As a long-time composer and member of ASCAP, the Scott-Goforth article caught my eye ("The Day the Music Died," Oct. 3). While he's basically correct, I would emphasize that public venues (such as restaurants, bars, etc.) do not have to be licensed by ASCAP, BMI or SESAC if the venue is featuring non-registered music. The performers of non-registered music are those who have not given their titles over to ASCAP and probably number in the thousands. I'm a member of ASCAP, but they can't collect royalties in my behalf unless I register my work with them.
If I were a restaurateur and wanted to hire a band to play cover tunes in far-away Humboldt County, I wouldn't let ASCAP get in the way, but would insist on one caveat: no recording or video cameras during performances. Finally, ASCAP isn't big enough to be everywhere and they do have their priorities; the big metropolitan areas are their favorite feeding grounds. Accordionists behind the Redwood Curtain can tell ASCAP to shove it.
Franklin Stover, Eureka