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 :)