A PUSH by Australian record companies to make clubs, hotels, restaurants and cafes pay tens of millions of dollars more in fees to play their music has backfired. Businesses have decided to turn off tunes licensed by the record companies and play the music of artists that are not signed to major labels.The scheme would have increased some license fees from around $500 to almost $36,000.
A Clubs Australia spokesman was unable to say how many central Victorian businesses would have been slugged with the drastic cost hike. “We’re talking about every restaurant, cafe and club being affected,” the spokesman said yesterday.
The fee changes would have resulted in businesses such as the Bendigo Club, which staff said yesterday had a bistro capacity of about 50, paying $3075.80 instead of the usual $62.04.
Bendigo District RSL staff said their bistro had a capacity of about 120, which would have increased fees by about $8500.
Clubs Australia announced at its annual general meeting a new scheme that would allow clubs to bypass the license fee charged by record companies. Clubs Australia will set up a program to source and distribute the music of artists not signed to major record labels and who are consequently exempt from the restaurant tariff.
As part of the new scheme, local musicians will be given the opportunity to sell their music in clubs, while money earned from the sale of background music CDs will be used to establish a fund for talented Australian musicians.
FXH says: Fair enough - but what about the UN-talented Australian musicians - and they are the majority.