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The right to sing?

The Shambles 09 Dec 05 - 11:24 AM
concertina ceol 09 Dec 05 - 11:35 AM
jacqui.c 09 Dec 05 - 11:51 AM
TheBigPinkLad 09 Dec 05 - 11:53 AM
MMario 09 Dec 05 - 11:54 AM
MMario 09 Dec 05 - 11:56 AM
George Papavgeris 09 Dec 05 - 12:01 PM
TheBigPinkLad 09 Dec 05 - 02:01 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Dec 05 - 02:37 PM
sharyn 09 Dec 05 - 02:45 PM
MMario 09 Dec 05 - 02:52 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Dec 05 - 03:02 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Dec 05 - 03:12 PM
Alaska Mike 09 Dec 05 - 03:35 PM
Ferrara 09 Dec 05 - 03:49 PM
TheBigPinkLad 09 Dec 05 - 05:28 PM
TheBigPinkLad 09 Dec 05 - 05:39 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Dec 05 - 06:09 PM
The Shambles 09 Dec 05 - 06:23 PM
Ferrara 09 Dec 05 - 10:20 PM
Stephen L. Rich 10 Dec 05 - 12:17 AM
The Shambles 10 Dec 05 - 06:35 AM
George Papavgeris 10 Dec 05 - 06:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Dec 05 - 07:41 PM
The Shambles 10 Dec 05 - 08:13 PM
Stephen L. Rich 11 Dec 05 - 01:51 AM
rich-joy 11 Dec 05 - 08:48 AM
George Papavgeris 11 Dec 05 - 09:23 AM
The Shambles 11 Dec 05 - 12:19 PM
George Papavgeris 11 Dec 05 - 01:09 PM
Nigel Parsons 11 Dec 05 - 02:03 PM
The Shambles 11 Dec 05 - 02:05 PM
George Papavgeris 11 Dec 05 - 02:20 PM
Snuffy 11 Dec 05 - 06:31 PM
George Papavgeris 11 Dec 05 - 06:50 PM
Folkiedave 12 Dec 05 - 10:39 AM
Cluin 12 Dec 05 - 03:46 PM
Herga Kitty 12 Dec 05 - 05:20 PM
The Shambles 13 Dec 05 - 04:18 AM
Folkiedave 13 Dec 05 - 05:06 AM
The Shambles 13 Dec 05 - 02:03 PM
Folkiedave 13 Dec 05 - 02:37 PM
Folkiedave 13 Dec 05 - 02:53 PM
The Shambles 13 Dec 05 - 03:01 PM
Folkiedave 13 Dec 05 - 07:43 PM
The Shambles 14 Dec 05 - 02:03 AM
The Shambles 14 Dec 05 - 02:16 AM
Folkiedave 14 Dec 05 - 04:33 AM
Grab 14 Dec 05 - 08:27 AM
Jeri 14 Dec 05 - 08:49 AM
jeffp 14 Dec 05 - 08:54 AM
The Shambles 14 Dec 05 - 12:09 PM
The Shambles 14 Dec 05 - 12:29 PM
Grab 14 Dec 05 - 01:20 PM
Folkiedave 14 Dec 05 - 01:47 PM
George Papavgeris 14 Dec 05 - 02:12 PM
The Shambles 14 Dec 05 - 02:21 PM
Folkiedave 14 Dec 05 - 02:28 PM
The Shambles 14 Dec 05 - 02:37 PM
George Papavgeris 14 Dec 05 - 02:42 PM
Folkiedave 14 Dec 05 - 06:47 PM
Grab 15 Dec 05 - 10:51 AM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 10:58 AM
The Shambles 15 Dec 05 - 11:02 AM
The Shambles 15 Dec 05 - 11:09 AM
The Shambles 15 Dec 05 - 11:43 AM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 11:56 AM
The Shambles 15 Dec 05 - 12:04 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 12:13 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 12:16 PM
Jeri 15 Dec 05 - 12:17 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 12:18 PM
The Shambles 15 Dec 05 - 12:21 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 12:22 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 12:24 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 12:26 PM
Jeri 15 Dec 05 - 12:28 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 12:40 PM
Jeri 15 Dec 05 - 12:40 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 12:49 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 12:50 PM
Jeri 15 Dec 05 - 12:59 PM
The Shambles 15 Dec 05 - 01:17 PM
jeffp 15 Dec 05 - 01:29 PM
The Shambles 15 Dec 05 - 01:41 PM
Folkiedave 15 Dec 05 - 01:42 PM
MMario 15 Dec 05 - 01:54 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 02:24 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 02:38 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 02:39 PM
MMario 15 Dec 05 - 02:54 PM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 05 - 03:03 PM
Folkiedave 15 Dec 05 - 05:44 PM
The Shambles 16 Dec 05 - 02:25 AM
Grab 16 Dec 05 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,Vicky Pollard masquerading as Shambles 16 Dec 05 - 06:51 AM
The Shambles 16 Dec 05 - 10:11 AM
The Shambles 16 Dec 05 - 10:31 AM
Paco Rabanne 16 Dec 05 - 10:38 AM
jeffp 16 Dec 05 - 11:22 AM
The Shambles 16 Dec 05 - 01:38 PM
George Papavgeris 16 Dec 05 - 02:34 PM
The Shambles 16 Dec 05 - 03:14 PM
sharyn 17 Dec 05 - 12:28 AM
George Papavgeris 17 Dec 05 - 04:26 AM
The Shambles 17 Dec 05 - 05:45 PM
George Papavgeris 18 Dec 05 - 04:25 AM
The Shambles 18 Dec 05 - 08:52 AM
George Papavgeris 18 Dec 05 - 09:13 AM
The Shambles 18 Dec 05 - 11:59 AM
George Papavgeris 18 Dec 05 - 12:40 PM
The Shambles 19 Dec 05 - 03:30 AM
Grab 19 Dec 05 - 09:09 AM
The Shambles 19 Dec 05 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 19 Dec 05 - 01:29 PM
Grab 19 Dec 05 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 19 Dec 05 - 02:06 PM
The Shambles 19 Dec 05 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 20 Dec 05 - 12:32 AM
sharyn 20 Dec 05 - 01:07 AM
The Shambles 20 Dec 05 - 01:59 AM
George Papavgeris 20 Dec 05 - 04:37 AM
The Shambles 20 Dec 05 - 12:27 PM
BB 20 Dec 05 - 02:23 PM
The Shambles 20 Dec 05 - 02:53 PM
stallion 20 Dec 05 - 10:07 PM
The Shambles 21 Dec 05 - 01:56 AM
BB 21 Dec 05 - 10:45 AM
The Shambles 21 Dec 05 - 12:11 PM
Grab 22 Dec 05 - 08:27 AM
The Shambles 22 Dec 05 - 08:53 AM
stallion 27 Dec 05 - 09:13 PM
The Shambles 28 Dec 05 - 02:03 AM
The Shambles 28 Dec 05 - 02:37 AM
The Shambles 29 Dec 05 - 02:49 AM
The Shambles 12 Jan 06 - 05:32 AM
The Shambles 13 Jan 06 - 09:16 AM
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Subject: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 11:24 AM

The spoken or written word is protected all over the world by copyright etc - but this does not prevent us from speaking or writing.

Is there a danger that protections in place to protect the composers, publishers and performers of songs - are in danger of generally preventing us from being able to sing or of seriously limiting what we can sing and where?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: concertina ceol
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 11:35 AM

I don't know. From my experience people on the folk circuit are only too happy for you to sing their songs - perhaps I've just been luck y with who I've asked?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 11:51 AM

Agreed CC. A lot of the songs I sing are either in the common domain or are by songwriters who actively welcome the singing of their songs, such as Utah Phillips. Most folkies do appear to be a very generous crowd who understand the power of shared music.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 11:53 AM

Copyright infringement is not so easy to prosecute as you might imagine. For a court to proceed there has to be proof that the song was not only used without permission, but that the person committing the infringrmrnt profited by the performance monitarily and that the copyright holder suffered either monitarily or otherwise (i.e. reputation, defamation of character etc.) In many (if not most) situations, the errant performer can make amends with a public apology (whether or not it is accepted). Protecting yourself from prosecution can be as simple as naming the tunesmith "This next song was written by Bob Dylan ..."

Sing and be damned.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: MMario
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 11:54 AM

Is there a danger that protections in place to protect the composers, publishers and performers of songs - are in danger of generally preventing us from being able to sing or of seriously limiting what we can sing and where?

legally, in the US, it already does - unless performance fees are paid. Luckily they have pretty well ruled that the responsibility for this lies with the VENUE; which is why some venues ask that your set list be restricted to your own or public domain /trad/out of copyright items.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: MMario
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 11:56 AM

but that the person committing the infringrment profited by the performance monitarily

NOT true - at least not in the US. One of the most frequent myths about copyright infringement.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 12:01 PM

Legislation does not limit the "what" in any case, Roger. Anyone can sing any song without permission anyway, though most ask.

The "when" is always subject to causing a nuisance, but with a little common sense I avoid disturbing neighbours without feeling limited.

Finally, legislation might limit the "where" (unlicenced premises under certain circumstances) - but there are always alternatives. I certainly have not been stopped from singing anywhere, yet. Not on the street, not in friends' houses, not in gardens, not in churches or schools or hospitals or village halls or restaurants or coffee shops or Arts Centres.

There are always alternatives. Some may involve the hire of a room, where before one was had for free. But there are alternatives.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 02:01 PM

but that the person committing the infringrment profited by the performance monitarily

NOT true - at least not in the US. One of the most frequent myths about copyright infringement.


Yes, my apologies, MMario, I'm talking about Canada here. But it's not referring to simple infringement, but to successful prosecution. The infringement might be obvious, but there has to be an element of malicious intent (not the same as ignorance of the law). I'm looking around for an example of a failed case but not much is coming up ...


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 02:37 PM

BPL - you also need to distinguish between prosecution, ie the state process against a criminal infringment of copyright, and, on the other hand suing, the civil process for the civil infringment of copyright.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: sharyn
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 02:45 PM

As a writer who has been involved in copyright infringement litigation, I have this to say: if you wish to sing one of my songs, take care to learn it correctly: it is not raw material for you to improvise on, rearrange, rewrite. You are not invited to take my lines and rewrite them. If you perform substantially changed versions of my work in public and attribute them to me, my reputation suffers. If you record one of my songs you are obligated to pay for the privilege -- and it is a privilege: that song is my work, the work of a lifetime of writing, listening and singing.

What I ask as a writer is that you treat my work with respect -- if you need to change it to sing it, then don't sing it.

I haven't noticed that copyright restrictions in the U.S. much affect what people sing and I have yet to collect one cent from a club where my songs have been sung (not by me).


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: MMario
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 02:52 PM

sharyn - are your songs registered with ASCAP, BMI or SESAC - because if they aren't you won't get any performance royalties regardless. And even if they are - the way things are weighted chances are unless it is a pretty big hit you STILL won't get any royalties.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 03:02 PM

A link to a page from the Canadian copyright office here .

No mention of the profit condition BPL suggests.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 03:12 PM

The motive of gain defeats the academic exemptions in Canada, see Ssn 29.3, 29.4, and 29.5. I have not yet found any other relevance of the motive of gain under Canadian copyright law.

I think BPL you need to re-check what you have said and give authority.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 03:35 PM

I also write, perform and record my own songs. I have had other individuals sing my songs on three different continents. Invariably, these people change the lyrics or melody a bit when they make my song part of their show. This is absolutely OK with me.

I am honored whenever someone likes my creations enough to learn them and sing them for others. I believe that the small changes they make might even improve these songs in small, but meaningful ways. My heartfelt thanks goes out to each person who has helped to share my songs at festivals, folk clubs and song circles wherever they may be.

Best wishes,
Mike


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Ferrara
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 03:49 PM

What we can sing, and where, has been somewhat limited ever since the first copyright protection laws were written in each country. Before that, in the U.S. at least, people simply stole other people's published songs, and re-published them shamelessly, profiting from the theft. A common thing was to write slightly different words to a popular tune, and publish them under the original name, for example the copycat versions of Tenting Tonight and Man on the Flying Trapeze that I have seen.

The copyright laws helped change that. Probably a good thing, especially for people who actually write/wrote songs for a living, like, say, Irving Berlin.

Everything is a compromise. Every time you right a wrong, you are in danger of committing another one because no law can take in every case ahead of time.

Any song, copyrighted or not, can be sung for personal pleasure in the privacy of one's own or one's friends homes, where no money is being exchanged or received in connection with the occasion. My own family used to gather around the piano and sing dozens of copyrighted songs -- that's why they publish sheet music.

Making a profit from singing copyrighted songs is quite different. Yes, people are limited in many ways in deciding what they will do to make a profit.

There are plenty of uncopyrighted, public domain songs for folk singers to sing for money, or in venues that charge money, or in public venues of any type. And, as several people have pointed out, lots of folkie song writers freely allow their songs to be sung by others.

If you want to perform copyrighted songs, well, you may have a problem. But there's no one who has the right to do everything they feel like doing! So, there are restrictions on singing most copyrighted songs for other than personal pleasure. That occasionally limits our doing what we feel like doing. Pick another song and keep on singing.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 05:28 PM

Well, pardon me for trying to help without a law degree. My authority comes from standing in court and losing my case. The jist of my caveat is in this line:

"Only the courts can rule whether fair dealing or infringement is involved."

In order to get beyond this (it was a civil court) you have no hope in hell if your ego is all that is bruised. You will need proof of substantial loss (this is what the court will determine) borne by the copyright holder.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 05:39 PM

Sorry, I meant to put a 'smiley' after the first sentence ... I'm not being intentionally rude, Richard.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 06:09 PM

Well, I'm not a Canadian lawyer - but I have a friend who is. Actually he is an Englishman, a barrister, who is authorised to practise in Canada.

Have you a written judgment in your case? If so please PM me with an email address as I'd like to see it, as the way you present it, I don't see how you could have lost. Of course, if the defence was "fair use" it would have needed to fall within one of the categories of "fair use" and then profit could have been relevant, maybe.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 06:23 PM

Perhaps the where is most problematic?

In general terms I feel that it is important that you should be able to freely express yourself in music and song as you can in speech or in any other form. No not important - vital.

That if any one or any organisation feels they have any claim due to them - that it is incumbent upon them to demonstrate this claim.

The same is due to situations where authorities wish to prevent free expression in music making. It is up to them to demonstrate any real danger etc presented by this music making.

My concern is that much music making is prevented or limited in premises where there could be no legitimate or specific claims and where no real risks are involved.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Ferrara
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 10:20 PM

True, Shambles.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 12:17 AM

"Is there a danger that protections in place to protect the composers, publishers and performers of songs - are in danger of generally preventing us from being able to sing or of seriously limiting what we can sing and where?"

    It's not so much a danger as anexisting reality. It comes in to play every time the ASCAP or BMI bully a venue owner and cause said owner to stop having entertainment completely or to limit the performers' repetoires to original or public domain material.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 06:35 AM

Have Sam Smiths'pub banned ALL music?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 06:13 PM

The Sam Smiths' ban is a limitation, Roger, and an unwelcome one at that (by us folkies). But in the context of your original question, i.e. whether "protections in place to protect the composers, publishers and performers of songs - are in danger of generally preventing us from being able to sing or of seriously limiting what we can sing and where", I argue that it is not a serious limitation, because there are alternatives. No impending end of the music or of the singing is forecast.

The Sam Smiths ban was a business decision on their part. The public now can vote with their feet and prove them wrong - or right.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 07:41 PM

Of course, in the light of this court case this week, if you try singing the wrong kind of song anywhere within a kilometre of the Mother of Parliaments in London, it appears that your right to sing goes out the window together with your right to speak - MPs condemn arrest of woman who spoke out:

"Maya Anne Evans, a 25-year-old cook, became the first person to be prosecuted under the law which bans unauthorised demonstrations within one kilometre of Westminster after reciting the names of British soldiers killed in Iraq outside the gates of Downing Street."

It'll be interesting to see how they'll deal with people singing appropriate Christmas Carols touching on issues of war and peace in the Forbidden Zone, as happened last Christmas. (20 DECEMBER 2004, LONDON: ANTI-WAR CAROL SINGING. 3-7pm. Parliament, Downing St, Trafalgar Sq. Traditional carols adapted to highlight the brutality and hypocrisy of the illegal war in Iraq. All are welcome, of any faith or none, to join us in singing these topical carols. Organised by Advocating Sanity.) Of course that was before our freedom loving leaders made it illegal - but I'd be surprised if something like that doesn't happen anyway.

Actually I imagine what they might well do would be to make use of the new Licensing Law against making music using in a place that isn't covered by a licence, rather than the anti-demonstration powers. But that'd just get them headlines about how the government was cracking down on Carol Singers, and that might be even more embarassing.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 08:13 PM

It is the reason why Sam Smiths banned all music in their pubs that is important. It was because they were not prepared to pay the increase in the required PRS/PPL licence.

It is also the reason why other chains in the UK also now have a non-music policy. It is now clear that the idea that music is a goose that will always lay golden eggs is being seen to be false. For there is clearly a limit to how long premises will be prepared to give in to this form of extortion.

The sad thing is that it is music that is the loser in a dispute where neither side (or any other body or organisation) seem to care very much about the future of music - except as a purely finanicial concern.

I would argue that any needless and clumsy limitation of music making is a serious one.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 01:51 AM

The good news is that the music my be slowed down temporarily, but will not be stopped. When when Vaudeville and Music Halls seemed to be dead, that type of entertainment merely took to the streets. The jugglers, magicians, and other variety acts are now buskers instead theatrical acts. The music WILL find another outlet somewhere no matter what the powers that be might have to say about it. It's stronger than they are.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: rich-joy
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 08:48 AM

So is this for real? :

http://infowars.net/articles/december2005/091205lyrics.htm


where the MPA (Music Publishers Assoc'n) is going to war in 2006 to close down lyric and tab sites on behalf of its members - and advocating gaol (sorry, "jail") terms for offenders!!!!!!


Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 09:23 AM

Slight thread-creep here; the original question was about outlets for people to sing, as Roger explained. Also, the MPA only controls US artists, I understand (could be wrong there), whereas Roger's references concern the UK. But it is related - so here's my tuppence worth: I think the MPA is barking up the wrong tree when it comes to lyrics, and they are doing nobody any favour, including the artists they represent. The same goes for the tablatures. In both cases the material represents someone's interpretation of what they "heard" anyway. When it comes to MP3 distribution, that is a different matter, as it directly affects potential sales by the artist (let's not start a discussion about "to what extent", this has been beaten to death before).

But the overall impression is of a music industry that is totally missing the point of emerging technologies, and instead of embracing them and working with them they try to stifle their usage. They are no more capable of doing that than Canute was of stilling the waves.

Anyway - I distribute my MP3s (28 of them) and all my published lyrics from my own website. They are all copyright-registered, but I offer them for free. How on earth could the MPA stop me from doing this (I know they are interested in music-swapping sites, rather than cases like mine). In any case, let them try.

Bring it on...


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 12:19 PM

The question for debate is much more than just outlets to sing and it is not confined to any one country.

Perhaps the right to express oneself in music needs to be protected in legislation just as much as the right to one's own intellecual property quite properly and currently is.

In the UK I now find that I do not have the right to freely sing my own un-published intellectual property in a pub for example (or just about anywhere else). To enable this - the premises first needs a PRS/PPL licence to be paid for and the premises also need to apply and obtain entertainment permission from the local authority - without which any music making is illegal.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 01:09 PM

While I deplore any limitations imposed by such legislation, Roger, I don't want to give in to the fatalism of "they won't let me" either. There are alternatives. We both live in the same country, both singing our own material (and most of mine is unpublished abyway), yet I don't find myself at all seriously limited in singing it - I have plenty of alternatives.

Same situation, different attitudes, that's all. By all means let's correct any injustices, but let's not cry into our beer while we are waiting either.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 02:03 PM

Well I haven't heard of any local folk clubs closing, or moving premises, as a result of the new laws. Perhaps the landlords round here know when they're onto a good thing.
Folk clubs get paying customers in, spending money over the bar. And this, often on nights when trade would normally be slack, and the landlord might consider paying to run a quiz just to get customers in.

There again, this is the "Land of Song"

CHEERS
Nigel


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 02:05 PM

Before you can correct injustice it is probably better not to try and minimise the extent of it.

Yes there may be alternatives but for how long? I am reminded of the Shefield Carols where the material was though unsuitable for singing in churches. So the singing of them moved to into the pubs. Now this tradition is again threatened in these pubs for the reasons I previously gave.   

Folkies have traditionally sung for freedom - perhaps it is time that we put any minor difference behind us and concentrated together for a while on obtaining the freedom to sing?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 02:20 PM

OK, Roger, agreed. Off the top of my head:

a) We need an organisation - simply having hundreds or even thousands of music lovers petitioning independently will not be good enough.
b) That organisation needs to include all lovers of live music (i.e. not folk-specific so that it cannot be marginalised).
c) We need petitioning, demonstrations, articles published, perhaps a free newssheet to be distributed, interviews on TV and radio.
d) We need money for that - we need therefore a paying membership of that organisation.

All (most?) of the above is already in the hands of the Musicians Union. So we need to get behind their efforts and support them.

Further thoughts?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 06:31 PM

The MU is coming from somewhere else, George. Our problem isn't with pubs needing a licence to book musical acts.

Our problem is with a blanket ban on ordinary pub customers (unbooked and unpaid) singing anything at all for their own amusement without a licence. I think the MU might be inclined to support such a ban, as it might benefit their members.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 06:50 PM

OK, then an organisation is still needed. If the MU does not represent the majority of live music lovers, another one has to be created.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 10:39 AM

I am reminded of the Sheffield Carols where the material was thought unsuitable for singing in churches. So the singing of them moved to into the pubs. Now this tradition is again threatened in these pubs for the reasons I previously gave.

I am not sure why Roger says the carols are under threat. No doubt he has evidence to support this assertion.

From where I sit at my computer I can see three pubs where carolling takes place on a regular basis. I go to a number of carolling spots on a regular basis. I am in the heart of carolling country so to speak.

None of these are under threat. I have visited other venues where carolling takes place already this year, and I am going to another three or four before Xmas and none of these are under threat either.

One pub has revived its singing on a Monday night. Another introduced singing two years ago and is delighted with the response. Other places have record numbers of people and books of words and music are constantly reprinted as new singers anxious to join in the tradition purchase them. Anahata in another context recently made reference to a new edition this year of the "Jack Goodison" book which I understand is selling well.

The traditions around Derbyshire especially Eyam have taken on a new lease of life too.

There is an issue with one regular carolling place - but the landlord has asked for no publicity and I respect his wishes. So I am not going to refer to previous threads where this has been mentioned for that reason.

As far as I am aware Roger has never been to Sheffield for the carols and he recently referred to this world famous tradition as being akin to "cockney knees up".

The history and fact that the carols may be 'traditional' makes it little different from a cockney knees-up around a pub piano.

From: The Shambles - PM
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 09:55 AM


So there is my evidence that Roger said it was "little different from a cockney knees up"

Where is Roger's that the carols are under threat?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Cluin
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 03:46 PM

Singing will become a dangerous illegal act. Speakeasies for musical entertainment will spring up. Dillingers with guitars will become the new bad guy folk heroes. Smokers, dopers, and live music fans will share outcast status.

Go hear the live music in secret seamy venues who aren't afraid to stick it to the Man. Stick it! Stick it again!


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 05:20 PM

Snuffy's right - the legislation was aimed at professional performances, and is woefully inadequate in respect of people singing and playing for their own amusement (and not necessarily anyone else's).

I'm not sure how Sharyn's post fits into this thread Anyone can sing what they like if they're not recording and distributing it. If Sharyn's songs can't be changed, they aren't folk songs. And clearly they aren't, because she carefully crafted them with a view to casting them in stone. She's entitled to be aggrieved if people attribute versions to her that she didn't write (though most songwriters I know are happy to inspire different versions), but control freakery and folk music don't go together. This is the first time I've heard a songwriter say that there is only one definitive version of a song they've written, and I don't think it can be policed.

Most singer-songwriters of folk songs change their own songs, as they evolve and take a life of their own, so they don't mind if others carry on the songs in their own way.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 04:18 AM

Shefield Carols 2005

Where is Roger's that the carols are under threat?

Dave - if you have evidence that events local to you where the public provide their own music are not at threat from first the pub not paying to obtain a PRS/PPL licence and secondly from the local authority insisting that it is Regulated Entertainment and illegal without entertainment permission - then please provide it?

Then everyone - including a cockney knees-up around a piano - will be able to benefit from this evidence.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 05:06 AM

Of course Roger - I am delighted to do so.

One session that has featured in Mudcat as one that suffered under the previous licensing regime has re-opened - that at the Palm.

A new session at the Hillsborough Hotel has started directly as a result of the new laws - MC FAT mentioned this elsewhere, the gist was the licence had dropped from £1600.00 I think it was to £160.00 and as a result the landlord was much more happy to have sessions. The figures may not be precise but the generality is correct.

My Monday night "Morris" pub is delighted with the £1,000+ money that has been saved. I suspect the same thing applies to Fagan's, Kelham Island Tavern and the Red House, other session pubs in Sheffield but I haven't been to them recently.

My own local pub, the Walkley Cottage has already held two music events as a result of his new permissions. The music may not be to my taste but there will be no problems performing there for folkies should they wish to do so. Previously he was unable to have an entertainment licence because the alterations to his building would have cost £13,000. These were not demanded when the law changed.

All these pubs are within walking distance of where I live so there can be no argument about whether they are local or not.

To go back to the original question, where is your evidence that the carols are under threat, or will there me more spurious hoops for me to jump through before you finally admit they aren't?

Dave


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 02:03 PM

In the UK I now find that I do not have the right to freely sing my own un-published intellectual property in a pub for example (or just about anywhere else). To enable this - the premises first needs a PRS/PPL licence to be paid for and the premises also need to apply and obtain entertainment permission from the local authority - without which any music making is illegal.

It was always going to be the case that the Licensing Act 2003 was going to make obtaining entertainment permission alone cheaper whilst increasing the overall cost of licensing. The fact remains that under this legislation - if premises do not apply for the required licenses - any form of live music making in them will be illegal.

Except seemingly in certain pubs in Yorkshire. Where the secret of exactly how this is achieved - remains a secret and can be of no benefit to other musical events with similar problems anywhere else.

My view is that social music making in pubs should never be illegal simply because a third party is not prepared to pay to enable it or prevented from happening because a third party is not prepared to pay to enable it.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 02:37 PM

I think we can take it now that as Roger has ignored two opportunities to offer supporting evidence to his assertion that the carols are threatened that there is none.

Now Roger let's test another couple of assertions in this last contribution.

Except seemingly in certain pubs in Yorkshire.

Where are these pubs? There is one which has been discussed elsewhere where the landlord has asked for no publicity. Its circumstances are unique. I have no intention of discussing that one any further.

As far as I am aware no other pub has asked for "no publicity" so come on Roger name names. Or will this second (or more of course) pub go the way of the threat to the carols you so eloquently talked about and then refused to back up with evidence when contradicted?

The fact remains that under this legislation - if premises do not apply for the required licenses - any form of live music making in them will be illegal

And if they do apply for licences it wont.

We all need licences for all sorts of things. I am about to renew my Road Fund Licence. I need that to drive my car legally along the road. If I had a TV I would need a TV licence. I may not like paying for any of them and there are conditions attached to the Road Fund Licence as well, like insurance and MOT certificate. I need it. I may not like it but it makes me legal.

Allow me to make my position clear. I am against this iniquitous bill. I see all sorts of problems with it. I fought it all the way. I would prefer the position to be that of Scotland.

But any alteration of it will come about by presenting facts about its impact - not simple assertions. And it will certainly not come about by trying to translate one unique example into a nationwide precedent.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 02:53 PM

can be of no benefit to other musical events with similar problems anywhere else

I have explained patiently to Roger in both public and private correspondence that the circumstances of this particular pub makes it totally unique and thus is of absolutely of no benefit to pubs elsewhere.

I have also explained that should he be able produce similar examples and thus make it no longer unique I shall do my best to support any problems that they may have. But, I may not be able to be of assistance, since I was not responsible for the circumstances and neither was I responsible for their solution. Nor do I know how it was finally resolved with the licensing authority.

And anyone can feel free to PM me for more details but with the proviso that the explanatory correspondence remains private in accord with the landlord's wishes. But you will be able to judge for yourself whether I am telling the truth.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 03:01 PM

If we have the choice to pay the licence to enable our choice we may well decide to pay it. But that is not the case - is it?

Third parties now have to decide to obtain the required licences to enable us to express ourselves socially together in music making.
They will only choose to do this if they consider (or are allowed to consider) that it will be financially viable for them to do so.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 07:43 PM

I will ignore the fact that after a third opportunity you have not yet produced evidence that the carols in Sheffield are threatened. Indeed you have singularly failed to address the issue once challenged.

Third parties now have to decide to obtain the required licences to enable us to express ourselves socially together in music making.
They will only choose to do this if they consider (or are allowed to consider) that it will be financially viable for them to do so
.

Roger, has it ever occured to you, and I honestly suspect it may not have done, that not everyone likes music? And that even music lovers do not like folk music? Has it over occurred to you that an owner/tenant/manager of a pub has a choice as to whether he or she actually lets you in to their pub? Let alone lets you in to their pub and then allows you to make music?

This applies to the law in Scotland (which I admire) just as much as it does in England. The right to make music in a pub is subject to the landlord's agreement. He or she may have all sorts of reasons why they do not want it, on a day, on a particular night, or forever.

If you want an unfettered right to make music where and when you or a group of friends personally want to make music, then as far as I know it doesn't happen anywhere in the world.

But no doubt you have examples where it does happen.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 02:03 AM

The right to do anything (on their premises) is subject to the rights of others. If a licensee does not wish you to express yourself in music or in any other way that is of course their right and will be respected.

But when the licensee is agreeable - should it really be a matter of them having to pay to obtain third party licensing permission for you to exercise your right to express yourself in music making?

If your local pubs do not choose to pay and apply in advance to obtain the required licensing permission - your event cannot legally proceed. No matter how unique you claim they are or no matter how your argument then makes every other similar social music making event Regulated Entertainment and increases the threat to them.

There is of course no certainty that these charges will stay at there current levels and as a result your events will always be under threat. Indeed it was the proposed increase in the PRS/PPL licence fees a Sam Smith's refusal to pay them that has lead to the current threat to the premises you keep saying you are not going to talk about.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 02:16 AM

But any alteration of it will come about by presenting facts about its impact - not simple assertions.

Your assertion that this event is unique is just an assertion. It matters not if you can convince me or anyone that it is unique. Except for the damage you do to other equally worthy and threatened events elswhere which you would appear quite happy to sacrifice an have considered and threatened as Regulated Entertainment.

The point is if the words of the legislation consider it to be Regulated Entertainment or not. Perhaps you can demonstrate for us in the words of Licensing Act 2003 where your event is exempt from the licensing requirement on the grounds of being a unique and traditional event in Yorkshire?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 04:33 AM

It is not unique by virtue of being a traditional event in Yorkshire.

As I am getting increasingly tired of pointing out Roger - the point is not about regulated entertainment but that the landlord has asked for no publicity.

You are well aware of why I consider the circumstances of the licensing of this particular event to be the result of unique circumstances and you are well aware I believe that the licensing of it could be ultra vires.

You have failed - as usual - to point to any other event where the circumstances are identical.

I do actually believe we are going around in circles now and I would prefer - once again - to bring this discussion to an end, at least in public.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Grab
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 08:27 AM

if premises do not apply for the required licenses

If pub owners choose not to allow music sessions in *their* premises, they have every right to do so. Moreover if we give a damn about protecting people's freedom to do what they want on their own property then we have to let them do it!!! Although you have rights to self-expression, do you have rights to walk into your neighbour's house uninvited and play music? Of course you don't. So why are pubs different? Yes, they allow the public in, but they have every right to dictate what their customers do while they're in there.

If pub owners choose to allow live music, they can tick the box and pay not one penny extra to do so. If pub owners choose not to allow live music so don't tick the box, and then later decide they messed up, then they can choose whether to pay the extra for changing their minds. Shame they have to pay extra - but if you make a decision then you accept the consequences of the decision, whether it's good or bad, and if they can't take that then tough titty.

As far as sessions go, our (unpublicised) club has had to move as a result of the change to the law. Where we moved to, we were requested to set up no publicity until after the new law had come in. Now it's all sorted, we're allowed to publicise our session (2nd and 4th Fridays, at the Carlton Arms in Cambridge) which we never were before. And things are looking up for it in a big way. Another positive example of the new law, to add to Dave's.

All of this has shifted the thread a long way from the original post, though. The resident legal eagles ;-) have said pretty clearly that we're not in any danger of losing our right to sing through copyright rules. The UK licensing laws were never intended to be used for enforcing copyright though (and nor do they have any provision for doing so), so why have you pulled them in when they're not connected with your original question?

Graham.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 08:49 AM

Here in the US, I'm pretty sure I can stand up at an open mic and sing someone else's copyrighted songs. I'm not sure why it's OK to do that, but I believe it's because venue owners pay somebody a license fee.

There was the whole issue with Max & Mudcat getting hounded by Harry Fox a few years ago, but that was about publishing, not performing. Does anyone know the process that makes it legal to sing other people's songs at venues in the US?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: jeffp
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 08:54 AM

No


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 12:09 PM

As I am getting increasingly tired of pointing out Roger - the point is not about regulated entertainment but that the landlord has asked for no publicity.

Others may not be aware that you have also pointed out to me that this 'no publicity/advertising' was also one condition imposed by the local authority for seemingly NOT considering the event to be Regulated Entertainment and insisting on the required licensing being obtained.

You are well aware of why I consider the circumstances of the licensing of this particular event to be the result of unique circumstances and you are well aware I believe that the licensing of it could be ultra vires.

How can the licensing of the event be ultra vires? It is not licensed and seemingly the local authority somehow consider that it is not required to be - until next year when then they most probably will.

So much for these events being free from exactly the same threats posed to social music making gatherings everywhere else in England and Wales.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 12:29 PM

If pub owners choose to allow live music, they can tick the box and pay not one penny extra to do so. If pub owners choose not to allow live music so don't tick the box, and then later decide they messed up, then they can choose whether to pay the extra for changing their minds.

The point is that according to our Government - the kind of social music making in pubs that we are talking about (as oposed to conventional paid performance to an audience) does not now need the owners to apply for entertainment licensing permission........A fact that the local licensing authority in Sheffield seem to have accepted. This should be received as good news - I would have thought?

Minister says jamming OK

Some of those who seem to think that we do have the right to sing or that we are not danger of beng limited even more should perhaps recognise that when they see reference to an 'unpublicised event' that this is usually just another way of saying it is an illegal one.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Grab
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 01:20 PM

But why have you shifted this to the UK licensing laws, when the UK licensing laws have nothing to do with copyright or whether you're allowed to sing someone else's songs?

As for jamming, you must know that the law has an exception for small premises with acoustic instruments. Any reasonably smart landlord though would copper this with ticking the box for music, so that the question of whether his pub is small enough or whether anyone has a small amp stashed under a chair doesn't come up.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 01:47 PM

Others may not be aware that you have also pointed out to me that this 'no publicity/advertising' was also one condition imposed by the local authority for seemingly NOT considering the event to be Regulated Entertainment and insisting on the required licensing being obtained

Roger, your obsession with this particular event is becoming tedious and I would prefer to let it rest.

I have said the landlord has asked for no publicity and I took the trouble to point out to you privately that this probably had more to do with his relationship with the brewery who employs him and that publicity could even cost him his livelihood. But by all means tell me which part of "lose" and "livelihood" you are not clear about and I will do my best to explain them more fully.

You do not know the facts of this case Roger - and you are relying on what people have told you - one of those people is me and I have pointed out that what I knew was also hearsay. And that includes any conditions that the authority made and those have included no advertising.

Roger your obsession has led you to refer to this event as a "cockney knees up" which will give people reading this thread an idea how much you respect this traditional and world-famous event; it has led you to refer to the carols in Sheffield as "being threatened" when all the evidence points to exactly the opposite; and you have referred to my description of the circumstances of this event as "unique" as an "assertion", with absolutely no concrete evidence to the contrary.

You have suggested that the council was wrong to allow this event to go ahead in the way they have and I have agreed with you.

You have done all this from 280+ miles away from the event having never visited it.(As far as I am aware).

Having so clearly demonstrated to the readers of this thread that you really don't know what you are talking about in relation to this particular event, please leave it alone now.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 02:12 PM

Aww, c'mon guys, didn't you cotton on from the start? Go back to the top and read Roger's initial posting. Anyone who knows him from his Mudcat (and internet) history over the last 3 years would have guessed that this was never about the "What song" and copyright, but about the "where" and licencing - that's the bee in Roger's bonnet. In fact, he alludes to that himself just a few posts later when he states that the "where" concerns him more.

The read my first post on this - sequenced and phrased exactly so as to draw out of Roger the real issue he has: pubs and licencing.

Note also that he did not rise to the suggestion that he should start an organisation to promote the causes he espouses - he knows better than that, of course! His ego is fed much better by the single-voice-in-the-wilderness approach, and any team effort would dilute that.

Finally, his insistence on pushing Folkiedave to disclose information that Folkiedave honourably wishes not to, indicates the streak of bloodymindedness and malice that I referred to in past threads. Not a simple troll, Roger, not just a simple martyr for his cause; he also wants to hurt others.

I agree with Folkiedave, this thread has run its course. Open another one, Roger, we'll see you there. I wonder what the next pretext will be...


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 02:21 PM

As for jamming, you must know that the law has an exception for small premises with acoustic instruments.

I do know that there is not an exemption to the requirement for Premises Licence entertainment permission in small premises and non-amplified music - either social jamming or in conventional performance. There is a rather nonsense S177.

For S177 the premises first have to apply for entertainment permission and then the conditions that can be placed upon the non-amplified music between 8pm and midnight are then only limited to two of the main objects of the Act; the prevention of crime and the protection of children from harm.

This very limited provision only applies when the local authority has imposed a safe minimum capacity of 200 people or less and S177 can be very easily avoided by them altogether (as I have found locally) by the very simple process of the local licensing authority not imposing any safe capacity.......For S177 only applies when a safe capacity is imposed.

Perhaps we are less free to make music than we are led to think we are?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 02:28 PM

Roger.

You were right and I was wrong. I should apologise. Trotsky said it to Stalin and I am happy to repeat his words.

Dave


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 02:37 PM

But why have you shifted this to the UK licensing laws, when the UK licensing laws have nothing to do with copyright or whether you're allowed to sing someone else's songs?

All roads lead to Rome - well they seem to in this country. Well all roads lead to your road and tend to complicate our lives.

If you had read this thread - you would understand. I will explain

The original decision of a pub chain (Sam Smiths) not to pay for an increase in PRS/PPL fees meant that they were going to have a non-music policy. Dave's pub in question being one of these.

So quite sensibly this followed that with a non- music policy there was no need for any of these pubs to apply for entertainment permission when they applied for their Premises Licence.

So if/when they solve or avoid the PRS/PPL problem - the pubs will not be able to provide any Regulated Entertainment without re-applying for entertainment permission.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 02:42 PM

Keep up - you're three messages and 1 hour 18 minutes behind...


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 06:47 PM

Come on Roger.it's been ages..........

Ok go on.........start another thread.................

Dave


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Grab
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 10:51 AM

FWIW Shambles, I've read every post on this thread, which is why I mentioned your consistently off-topic posting re the PPL in a thread which doesn't have any relevance to the PPL.

Original post quote:-

Is there a danger that protections in place to protect the composers, publishers and performers of songs - are in danger of generally preventing us from being able to sing or of seriously limiting what we can sing and where?

Good question, and well-answered by earlier posters for US and UK laws.

Later quote:-

PRS/PPL

OK so far, *IF AND ONLY IF* later posts are relevant only to the PRS part of that "PRS/PPL" pairing. The PPL has zero relevance to copyright.

So quite sensibly this followed that with a non- music policy there was no need for any of these pubs to apply for entertainment permission when they applied for their Premises Licence.

Yes, that's sensible for the pub. But the fact that they've chosen not to apply for a music license is indicative of a general position against performance of live music in their pub. Whether the licensing laws require them to apply for a change to their license is totally irrelevant to their position on this. And note that it's an increase in *PRS* fees, not PPL fees (see Dave's quote for costs of a new PPL versus costs of an old-style license).

All roads certainly seem to lead to Rome in threads you're posting to - even if the signpost said it was going to Outer Mongolia, your roads seem to inevitably head off Rome-wards...

Graham.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 10:58 AM

Whoops - unfrocked again.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 11:02 AM

OK so far, *IF AND ONLY IF* later posts are relevant only to the PRS part of that "PRS/PPL" pairing. The PPL has zero relevance to copyright.

Graham if you read the following you will see that you do not know what you are talking about. You could apologise - but I do not suspect that you will.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onemusic/management/pplp03.shtml


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 11:09 AM

http://www.ppluk.com/ppl/ppl_cd.nsf/News20041020?openpage


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 11:43 AM

See also.

Affected by The Licensing Act 2003


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 11:56 AM

Roger, having been unfrocked, do you really need to parade your nakedness in front of all and sundry? Two posts back (yours of 11:02 AM) you told Graham that he doesn't know what he is talking about, when he claims that PPL has zero relevance to copyright, and post a link to make your point.

Well, I read the article pointed to by the link, and guess what it says: that PPL has zero relevance to copyright; that copyright owners get paid by PRS, and that PPL pays performers (not copyright owners).

We know you cannot write properly. But comprehending a simple 20-line piece of text shouldn't be beyond someone who writes so prolifically.

Go back and read your own references, you dolt.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:04 PM

Graham said.

And note that it's an increase in *PRS* fees, not PPL fees (see Dave's quote for costs of a new PPL versus costs of an old-style license).


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:13 PM

That's not the line you quoted in your 11:02 AM post, Your Slipperiness.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:16 PM

And fruthermore your link (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onemusic/management/pplp03.shtml ) does not address the issue of prices form PPL/PRS, Oh Befuddled One.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:17 PM

George, that lack of comprehension may be the reason why he seems to hate certain people in as dedicated a fashion as he does. Just cherished misunderstandings.

My apology for posting a message I'd thought was on-topic, based on the title and first post. Roger started the thread and I should have known better.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:18 PM

Now you got me doing typos! Something about the company one keeps...


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:21 PM

Had I maintained that PPL were to do with copyright - perhaps demonstrating the technical point that this body does not deal with copyright may give some justification in your eyes to call me yet more names.

However and as you well know - I made no such claim. I do claim and provide the evidence that Graham does not know what he is talking about and I suspect that he may now agree that he was mistaken?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:22 PM

Jeri, it's precisely that hate and those "cherished misunderstandings" that set Roger apart from ordinary trolls. It's not in my character to goad - not normally. But I cannot let pass that malicious streak.

I treat it as an exercise in self-control: How far can I go without breaking out in four letter words...


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:24 PM

Say what you will - your post of 11:02 AM is so masterful in contradicting itself, that no further evidence is needed, and no screenfuls of text can mask it, Your Inability-to-admit-wrong-ness.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:26 PM

Folkiedave and Grab make sense. You make believe.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:28 PM

El Gekko, I sort of like it. It's approriate to Rogered threads as it's sort of a combination of 'frustrated' and 'furthermore'. It's when one thinks perhaps one more try might get through when all the other attempts have proven fruitless.

I'm sure the copyright issue is as important in the UK as it's been in the US, and deserves serious discussion. Somewhere.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:40 PM

He he! :-)


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:40 PM

George, the 'El Gekko' thing was supposed to be funny, as many people misspell your handle. You hopefully know I have the utmost respect for you. Now...

Shambles contradicts himself all the time. It's a very effective trolling technique, as people feel an overwhelming urge to expose it. I also have come to the conclusion that most people can see it without having it pointed out. If they can't, they likely have worse problems.

Thing is, I think he might have started a good discussion if he'd just LET people discuss the copyright thing.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:49 PM

He won't though, Jeri. The copyright issue is always worthy of discussion, but this is HIS thread.

Perhaps if we can start athread and request that Roger refrinas from posting there, or we request that he is blocked from participating (let's see if he bites on that)...

But he's beyond redemption,
He won't accept the facts.
Without one exception
His mind a single track.
And you may try so patiently
To prove that you are right,
But he'll declare a victory
When he has lost the fight.

As for El Gekko - you should see the misspellings list I have of my surname!

regards
Al Gurko


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:50 PM

refrinas= El Grekese for "refrains"


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 12:59 PM

Nice try, Ol' Geeko.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 01:17 PM

try MAX'S PERSONAL MESSAGES


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: jeffp
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 01:29 PM

Welcome to the lovely land of Nonsequitur


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 01:41 PM

Dave said in this thread (some time ago).

We all need licences for all sorts of things. I am about to renew my Road Fund Licence. I need that to drive my car legally along the road. If I had a TV I would need a TV licence. I may not like paying for any of them and there are conditions attached to the Road Fund Licence as well, like insurance and MOT certificate. I need it. I may not like it but it makes me legal.

I refer to third parties as the case here is one where two parties may be in agreement and are willing to or have obtained what they need to undertake their choice but where the final say is up to a third party and out of their control.

Possibly like paying for your driving and road fund licence but finding out that licensing the road needed to be a choice exercised by a third party and a licenced obtained by someone them before you were allowed to drive on it.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 01:42 PM

Like others that have posted I am not one to goad (except Sheffield Wednesday supporters but that is a different kettle of fish) and there is no doubt Roger brings out the worst in me.

Your Inability-to-admit-wrong-ness

Shouldn't that be wrongfulness?

Just asking you understand.....


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: MMario
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 01:54 PM

Anyone can sing what they like if they're not recording and distributing it.

technically not true under US law for public venues or for private venues catering to the public.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 02:24 PM

Roger, I take it that your reference to Max's Personal Messages is an invitation to PM you instead of writing openly. But

a) you may remember some time back I said I would never again open a PM from you and asked you to say anything you want to/about me in public, and

b) I intend to do the same; I may not be always proud of my postings, but they will be in the open. No secrets. Until 1st April.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 02:38 PM

MMario,

is there a difference in the US? In the UK, nobody limits what I want to sing in public, with the only possible exceptions being due to the relevant laws on libel, inciting hatred etc. But copyright does not play a part in this. And this is true whether I sing my oen stuff or someone elses's, copyrighted or public domain.

The onus is on the venue to be licenced by PRS (ASCAP or MBI equivalent); but once licenced (or exempted from such licence), the choice of material is open. The venue may be paying a flat fee for its licence, or it may pay "by the song" (some festivals do that), in which case the performer has to fill in the PRS form afterwards noting the songs he/she has performed, so that copyright owners can get their due and the venue charged appropriately.

But once a song has been published, one cannot prevent its being performed live (always assuming the venue is licenced). Indeed, if I wanted to block singer X (or every other singer) from performing one of my songs, I couldn't. He/she has the right to sing it, and I just get my few pence for it.

Neither can I block anyone from recording one of my songs (the relevant organisation here is MCPS, sister to PRS but for mechanical rights). Whoever wants to record it, can fill in the licence application for MCPS, declare my song, pay the appropriate royalties (some 15 pence per copy or thereabouts) and go ahead. Only one exception to this: I can withhold first recording rights (i.e. not letting anyone record the song before I do).

The point is moot anyway - I'm chuffed if anyone wants to sing or record one of my songs anyway. When Vin Garbutt politely asked, my response was "what do I have to pay you?".


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 02:39 PM

oen = Al Gurkese for "own"


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: MMario
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 02:54 PM

assuming the venue is licenced That's the kicker.

many, maybe even *most* public spaces aren't licenced.

And though the onus is normally on the venue to pay the performance fees - the agencies have been known to take issue with performers. and win.


You will notice I have been saying "technically"; in practice unless it is a top hit song and a widely successful performance one wouldn't have to worry about it. But under the letter of the law it is illegal to perform a copyrighted song in public unless *someone* has paid the performance fee. On the other hand "the mouse" (hack, spit!)has at least threatened lawsuits against individuals that were overheard singing one of "their" songs on public transportation.

Public domain songs of course are public domain - and thus not subject to such restriction.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 03:03 PM

I guess this is the difference - in the UK the responsibility is always with the venue, never with the performer. A performer could not be sued for singing someone else's song.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Dec 05 - 05:44 PM

I refer to third parties as the case here is one where two parties may be in agreement and are willing to or have obtained what they need to undertake their choice but where the final say is up to a third party and out of their control.

Possibly like paying for your driving and road fund licence but finding out that licensing the road needed to be a choice exercised by a third party and a licenced obtained by someone them before you were allowed to drive on it.


I really think you have excelled yourself this time Roger.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 02:25 AM

I guess this is the difference - in the UK the responsibility is always with the venue, never with the performer. A performer could not be sued for singing someone else's song.

The Licensing Act 2003 has changed a lot of things. If you or I organise a gig or session or play some part in organising such things in venues where the premises have not obtained entertainment permission - you or I will be liable (along with the premises) to criminal prosecution - whatever song we performed.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Grab
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 06:39 AM

you or I organise a gig or session

Actually it's the owner of the venue who's liable, but anyway.

whatever song we performed

So now you're saying that liability to prosecution via the new Licensing Act *is* independent of copyright on songs...? I thank you...

For that reason, you're absolutely right on one thing - I don't think I'll apologise, thanks all the same.

MMario, re your last, it's not "illegal" to perform a copyrighted song - "illegal" requires criminal activity to have taken place. Copyright infringement is a civil matter, and you get sued as a result. Different set of laws in the UK, and I'm pretty sure in the US as well. Hence the possible confusion between the two very different licenses for PRS (copyright) and entertainment license (license to perform at venue), which has been used by Shambles in his posts to divert the thread to the UK Licensing Act. Normally I wouldn't be this picky, but the difference is significant in this case, thread-drift-wise.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: GUEST,Vicky Pollard masquerading as Shambles
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 06:51 AM

But no - but yes - but no - but I never said that one would be liable to prosecution via PRS and you're just putting words in my mouth because I know what I meant and you don't understand is it so hard to get your brain round it or are you just trying to silence me which would be censorship and anyway I went to a pub once and I was chucked out as soon as I opened my mouth I'm sure that was to do with the lcencing and nobody is free anymore and it's all right for some but we poor upholders of the last vestiges of human rights and decency get ridiculed by the elitist faction of the folk Gestapo and I just want to be understood and hailed as a hero of the folk masses nothing more than that and there you go taking the piss.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 10:11 AM

Graham said - Actually it's the owner of the venue who's liable, but anyway.

Minister says jamming OK

The following from the above thread. It is rather complicated as you can see from that debate - but it is pretty clear that Graham's claim that it is only the owner who is liable under The Licensing Act 2003 - is quite clearly incorrect and misleading.

Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall - PM
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 04:31 AM

I am responding to Richard P's comments concerning potential culpability of musicians under the new Act.

When I am contacted by the charity that sets up hospital and nursing home performances, it is my responsibility to organise the other musicians in order to make up the trio or quartet that has been requested. That means phoning the other musicians, booking them if they are available, telling them where and when to turn up, and afterwards forwarding their fees. I also have to liaise with the hospital in advance of the performance, checking musicians' access and other logistical details.

This activity on my part clearly falls outside the potential culpability exemptions in Schedule 1, para 1(6). Significantly, such activity is the norm for any musician/bandleader when approached by an entertainment agent, or directly by a potential customer, intent on organising a professional performance.

Significantly also, where private events are concerned, ANYONE concerned in the organisation or management of the entertainment who makes a charge (with a view to profit) is caught, provided the charge is paid by or on behalf of some of those for whom the entertainment, or entertainment facilities are provided.

No distinction is made between agents, bandleaders, marquee hirers, DJs, dance floor providers etc etc: if any one of these were to make a charge in this context, they are caught.
>snip<


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 10:31 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onemusic/management/pplp03.shtml

03 Difference Between PRS and PPL

Let's look at a case where two different bands record and release versions of the same song. Both records are getting airplay from Radio 1. As a national broadcaster with a large audience, Radio 1 pays huge license fees to both PRS and PPL.

Whenever Radio 1 plays band A's version of the song on air, a share of the PRS license money is paid to the writers of the song. At the same time, a share of the PPL license money is paid to members of band A (and anyone else who performed on the recording) and an equal amount goes to band A's record company for the use of the recording.

When Radio 1 plays band B's version, the PRS royalty is still paid to the same people, because it's still their song that's being performed. But this time, the PPL royalty is shared between the members of band B and their record company.

If either band plays the song live, the writers of the song will still be due a PRS royalty because their song has been performed in public. But because it's a live performance and not a recording, the PPL doesn't get involved at all. The PPL only collects royalties for the use of specific recordings of music in public places.
ENDS

---------------------------------------------------------------
Neither of the above should be confused with the requirement for Local Authority entertainment licensing. Up to last month this licence was a Public Entertainment Licence or PEL. It is now not referred to by intials as it is entertainment permission applied for as part of the new Premises Licence as the local authority now also cover alcohol sales.

Graham could clear-up the issue and accept that he confused my reference to PPL as a reference to the new entertainment permission - but it does not look as if he will.

The important issue is that folk are not even further confused by what is already a complicated subject....


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 10:38 AM

I have the right to say that 99 is the new 100.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: jeffp
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 11:22 AM

But 100 is still 100.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 01:38 PM

The Daily Telegraph, 15th December.

Music shops to pay for listening to customers.

The owner of a music shop has been told that he must pay 114 in royalties if any of his customers try out instruments with a recognisable riff before they buy.

Steve Kowalski, of Jones Music in Macclesfield, Cheshire, has refused to pay for the annual licence from the Performing Rights Society. He said, "They say it constitutes a public performance."A spokesman for the society said that royalties were crucial to songwriters and musicians and music shops received a 30 per cent discount.
ENDS


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 02:34 PM

More often than not I find myself defending PRS in these pages, but in this case I think Steve Kowalski was right not to pay up - this is extreme. As a potential buyer of an instrument, of course I would want to try it first, and of course I will do so by playing something I already know. This is not entertainment, it is a tryout. Who in their right mind would listen to a shopful of aspiring buyers trying out various instruments for "entertainment"?

Let PRS sue, if they have the balls, and I am pretty certain they would lose - this is too extreme. Furthermore, should they sue, I would then as a member write to them bemoaning the fact that they use their cut from my royalties to fund such silly and nonsensical activities.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 03:14 PM

If PRS consider this to be public performance and they get away with this - the next logical step of course is for the Local Authority to also claim the shop needs Premises Licence entertainment permission.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: sharyn
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 12:28 AM

Herga Kitty,

I am responding to your post re: how my post fit into this thread: I believe I sank it squarely into a series of posts about copyrights and how copyrights affect public performances of songs. I also got on one of my favorite soapboxes which has to do with singers disrespecting the work of writers, songwriters in particular. I won't belabor the point but I do assure you that not all writers who write songs that are taken up by "folksingers," are grateful for having their lyrics massacred and having such singers record or perform unrecognizable versions of their finest songs. I do not speak for myself alone, but also for other careful writers, some of whom are found right here on the Mudcat. I know it is a contrary position to take in this community, but I do not believe that everyone has the right to sing or play whatever they want however they want if it is a public performance -- the issue being that work can be spread in an altered form for which the writer either gets wrongly credited (It didn't go like that when I wrote it -- that is not the song I wrote, although the second verse is vaguely familiar, and the melody is identical) or not credited at all. ("This is "Morning Shanty," a traditional shanty.").


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 04:26 AM

Sharyn,
if the writer is not credited at all it is plainly wrong and should be corrected by anyone who is present and in the know. If an altered song is credited, then the performer again should indicate that this is their arrangement or their interpretation of the original.

Clearly our attitudes are diametrically opposite on the subject of the performer's freedom to alter a song. For myself, I am happy to have others alter my songs, lyrics or even tune details, to fit their abilities better (some have difficulty pronouncing certain words, some cannot reach certain high or low notes). Indeed, this has given me much pleasure in discovering the different possibilities in my own songs, which I was not aware of when I wrote them. And in a few cases I have even modified my own performance of the song to adopt a change introduced by someone else, because I think it is better.

I don't thing there is a "wrong" or "right" attitude to take on this, it is a personal matter and that is all. I am aware of a few well-known songwriters in the UK who are adamant that they don't want their songs to be altered in the least, but the fact is that here they have little control over that - their copyright is protected, but the precise detail of their song is not. They would have to take a performer to court to obtain an injunction against them singing an altered song, and their chances of winning in court would be very, very slight.

For example, look at the different versions of "Yesterday" sung every day by performers or revellers - if anyone could take the "offenders" to court, Apple Records would be the most able; yet they don't, perhaps because like me McCartney doesn't care, and certainly because they would be unlikely to win. And this is a good thing in my view, because it allows the "folk process" to continue thriving in this country.

I think our difference of opinion might disappear in cases of extreme alterations, but here I am referring to the normal slight modifications of songs that one encounters.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 05:45 PM

I like to think our various uses and requirements for songs as rather like our approach to houses. Some of us like to move in and leave it just as it is some need to knock it around a bit first to suit them better and some need to build a new one from scratch.

I am not sure if the current methods of trying meet all these requirements and fairly reward and protect the original builders is really the best we can come up with.

I am also not sure of our ability to house everyone or that the general quality of building is not going suffer if we do not find a better method.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 04:25 AM

I agree with your analogy in the first sentence, Roger. But then (so typical of you) you take the analogy referring to the folk process and altering songs and try to extrapolate to your favourite subject of licensing (protect and reward). Inappropriate, unfortunate, but typical...


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 08:52 AM

http://www.mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk/

The following (rather wide definition) of performance - from the above site.

Any performance of copyright music, whether live or recorded, that takes place outside the home is regarded as a public performance and will usually require a licence from PRS. Licences are usually issued to the owner of the premises where the music is being performed.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 09:13 AM

Great word "usually", isn't it?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 11:59 AM

You may expect that it would usually be the beneficiaries and members of these organisations who usually decide these definitions.

And usually if they did not agree with the ones currently imposed and the actions based upon them and undertaken in their name - that usuually they might be expected to do something positive to change it?

Usually.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 12:40 PM

Roger, your best post for months, I nearly spread my coffee all over the screen! :-)


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 03:30 AM

Subject: RE: PRS at it again!!
From: weelittledrummer - PM
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 04:14 PM

yeh they're a gang of scufflers all right. its the fault of people like me (full members) who can't be arsed to attend meetings.

every so often they send me these awful magazines full of pictures, where clapped out rock stars from the last few hundred years hand over vast sums to classical scholars for writing a piano concerto that no one gives a shit about.

meanwhile evrybody plunders our music, and ludicrous stunts like this idiot who has raided the music shop....well it defies belief really!


Many people who honestly do not begrudge writers and performers what they are entitled to are placed in a difficult postion by this attitude from PRS members. Trying to run with the fox and hunting with the hounds is not likely to be helpful to either.

An attitude of 'I agree that it is terrible but oh dear, never mind' whilst they continue to receive their (perhaps in most cases admittedly small) returns and still do nothing or attend meetings - is hardly going to result in general public support for them and their organisations.

It is good to to see that some of these members themselves may be in agreement over some of these definitions and the actions based upon them - all taken in the name of these members - but they can hardly be surprised if a deep division appears between them and those who do consider this to be plundering our right to make our music.

That division is not desirable for anyone but it is certainly not the non-members of these organisations that are to blame. Members are being compromised by their organisations and it is up to them to prevent this.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Grab
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 09:09 AM

My apologies Roger - you're absolutely right, I misread PPL as PEL. I realised this shortly after posting my last, but didn't have access to a PC until now. Thanks for clearing this up, and my apologies to anyone I unintentionally confused with this.

Which begs the question - why *were* you raising the licensing laws in connection with this, when you hadn't previously mentioned anything that was related to the licensing laws? Non-sequitur...?

At the risk of continuing our off-piste expedition, Hamish Birchall's quote relates to whether he's considered part of the band or part of the premises management. The Act has the effect of making Hamish Birchall an agent of the premises rather than an agent of the band - which is pretty much what you'd expect really, given that he starts by saying "When I am contacted by the charity that sets up hospital and nursing home performances...". Checking the Act, Birchall isn't personally liable to prosecution under the act, because he isn't the person "who carries on a business which involves the use of the premises for the licensable activities to which the application relates" (Section 16 para 1a) - that would be either the charity or the hospital/home - but he could reasonably be expected to check that there was a license in place before organising an event. So if there was no license and the police arrived, the charity or hospital/home (whoever was done for it) would have pretty good grounds for saying Birchall hadn't exercised due diligence and suing him on that basis. Yes, Birchall has a bit more work to do - but he isn't liable to prosecution under the Act, so claims that he is are incorrect.

Also note that the section Birchall quotes states that if he

(a) chooses the music to be performed or played,
(b) determines the manner in which he performs or plays it,
(c) provides any facilities for the purposes of his performance or playing of the music.


then he is not concerned in the organisation or management of the entertainment. In other words, a musician or bandleader is *not* liable under the Act, contrary to his assertion.

Graham.

PS. For the curious, see the Act itself. Relevant sections are section 16 and section 200 schedule 1 part 1.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 11:17 AM

Checking the Act, Birchall isn't personally liable to prosecution under the act, because he isn't the person "who carries on a business which involves the use of the premises for the licensable activities to which the application relates" (Section 16 para 1a) - that would be either the charity or the hospital/home - but he could reasonably be expected to check that there was a license in place before organising an event.

I did say that it was complicated and that the debate continues. If the situation is really the simple one that you suggest it is - perhaps the Act could say it more simply?

Thank you for the apology BTW. I am sorry if you were confused but there are many complicated ways that we are prevented by officialdom from the simple right of expressing ourselves. Perhaps you would agree that it is more important that all of these are addressed than this thread confines itself to just a few of them?


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 01:29 PM

A response to Graham's analysis of 19 December 05, 09.09am, concerning whether or not musicians may be liable to prosecution under the Licensing Act 2003.

Graham, you are wrong on several counts. Musicians having an organisational and/or managerial role in the provision of regulated entertainment can be prosecuted in certain circumstances. This possibility was the case under the old legislation, and was deliberately preserved in the new Act.

Apart from the descriptions of regulated entertainment, and the necessary licensing conditions for same set out in Schedule 1, the relevant sections of the Act are not 16 or 200 but s.136 'Unauthorised licensable activities' and s.139 'Defence of due diligence'.

Under s.136(1) you will see that 'a person commits an offence if - (a) he carries on or attempts to carry on a licensable activity on or from any premises otherwise than under and in accordance with an authorisation, or (b) he knowingly allows a licensable activity to be so carried on.'

The expression 'licensable activity' is defined right at the start of the Act in s.1. It includes the provision of regulated entertainment [s.1(1)(c)].

S.136(2) states that 'Where the licensable activity in question is the provision of regulated entertainment, a person does not commit an offence under this section [i.e. under s.136] if his only involvement in the provision of the entertainment is that he - ... (d) performs live music...' [Note that I have omitted the full list of activities in which someone may participate without committing an offence].

Clearly, a musician who helps to organise and manage a gig, liaising with the venue, other performers and so on, is doing more than 'only' performing live music. In those circumstances the possible s.136(2) defence would not apply.

There is of course the 'due diligence' defence in s.139 which, in summary, excuses potentially culpable persons if they have taken 'all reasonable precautions' to avoid committing an offence. This might mean, for example, that they had phoned the venue and local authority to double check that the necessary authorisations were in place, but they were given the wrong information.

Moving on to Schedule 1, admittedly it can get a little tricky here, but given that you are already familiar with this part of the Act, suffice it to say that a musician having an organisational and/or managerial live gig role is doing much more than is set out in para 1(6). In other words, they cannot claim they are 'not concerned in the organisation or management of the entertainment' under this sub-paragraph.

Inevitably, therefore, there are many likely scenarios where musicians who organise, or who help to organise, live gigs may commit a criminal offence if they don't first 'take all reasonable precautions' to establish whether or not the venue is appropriately licensed.

The rationale for this approach was, I think, simple. The organisation and management of regulated entertainment is often shared between the venue, agent and performer. It therefore makes sense that all concerned may face prosecution, if you accept the government argument that licensing regulated entertainment is necessary to prevent crime and disorder, control noise, ensure public safety, and to protect children from harm.

Hamish








In s.136 you will


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Grab
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 01:50 PM

The trouble with "simple" language is making it simple, unambiguous AND detailed - generally you only get to choose two out of three! Although there are certainly some bits that could have been written clearer. My experience from your previous quotes of Hamish Birchall's is that they frequently haven't reflected the actual text of what the Act says, which perhaps is *why* the debate is continuing. I have much respect for his aims, but not a great deal for his implementation of those aims.

Perhaps you would agree that it is more important that all of these are addressed than this thread confines itself to just a few of them?

I'm afraid that *is* the main thing I disagree with.

As you say, the situation is complicated. There are at least four separate areas of "officialdom" in the UK (PRS, PPL, central government setting licensing laws, local government enforcing licensing laws) which have their sticky fingers in the pie, and each has their own very different areas in which they can get you. There's a danger of painting them as one generic grey-suited "officialdom" that hates freedom of expression, which simply ain't the case - yes, some of them may hate true freedom of expression (PRS for starters!), but they're very different entities, running on very different rules.

So unless we stay focussed which specific areas of "officialdom" we're looking at, any discussion is helping no-one - the specifics of each area will be lost in a tide of random issues about other areas.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 02:06 PM

As some have said, it was a different ball game 30 or 40 years back. We did what we pretty much wanted to do---and the music reflected that folk ethic too. Now, to put out a retrospective CD from 30 year old concerts and shows, this new ball game has designated hitters and FREE AGENTS everywhere demanding stuff never ever thought about in other eras. I'm beginning to wonder if my planned CD will ever see the light of day.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 04:30 PM

http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tBrand=edponline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED18%20Dec%202005%2020:45:12:420

The following extract from the above.

Carol singing licensing confusion

19 December 2005 07:30


Church leaders were forced to pull the plug on a popular outdoor carol service in Norfolk over the weekend amid fears it would breach public performance legislation.

And now there are concerns that many other carol singing events in the run up to Christmas could be in breach of licensing regulations.

The confusion over licensing saw the inter-denominational Christmas carol service called off at the last minute..........................


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 12:32 AM

That is really sickening. Folks, this world we're building now has me shaking my head more often than not these days. By the time it's time for me to shuffle off this mortal coil, it'll be more than just o.k. with me to let go and shout my final, "Rosebud!"

Art


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: sharyn
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 01:07 AM

El Greko,

To date, I have never heard a version of one of my songs that was an improvement on the original. Now, there are many people who play instruments better than I do, and some who sing better than I do, but there are few who write (or rewrite) my songs as well as I do. I usually do not release a song to the public until it has attained its final words and tune. In the one recorded version of one of my songs that I know of the rhythm has been butchered such that the song cannot be learned correctly from the recording and the words to one verse have been changed. Beyond that, someone who heard that recording contacted me to say that he had made up a couple of new verses and he could imagine people making up a lot more of them! (I was horrified: the original is an -- intentionally -- short song about the fleeting nature of time together)

I am delighted to hear that others improve your songs and I await the day that that happens to one of mine.

As for Mr. McCartney, members of the Beatles had that rare privilege that songwriters long for: they got to establish their version of their songs as the standard version long before other people had their way with it.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 01:59 AM

I think that it should be mentioned that it is now not very easy to establish if the premises that may have booked you or that you are arranging a gig at - is licensed to enable live music.

Under the old legislation you could ask for and obtain from the local authority a list of the premises that had PELs.

I made that equiry yesterday and found that the licensing section could not tell me which of the the Premises Licensed venues had entertainment permission. And of course each licence will be different. It may be possible for a licensee on the phone to tell you that their pub has obtained entertainment permission. But this may only enable them to provide a Regulated Entertainment like Indoor Sports - but not for live music.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 04:37 AM

Roger,
a bureaucracy that cannot even trace its own doings is plain pathetic. Anyway, that would make it harder to police the licensing and eventually invalidate it for the same reason.

Sharyn,
Like in everything else, happiness is always relative to expectations... I too have heard some versions of my songs that I don't particularly like, but hey, I take the rough with the smooth.

Perhaps the difference in our approaches might stem from our reasons for songwriting in the first place. In my case, I do it to leave a "mark" behind, to make some ripples in the ether that will outlast my earthly body; and to help others find voice for their feelings through my songs. Indeed, I generally try to leave "hooks" for others to latch on, or change the melody slightly in the chorus to make it easier to learn for others (not in the verse, there I do just as I like).

Given those objectives, it is then natural to let the songs go once created, and let people hold them, touch them, change them, cuddle and abuse them as they will, rather than put them in glass cages to remain unmolested for ever. I expect some of the treatment to be good, and some bad. I wince at the bad and marvel at the good, but every time someone sings one of them I know I am one step closer to my objective.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 12:27 PM

I am sure that if you organised a gig in premises that were not licensed the bureaucracy would find a way to establish this quickly enough.

Even if they do not seem to be able to help musicians to avoid this happening. Venues are supposed to have their licence on display but you have to visit to read this. Not that a month after the Act came into force - all venues have been issued with these documents.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: BB
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 02:23 PM

If they haven't been issued with their licence to put on display, then they shouldn't be open at all. Our local has been told that if they haven't the licence on display, they have to close - even if it was stolen, they could not be open until they had been issued with a new one - and another local pub was closed down by the police as they hadn't yet been issued with their licence, even though they applied before the deadline, even if only just before.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 02:53 PM

http://www.thepublican.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=19173&d=32&h=24&f=23&dateformat=%25o%20%25B%20%25Y

Pubs with licences granted advised to operate without certificates
The Publican
Published 21st November 2005


Licensees who have had their premises licence granted but do not have their certificates are being advised to operate under the new licensing system.

The advice issued by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has been agreed with Commander Chris Allison from the Association of Chief Police Officers.

The advice comes less than a week before the new Licensing Act comes into force as only 20 per cent of licensees have received their licensing certificates.

The Act requires that the premises licence be displayed on the premises at all times.

The BBPA recommends that premises should display a notice to the effect that:
"A licence under the Licensing Act 2003 has been applied for and granted by xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx Council. The premises licence summary will be displayed as soon as it is received from the Council. The Premises Licence Holder is xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx The nominated Designated Premises Supervisor is Mr/Mrs xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx."


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: stallion
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 10:07 PM

Traditional music , unamplified, does not fall within the licence for live music, Martin Bartlett, (Councillor) sits on the local licencing committee and is a mean fiddler, he has the clarification on record, I will see if he can post it on the message board. Bottom line is a pub doesn't need a music licence for unamplified music ( it is the definition of "Live" which is interpreted as amplified musicians and singers, juke boxes are not included)


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 01:56 AM

Traditional music , unamplified, does not fall within the licence for live music, Martin Bartlett, (Councillor) sits on the local licencing committee and is a mean fiddler, he has the clarification on record, I will see if he can post it on the message board. Bottom line is a pub doesn't need a music licence for unamplified music ( it is the definition of "Live" which is interpreted as amplified musicians and singers, juke boxes are not included)

Sadly it most certainly is not the way my local licensing authority see it. I hope this proves to be as you say I very much doubt that it will turn out to be quite so simple.

But if it is as you say and this area's licensing committee is openly holding such a local policy - it is vital that the details are made public for other areas are aware and can also adopt this sensible approach.....................


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: BB
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 10:45 AM

Which Council are we talking about here, Stallion? It's certainly not what most people have understood regarding the entertainment aspect of the licence.

The understanding I have of it is that the licencee must have 'ticked the box', but any additional unamplified music in the presence of no more than 200 people can be added without notifying the licencing authority. If your local authority is saying differently, we really need to know which one it is so that we know the precedent and can argue it with our own licencing committees.

Please share it with us.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 12:11 PM

The understanding I have of it is that the licencee must have 'ticked the box', but any additional unamplified music in the presence of no more than 200 people can be added without notifying the licencing authority.

The details and problems of S177 are discussed in detail in the following thread. It is not quite as above.

http://www.mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=1626201

However, it could well be that some LAs are looking at this logically? What is the point of them insisting on entertainment permission for non-amplfied music in the premises that would qualify for S177 - if effectivly they would be unable to impose any conditions upon it?

As a start - it certainly would be a lot more sensible if non-amplified music was exempt altogether from the requirement for licensing permission.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: Grab
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 08:27 AM

That old thread is unmanageable. (300+ posts! :-) Barbara, I think the relevant point Shambles was intending to link to is the following post of his on that thread:-

Subject: RE: Minister say's jamming OK in UK
From: The Shambles - PM
Date: 04 Dec 05 - 09:54 AM

Some thoughts on S177 - details of which can be found earlier in this thread. The practical benefit of which was always thought a bit suspect..............

My local has been granted its extended drinking hours but cannot hold any outside amplified music. Presumambly due to local objections.
It can however stage non-amplified music outside but with the condition that this stops at 9pm!

Now if these small premises had a imposed safe capacity limit of less than 200 - effectivly no conditions could legally be place upon non amplified live music up to midnight and a condition such as this one that limited it to a 9pm finish would not be legal.

The vice-chairman of the local Licensing Committee states that the advice he has received means that this condition is legal. If so - I can only assume that the LA had not imposed a safe capacity limit. And without this of course - S177 does not apply......................

I am sure that they are not cynically omitting this safe capacity limit just so they can impose conditions on non amplified live music in these small premises and if they were that our Government would not approve. Or would they?


It's an interesting scenario, and one they should clarify. If they're regarding playing outside as restricted (but not restricting playing inside), frankly I think that'd be common sense to avoid disturbance of the pub's neighbours with late-night noise. As I remember (which may be incorrect - I'll look it up when I can), the Licensing Act is trumped by other restrictions on maintaining public order, so it could be happening under that.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 08:53 AM

It's an interesting scenario, and one they should clarify. If they're regarding playing outside as restricted (but not restricting playing inside), frankly I think that'd be common sense to avoid disturbance of the pub's neighbours with late-night noise. As I remember (which may be incorrect - I'll look it up when I can), the Licensing Act is trumped by other restrictions on maintaining public order, so it could be happening under that.

Graham if common sense came into any of this - I suspect that we would not be discussing these issues or have any need to.

I made the following point to my LA: Who seem to have avoided any mention of S 177.

That any imposed condition stating the times that entertainment should cease - be confined only to case where valid objections have been made to this entertainment and otherwise these matters are best left to the experts in these matters - the licensee.

This is the answer I have received so far.

14 December 2005
I can confirm that this is the case - we are legally not able to impose time restrictions unless we receive objections.


I can't really see that anyone would have made a specific objection to outside non-amplified music or a request that it ended at 9pm - but I could be wrong.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: stallion
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 09:13 PM

I have already e-mailed " Shambles" on this. If the Landlord hasn't "ticked" the box one has the right to appeal to have it added. In so far as I been told ( This information was relayed to a councillor who sits on the licencing committee and took advice from the licencing officer) that one may play and sing between 8am and midnight inside the premises and indeed that is what we do. Also the Landlord was convinced that the midnight finish was only for instruments not for unaccompanied singing. However, if one interprets the rules there is enough leeway in the act to allow a decent folk night, I suspect some Landlords simply don't want them.
regards
Peter


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 02:03 AM

This 'guidance' to S177 from the DCMS website....
http://www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/licensing_act_2003/regulated_entertainment.htm#26

What about small-scale music events?

The venue will need an authorisation for the staging of these events.

However, section 177 of the Licensing Act provides that where:
a premises licence or club premises certificate authorises the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises and the provision of "music entertainment" (dance or live amplified or unamplified music)

the relevant premises are used primarily for the consumption of alcohol on the premises

and the premises have a capacity limit of 200

then any licensing authority imposed conditions relating to the provision of the music entertainment will be suspended. This is subject to the exception of where the conditions were imposed as being necessary for public safety or the prevention of crime and disorder.

In addition, where:
a premises licence or club premises certificate authorises the provision of music entertainment, which consists of the performance of unamplified, live music; and

the premises have a capacity limit of 200

then during the hours of 8am and midnight if the premises are being used for the provision of that music entertainment but, no other regulated entertainment, any licensing authority imposed conditions on the licence which relate to the provision of the music entertainment will be suspended.

These suspensions can be removed in relation to any condition of a premises licence or club premises certificate following a review of the licence or certificate when further conditions may also be added to the licence or certificate.

These provisions will apply to any premises so long as the criteria set out in section 177 of the Act are fulfilled.
ENDS


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 02:37 AM

This is what the statutory Guidance to the Act says.

Small venues providing dancing and amplified or unamplified music.

5.4 In addition, subsections (1) and (2) of section 177 of the 2003 Act provide that where
a premises licence or club premises certificate authorises the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises and the provision of "music entertainment" (live music or dancing or facilities enabling people to take part in those activities),

the relevant premises are used primarily for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises, and

the premises have a permitted capacity limit of not more than 200 persons

then any conditions relating to the provision of the music entertainment imposed on the premises licence or club premises certificate by the licensing authority, other than those set out by the licence or certificate which are consistent with the operating schedule, will be suspended except where they were imposed as being necessary for public safety or the prevention of crime and disorder or both.

5.5 In addition, subsection (4) of section 177 provides that where
a premises licence or club premises certificate authorises the provision of music entertainment (live music and dancing), and

Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003

the premises have a capacity limit of not more than 200 persons

then, during the hours of 8am and midnight, if the premises are being used for the provision of unamplified live music or the facilities enabling people to take part in such entertainment, but no other description of regulated entertainment, any conditions imposed on the licence by the
licensing authority, again other than those which are consistent with the operating schedule, which relate to the provision of that music entertainment will be suspended.

5.6 Section 177 can be disapplied in relation to any condition of a premises licence or club premises certificate following a review of the licence or certificate. This means that conditions attached to the existing premises licence relating to the provision of music entertainment can be given effect at the relevant times or that new conditions may also be imposed as an outcome
of the review process.

5.7 Accordingly, those seeking to take advantage of the exemption relating to both amplified and unamplified music entertainment need to be aware that they must hold a premises licence or club premises certificate covering the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises and the type of regulated music entertainment involved.

Examples of premises used "primarily" for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises would include public houses and some qualifying club premises, but would not normally include, for example, a restaurant.

For the "unamplified" music exemption, any premises appropriately licensed are included, including restaurants. The area to which the 200 "capacity limit" applies concerns the area covered by the premises licence or club premises certificate and not just to part of those premises unless separately licensed.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 02:49 AM

If the Landlord hasn't "ticked" the box one has the right to appeal to have it added.

If there are any such right of appeal - these will be confined to the licensee's or the applicant. My understanding is that any change to a Premises Licence will involve application and payment for a 'variation'. In all truth can we really expect to - see small qualifying venues but who do not now have not Premises Licence permission for non-amplified music - going through the whole process of applying and paying for a variation?      

In so far as I been told ( This information was relayed to a councillor who sits on the licencing committee and took advice from the licencing officer) that one may play and sing between 8am and midnight inside the premises and indeed that is what we do.

Only if the venue has first obtained entertainment permission for this.

Also the Landlord was convinced that the midnight finish was only for instruments not for unaccompanied singing.

Assumptions - they do say - are the mother of all cock-ups. My understanding would be that after midnight the LA could impose any curfew - as long as they first found a valid objection.

However, if one interprets the rules there is enough leeway in the act to allow a decent folk night, I suspect some Landlords simply don't want them.

Sadly it has tended to be how the officers of your local authority interpret the rules. It is my firm belief that even under this new legislation any bold and imaginative local council could provide sensible leeway to enable most of the activities that the words of the legislation threaten. The trick I feel is up to us to make sure that our local authority is bold and imaginative as many licensees and musicians can be - if that is possible.


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 05:32 AM

News about session problems in Italy.

http://www.thesession.org/discussions/display.php/8880


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Subject: RE: The right to sing?
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 09:16 AM

So the English think they have a problem


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