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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:35 AM   #1
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BMI - collecting licence fees???

Statcounter says these guys have been looking on my website

BMI.com | Welcome

Anyone know anything about them?

Before anyone reaches for their soapbox - let's not go there. I just want to know if anyone has had interaction with or knows of the company
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Old August 4th, 2009, 04:40 AM   #2
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We have a similar organisation here. They're totally legit, and if they are like ours, they crawl the web with bots looking for sites that play music when you load a page. This of course, should be paid for - so if you do have any embedded mp3s or similar, the next step is a letter 'reminding' you that this kind of thing needs paying for. I smiled when I got a letter from PRS asking about music being played at my premises (I think they thought I was a hairdresser or something daft). I explained the music here is actually stuff I write and as I'm not a PRS member, I can put it on my website with no issues. They were very happy with this, and it's not a problem. BMI, is a lot bigger organisation, working for their members - so if their music is on a big site with thousands of hits daily, then the copyright payments owed can be pretty large - hence why they trawl the web for music. It's quite clever really, a cunning plan!
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Old August 4th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Mailath View Post
Statcounter says these guys have been looking on my website

BMI.com | Welcome

Anyone know anything about them?

Before anyone reaches for their soapbox - let's not go there. I just want to know if anyone has had interaction with or knows of the company
As Paul says, they are completely legit. They are one of several performing rights associations in North America representing music composers and publishers, collecting royalties for public performances and broadcasting and distributing them to the copyright owners. There are three major rights clearance organizations in North America, the others being ASCAP and SESAC, but BMI's scope is, I believe, world-wide. If you have any copyrighted music on your site, you are required to pay a certain royalty to the copyright owners each time the song is played unless you have licensed it as "royalty-free" music. In that regard music on a web site is no different from a radio station, a nightclub, or even the background music you hear in grocery stores.

A visit to their website, and that of ASCAP, will reveal a wealth of information about the ins and outs of performance licensing, including use on web sites. If you have downloadable music on your site, then you need a mechanical license and a visit to Harry Fox Agency's site would also be a good idea. Those are US agencies, of course. Regulations do vary by country and I see you're in Australia. Your local version of ASAP, BMI, or HFA is APRA/AMCOS (Australian Performing Rights Association/Australian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) and you can visit their website at http://www.apra-amcos.com.au/ for the skinny on your regulations and requirements.
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