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Report: #909087

Complaint Review: SESAC - Nashville Tennessee

  • Submitted: Mon, July 09, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, July 20, 2012
  • Reported By: Marcus Griffith — Vancouver Washington United States of America
    55 Music Square East
    Nashville, Tennessee
    United States of America

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SESAC, one of the three preformance rights orgizations is currently, and for some time, sending out documents to places that play music (live, radio or CD etc) demanding payment of music licensing fees with the threat of a lawsuit. SESAC's mailings include documents that appear to be bills, to include listing account numbers, invoice numbers, and "total due." However, the documents DO NOT include the required notice under 39 USC 3001 that the mailings are not bills, but an offer of services. In addion, SESAC has admitted that it is sending the mailings out in bulk without any investgiation if the receiving parties are playing SESAC music or required to pay SESAC. In fact, many of the establishments receiving the mailings are excempt from paying such fees as they meet the excemption requirements listed in federal copyright law (refer to 17 USC 110 subsection 5.B.i). SESAC's actions have been infomrally referred to as "legal extoration" as the company threatens lawsuits if music fees are not provided. SESAC has claimed in writting that it is merely protecting its copy rights. However, nothing in the copyright law permits a company to violate mail fraud laws, specfically 39 USC 3001 by sending out bill like documents without the required notice.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/09/2012 03:43 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Off-topic responses do not resolve issues ,SESAC

AUTHOR: Marcus Griffith - (United States of America)

I filed the Rip Off Report regarding SESAC's failure to comply with mail fraud laws, specficalyl 39 USC 3001. SESAC sent bill like documents demanding payment without the required disclosure that the documents are not bills but solications for services. In response to that Rip Off Report someone (SESAC?) posted summary of a case SESAC won regarding copyright infringement. That summary had nothing to do with the initial report and fails to address any of the points in the initial report. SESAC may desire to distract from its own questionable conduct, but such a course of action does not absolve SESAC of its own violations of law. Not ever place that plays music owes SESAC money.
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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

SESAC / T.E.C.2 Verdict

AUTHOR: MaryMary - (United States of America)

A federal court jury in Virginia has rendered a verdict of $276,000 against the owners and operators of WOLD-FM, a radio
station based in Marion, Virginia, for its unlicensed broadcast of copyrighted songs represented by the performing rights organization SESAC, Inc.  T.E.C.2 and its sole shareholder and president, Thomas E. Copenhaver, have also been permanently enjoined from performing music in the SESAC repertory without a license.  The plaintiffs will also seek to recover
their attorneys fees and other costs of the suit.

At the close of the two-day trial, district court judge James P. Jones ruled as a matter of law that T.E.C.2 Broadcasting, Inc.
had willfully violated the copyrights in question, and that Thomas E. Copenhaver was personally liable for the infringement, leaving only the issue of damages for the jury to decide.  The evidence showed that upon taking control of the station in 2008, T.E.C.2 and Copenhaver had entered into a SESAC radio broadcasting performance license, but that they had allowed the license to be terminated for non-payment in 2010, falsely claiming at the time that they did not use SESAC music in their

SESACs Senior Counsel of Licensing Operations, Jonathan Farmer, stated that, Lawsuits are the absolute last resort for SESAC when all other avenues of compromise and reason have failed.  SESAC is willing to work with any unlicensed
radio station to secure proper authorization and avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit which will cost the station considerably more than simply obtaining a SESAC license agreement. 

Established in 1930, SESAC is a service organization created to serve both the creators of music and music users through music licensing and timely, efficient royalty collection and distribution.  The second oldest and fastest growing performing rights organization in the U.S., SESAC is known for its diversified repertory that includes genres ranging from Adult Contemporary, Urban, Rock, Americana, Contemporary Christian, Latin, Country, Gospel, Dance, Classical and New Age.  SESAC is also rapidly becoming the performing rights organization of choice among many of Hollywoods most sought-after film and television composers.  Headquartered in Nashville, the company also has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and London. 
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