BMI is a performing right organization: It collects license fees on behalf of its songwriters, composers and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. Generally in the USA, BMI requires licences from live music venues, and sometimes the performer. In real life, If a venue has musicians performing music on BMI's roster, DJs playing music, or even an Ipod for background music, then the venue is required to buy a contract from BMI. (ASCAP is also another company that requires a public music performance licences)
DJ Charming Babii is one of SL's top DJs. He is co-owner of Funky House Club and frequent performer. The Funky House Club has scored an amazing opportunity:
From Funky House Club (Charming Babii via notecard):
"BMI is the largest performing rights organisation in the world. A quick scan of BMI’s legendary roster turns up such names as John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Dave Brubeck, Willie Nelson, The Eagles, Thelonious Monk, Carlos Santana, The Beach Boys, The Neville Brothers, The Who, Aretha Franklin, Waylon Jennings, Charles Ives, John Kander & Fred Ebb, Leadbelly, John Williams, The Bee Gees, B.B. King, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and – via its affiliation with the British performing rights organization PRS – David Bowie, Sir Elton John and Eric Clapton.
The need to stay current is one of the music industry’s driving forces, and BMI meets that mandate with such names as Kanye West, the Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, John Adams, Juanes, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Keith Urban, Lil Jon, Mike Post, Juan Luis Guerra, John Legend, Tim McGraw, Conor Oberst, Keane, Don Omar, Thomas Newman, Snow Patrol, Snuffy Walden, William Bolcom, Ivy Queen, Snoop Dogg, Shakira, Seal, Rhianna, Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyke, Fedde le Grand, BT, Basement Jaxx, Paul Oakefold, Gorrilaz and many other top names on the contemporary scene. http://www.bmi.com/genres/C2681 (dance music)"
However, there's been communication through me about this being a problem for SL DJs and Clubs. Some are fearful that with BMI in SL and invested in the DJ/Club scene, they will begin investigating venues and DJs that may not have proper licencing to play music publicly. They may also begin designing rules and laws to regulate "virtual public music events". One angry raver said (as a group of 15 were hanging out in a club when Charming's Group Notice came through announcing the news.)"BMI is probably coming in to invent some new rules where virtual events are considered real life live events. They want to come in and take control of the music scene in SL, and make everyone pay to play."
One one hand,
But is taking BMI as a sponsor hypocritical? One DJ at the same club I was at said "It's like making virtual weapons, and accepting the Nazi's as a sponsor"
Danni Dollinger (owner of Funky House Club as well) has very positive reasons for wanting to be involved in SL. "i think its important to know the whole role of BMI . Its not only about licencing. Its also and moreover about discovering new artists and talented djs. BMI is a non-profit organisation that sponsors artist to spread their talents to the world BMIs major role here in SL and RL is for that in the forefront. We are really happy to explain BMIs role and plans for SL in tomorrows interview. Its actually a very exciting concept."
Are people just scared because they don't know what BMI and Funky House Club are up to? FHC owners are excited and happy to speak about their new adventure. Getting RL sponsorship from a music company is HUGE! Are the naysayers just jealous because he landed a big sponsorship deal?
I am going to interview Funky House Club owners tomorrow (Aug14th) so everyone can learn more about the project. I am also conducting several interviews with people that have strong opinions about this matter. (and you must be on the record).
Please stay tuned for the full story tomorrow. In the meantime, please post your comments or questions I should ask tomorrow.
--UPDATE-- Interview with Charming Babii & Danni Dollinger POSTED