minstrel: Tim's questions

Lisa and Ken Theriot lnktheriot at compuserve.com
Wed Mar 15 09:09:32 PST 2000

Okay, are you trying to expose my ignorance, or just my age?

<What is FEL?>

FEL Publications.  I never knew what the letters stood for.  I was involved 
in putting together a songbook for a parish in the 70's, and FEL and NALR 
(North American Liturgical Resources, I know that one) were the big guys. 
 FEL did licensing; you made a list of songs you wanted, and they said, 
"Pay us $xxx and you're legal."  This was back when Oregon Catholic Press 
was still called "The Catholic Truth Society of Oregon", so FEL may have 
changed its name or gone away entirely.  [It was in Los Angeles, on Pontius 
Avenue, which I found odd, considering.]

< This makes no sense to me.  The division of labor among ASCAP/BMI, NMPA, 
and HFA has always struck me as fairly precise.  Can you cite any 
documented cases ASCAP representatives actually demanding collection for 
other than an ASCAP license ?  Could it be rather that ASCAP and HFA retain 
the same _law firms_, so the same lawyer might wear multiple hats ?>

This may be entirely my error.  By the nature of the non-mainstream stuff I 
record, much of it is not represented by HFA, and they direct you to 
"contact ASCAP or BMI".  For the songs of which neither ASCAP nor BMI had 
record, we asked HFA what to do.  They said, "Just wait for ASCAP to 
contact you regarding an infraction.  You have made a good faith effort and 
you're okay with us."  They might well have meant "Just wait for ASCAP to 
contact you regarding an infraction _related to radio play_....." and that 
HFA would not pursue any enforcement of which THEY were capable.  Since I 
don't count on much radio play :), that wasn't foremost in my mind.  And if 
you know the difference between NMPA (National Music Publishers 
Association) and HFA (The Harry Fox Agency), you know more than me!

NOTE TO SCA SONGWRITERS!  ASCAP (writer) membership only costs $10 per 
year.  If you want the protection afforded by professional legbreakers, and 
you want to make life easier for anyone genuinely trying to pay you 
royalties, SIGN UP!  At worst, you'll get a cool magazine and a quarterly 
letter that says "ASCAP regrets that there was no performance of your work 
to report...."  It's amusing.

(I'd be happy to take the discussion off-list if you'd like to continue; 
I'm sure we're boring a fair chunk of the minstrels...)

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