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Making Music Is Illegal.

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The Shambles 21 Apr 01 - 11:51 AM
Naemanson 22 Apr 01 - 08:38 AM
Mike Byers 22 Apr 01 - 09:15 AM
Jeri 22 Apr 01 - 09:48 AM
Jon Freeman 22 Apr 01 - 11:27 AM
The Shambles 22 Apr 01 - 01:44 PM
The Shambles 22 Apr 01 - 01:50 PM
Naemanson 22 Apr 01 - 02:03 PM
Naemanson 22 Apr 01 - 02:12 PM
Jon Freeman 22 Apr 01 - 02:34 PM
Amos 22 Apr 01 - 02:59 PM
Melani 22 Apr 01 - 03:26 PM
Irish sergeant 22 Apr 01 - 03:58 PM
Naemanson 22 Apr 01 - 04:04 PM
The Shambles 22 Apr 01 - 04:42 PM
paddymac 22 Apr 01 - 06:23 PM
vindelis 22 Apr 01 - 06:29 PM
Jon Freeman 22 Apr 01 - 07:09 PM
Lady McMoo 22 Apr 01 - 08:00 PM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 22 Apr 01 - 08:00 PM
Seamus Kennedy 22 Apr 01 - 08:28 PM
Bert 22 Apr 01 - 11:58 PM
paddymac 23 Apr 01 - 01:10 AM
The Shambles 23 Apr 01 - 02:24 AM
The Shambles 23 Apr 01 - 02:54 AM
Naemanson 23 Apr 01 - 06:34 AM
The Shambles 23 Apr 01 - 10:43 AM
Hillheader 23 Apr 01 - 05:30 PM
mousethief 23 Apr 01 - 05:38 PM
Naemanson 23 Apr 01 - 05:46 PM
mousethief 24 Apr 01 - 12:32 AM
The Shambles 24 Apr 01 - 03:25 AM
Mike Byers 24 Apr 01 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 24 Apr 01 - 08:31 AM
The Shambles 24 Apr 01 - 08:33 AM
Lady McMoo 24 Apr 01 - 10:31 AM
KitKat 24 Apr 01 - 11:05 AM
mousethief 24 Apr 01 - 11:54 AM
The Shambles 24 Apr 01 - 02:07 PM
The Shambles 24 Apr 01 - 02:15 PM
The Shambles 24 Apr 01 - 03:14 PM
The Shambles 27 Apr 01 - 05:05 AM
Naemanson 27 Apr 01 - 06:20 AM
The Shambles 27 Apr 01 - 09:53 AM
Grab 27 Apr 01 - 01:36 PM
JeZeBeL 27 Apr 01 - 01:50 PM
The Shambles 27 Apr 01 - 03:57 PM
little john cameron 27 Apr 01 - 04:18 PM
vindelis 27 Apr 01 - 05:29 PM
The Shambles 27 Apr 01 - 07:03 PM
Deni 28 Apr 01 - 03:04 AM
The Shambles 29 Apr 01 - 03:06 AM
Richard Bridge 29 Apr 01 - 06:25 PM
The Shambles 29 Apr 01 - 06:54 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Apr 01 - 08:29 AM
The Shambles 30 Apr 01 - 04:11 PM
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Subject: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 11:51 AM

Sessions under threat in UK

There is a basic right of musical freedom of expression under threat here. I make no excuse for keeping on with this issue. If the above thread reaches 100 posts, and all of them are from me, so be it.

All I would request that all those that hold music dear and feel that the right to express it is important, to at least read these threads.

I would then hope and ask that, wherever they were in the world, that they would please do whatever they feel that can to help.

Giving their thoughts to the world, would help. Writing to those that would take this right away, may help even more?

A way to contact them is given in the above thread.

Many thanks.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 08:38 AM

Would you please define "session" as you are using it for the purposes of this thread? Who sets up a session, how and why do the people assemble, what does the management of the hosting venue get out of it, etc.? I skimmed (only quick skimming) through some of the previous threads and it seems as though the crack down is on music for pay.

If it isn't a formal entertainment how can anyone legislate against a group of friends getting together to share a song over a friendly glass of beer?

I think this United Statesian just doesn't understand what it is you do that they are against.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Mike Byers
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 09:15 AM

I believe such things have happened in the US, too. Several years ago when I lived in Virginia, I was told by a fellow I met that he and a friend were sitting on his friend's porch in Fairfax, Virginia quietly playing acoustic guitars when a sheriff pulled up and told them, "You can't do that here." I don't know from personal experience that this is true; it's just what I was told. I escaped the People's Republic of Viginia when the county I lived in (Fauquier County) passed a tax on writers and artists that was 2.5 times the rate of the tax on retail merchants and developers. They told me I had to buy both a "writer's license" and an "artist's license", so I told them to stuff it and moved away. I was fortunate to have this option. But it has been my experience that governments will do anything they have the power to do--or think they can get away with. All governments tend toward tyranny; that's just the basic nature of the beast.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 09:48 AM

It's my understanding that in the UK (or at least some parts of it) anyone making music is considered "entertainment."

I suspect the people who make these rules think that only professionals sing or play, and don't really understand the whole concept of folk music. Music, not just FOR the general public, but BY the general public. Sure, some musicians are going to be very good, and others not so good, but most folks go to participate, not simply listen.

Maybe you ought to take it to the extreme. If singing is entertainment, then talking is as well. After all, the general public can't speak very well - that's why we have actors, comedians, lecturers, etc. The stuff that goes on in pubs is folk talking. If folk singing is considered entertainment, then folk talking should be as well. Telling jokes should be illegal, telling stories about what happened at your cousin's wedding...

Shambles, if it were me, I'd keep on about it as well. I'd find it intolerable - not just because the situation arose in the first place, but because those who could do something about it were allowing such a ridiculously idiotic thing to continue.

If this happened in the US, I think what would happen is people would have more get-togethers in their homes. Drink is less expensive and folks could play/sing whatever/whenever/however long they wanted. We also have sessions in other venues - churches and community halls. Some are alcohol free, and others are "bring your own." I think if the pubs were hit hard financially, the powers-that-be might take notice. (Unless they're trying to make the pubs lose business, in which case it would backfire, and it would mainly initially hurt landlords, who seem to have little say in the situation.)

Whatever WILL work is going to take organization.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 11:27 AM

Naemanson, I'm not sure that I have this right but the way it was once explained to me, more than 2 people playing at the same time constitutes entertainment. Presuamably you could have a paid act, say electric guitar, backing tracks, etc or hire a DJ who is only there to entertain the pub and not come under this law wheras having 3 people sitting down, playing accousitc music and largely entertaining themseves would be require a licence.

Can someone confirm this or explain otherwise.

Jon


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 01:44 PM

Thanks Jon.

Please don't let anyone think they have be any kind of expert to ask, comment or answer on this rather complicated subject.

People singing in pub whether paid or other wise, purely for their own pleasure or for others is considered public entertainment and requires the premises to hold a Public Entertainment Licence.

If there are less than two 'performers', there is an exemption to this requirement.

The authorities are claiming that particpatory music events like sessions, singarounds, folk clubs and suchlike, involve more than two 'performers' so are prevented until a Public Entertainment Licence is obtained.

The licensee faces a £20.000 fine or six months in prison if they allow in effect, a pub sing-along.

Naemanson if you and I should meet in a UK pub and sing together? Would you consider that, to be a public entertainment and that we were performers? If we were joined by Jon, would you consider that to be illegal?

It would be without a Public Entertainment Licence.

These are the bare facts, the full picture will unfold if you click on the link above.

Any help would be most appreciated? Thanks to all those that have written so far. This help will make a difference.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 01:50 PM

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

You can email WPBC from the web site.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 02:03 PM

I just sent an email to Ian Locke, Director of Tourism for the Weymouth and Portland Bourough Council. In it I expressed concern at the situation. I asked him how I would know which pubs to avoid.

I'll let you know what he says.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 02:12 PM

According to the other thread Big Mick did something similar. I think we all need to get on the horm to those people and make them realize that we are concerned. This isn't as big as the foot and mouth problem but it could have the same impact on those of us who want to go to England for the music.

Shambles, if I can get over there before this blows over let's go on a pub crawl and sing in every pub! I want to see if they'll arrest or otherwise harrass a tourist!


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 02:34 PM

Naemanson, I thought I had posted something on this before but as I can't find it, I will post again.

I lived in Conwy, North Wales which is a tourist area for several years and we used to have sessions there with no problems.

One of the largest events in Conwy was the North Wales Bluegrass Festival which not only atrracted people from all parts of the UK but even visitors and acts from the US.

Every year before the event, warnings about prosecutions for breaches in the entertainment laws were issued and most of the pubs were to scared to have any playing that weekend.

Brilliant isn't it? A tourist town, lots of musicians around and hardly anywhere to play. Must work really well towards creating a nice friendly atmosphere wich would help encourage people back next year.

Jon


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Amos
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 02:59 PM

God save human souls from government. Wodda buncha maroons.

A


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Melani
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 03:26 PM

I just emailed the Weymouth tourism people at the link above and also asked for a list of pubs to avoid. My daughter and I are hoping to go over there in the spring of 2002. I told them if we can't find enough places that allow sessions, we might spend most of our time in Ireland instead.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 03:58 PM

Have guitar will travel if the government wants to strt that over here. I don't know if this Yankees protest will help. Let me know if it will and you'll have it post haste. Either way you have my support in this fight against the mindless twits in the bureaucracy Kindest reguards, up with music and down with tyranny! Neil


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:04 PM

I can see a movement getting started. Bunches of guitar toting tourists from OTGB (other than Great Britain) being harrassed out of town because two or more of them want to have a beer and sing some songs. I can see the pub owners petitioning Parliament to change the law. I see letter writing campaigns. I see peaceful demonstrations where singers pile into government buildings, sing songs, and then the local constabulary cites the Government for entertaining without a license.

It's a movement!


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:42 PM

Some tourist were put off coming to the UK because they were under the inpression that they may catch foot and mouth. The Government have just spent a small fortune showing overseas tourist associations all arounf the UK so they can go home and tell everyone it is safe to come.

I would not like to suggest that there is any chance of you being arrested for making music in a pub here. There is not. If folk believe that and stay away for that reason, maybe the Government will have to take similar action as above?

Any legal action will be against the licensee. Which is why these threats of action are so dangerous for the future of folk music here. For rather than risking fines, prision or paying for a licence for events that are unlikely to pay for the cost of, the licensee will stop the folk session.

All Emails from places other than Great Britain may have a very good effect, especially at this (lack of) tourist sensitive period. You don't have to pretend to them that you understand all the issues involved, just ask them to explain why they should wish to make folk music illegal...

Nice to have some from inside the UK as well? Thanks to all.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: paddymac
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 06:23 PM

It sounds to me like the local bureaucrats are simply trying to raise revenues (taxes) buy a clever little licensing scheme. If it's some national legislation, as opposed to local, then I would be suspicious of whatever groups claims to "represent" creative artists by protecting copyrights. Local action is the most likely to be successful in combating such foolishness. Why not a march on city hall, or to the homes in council members, etc. No violence, but do let them know that the natives are restless. If the citizens don't speak out about it, the bureaucrats will win. Having been a bureaucrat, let me hasten to say that they are not, by definition, evil people. But it is very easy for them to simply lose touch with the realities of the people they are supposed to serve. "Planners" seem most effected by such tendencies. What was that American movie some years back? Something like "I'm mad as hell and am not going to take it any more !" Organize and raise hell. It helps if you can identify the villain.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: vindelis
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 06:29 PM

Shambles I wonder how things will stand come the summer, if the session moved outside (and on the other side of the 'wave wall')? It would not be held on licensed premises, and I don't think that there is a bye-law preventing music on the sea-wall - yet. Cycling, playing ball and dogs fouling the footpath yes; but not music - or would that be classed as a breach of the peace?


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 07:09 PM

Paddymac, the law is national. As far as I can gather, what is happening in some parts of the UK is that it has started to be rigidly enforced even though these areas may well have had trouble free sessions (strictly speaking, in breach of these laws) for years.

I think it is a case of beaurocracy and sort sighted greed over-ruling common sense.

Jon


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 08:00 PM

How about a regular massed bodhran concert right outside the offices of every petty bureaucrat concerned until they relent? Might be good practice getting the timing tightened up too!

Seriously, this is a nightmare and count me in amongst those trying to put a stop to this nonsense.

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 08:00 PM

If the music is in the public domain, no license should be required. A possible rule to adopt: don't play any music at an unlicensed session if you can't document its p.d. status.

It might be fun to hold a bunch of all-p.d. sessions to see if you can lure the copyright cops into making payment demands that they have no right to make. But it might be risky, too. I don't know if I would undertake such a course of action myself, but it's an interesting thought.

Of course, the duration of copyright is now so crushingly long (life+70 in the UK--for a comment on this sordid state of affairs, click here) that many generations must pass before copyrighted music is finally promoted to its true home in the public domain. If the term of copyright were 40-50 years shorter, authors would still have a reasonable chance of making money from their work, but music would become public domain within a reasonable time. There would be more to play at sessions--though still not the newest music--without depriving authors.

Here and here are two law-journal articles dealing with musical copyright. They don't deal directly with questions of performance licensing, and they are written from a U.S. perspective. Still, they might be of interest. The first deals with possible courses of action against those who demand payment for copyrights they don't own, or that don't exist. Some of these legal theories might map into U.K. law. The second deals with the publishing industry's tendency to claim copyright for trivial "arrangements" that may not be copyrightable under U.S. law (and maybe not under U.K. law either).

T.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 08:28 PM

Shambles, at the risk of sounding contrary, how much is the music licence? And if it's reasonable, why not pay it?

Just asking..

Seamus


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: Bert
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 11:58 PM

You're right Mike B. The exact same thing happened to me here in Phoenixville PA. I was sitting on my front porch with half a dozen friends playning my guitar and singing.

The "Bold Brave Police" drove by and told me to stop.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: paddymac
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 01:10 AM

Here in the states, if the local law want's to harass you for playing music on your front porch, I suggest that you have a ready repertoire of political protest songs. If they then stop you, file a first amendment suit. Protection of "pure political speech" (including songs and flag burning and such other political expressions) is well protected , and police intervention would expose them to judically imposed damage$$$. I'm not sufficiently aware of the laws in the UK, but my impression is that free speech is not so well protected.

Having said that, if your playing is keeping the neighbors awake or causing something akin to a disturbance of the peace, well, it may be that a constabular caution is appropriate. But, even under such circumstances, if it's "political speech" (even protesting inane laws and/or local ordinances) you would be on firm legal footing. Find a phoakie lawyer with a conscience, but he or she would still need to pay their rent too.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 02:24 AM

Seamus the licemce is for the premises. It is up to the licensee if they wish to obtain it or not.

Paying for the licence is not the point. The public and musicians suffer the loss of the music but have no real say. Even if they raise the money (every year?) for the licence the licensee may not want the licence or it may not be granted. Details of all this are on the the thread linked above.

This licence has NOTHING to do with performing rights or copywright. They say it is to ensure public safety etc.

Vendilis if this session moves outside, there would be other problems I'm sure. Like how far one can drink away from the pub and such like.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS IILEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 02:54 AM

Seamus is there such a thing a reasonable ramsom demand?

If you give in to a ransom demand, the problem only gets worse in the long run.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: Naemanson
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 06:34 AM

I still say that what we need is for the happy American tourists to be hustled off of the premises of a few pubs so s/he can go to the media and complain about the unfriendly pubs in XYZshire. What would be great would be to recruit someone with some stature and fame to do it. Peaceful protest is the answer. You can write letters until your fingers go numb but until your face is in front of a camera nobody will care.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 10:43 AM

My face in front of the camera, would drive any possible support away.......

Good points though.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: Hillheader
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 05:30 PM

Sorry for coming in late on this but the public safety issue is an important one. We have heard so far about two our three musicians just turning up at a pub and having a session and I agree that this should present no problem. That is however just one extreme of the equation.

Suppose on the other hand those three musicians were major names and said they would be back next week. Word gets round and the pub is then packed to the rafters - and a fire breaks out. Legally the publican has a duty of care to ensure the place is safe; he knew about the possibility of the larger crowd than he could safely hold and did nothing about it so he is liable for any claims regarding injuries or deaths which may occur. To far fetched? Think on the problems caused by fires at illegal raves with no safety measures in place.

If we take the barriers down here we also need to look at other areas. Boxing for example - just some guys having fun and enjoying themselves so why all the fuss about medical cover right? Or football, 60000 people gathered together to support their respective teams so why do the police need to be involved? Yes I know the last two questions are total nonsense but anyone could put up an argument for exemption to suit their particular circumstances.

Sorry if this response goes against the grain of the thread. I really do think that common sense should be applied and provided there is no evidence of public saftey being compromised then let the music play. But are we not going to inevitably become victims of our own success in that the more we play, the better we get and the more people will come so the risk increases. When do we apply the brakes? It's much easier to stop the car just as it starts rolling downhill than it is to try and stop it at the bottom.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: mousethief
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 05:38 PM

Aren't public houses in the UK licensed for a certain number of people? Every restaurant, pub, etc. in the USA has a sign that says "Maximum Occupancy NNN" where NNN is some number (103, 47, whatever). If there are 103 people in the restaurant and your maximum occupancy is 103, you just don't let any more in, or suffer the wrath of the law for safety violation of your license, and rightly so (assuming the number is reasonable for the size of the joint).

Don't y'all do that over there? If so, where's the problem, and why have the blue law?

Alex


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: Naemanson
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 05:46 PM

You make a good point, davebhoy, but not good enough. As Mousethief has pointed out there are other laws that could protect the safety of the public.

Question: Are there any mechanical recorded music machines in these pubs. Here in the USA I would be suspicious that these laws were the result of lobbyists pushing a law on to the books that favored their sales/rentals.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: mousethief
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 12:32 AM

Sorry for killing yer thread, mates


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 03:25 AM

Public safety is more Than already covered in these establishments. It must be.

If an local authority inpection associated with a PEL application should find the premises unsafe, then the local authority had already failed to ensure public safety under its previous inspections.

Are council's seriously claiming if three people talking in a public house are safe, that these three people are now unsafe should they then start to sing?

I am afraid that they are saying just that.........


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: Mike Byers
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 07:43 AM

"Public safety"? Are people in the UK being killed or injured in incidents related to folk or traditional music? This seems unlikely to me. I believe it was the late Robert Heinlein who said something to the effect that "if someone claims to be doing something for your own good or safety, they're probabably after either your freedom, your money or both."


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 08:31 AM

Public safety? Well, Namesake, it's probably all my fault. You see, when I sing there's such a rush for the door, someone's sure to get hurt...perhaps if you promised them I'd never be invited...
RtS


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 08:33 AM

Good point and one quite easy to establish.

How about the request that if council's should insist on PELs for participatory sessions in pubs? Due to the precedent set that, the purpose of the music is recognised as important under the law, that they do not charge the fee for these events?

For the next few years, we recognise and admire their overwhelming duty and desire to ensure public safety and interests by insisting on a PEL requirement for sessions. But in line with music used as part of a church service, will not expect them to charge or receive a fee for this generous service?

They may not then see this duty to place PELs on participatory events, with quite the same fervour as they do now?


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 10:31 AM

Just a question...maybe it's been answered already? I notice that a lot of pubs have these nasty big screens these days showing the "big match" and attracting many occasionally rowdy customers in on the strength of it. Do these pubs have to have a P.E.L.?

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: KitKat
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:05 AM

Dear Shambles

If you would like to draft a form protest letter, I'd be happy to send it along to my local authority, local papers and local MP (even though it is John Redwood!). I'm sure many other Brit mudcatters would do the same.

KitKat


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: mousethief
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:54 AM

So do British pubs have maximum occupancy levels, or not?


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 02:07 PM

Well I'll try to answer two in one here.

Pubs can pack as many people as they can to watch big TVs and these are exempt from a PEL requirement.

Kit Kat

I did start a thread that was designed to send to our 'protectors'. One that would enable Mudcatters to place their feelings about this issue. It was called something original like HELP or something. I will see if I can dig it up and provide a link to it here.

I think it would be most effective to use your own words and it is not necessary to know all the rather complicated details. Probably best to ask the questions of your MP to and get them to find out for you? They seem quite eager to help at the present time too, for some starge reason?

We have had a stab at some agreed wording, which you will find in the threads linked to above. You will be able to get the gist of what we were trying to say from them.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 02:15 PM

This is the one for your feelings on the subject.

Designed to be shown those who wish to prevent freedom of musical expression. Urgent help required UK sessions under threat


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 03:14 PM

This link will link to the the earlier threads. Session under threat in the UK 2


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 05:05 AM

Sorry don't bother to clink to the 'urgent help' thread. The others are OK though.

The latest twist locally is that the application that the licencee was 'encouraged' to apply for will now have to go to a hearing as there are NOW objectors, whose complaint is noise!

Ironically as even the council were not saying that there was a noise promblem with the activity they threatened action over?

So it now possible that the acoustic participatory session will not now be able to take place at all. As the premises may now be considered unsuitable for louder music. When they was never any compaint or noise about it!


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: Naemanson
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 06:20 AM

This is the end of the work week and Mr. Locke has not bothered to answer my email. Apparently he is not too concerned with the possible impact of one tourist avoiding his town.

Oh well...


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 09:53 AM

If it is any consolation he does not answer my emails or my snail mails. But why should he worry about tourists? He is only The Director of Tourism, after all?

Thanks to you and to you all for trying.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: Grab
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 01:36 PM

Similar problem at some places around Cambridge - I'll not name names, just in case! :-) But there seems to be disagreement over whether the "2 ppl" rule means more than 2 ppl playing at once, or just more than 2 ppl with guitars in total.

It also seems (according to local folk-persons, anyway) to only apply to organised sessions/gigs. So the word at a couple of places is that everyone's just turned up spontaneously, if anyone asks! ;-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: JeZeBeL
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 01:50 PM

I play at two pubs in sessions and both are brilliant!!

In THE MALTINGS in YORK we sit in a corner of the pub, they reserve the tables for us. The staff are always happy for us to be there. We don't get paid and I don't see why we should be, after all we're there to enjoy playing and anyone who comes to listen usually enjoys it too. We get fed sandwichs and chips at about half past nine, but we didn't ask for that, they just did it out of kindness and thanks for making Tuesday nights a little bit diffferent and interesting. AND to top it all it's a real ale pub aswell, so the musicians are happy!!

I also play at THE JUG INN at CHAPEL HADDLESEY near SELBY. Ane we are warmly welcomed by the landlord who is only too willing to serve us alcohol, or coke. We enjoy it, the bar staff and landlord/lady enjoy it, and the people on the other side of the bar mainly enjoy it!!

What more could we ask for really but two lovely pubs filled with lovely people,to go and play music in 2 nites out of the week!! I really don't see what the problem is with people playing music of their own free will and not been paid should cause anyone a problem, unless they dispise folk/trad music.

We get people dropping in from all over the world at the Maltings. Just a few weeks ago we had 4 musicians from Virginia and West Virginia drop in. No one had a problem with it and we got to experience their trad music from back home.

Sessions/festivals/mudcat etc are the only way we can meet new people and learn new tunes from all over the world, and lets face it, it's fun!!

Emma xxxx


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 03:57 PM

Thanks Emma. Under the circumstances It may not always be wise not to put the names of specific pubs that hold sessions, in this thread.

Nice to hear how much you enjoy them. Let us hope that we can ensure that they always will be there for us all to enjoy?


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: little john cameron
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 04:18 PM

Years ago i took a trip to hotel i was supposd to play at that week-end.After a while sitting blethering to some locals it was suggested i bring in my guitar and give them a song.So everything was going fine until the manager rushed in and said to stop as they never had an entertainment licence for the public bar.Anyway,after he left, the bartender,who was enjoying the sin song said carry on but keep the noise down.We started up again and it was going fine til in comes the manager again a throws us out and told me not to come back. My famous last words were"Nae borra Jimmy,ah've been threw oot o better places than this"

This was in 1966,I thought things would have changed by this time. ljc


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: vindelis
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 05:29 PM

That's rather a long twenty-eight days, isn't it Shambles? (From the 1st of February I mean).


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 07:03 PM

The delay was because of the objections made during the waiting period. This period is designed for any objections to be recorded. Plus letters of support of course.

For I found myself in the very strange position of supporting an application for a licence I don't feel is needed?


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: Deni
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 03:04 AM

This thread and the one before is getting quite q bit of support, but could get even more. Come on everybody. Raise your voices! Folk is under attack here. So that's what it feels like to be in a minority area. Have the Musicians Union got on to this one yet?

It is cetainly contrary to their Keep Music Live aims.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 03:06 AM

I asked for help

My councils says I need a change of law.

My MP says I need a change of Government

I still need help.

Many thanks to those that are trying to help.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 06:25 PM

What happened to the alleged reform of licensing law? Until that reform gets going and then only if you can get it through the heads of the bureacrats, I rather fear council and MP are right, for that is what the law is! It may not be sense, but it is the current law.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 06:54 PM

Richard that is what they are saying. It does not mean that it is true.

There is no case law precedent to support the interpretation of that members of the public are performers. So it is is rather difficult to see how they could win any of these cases under this law.

But it does really require a licensee prepared and able to fight it in court.

The reform will come, I just hope we have some events and venues left by the time it does.


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Apr 01 - 08:29 AM

You are of your opinion.

WHat, however, did happen to the reform?


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Subject: RE: MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL.
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Apr 01 - 04:11 PM

To begin with you should be aware that the leading authority in this area of the law, Dr Colin Manchester (author of Entertainment Licensing – Law and Practice, Butterworths) has been consulted on precisely this point and he is adamant that there is no decided authority to support this interpretation of s 182.

Indeed, the circumstances of the case law precedent so far cited by WPBC and other councils to support their position (Clarke v Searle 1793; McDowell v Maguire 1954) are not remotely comparable with informal music-making today. If case law were the only guide then Brearley v Morely (1899) would appear to be clearer: in that case a landlord was found to have been wrongly convicted of putting on music without a licence because customers had played a piano 'for their own amusement'.


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