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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Tony English vs. American folk culture (59* d) RE: English vs. American folk culture 22 Feb 14

In the USA, any place that serves alcohol is required to have at least 12 large screen televisions, all tuned to different stations, mostly sporting events, plus rock music playing from a radio station or music service. With all that noise it would be difficult to sing folk songs.

Even a place that doesn't serve alcohol (and therefore doesn't have to pay enormous fees to the state for a license to do so) still has to pay a minimum of about a thousand dollars a year to ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC if any music can be heard there. It's difficult to cover that overhead without a lot of loutish people buying alcohol at inflated prices.

Gathering in homes to sing or hear folk songs is seen as a way to avoid the music mafia fees. But it probably won't last. Just as they gradually shut down the coffeehouses, they'll eventually shut down the house concerts. In a few years we'll hear about people being sued for having a birthday party for their kids and singing Happy Birthday without paying those minimum annual royalty fees.

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