" already exists for those
> who want direct payment for their works of art... I don't see how
> these restrictions apply to music, or art in general, in the commons.
> I would like to think the point of music in the commons is that
> there are no inhibitions or restrictions to people hearing it !

Up to a point....

I think if you adopt these arguments, you also have to have an answer to
the question "how will professional musicians be paid?" - or be prepared
to make the case for a world where all musicians rely on the day job to
pay the rent. 

That's not to say that the old-style model can survive without
adaptation in the new environment.

But I for one don't have a problem with a share of the money paid by
punters on the door of the disco going to the people who made the music,
both the DJ and to musicians back up the "sample chain". This is what
GEMA and other "old-world" collecting societies try to achieve, with a
varying degree of success.  Usually the venue pays a fee to the
collecting society, which then distributes the money amongst musicians
according to arcane statistical formulae to which Frank's record-keeping
exercise will have contributed. 

How to achieve all this fairly and efficiently is a big open question. I
don't think even GEMA would seriously claim that their methods are

- Edward

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