This is what I get for trying to be “legal”.

I’m working on trying to put together a revue. Whether anything will come of it remains to be seen, but it’s guaranteed nothing will come of it if I don’t actually put it together.

So I need to put together a list of possible songs to include in the revue.

I understand that the easiest/best way to legally use the music is to get an ASCAP license. No problem. I want to make sure that the proper people get their money for their music and lyrics.

The nightmare begins.

First, I go to ASCAP’s website to figure out what type of license I would need, what it will cover and what is the cost.  HA!  Do you think they would have something useful like current fees on their website?  HA! HA!  Nope.  You can look at the licenses but there is nothing in them to help you determine the relative costs.  I sent an e-mail, and now, I’ll have to wait for a phone call to get that info.  Not very efficient ASCAP.

So, I figure, as long as I’m at ASCAP’s website and I should find out what songs are covered by ASCAP.

The nightmare continues.

They don’t have a “list”. Okay, they license a gazillion songs, and they have a list – sort of. They have an area where you can search.

First, I figure – I’ll just search by Title. Should be easy. I mean how many songs can there be with the exact same title? Problem is the search gives you every artist who has ever sung that title, each with a separate ASCAP number.

Well, fuck me.

So I can search by Writer. Okay.

Except, you don’t want to search for just a last name. You will get a gazillion hits. You got to know the full name of the writer. Okay.

So now, for example, I search for Betty Comden. Success. A list of all of her songs under ASCAP, but oddly some of the songs from a show are not there. How do you have an ASCAP license for some of the titles from a show and not others? Will I have to search separately for each writer involved with the show and see if the song is there but under another writer?

Now I need to go back to my proposed song list and search out the full name of the composer and lyricist for each.

Fuck me.

This is going to take much longer than I first anticipated.

I’m beginning to understand why small revues don’t bother with licensing.

Well, excuse me, I have a ton of googling to do.

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