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ASCAP Girl Scout fiasco continued…

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Excerpted from The Washington Post article by Ken Ringle, published a couple weeks after the preceding article. I have one more post on this coming tomorrow…

ASCAP Changes Its Tune; Never Intended to Collect Fees for Scouts’ Campfire Songs, Group Says

Reeling from the worst public relations disaster since Dan Quayle misspelled “potato,” the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) now says that “ASCAP has never sought nor was it ever its intention” to make Girl Scouts pay to sing around a campfire. Other campers? Well, maybe.

… ASCAP’s vice president and director of licensing vaguely suggested that dark forces may have been behind a Wall Street Journal article last week that disclosed that the songwriters’ group had sought this year for the first time in history to collect fees from children’s summer camps.

… he said Lo Frumento had been quoted out of context when he promised to “sue them if necessary” if they didn’t pay for their campfire songs. And he was particularly insistent that ASCAP wasn’t picking on the Girl Scouts, even though it has already collected fees from 16 Girl Scout camps this year. Any fees collected from the Scouts will be returned, he said.

In the wake of news stories and editorials picturing ASCAP throttling tiny, hopeful renditions of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” Candilora said the organization had been besieged with protests …

ASCAP still intends to collect what fees it can from large, profitable summer camps — “the sort that bring in bands for square dances, have music by the pool … and are like sending your kid to a resort.” But he said he “would assume the organization has other priorities” than to crack down on mom-and-pop camps and campfire songs, regardless of what its mailings earlier this year may have implied.

“What can I say? We bought a mailing list. We should have done more research,” Candilora said.

Also see part one and part three of this series…

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  • Eric Olsen

    Jane, thanks for all these excellent and interesting posts – welcome! Do you have the link to the WashPo article, we always want to include that when available.