Tuesday, August 14, 2007

An Interview with Charming Babii & Danni Dollinger, Owners of Funky House Club, & Now Sponsored by BMI

As I reported a day earlier HERE there was upset when the Funky House Club announced it would be taking on BMI as a sponsor. I promosed an interview for both Funky House Club owners as well as for all of the DJs, artists, club owners, and partygoers that may have been concerned about BMI's long-term SL plans.

I was joined by Charming Babii & Danni Dollinger, the owners of the Funky House Club (FHC) in Second Life. Recently they had advised the DJ/Music/Club scene that BMI has joined their endeavors as a sponsor.



Generally, most musicians and DJs have varying conceptions & misconceptions about BMI (more about BMI here). When the Funky House Club sent their news, it was met with congratulations, but also confusion, suspicion, and anger. Charming, Danni, and I were anxious to sit down and discuss more specifically FHC’s new projects, what BMI as a sponsor means,& what will BMIs presence in SL mean to other club owners and artists, performers, and djs.


--This text transcript has been edited for spelling, grammar, and extraneous content---
("You" = Doubledown Tandino)

[14:29] You: firstly I’d like to thank you for doing this. I think it's the best method for people to understand what you're all about to do... instead of them leaving them assuming the worst. Tell me about yourselves regarding real life. Before you found SL, what kinds of things musically were you each doing?

[14:31] Charming Babii: I have been a DJ for 12 years in clubs in Denmark. I’m not playing live in RL at the moment..only SL. Im also working on my own production :) House and dance music that is :)

[14:34] Danni Dollinger: I’m a music lover. I have met may famous people in RL. muso's. Mostly Australian artists.

[14:35] You: Was there any RL music or event related work you have done? What is your skills background?

[14:38] Danni Dollinger: i have a bachelors Degree in Economics and work as a management consultant in RL

[14:38] You: When did you both enter SL?

[14:38] Charming Babii: 2/22/2007

[14:39] Danni Dollinger: haha i cant remember the exact date the 25th of Feb I think.

[14:40] You: Charming, when you entered SL, were your first thoughts along the lines of getting involved with the music DJ scene? What was your first big project?

[14:41] Charming Babii: No..not all..I didn´t know anything about DJing in SL...I was happy when I found out. Went to (Club) Fallout.. and realized the DJing was possible in SL.

[14:41] You: how about you Danni; Your first big SL undertaking?

[14:42] Danni Dollinger: Learning how Sl worked and what it all meant.

[14:43] You: I mean, right after that, what was sort of the first project you got involved with?

[14:44] Danni Dollinger: I guess that would be getting involved with Hed Kandi

[14:45] You: The RL label.... not just some dude in SL that happened to be named "Hed Kandi"?

[14:45] Danni Dollinger: haha very funny. No, the RL label.

[14:45] You: What paths did you each take to arrive to the creation of the Funky House Club? When was the club's opening date?

[14:46] Danni Dollinger: Charm and I met at Fallout where he was spinning.

[14:46] Danni Dollinger: I loved the tunes he played and we became friends instantly.

[14:46] Charming Babii: we opened the club the July 20th, 2007

[14:46] You: Yeah I was at the opening, place was hopping! And since then you've grown to the beach and the yacht. What were the original ideals and goals when the concept of FHC formed?

[14:48] Danni Dollinger: Charm and I both loved House Music and the format of Fallout was changing towards another direction musically.

[14:49] You: so pretty much, you had the means and saw that FHC could give more freedom towards what you wanted to do with a SL club?

[14:49] Charming Babii: We could choose the music and play what we like :)

[14:50] You: Was gaining sponsorship an idea that you toyed with?

[14:51] Charming Babii: No not at all, the opportunity presented itself.

[14:52] You: Tell me a little about that, who approached who, and what were some of the basic ideas talked about?

[14:54] Danni Dollinger: We were approached by a BMI representative and we discussed the idea we had for the club.

[14:54] You: At this point, BMI is officially a sponsor, correct? Now, what does that mean exactly? What are some of the plans that BMI has for FHC, or vice versa? What does the sponsorship actually entail?

[14:55] Danni Dollinger: We are sponsored by BMI London. Our plans are to promote new talent and Artists in Dance Music. As well as have a hot of a time doing it :D

[14:56] You: Is it an exchange of money for signs and promo? Or is it about future BMI headliner events? What kind of options are the possibilities BMI wants to do? Will Funky House Club will have more to pay performers? Will BMI reps also be hanging at FHC looking for potential prospects?

[14:57] Danni Dollinger: Double let us resond to one question at a time. BMI already promotes events here in SL.

[15:00] Charming Babii: BMI wants to promote artists from the dance scene ...and they want to do it with FHC. They want to sign / discover artists (artists including writers, DJ´s, & producers) in SL and RL and promote them in SL and of course in RL. We are making our island into a dance scene.

[15:02] Danni Dollinger: We are planning to hold monthly events where Dance Music Artists can play their tunes to a live audience. At the moment BMI co-sponsors the Wavelength event at The Blarney Stone here in Sl which is a live simulcast from Hammersmith London (the Regal Rooms). The Hammersmith monthly event is for Piano acoustic artists.

[15:04] Charming Babii: So if there are DJs, producers, & artists in the dance scene in SL...they really have the opportunity at FHC.

[15:05] You: What key points about FHC was it that made BMI select FHC? Can you think of anything specific that got BMI to notice FHC? Why FHC, what were some things that made it more exceptional than other clubs?

[15:06] Danni Dollinger: The collaboration with FHC is to promote Dance music from SL into RL. Part of the reason i think they chose FHC is because of our vision to the future. That being.... Funky DJ Agency and Funky Music Productions

[15:10] You: Moving on to more BMI related. You two are not BMI reps, so i wouldn’t expect you should know all these answers. BMI, what are they about.. in essence?

[15:11] Danni Dollinger: Performing Rights Representation for Creators of all Music.

[15:12] You: in simple terms: They make sure artists receive the money owed from their music being played live, correct? or does live not have anything to do with it? .... (example, a commercial wants to use a song, they'd go to BMI for that license?)

[15:13] Danni Dollinger: No they would need to get permission for the Music Publisher

[15:14] You: ok, so BMI mainly relates to music played at a public event, correct?

[15:14] Danni Dollinger: Partially but also radio, tv, cable, and the net.

[15:15] You: Net streaming (what performers do into clubs in SL) .. Would that fall under BMI's jurisdiction, or RIAA?

[15:15] Danni Dollinger: Not at this time (it does not fall under BMI’s jurisdiction.

[15:16] You: But perhaps, someday? BMI could be in SL to create new laws and licenses?

[15:17] Danni Dollinger: BMi doesn’t create laws. It is governed by a consent decree which is legislative.

[15:18] You: Does funky house club now have a BMI licence?

[15:18] Danni Dollinger: No. It is a promotional activity to promote dance music in SL.

[15:18] You: Is BMI supplying FHC's DJs with free music to promote?

[15:19] Charming Babii: No not at all... i wish lol

[15:19] Danni Dollinger: lol

[15:20] You: so specifically, how does BMI "help promote a performer or artists" ?

[15:21] Charming Babii: Showcases, co writing sessions, meet n greats, and general promoting activities.

[15:22] Danni Dollinger: And introductions to people in the Music Business.

[15:22] You: And we should expect to see some BMI reps hanging at the club sometimes?

[15:22] Charming Babii: yes :)) that’s the point :))

[15:22] Danni Dollinger: Yes of Course

[15:23] You: Do you feel it's hypocritical to join with BMI, knowing that you are playing music unlicensed for FHC?

[15:24] Charming Babii: No not at all

[15:24] Danni Dollinger: BMI is here in a promotional capacity only.

[15:24] Charming Babii: …on the dance scene

[15:25] You: Many are saying "Yeah, they say they're here in a promotional capacity, but there's no way they're not going to start snooping around." If BMIs company IS keeping licenses and selling them in RL, why would they overlook the countless live performers and clubs in SL that are potentially doing something unlicensed that BMI could collect money from?

[15:28] Danni Dollinger: That’s between Linden Lab and all of the agencies that are trying to get their piece of SL.

[15:28] You: Here's a worst case scenario: BMI is invited in by FHC..... BMI then comes up with some "virtual world performance" license and demands SL clubs or performers now need licenses.... then BMI goes to all the popular clubs and logs who is breeching licenses.... and then they contact Linden Lab to request RL personal info.....

[15:28] Danni Dollinger: BMI is here to promote new talent.

[15:28] Charming Babii: BMI is here now for the Dance scene.

[15:29] Danni Dollinger: That type of thing is legislative and not BMIs domain.

[15:30] You: before you both connected with BMI, what were your opinions about BMI?

[15:30] Charming Babii: I thought BMI was a record company lol.

[15:32] You: It's a huge step and FHC will gain much success.. What are your thoughts about the feelings of the SL DJ/Club community? Do you feel this will only help or hurt?

[15:33] Danni Dollinger: FHC feels that this is a really good thing for Artists and Djs in SL. They will be given more opportunities to be promoted in RL which may not have come along if they weren’t in SL

[15:34] Charming Babii: Yes..You never know..maybe I’ll get my tunes out ;)

[15:34] You: If other club owners or club goers still think negatively about BMI doing this, and FHC doing this, do you have anything to say to them to convince them that BMI is honestly here to promote artists and djs only?

[15:36] Danni Dollinger: I would say come along to our first live event and be heard!

[15:36] You: It seems people may be naive about what BMI is all about, where can they go to get more BMI info?

[15:37] Charming Babii: http://www.bmi.com/

[15:37] You: thank you for doing this
[15:37] Charming Babii: yw Double :))

[15:37] Danni Dollinger: thanks :)

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are they record label? NO.

I suspect the only "PROMOTING" & "SIGNING" BMI will be doing is asking you the virtual SL artists to "SIGN UP" and "PAY" them for public license representation. In the meantime they will continue lobbying congress toward goal of establishing mandate all others pay license to stream.

Really irrational for anyone to see benefit in this considering their is no financial or economic incentive provided inside SL either for artist or clubs. All the DJs, artists & club owners in SL do it purely for their passion. No one is making money on this here.

I am not sure whether to forgive Charming Babii & Danni Dollinger for being so ignorant, or to be disgusted they would actually think everyone else be such.

Anonymous said...

Wonders how many real life businesses failed being unable to afford additional opperational costs of lisence to broadcast?

Anyone know a good reference for this having good stats?

Danni Dollinger said...

It's interesting that someone who signed their comments as anonymous can call others ignorant.....

Anonymous said...

I have read the interwiev and the article from Doubledown Tandino and ofcaouse all the coments, and yes im anoymous, caouse if im not i will proberbly get trouble too.
I see a lot off small headed people and i also see a lot of envy people, when i read the articles and coments. BMI, ASCAP and what they all are called have been in SL for a long time, dont forget that, but its nice to see that BMI is in SL now to promote the music and give new talent a change, its great, think about that. I dont see BMI, ASCAP as the problem, no i see Doubledown Tandino and all you other negative people as the problem, you have no idea what you all are talking about, its easy to see Doubledown Tandino as the negative part in this, and the more i read his articles, the more im sure he just is a negative person, its not BMI, ASCAP who is scary here!!! And to BMI, i dont understand why Funky House is the one to sponsor, newer heard about them, and i have been in SL for over 2 years you should have picked bigger or more crowded clubs, or even have startet it all up yourself. Anyway, this is a good thing for the artist in SL and all the dreamers outthere who hopes to see the stars and fame in RL, this is a positive thing. If you all want a negative story and be negative about it, write about the bank busines and the bank crack in SL, it really should be illegal to have a bank in RL, yes i lost my money!

Anonymous said...

I think this is getting personal now, do we need that ? on the other hand i do see a negative tone from Doubledown Tandino and a few other, but i think is all about jealousy, yes i think thats the problem in this. What a great deal for a club in SL, what a GREAT thing for SL, who wouldn´t be happy for a deal like that and what a change for all the SL/RL talents, go for it!. to all you other jealous SL people outthere, get a life and try to be happy for other people than yourself!!!

Tropical said...

What a great interwiev from Doubledown Tandino, Danni Dollinger and Charming Babii, it tells it all, why are you all still going on about this, the interwiev tells it all. I dont see Doubledown Tandino as the bad guy in this, i think he loves the idea about BMI promoting new talents and BMI artist in SL, he is an artist himself, and why not, its a great idea. jealousy, yes thats so clear to see in all the bad coments, maybe all the bad coments is from other club owners, who wish they got this change, i don´t know, but im thinking it!!. Stop the negative talk and lets see what BMI and Funky House comes with in the future. PARTY ON

Brad Reason/DJ Doubledown said...

"Danni Dollinger said...
It's interesting that someone who signed their comments as anonymous can call others ignorant....."

Danni the reason that people are staying anonymous is because they have their own asses to protect.

It's not that they want to hide and say these things to you without being publically known. It's that they want to stay as far away from BMI as possible.

Brad Reason/DJ Doubledown said...

"anonymous said:
i see Doubledown Tandino and all you other negative people as the problem, you have no idea what you all are talking about, its easy to see Doubledown Tandino as the negative part in this, and the more i read his articles, the more im sure he just is a negative person,"

I have not stated one opinion on this matter yet. I have not relayed anything but FACT. In fact, I've held my tongue on a lot of this to allow Charming and Danni a chance to speak their side. I have stated how a lot of people are feeling about this issue, and instead I get attacked for being negative and accused of being negative and jealous?

Charming and Danni should feel lucky that someone in the DJ/Club community of SL stepped up and acted as an impartial mediator for this whole issue.

Two days ago I heard the news of BMI joining with FHC just as everyone else did. I didn't initiate any anger or add fuel to the fire. What I did was allowed those opinions to be said in an article in my blog. I then promised FHC an interview.

There has been nothing negatively slanted, and my opinion HAS NOT been written yet.

HallucinoGirl said...

I have a few question that were not clear in the interview. Much was said about how BMI is gonna promote SL artists, "[15:28] Danni Dollinger: BMI is here to promote new talent." to quote.

If they are willing, I would love to hear the FH owners explain in more concrete fashion that exact plan for this. "Showcases, co writing sessions, meet n greats" I would argue are not really promoting. Meet n greets are at best networking opportunities. I will also add BMI offers these services only to members who join under their representation and not the general public. Does this mean a producer has to join for BMI representation to have access to these services? Finally, how is having a party once a month for producers that is aired to a "live" audience any different from what most clubs already are doing on a daily basis...can you confirm if recording label executives will be there to listen or some other aspect that sets it apart from live djs and producers performing and airing "live" at non BMI events?

Finally I would like to leave my submission from other thread as I feel its warranted given the defensive and hostile tones which are emerging....


HallucinoGirl said...
Wow people! Before passing hostile opinions, I encourage you to read critically. Much of it is very enlightening. Much is very rational and critical thought process, and some unfortunately is irrational without support.

I commend Doubledown thus far. He has not displayed any negative tone whatsoever to this issue. He has refrained from making opinionated judgements. Don't persecute him or others because they asked legitimate quesitons or brought to light valid concerns.

Their are always two sides to a debate. Lets be rational adults here please and respectful to eachother if possible.

Brad Reason/DJ Doubledown said...

HallucinoGirl said...
"... Before passing hostile opinions, I encourage you to read critically. Much of it is very enlightening. Much is very rational and critical thought process, and some unfortunately is irrational without support.

I commend Doubledown thus far. He has not displayed any negative tone whatsoever to this issue. He has refrained from making opinionated judgements. Don't persecute him or others because they asked legitimate quesitons or brought to light valid concerns."

Thank you. Yes I have tried to get this full story on all angles without my opinion invovled.

I am at the heart of this issue. I am an independant producer, a DJ, an event creator where there is live music, and a devoted member to Second Life (and SLs DJ&Club scene more specifically).
For EVERYONE & for myself, I needed to get a straight story.
Some of you in the comments is where the negativity came from.

Repeating for emphasis:
"Before passing hostile opinions, I encourage you to read critically. Much of it is very enlightening. Much is very rational and critical thought process, and some unfortunately is irrational without support."

Negativity is not the issue here. Jealousy is not the issue here. The issue is that BMI is present in SL. BMI is present in SLs DJ & Club scene now. BMI and Funky House Club struck a sponsorship deal and A LOT of people have reactions to this.
I'm laying this news out there as fast as possible, because it doesn't just concern the owners of the funky house club, it concerns the entire SL music community.

Rhea said...

Really, I don't understand the negativity of BMI being present in SL. I don't understand why people dismiss this idea right away. There is so much good music in SL and most likely some DJs tried to create their own music, and if they would have an opportunity to be signed up for BMI then why not?

If one club in SL lucked out with the deal then good for them. Way to go FHC!

HallucinoGirl said...

In response to Rhea...

Basicly anyone who is a songwriter may sign up with BMI. I will refer you to review their sign-up page: https://applications.bmi.com/affiliation/joinen.aspx

The 2 main criteria are:
1. Your works are about to be "commercially" recorded and released.
2. You have written/co-written or composed a song which is or is likely to be performed on radio, television, internet, etc.

Anyone in SL meeting these and also the age requirements and legal reuquirents of US taxation already has the opportunity to "sign" with BMI. They just need fill out paperwork and join.

Anonymous said...

Hallo my name is Steven, i have no google account so i have no user name.

I play SL often, and i enjoy the game, just like all of you.

I work for ASCAP, and no one can tell anything about licening in SL, there is a lot of talk and its not you as a DJ, producer or club owner etc. we are talking to, its Linden, so relax!

BMI, ASCAP everyone is already in SL, and have been here for a long time, there is nothing new in that, a sponsorship from BMI at this time has NOTHING to doo with BMI coming in to SL now, they are already here and have been for over 2 years now.

This sponsorship is a "positive" move i think from BMI, to show that its not all about licence but also about the music, artist and promotors, and there really is big talents in SL.

If licence is coming, its coming, and not because of a sponsorship or a specific club.

Hope you can use this to something, and maybe relax a bit!

Steven.

Brad Reason/DJ Doubledown said...

Well Steven from ASCAP, I think you just sunk yourself in many ways.

Steven says:
I play SL often, and i enjoy the game, just like all of you.

Doubledown's Reply:
Steven views SL as an enjoyable game and assumes that we all feel the same way.

Steven says:
I work for ASCAP, and no one can tell anything about licening in SL, there is a lot of talk and its not you as a DJ, producer or club owner etc. we are talking to, its Linden, so relax!

Doubledown's Reply:
You ARE talking to LINDEN LAB about licensing. This does not make me relaxed, this makes me twice as concerned. When people talk with LL about liscences and laws, LL makes rash blanket universal decisions without warning to the residents.

Steven says:
BMI, ASCAP everyone is already in SL, and have been here for a long time, there is nothing new in that, a sponsorship from BMI at this time has NOTHING to do with BMI coming in to SL now, they are already here and have been for over 2 years now.

Doubledown Replies:
Yes, BMI and ASCAP have been in SL for years, but BMI is JUST NOW entering our community of SL DJs, Clubs, and Nightlife. Many people in this specific community are not interested in welcoming BMI in, meanwhile there are people who are interested in welcoming them.

Steven says:
This sponsorship is a "positive" move i think from BMI, to show that its not all about licence but also about the music, artist and promotors, and there really is big talents in SL.

Doubledown Replies:
And in the meantime, you're "talking with Linden Lab" and also gathering information about SL's music scene.

Steven says
If licence is coming, its coming, and not because of a sponsorship or a specific club.

Doubledown replies:
Yes, it's coming. We all see that. And many of us disagree with the licencing company's principles and policies. So many of us are hoping that ASCAP and BMI will make very slow and hopefully no progress in SL.

Steven says:
Hope you can use this to something, and maybe relax a bit!

Doubledown replies:
No this is not relaxing in one bit. We now know ASCAP is talking to Linden Lab about trying to gain liscences, and to try to make LL buy into thinking they need licenses.

When the time is right, I would love to share my story regarding dealing with ASCAP for the first time (in RL) and the coersion and tactics that were used in order to make be believe I needed a certain liscense.

PS: If ASCAP and BMI are about getting fees to artists, why do they charge varying extra fees for RL public venues if:
a) there is drinking at the venue
b) the venue is a restaurant
c) jukebox vs live performer
d) there is dancing at the establishment
???

HallucinoGirl said...

After reading Steven's post I can't help to wonder many things that were revealed and raise important points for which I have valid questions.

You tell us to "relax" as BMI, ASCAP, and others have already been here for over 2 years. Do I understand correctly that you say the community of "DJ, producer or club owner etc." has been entirely disregarded during this time that negotiations or discussions have apparently been in process with Linden Life? Or are you trying to suggest it is entirely out of the hands for anyone outside of that discussion ring and therefore we should save our breath?

Also... Why after 2 years of prospecting is BMI just now trying to send image they also have sincere interested "for the music, artist and promotors....big talents in SL"?

To me this is very contradictory. On one had I feel you first suggest the community is excluded for over 2 years, though all of a sudden their is sudden interest for the overall prosperity of the community though they will reman exluded from decision process between BMI, ASCAP, etc., and SL.

I will continue asking necessary questions until the story holds up rationally with facts. I don't believe anyone opposed to the potential detrimental risk of public performance license inside of SL should just stand aside and permit it to happen because it eventually will some day. As forces keep "chipping away at the big rock", I intend to do what is within my ability in preventing or slowing the process to protect the interests of the community. Not just step aside and allow it to happen as an oberserving bystandar.

-HallucinoGirl

Tropical said...

This is a funny story to read and follow, easy to see who is with it and who is against it.
But i must say this, i very much doubt that Steven is from ASCAP, no one from ASCAP or BMI would post a public coment in a media like this, think about that, and i very much doubt that if he was from ASCAP, he would be so stupid to mess with the subject. No, i think we got a fake one here!!!!

HallucinoGirl said...

Would not be too skeptical...BMI and ASCAP both have established groups in SL that are approaching a year old. I suggest also searching them and reading their charters. :P

HallucinoGirl said...

(Wonders if the FH ownes are ever going to respond to her questions from earlier post)...

Perhaps they are awaiting BMI to get back to them for official response?