Music Industry Execs Want NightClub & Hip Hop DJs to Pay Royalties for Songs-Case Before Appeals Court

Last week the eyes and ears of the country were focused on the Supreme Court as they started oral arguments around the constitutionality of key aspects of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Outside the Supreme Court things were contentious as advocates squared off with Tea Party types who opposed having HCR to be a requirement.Many said this case would be one for the history books…a landmark case for the ages.

Not too far from the Supreme Court sits the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. There another case of historic proportions is underway. The large crowds and onslaught of media trucks weren’t present, yet what comes of this Court of Appeals could have an immediate and long lasting impact for anyone who listens or plays music in today’s digital world. In these hallowed halls justices are debating copyright and who pays for what when it comes to music. The proceedings are entering it’s 4th week.

What’s at stake is whether or not the 3 appointed administrative judges who make up the US Copyright Royalty Board are constitutional. For those who don’t know, this 3 judge body which  consists of James Scott Sledge (Chief Copyright Royalty Judge), Stanley Wisniewski, and William J. Roberts are the ones who soley determine royalty rates and set terms for copyright statutory licenses. many have suggested these 3 individuals who are appointed by the Librarian of Congress are too powerful and need to have additional oversight.

For a long time very little attention was paid to this office, but in recent years the CRB has determined royalty rates for Internet radio, Satellite radio like Sirius XM, cable TV, cell phones, ring tones and anything else where music is broadcasted or transmitted digitally.  Many feel that over the years the rulings from CRB have been a Godsend for corporate copyright owners, major record labels, publishing houses who been able to collect enormous sums of money from digital music users.

The most recent rates set by the CRB, which will stay in effect to 2015, require commercial internet stations to pay upwards to $50,000 per station annually and .25 cent per song/ per listener. Many webcasters, including the world’s largest, Pandora as well as many others who own digital media businesses, have long complained thatCRB royalty rates were too high and crippling business.  On the other side, music industry tycoons have been clamoring to charge more. They said anyone using music in digital form hasn’t paid enough and needs to ante up  and help fill their coffers.  It’s a vicious tug of war that has led to CRB’s constitutionally being challenged.

It’ll be at least a year before the final arguments are heard in before the Appeals Court, in the meantime industry executives have been rushing to put ironclad laws in place, so in the event CRB is dismantled the rulings they enacted stay in place.

Industry tycoons wanna start charging DJs to play their songs

Industry tycoons are now turning their sights to Club and Mobile DJs and want to start charging them for the commercial and non commercial use of their songs. This added fee would be on top of what night clubs and restaurants already pay to organizations like ASCAP and BMI. They’ve been emboldened by a recent 9th Circuit court ruling where deejays were found to be in breach of copyright for playing music at Roscoe Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles.. You can read that case HERE

Industry big wigs are anxious to get a ruling on DJs just as American Idol executive Simon Cowell is set to launch a DJ Talent Show.. You can read about that HERE Many feel that the DJ talent show will move millions away from playing instruments and into the DJ realm which now thanks to digital tools  and mp3s make it easy for anyone to get involved in the profession. many are seeing the potential for huge dollar signs..Others see dollar signs but have a specific beef..

If Ernie Le Saviour has his the way music is presented will be forever changed

Ernie Le Saviour  a veteran musician, film maker and now music executive has been leading the charge.In a recent interview he said; “DJs have been illegally profiting off the hard work us musicians put in. They make thousands of dollars a night and we don’t see one red cent.”

Saviour continued, “What really chaps my hide, is these DJs have been illegally rearranging (mixing) and  ruining the composition of songs. A lot of hard work was put into making a song. As a professional flautist, one needs to understand that hours were spent perfecting the final product. We didn’t put our heart and soul into a song only to have some lazy, non-musicially inclined disc jockey to go tinkering and MIS-arranging our stuff”.

Saviour who is a flute player, can be heard playing in the back of classic songs like Flashlight by Parliament, Getaway by Earth Wind & Fire and most notably Paid in Full by Eric B & Rakim. He is scheduled to testify next week before the Court of Appeals. There he will plans to express his outrage at nightclub deejays..

Savior explains; Late last year, My son dragged me went to some fancy nightclub in Vegas where I had to pay 50 dollars to go see some bib Black guy with a 1960s style Afro and an Afro pick in his head spin records. My son was all excited and told me it Questluv. I thought it was strange, because this guy Questluv is a musician.. I see him every night on one the Jimmy Fallon show where plays drums..”

“Seeing him on the turntables troubled me. I kept asking myself; ‘Why would a professional drummer be deejaying? In my world that’s going backwards.  As a professional flautist, I would never stoop down and deejay.  It takes skillz to requires very little to spin”, said Saviour

DJs like Questluv have angered Ernie Le Saviour

He continued; “Anyway as the night goes on, we’re getting ready to leave when suddenly I hear this song ‘Paid in Full’. This is the song where I play both the transverse flute and the western style, Db piccolo better known as a soprano flute.  I’m excited and thinking this large crowd will get to hear a master musician. Then boom disappointment.. First problem This DJ Mr Questluv, sped the song up, so when you hear me playing my flute its in an F key when the original was done in a C…That was unacceptable”

Savior goes on; “Next problem is this Quest guy cuts off the flute mid stream, right before my crescendo. He repeats this over and over again.(Quest was back spinning)”

“I told my son, ‘That is not how the song was made’ . It made me look incompetent. As a professional a flautist I was embarrassed. Who gave this deejay permission to change the arrangement in my song.. in front of hundreds of people nevertheless.? I said to my son there ought to be law against this and I wanna be compensated”

Congressman John Conyers

Saviour expressed his outrage to fellow music executives. He called Congressman John Conyers who has doing lots of work to help musicians get paid through a performance royalty tax under HR 848. Conyers wants radio stations to pay for each song they air and may soon get his way.. Saviour who attended two briefings put on by Conyers, concluded: “If radio can pay, why can’t these damn deejays?”

The way current copyright laws are written now, Ernie Le Saviour is not entitled to any compensation accept what is determined by ASCAP or BMI.. If he has his way sections 114 and 115 of current copyright law will be re-written to add provisions that will apply to deejays and remixers.

Saviour says anyone who presents music in a digital form on popular platforms like Serato, Torque or any other digital music device, either as  deejay or any other presenter, should be required to obtain a compulsory license before rearranging a song in public. In other words you will not be allowed to, mix, remix or alter the song in anyway without the permission of the artist and copyright holders.  Saviour contends that the public has a right and reasonable expectation to hear the music as it was originally intended.

“Can you imagine if I ran up on stage and started playing the drums any old way and said it was a Questluv composition? It would be foul.. So I ask that people not mess with the arrangement of my flute. As a professional flautist I have standards and they can’t be respected, then we’ll have to legislate it.”

Saviour also wants deejays to pay similar rates like Internet Radio, 25 cent per song..he noted that with the new technology, digital devices can be checked remotely, so as soon as a deejay puts on a record, it will leave digital footprint allowing Saviour and other executives to collect royalties.. Thus far Saviour’s proposal is being well received and may get some favor before the Appeals Court.

Ernie Le Saviour will be address the Appeals Court of District of Columbia this Wednesday at 2pm EST.. If you would like to weigh in or get more info on how to support or oppose.. You can reach out HERE

written by Davey D

26 comments on “Music Industry Execs Want NightClub & Hip Hop DJs to Pay Royalties for Songs-Case Before Appeals Court

  1. Pingback: Music Industry Execs Want NightClub & Hip Hop DJs to Pay Royalties for Songs-Case Before Appeals Court | WORLD SWAGG

  2. This guy is an idiot! Dj’s are the first ones to play music and get it out to the public who then buy your music! If you start taxing dj’s to play I quit! We don’t make millions like artists n labels do!


  4. click the last link boneheads. lol …that was a good April Fools joke had me going. good think i click links to stories when I read them so I don’t look ilk a dope before I say something LOL

  5. Got me… SOO so got me. Kudos, well played, tip the hat & all that.
    First hook -was wanting more info on why/how the new DJ fee charge would interact w/the existing venue fees.
    Second swing- was for info on the musician, his work, other articles, and possibly contact details! I was rather bummed for him for what appears to be a lack of appreciation for how a DJ actually helps him (and all musicians) more than the recording industry ever would.

    Musicians are fantastically talented, paid by the session, if at all or even given their due credit on the very albums their work was found & then shared w/a crowd that a few bars suddenly connects the 2, somewhat obsessively. It’s like falling in love and it’s great every time. The entire history of music is vast and impossible to listen to it’s entirety- much less learn at all about the great musicians that collaborated, contributed to the collective works. A few seconds of a piece that’s otherwise drowned out and brought forward for us is what drives many to treasure hunt for original pieces and appreciate the history, musicians, and styles that are long past and fading away.
    The fact that DJ’s do not play the work as was originally intended is another fantastic part of the treasure hunt. It’s often the case where the speed, interpretation, tempo, or key is completely unrecognizable, hidden somehow and HOW the dj ever got to where it came from is an amazing talent. Anyone can replay records in order, just as intended-and was how my musical education began. But I doubt that I’d ever would have gone past reading album covers from the played pile once the LP became one sound w/pauses; the continual playtime, that involves more than the 1 record, where the ability to adjust the levels of the original master tracks, that the DJ found, can recall & inserts it seamlessly is perfection for the story that’s been created, built on and gauged from the audience that let’s go and is in it for the DJ’s ride. There are many reasons I respect the art of a DJ’s live performance, but learning to allow myself and know that even this control freak CAN leg go is an unbelievable thrill every time.

    So thanks for the best April Fool’s prank ever posted. It has definitely got me pumped up and can’t wait to listen to -everything.

  6. Its seems as though some didn’t scroll all the way down and click on the link that said this was an April fools joke. It got me so good I clicked on the link so I can take my first steps to do something about this lol. I’m so glad it was a joke cause I was getting steaming mad lol.

  7. Maybe everyone should just sample the hell out of Ernie Le Saviour and laugh in his face. At first the idea crossed my mind, by after thinking about it, this close minded asshole doesn’t deserve to have his compositions live on through our MIS-arrangements. He can take his old fashioned ass back to the day and age that when you died, so did your music.

  8. Pingback: Music Industry Execs Want NightClub & Hip Hop DJs to Pay Royalties for Songs-Case Before Appeals Court « Brand Newz

  9. I have a great deal of respect for both musicians and DJs. I see the point that the flautist is making regarding his profession but he failed to realize the benefit that DJs have brought to musicians. I believe that all musician are artist and DJ’s are as well. Just like a artist puts a great deal in creating a product that will not only showcase your talent but will sell records the DJ put the same amount of effort in creating a mix. But lets face it, the DJ’s are sometimes the individuals that will sell the songs and put the artist on the map and reach a variety of different communities.

    I would have a great deal of respect for the flautist except for the fact that he has no respect for another artist work (i.e. the DJ). The Dj’s job just as difficult as the musicians. Having to pick the right song, match the right beat, know the crowd and what they prefer to hear just to name a few is not an easy task by far. And let’s be real, how many times are you going to be able to listen to that one track before you get tired of hearing it over and over again. This is when it’s left up to the DJ to mix that song and reintroduce it to the audience for them to fall in love again. Not something EVERYONE, not even the original artist can do.

    I don’t know, this argument is credible but I don’t think it is 100% fair.

  10. Pingback: REally!?? | Off The Record Music Supervision

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