Busking - playing for tips on the street

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Alex_C, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Jackson NC
    The above that I've enhanced in bold type may subject you to arrest for violation of copyright and / also to heavy civil penalties if you do not have copyright license to perform each popular and/or theme song you play ... and by that you best have such licenses on your person. Perhaps, this ploy will only be used by local police to remove you but such will put you on record where you may still face the civil charges.

    There's lots of beautiful music in the public domain and the quality of your performance is what attracts the most cash.

    Just a thought, every so often play TAPS to honor those who cannot listen yet allowed you your opportunity.

    Too, some communities have ordinances that require permits for street performers. Bah humbug!
     
  2. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    Good point on the copyrighted stuff.

    Good point on TAPS in fact once I"m good enough and can get ahold of a bugle I plan to look into volunteering for Bugles Across America

    Good point on it's a solo act, people may point and laugh, etc. I know what you mean, most people can't put themselves out there etc. I can.

    It's just a matter of getting the skills and the range now.
     
  3. trumpet addict

    trumpet addict New Friend

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    May 29, 2010
    Sorry for the confusion, first I purchase the sheet music so there's no copyright issues, second, if someone approaches me about copyright issues about the music I'm playing, I can either show them the sheet music, or start playing other things that are under public domain (sorry forgot to mention that).

    A great thing about street performing is if you are approached by someone about something you did wrong, you can easily move to a new location or play new things, it's a very flexible job.
     
  4. Puffy A

    Puffy A Pianissimo User

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    Brooklyn
    I heard a guy absolutely killin' it last week in the subway along side a drummer playing 5 gallon buckets. It was amazing!! All I had was a fiver but would have given more if I had had it. If people are entertained you will be rewarded. Those few minutes on the platform made my whole day!
     
  5. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    I give money to street musicians if they are good, and I base it on how I like them, not if I think they are "needy" or not. I happily give to musicians who are good, whom I know make more than I do. Repeatedly.
     
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Sorry, to "upset your apple cart" but the purchase and ownership of sheet music or a CD doesn't give you copyright license to play them in public whether such is for profit or not. As the parable goes, "ignorance of the law is not an excuse". I won't usurp a Judge's robes, but he/she may throw every law book in his/her library at you if you posed such a lame excuse.

    As for sheet music, look right there at the bottom of the first page, or if in a book at the bottom of the title page and you'll observe the copyright notice. "YOU HAVE THUS BEEN INFORMED OF THE LAW AND CHOSE TO WILLFULLY VIOLATE IT!", if you play such in public.

    Sorry, you won't busk in this small town and let me hear you play a song I recognize as not being in the public domain. The County Courthouse is just 2 1/2 blocks from me and the County Sheriffs office just across the street. The town Chief of Police lives just three houses to my left. Captain Darryl Harmon, county chief of detectives, and Colonel John Young, chief of police are friends of mine and I have their offices numbers on my speed dial. Durn, it's a Federal felony, and my Commission still says I must interdict as otherwise I too can be charged with misprison of a felony. Yeah, I know ASCAP & BMI people too. Sure, they can't get everyone, but when they do make a deterrent example, that person will soon believe they've been on ground zero in a disasterous calamity.
     
  7. Kayin

    Kayin Pianissimo User

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    May 30, 2010
    To be perfectly honest, even though the license does not cover public performance, I have little doubt that most musicians would have zero to no problems with a busker interpreting their works (which also relieves him of the responsibility of above, check copyright law) and I've seen a few (I'm not exactly unheard of in the SE, if I chose to reveal my name) who would have wholeheartedly encouraged him to do so.

    Your attitude, bluntly put, is the exact reason there is no innovation or originality in music today, and is the reason that music itself will die in the mainstream. We'll have some kind of noise that approximates music, but everybody will be too sue-scared to move in any direction.

    If I walked by a busker who was playing one of my pieces, and getting paid for it, I'd be much more likely to pull out my own horn and play along, shake his hand, thank him heartily and leave him all the tips. I'm not rich at all, in fact I live on a fixed income but in that circumstance, if he (or she) is that self-motivated and actually putting the work in to be good, he deserves to be rewarded, not punished.

    The entire copyright law system is completely corrupt and removes the very soul of music and innovation. If you busked on my corner, I'd not only drop money in your case, I'd invite you back and probably play along as I could.

    FWIW, this is the opinion of a published artist. Take from it what you will.
     
  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Whether you think the law is corrupt or not, it is foolish to assume that you have rights over another's property (the music score). Even here in Oz we pay performance rights for all the music we 'own' - much of it from the US, and we pay those performance rights fees on an annual basis. We pay it gladly for the joy it brings to the player, the listener, and the composer. I belong to a non profit making Band and would not think to ignore the rights of the copy holder just because I think that the law is other than the lawmakers intended. If you are a published artist, then you can release your rights to your music and put it in the public domain - but please don't suggest that we have the right to do that for someone else's property - beware, I understand Bubba and Snake lurve musicians.
     
  9. Kayin

    Kayin Pianissimo User

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    I simply don't care to see busking equated to theft.

    At any rate, a single musician cannot render any major work in toto by himself, and must of necessity create an interpretation. If you check license-free music sites, there are a LOT of "interpretations" of copyrighted works. Simply lending a bit of help to someone trying to keep a dying artist alive.

    Copyright is a sticky thing, and I think it's grown into a monstrosity when someone could have felony charges for playing a song but misdemeanor for drug possession. Think on that.
     
  10. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    Gilroy, California
    Ed Lee you must be the life of every party. If I end up busking in your little town ..... well, that will be punishment enough, won't it?

    By the time anyone gets good enough for this to be a consideration, I think by then they have a pretty good idea of what's copyrighted and what's not. There's also I think some protection if you're doing a parody or spoof, otherwise Weird Al Yankovic would be in deep doodoo by now.

    I guess that's the difference between you and I, Mr. Fun, I'd like to see Weird Al in the White House and you'd like to see him in the Big House.
     

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