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ASCAP Seeks Licensing Fees For Guitar Hero Arcade 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the understanding-is-too-much-effort dept.
Self Bias Resistor writes "According to a post on the Arcade-Museum forums, ASCAP is demanding an annual $800 licensing fee from at least one operator of a Guitar Hero Arcade machine, citing ASCAP licensing regulations regarding jukeboxes. An ASCAP representative allegedly told the operator that she viewed the Guitar Hero machine as a jukebox of sorts. The operator told ASCAP to contact Raw Thrills, the company that sells the arcade units. The case is ongoing and GamePolitics is currently seeking clarification of the story from ASCAP."
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ASCAP Seeks Licensing Fees For Guitar Hero Arcade

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:00AM (#30456004)
    The music industry shooting iself in the foot? Colour me surprised...
  • Or else they would have gone straight to the distributor or publisher.
    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:43AM (#30456790) Homepage Journal

      This is ASCAP. That's what they do. They mostly hassle tavern owners. They collect for jukeboxes, radios, live music, even when the band only plays their own compositions and according to bar owners I know, they're almost as pushy as the Mafia, usint threats, coercion, every trick in the book. I was talking to one bar owner one day when a lady from ASCAP showed up to put the squeeze on him. She was HOT and she used it; you would have thought she was a hooker the way she played him.

      There was one bar here that actually went out of business because of ASCAP. He had no jukebox and hired folk bands; these bands played old folk music that was in the public domain, and ASCAP sued anyway. He wouldn't cave on principle and the legal costs bankrupted him and he lost his business.

      ASCAP is as evil as the RIAA.

      • Legal reform needed (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Mathinker (909784) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:06AM (#30457030) Journal

        There was one bar here that actually went out of business because of ASCAP. He had no jukebox and hired folk bands; these bands played old folk music that was in the public domain, and ASCAP sued anyway. He wouldn't cave on principle and the legal costs bankrupted him and he lost his business.

        We need a law which says that once a judge has ruled that a corporation has brought a frivolous lawsuit against someone, anytime it sues someone in the future it needs to finance the other side's legal fees, and only gets the money back if the judge rules they deserve it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AusIV (950840)

          I'm not sure I agree that what you suggest is the best approach (because it allows a corporation at least one frivolous suit before they have to start paying the other side's legal fees), but I definitely agree with the sentiment. Corporations with deep pockets shouldn't be able to force innocent people into settlements simply because it's too expensive to defend yourself - that's extortion.

          I think a better option than what you suggest would be if the defendant could file a motion for coverage of legal fee

        • by AusIV (950840) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:57AM (#30459504)

          I'm not sure I completely agree with your proposal, but I definitely agree with the sentiment. A party with deep pockets shouldn't be able to force an innocent party into a settlement by making it cost prohibitive to defend yourself - that's extortion by my book.

          I think a better alternative would be some kind of motion where a defendant can request that the judge order the plaintiff to pay legal fees. The defendant would need to be able to convince the judge that defending the suit is cost prohibitive and that an innocent but fiscally responsible party would be inclined to settle rather than defend against the suit. The judge could require the plaintiff to pay the defendant's legal fees, and if the judge finds in favor of the plaintiff the legal fees may be awarded back as well. Someone who knows they're at fault would still be inclined to settle out of court, but someone who believes he is innocent would have a viable means of defending himself.

      • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:53AM (#30457528) Journal

        I would have self-represented if I was going on principle, and had trial in front of a judge. This is a pretty basic argument: they're suing me for playing music they have no domain over. Their only argument could be that the live performers could play some AC/DC live; at which point, I'd point out that I have electricity, and could bring in a CD player and an AC/DC CD, so maybe they should sue anyone with an electric utility. The only arguments they have are ridiculous, and ridiculing them with competent logical counter-arguments in front of a competent judge is viable.

        The other thing to do is object to stupidity meant to load you with paperwork and keep you busy until you overrun some deadline on a court order to fill out papers/show evidence. It's not my job to show evidence for your case; demand solid evidence or have their case thrown out. Once their case fails, counter-sue (with lawyer) for harassment, citing that you successfully defended yourself against their legal firm (no, really, the only thing these people practice is lawing at you) by yourself because their argument was retarded and they were abusing the court system. Sue for maximum damages and push for fines for abuse of the court systems.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CowboyBob500 (580695)
        He wouldn't cave on principle and the legal costs bankrupted him and he lost his business.

        That's a failure of the the way the US legal system works as well as the behaviour of ASCAP. In fact, if the US legal system had a loser pays system like most of the free world, it is unlikely that ASCAP would sue in the first place.
        • Loser pays can raise the stakes even further and prevent the little guy from being able to sue the big companies too. It isn't perfect, and in egregious cases the US courts can grant legal fees.

          • Assuming the plaintiff doesn't manage to bankrupt the defendant, or cause them to go out of business before completing the case...

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by oldhack (1037484)

        "She was HOT and she used it; you would have thought she was a hooker the way she played him."

        That's just bullshit. Unless you can corroborate with photos and video clips.

      • ASCAP is as evil as the RIAA.

        Hardly. ASCAP serves a very, very useful purpose. They protect the small guy from having their songs ripped off, mostly by the RIAA. If you put together a track of two trash cans banging together to a beat and get it registered with ASCAP, and ASCAP finds out that someone (be it bar owner, RIAA or any other band) is using that track in live performances, they will battle for you to get your licensing fees.

        ASCAP is usually just the messenger. They don't normally go around trying to find songs being pe

        • by bckrispi (725257)
          Mod parent UP!!

          As a former semi-pro musician, ASCAP is one of the only ways that many musicians actually make money. I saw a breakdown once of how recording artists get shafted unless they secure royalty rights. Let's say you have a five-man band. You release an album that goes Gold: that's 500,000 units sold. At $15 a CD, that means $7.5 million in revenue.

          How much would you be compensated for your efforts?

          About $20,000 - That's a pathetic 0.2%! And not even enough to be above poverty line.

          If an a

        • While what you say is true, their methods against small businesses is quite evil. Yes, they serve a great purpose, and seem to do it better than the RIAA (when it comes to paying artists), but they also try to extort small businesses that they have no claim against.

          I too was one of them...
          My earlier post on that topic [slashdot.org]

      • An ASCAP rep tried that with me on the off chance (at the little computer shop I owned) I might be listening to the radio when a customer came in.

        Now, that was besides the fact that there was no radio in the customer area and that radio play is already paid for.

        I refused to pay and advised them that various members of my family were lawyers, with two specializing in such types of law, so it would cost me nothing to go to court to prove they were idiots, at which time I would sue them for attorney fees and

    • I say send it back to the publisher, which I think is Activision. Let them know that it wasn't part of the deal to pay the ASCAP rate and it should have been mentioned to them before they purchased the machine. Let Activision deal with that relationship.
      • by WCguru42 (1268530)

        Activision more than likely is paying a fee to license the songs from ASCAP. I don't know whether ASCAP has the right to request additional fees from arcades or if they're just trying to double dip on the small guys who might not know about ASCAP licensing.

        • That was my thought. This is double dipping!

          (Drumming on Time)

          I've never heard of a jukebox owner needing to pay royalty fees. That blows! Most operators don't own the machines, they rent them from a vending company, and take between a 40/60 & 60/40 split. How much does the ascap want out of that cut would be the more appropriate question. Obviously any amount> 1-5% would not make it worth running the machine. There is overhead that people forget about. It's not just "plug and paid." You have t

          • Jukebox owners do... but (if it's rented) the fees are paid by who they rent it from, or by them, depending on the contract. It's a yearly fee, so it is unlikely that a jukebox manufacturer will pay it for a sold not rented machine.

            Most (larger) places that own jukeboxes though, have some sort of licensing/payment deal already set up with ASCAP.

            • I was using the wrong term there, calling the "Guitar Hero" machine a jukebox. I thing licensing isn't unreasonable,for them. Public performance and all. But calling a videogame a jukebox is not the same since the videogame company should have it liscensed.

              It's like as much (more actually, but I digress) to "listen" to a song on a jukebox as it is to "BUY" it from I-tunes or Amazon (my preference).

  • by dikdik (1696426) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:06AM (#30456070)
    The music "industry" is not music. It's just middle men. They create drag, friction, between the musicians and the fans. They are an unneeded artifice, a relic of an earlier age, in my mind. For instance:

    "Despite the fact that these games are very successful and are drawing a great deal of attention to the music represented in the games, the industry is not pleased with the licensing arrangements that allow the games to use their songs."

    Does anyone here think "their songs" refers means "the artist's songs" or does it rather mean "Corp X's songs". Their original argument in the opening salvo of their war against the internet was "think of the artists!" Well, apparently they don't abide by their own logic (nor have they ever). From the very same article:

    "Music games are proven earners--Aerosmith has reportedly earned more from Guitar Hero : Aerosmith than from any single album in the band's history." Fuck the music industry. Please, just die already.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)

      "... [T]he industry is not pleased with the licensing arrangements that allow the games to use their songs."

      So, they're licensed, and allowed to use the songs?

      Glad that's all cleared up, then. Move along, nothing to see here.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Mononoke (88668)
      ASCAP is not the "music industry." ASCAP (and BMI, et al) are directly connected to the content creators themselves. You know, the people who actually deserve to be paid for their creativity.
      • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:09AM (#30456470)
        ASCAP is too the "music industry". They just happen to be the gatekeepers of performance rights, rather than the copyrights. Do a little bit of research into ASCAP and you will find that they are every bit as anti-artist and anti-consumer as the RIAA. They have been caught withholding funds from artists while tossing around the idea of charging royalties on cell phone ringtones. They are in the same exact position as the RIAA -- worthless leeches on our society that stand between artists and fans. I would even say that ASCAP is worse, their obscenely high licensing fees simply ensure that most places simply won't play popular music. A sane person would consider their song being played at the mall to be free advertising, but ASCAP would beg to differ. ASCAP? They more like ASSHAT.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Not only that, but I'm really surprised that the makers of "Guitar Hero Arcade" didn't get licenses for their music for public mechanical performance.

        Did they expect that their machines would blast the hits into arcades and bars without having to pay the artists?

        I'm not sure this dust-up rates up there with the RIAA sending SWAT teams to take down grandmothers.

      • by CharlieHedlin (102121) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:38AM (#30458234)

        Remember the ASCAP threatened to sue the girl scouts and boy scouts over the signing done at camp!

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by dem0n1 (1170795)

          Remember the ASCAP threatened to sue the girl scouts and boy scouts over the signing done at camp!

          Is it a performance if you only use your fingers?

    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:51AM (#30456362)

      The companies represent the artists because the artists sign a contract affording the company the right to distribute (and the responsibility/incentive to police unauthorized distribution). Aerosmith can manage their online distribution themselves ("Hey, Tyler... it's Wednesday: Your day to modify the XML!") or they can strike a deal with a company to handle that kind of stuff for them.

      -Aerosmith has reportedly earned more from Guitar Hero : Aerosmith than from any single album in the band's history

      That's great. Do you think they could have gotten that deal if they weren't represented by their company? Do you think Tyler could even make it downstairs before lunchtime if a third party did not have a vested interest in their success and distribution?

      Don't get me wrong: I'm all for artists -- musicians, writers, composers, comedians -- managing as much of their own distribution as they can. The smaller, less established you are, the more it matters; the bigger, better established you are, the more difficult it becomes. But it is the choice of the artist. I buy produce directly from the growers at Farmers' Markets whenever I can, but I do not begrudge the grocery stores their role in the supply chain.

      • by Kalvos (137750) <bathory@maltedmedia.com> on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:39AM (#30456760) Homepage

        Pretty good thoughts, thanks. (And nice you mention the farmers' market analogy -- our daughter runs a CSA called Tangletown Farm and depends on farmers' markets.)

        I'm an ASCAP member, and have been for 20 years. Unlike bands, I'm a composer. I don't do gigs; I write the stuff that's played at gigs. Even more unmatched to the usual /. complaint, my music isn't pop, and it comes off a sheet of paper or computer screen to performers.

        Although my distributor sells some paper scores and parts, I allow download of all my scores and parts for musicians who want to print them by themselves. So that means I live almost entirely on the royalties from licensed performances -- and it isn't much, I'll tell you, because schools are exempted if it's part of the educational program, religious institutions are always exempted, and there is a host of other exemptions, such as ringtones and other nonprofit uses and even work-for-hire where rights are given up. Do I get a mountain royalties if my piece is played on the radio or cable or broadcast television? Nope -- unless my piece is caught in the random surveys used to determine royalty amounts; despite hundreds of broadcast performances in 20 years (including a repeated feature on the Discovery Channel), no piece of mine has every had the good fortune to be surveyed. Yes, I get royalties from outside the U.S., such as my $2.95 from Taiwan last month. Stunning. I'll be driving to a performance of a big orchestral work in January, a six-hour round-trip. My royalty for that performance will be about $100.

        ASCAP collects these royalties for me, and I don't pay for that privilege. They do the work, take a very small percentage, and I get the occasional check. They lose money on me and probably the majority of their composers. Are they crazy sometimes? Sure, like when they wanted royalties from the Girl Scouts for singing "Happy Birthday". But that crazy is also a reminder that there are performance rights granted in law and managed for many composers by their membership in groups like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and their international counterparts.

        Could I do it myself? Sure, if I wanted to locate performances in Finland or Portugal or Belgium or Tulsa or Grand Rapids, and send a bill. But I am happy that ASCAP does that for me and I can keep working as an artist.

        Most composers are in this position. You don't know their work as a big stage act, but you hear it in concert halls or small venues or as part of documentary films/videos or on public radio.

        That's where those licensing fees come from, and they go through licensing representatives who work for us individual composers.

        Dennis

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          It sounds like you aren't worth the effort. You don't make enough money and aren't heard enough. The transaction overhead of processing your royalties dwarfs your actual royalties. So then what's the point really? All you do is help contribute to an abusive organization that tends to run amok and harrass people that are more like you than unlike you.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Kalvos (137750)

            Artists are 'worth the effort' if their art is worthwhile. This is always a conundrum, as 'popular' and 'worthwhile' aren't the same thing, and certain don't always match the traditional economic model. ASCAP recognizes this disparity of value with special award funds provided annually to low-royalty, highly skilled artists (as record labels used to support their classical divisions). If art isn't your social priority, it isn't worth it to you, and you won't get this significance.

            But that's not the point I

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by CharlieHedlin (102121)

              I think artists should be able to set the rates for their songs. If their song gets very popular they can slowly ratchet up the royalties and avoid being overplayed into oblivion. Modern technology makes this possible, we don't have to do it the way we have for a century. There would still need to be an organization such as ASCAP to operate the market, publish rates, and take tallies of songs played. Radio station software could show the royalties on each song and tally as they played. Juke boxes could

            • While ASCAP is "not for profit", it has paid employees, particularly its board of directors. This provides it motive to seek every drop of money it can, particularly if it is not "cost effective" to do so. The largest part of those costs are, after all, employee wages.

              It has the muscle to extort money out of business owners even when it knows it is in the wrong; it is fully aware of the cost of defending a lawsuit, and that the vast majority of small businesses and performers cannot afford to do so. (And

        • by WCguru42 (1268530)

          ...So that means I live almost entirely on the royalties from licensed performances -- and it isn't much...

          I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly, are you sustaining yourself on your compositions or is the money that comes in from writing music just a bonus check every month or so? If it's the latter then I believe your post is arguing for a lack of ASCAP, they might provide you with license payments every so often but you'd still be writing anyway because it's not your living. If it's the other way around, and your primary occupation/ money earning is from composing then you've made a worthwhile argument

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Kalvos (137750)

            Okay, without getting too personal (this is Slashdot, after all), I'll say that I'm both a composer and a publisher member of ASCAP (my one-person company publishes the works of four composers). It is all tied together so that without ASCAP, there is no network of resources to provide income (I'm not an academic). Those royalties, my paper score and recording sales, an annual award, commissions for new compositions, music engraving (computer typesetting) and recording/restoration make up my income. Some yea

        • by brkello (642429)
          It's nice to see the other side of the argument. Though I still think that they do more evil than good and we would be better off using a different model. And generally, people don't do things that aren't in their best interesting. So I am a bit skeptical on your claim that they lose money on you. How do you really know how much they take?
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Kalvos (137750)

            The aggregate figures are published in their annual report. The "composers, authors and publishers" in ASCAP's name receive about 88.5% of what they collect. There have been years we've both made money and others in which 11.5% of my royalties wouldn't buy a decent weekend near their offices on New York's Lincoln Plaza.

            Dennis

        • "ASCAP collects these royalties for me, and I don't pay for that privilege. They do the work, take a very small percentage, and I get the occasional check." (emphasis mine). So you do pay for it, although granted it is probably far less than the cost of tracking all of that yourself. From the sound of it though, they are not capturing performances in major media channels in the US and not just those on the outskirts of Tromsø, Norway. If you know of particular performances, particularly "hundreds of
      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > That's great. Do you think they could have gotten that deal if they weren't represented by their company?

        Sure. The value of Aerosmith is it's work. It doesn't need a speciality corporate bully in order to defend it's rights or strike deals. Aerosmith can do this directly through it's own 1st party agents and managers. OTOH, this "gatekeeper" probably doesn't do much for the little guy that doesn't yet have his own clout that he can use to bargain with the likes of Activision directly.

        Pretty much everyo

      • by RobVB (1566105)

        Do you think Tyler could even make it downstairs before lunchtime

        Rock 'n' Roll doesn't do mornings.

      • Great sentiment, but not universally applicable. Iron Maiden retains control/ownership of their IP, and refuses to let the record companies prosecute for sharing, and publicly encourages sharing of their music - yet does phenomenally well without that added "support" from the record companies - the same ones who will not buy them air time or promote them.

        Now Maiden may being doing so well without all of that because they maintain control of their music (including the finished product, copyrighted by their

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I believe it was Mafia and gangster money that financed the first record companies when the artists moved out of the clubs and into larger venues and they wanted to take advantage of the new playback technologies like the humble gramophone. Dirty money started it and dirty money still runs it. Glad to see nothing has changed in the last 90 years!

      Dump that mass-produced U2, X-Factor cack and start checking out your local club scenes, get into niche music of your choice, where the artists benefit directly fro

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jocknerd (29758)

        Why are you bashing U2? Because you probably weren't born when they WERE the club scene. Learn your music history dude. If you want to bash the "boy bands" and pop stars, thats fine, but not bands who worked their asses off to become the biggest act on the planet.

        Or are you one of those cool kids who likes an act until it becomes popular, then you call them a sellout? If you like artists that are unknown, fine, thats your choice. But just because an artist sells a lot of records doesn't mean they aren't wo

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      We could get rid of them. If they didn't have the monetary muscle and clout to twist laws around and bunker behind a wall of lawyers (albeit the mental picture of RIAA lawyers being layered on top of each other like sandbags is appealing...), they would have lost most of the influence they have.

      The point is that they have become obsolete. What's their trade? Basically it's being the middle man between producer of art and consumer, as you pointed out. Their job was to bring the music the artists make to the

      • by Tetsujin (103070)

        And that's not needed anymore. I can see their fear of the internet. It is the perfect medium to distribute information. And that's basically the business they're in. If there is a free middle man, like the internet, who would pay one?

        Well, the business they're in is to distribute information and extract payment for it. Often skill with producing art does not correlate with skill at marketing it. The internet doesn't actually change this...

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          Well, the business they're in is to distribute information and extract payment for it.

          Oh, so when I walk into Wal-Mart and buy a CD, I make a separate check out to the RIAA? Or when a song is played on the radio, it's the RIAA that collects the fees, and not ASCAP?

          Often skill with producing art does not correlate with skill at marketing it.

          The marketing department and the AR departments in all companies I've ever had any knowledge of are separate. Having one organization that is marketing and AR is
          • by Tetsujin (103070)

            The internet doesn't actually change this...

            Yes. Because you can't sell or market anything with the Internet.

            The point is, to be successful at it in a market where you're competing against people who are actually good at it, you need to either be marketing-savvy yourself, or you need to have someone representing you who is, themselves, marketing-savvy. The internet does offer new ways to get people interested in buying your shit - but you still need, somehow, to get them to actually do it.

            The internet makes it easier for people to get some exposure on their own - the problem is that there's now millions of other

        • And that's basically also the niche they can survive in: Marketing and PR.

          As you point out, artists are not necessarily salesmen. More often than not, they're not. So a viable model for the music studios would be to turn from the middleman to something like the promoter. They have the connections, the know how and the means to pump your record to the top.

          The reason why they so utterly refuse that change is that that would also mean that they have to give up control, and that's the game they're in today. It'

  • A jukebox? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TimeElf1 (781120) <kennettb@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:23AM (#30456174) Homepage Journal
    I would think a GH video game stand would be more akin to a DDR arcade game than a jukebox.
    • by wantedman (577548) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:56AM (#30456398) Homepage Journal
      DDR is currently in a gray area, since it crosses the line between video game and jukebox. Especially if it's positioned in an area so everyone can watch it. There hasn't been a "ruling" one way or the other from ASCAP on it. There are complications, because a lot of DDR songs are unlicensed in the US or are original performances by Konami. GH is a better test case, which is probably why they're using it.
    • Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Our lawyers will be contacting Konami.

      Sincerely,


      ASCAP
  • I'd go further... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blcamp (211756) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:40AM (#30456296) Homepage

    IANAL but I'd tell the ASCAP flunky that the music's ALREADY LICENSED to start with. Otherwise it wouldn't even make it to the GH machine in the first place, right?

    Sounds like an attempted shakedown of a small business that's not legally bound to pay anything in this instance.

    Perhaps ASCAP need to be introduced to a different acronym: RICO.

    • Re:I'd go further... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:52AM (#30456366)

      Ya well the problem is that ASCAP is a DIFFERENT licensing entity, one of the many of the music industry's screwed up model. So ASCAP isn't about licensing specific performances of songs. They don't deal with with the license for a CD or the like. The deal with public performance licenses. This applies no matter if you are talking about playing a recorded song, or a band playing their own version of it. They want licensing money for the composer if the song is played in public.

      So it is a different group wanting a slice of the pie for different reasons. You can have a license for the copy of the music you have, but NOT a license to perform it publicly. Yes, it is rather stupid.

      ASCAP is also another one of those nice, mandatory, monopoly-type organizations that some how gets away with operating through special legal loopholes for them.

      • by tepples (727027)

        So ASCAP isn't about licensing specific performances of songs. They don't deal with with the license for a CD or the like. The deal with public performance licenses.

        I would imagine that makers of arcade games, intended to be used in public, would have worked out public performance licenses with the music publishers. For example, I'd bet Activision worked out licenses with the music publishers when setting up the licenses for Guitar Hero Arcade, just as it worked out sync licenses for the home version (GH3). Unless ASCAP claims the exclusive right to make performance licenses, I'd have to say we don't have the full story yet.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          I would imagine that makers of arcade games, intended to be used in public, would have worked out public performance licenses with the music publishers.

          You would think. But if they took the fact they had a license for console games and just made it into an arcade game without thinking of the public performance part of it, then they could be in trouble. If they re-license the game separately for every game system, getting a license for an arcade game would necessarily include the license to play it publi
          • by tepples (727027)
            Activision already has to negotiate separately for each product (e.g. GH1, GH2, GH3, GHWT, GH Smash Hits). True, GH Arcade has a similar set list to GH3, but it's still a separate product, and I'm guessing Activision went directly to the music publishers that represent songwriters like Mr. Tyler and Mr. Perry based on an estimated number of times that the song would be played on the machine, skipping the ASCAP/BMI middleman. Recall that Activision also had to negotiate with Konami for the use of the Guitar
    • Well... I wouldn't count on it. I am aware of a few machines that are essentially running normal computers behind a console shell. Whether they're licensed for public use is highly debatable.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      ASCAP was created so that jukeboxes wouldn't put musicians out of business. Not rock stars, but regular working musicians. There was a time when almost every nightclub had live musicians providing entertainment.

      Music on CDs or mp3s or video games is licensed for private enjoyment, not to provide entertainment to a public place of business like an arcade, bar or nightclub.

      • by tepples (727027)

        Music on CDs or mp3s or video games is licensed for private enjoyment

        Unless the video game publisher was up front with music publishers that the game would be installed in arcades nationwide. We don't have the full story yet.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          We don't have the full story yet.

          We never do. You are using that phrase like "I think you are wrong, but I can't prove it" rather than "we can't know." ASCAP also collects for composers that are paid per-performance (or an algorithm to approximate that for things like radio, since it can't be known). It's possible that licensing a specific performance of a song for a game doesn't compensate the composer the same as re-performing the song repeatedly in public. The license for public performance is what
  • Stolen from Wikipedia:

    The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a not-for-profit performance rights organization that protects its members' musical copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music, whether via a broadcast or live performance, and compensating them accordingly.

    Your anti-RIAA rants don't apply here.

  • Seriously, If you want to see more Free Music made, listen to Free Music more.

    Join the Free Music Push [blogspot.com]

    Change has to start somewhere. Three is some good stuff out there with Free licenses on it. Give it some attention and some love.

    drew

  • This will kill jobs and hurt what is left of the arcade industry even more so in the Chicago area. Some one better tell obama.

  • Direct with ASCAP? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by flahwho (1243110)
    A few things have been said comparing RIAA with ASCAP, and I agree that they are both the "industry" part we'd all like to eliminate or govern better.

    so which one is worse? IMHO ASCAP is worse because they deal in all the venues - The production and manufacturing, the retail markets and the public performance places (bars, restaurants, retail stores, concert venues, malls etc). They take cuts from every part of the line including the last in line, the establishments that offer music as a service to a co
  • Those Donkey Kong machines make music. They're just like jukeboxes!

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.

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