I got this in my inbox today due to my use of their services. No doubt this is an attempt to do some major PR control. I'm not sure what specifically made them want to send this out though. Maybe issues related to DCI, WGI, and MFA?
I would like to take this opportunity to re-introduce Tresóna: who we are, what we do, and why we do it.
Tresóna was started, and is currently staffed, by musicians, educators and music fans. We have created a simple and cost-effective licensing platform and are committed to protecting the rights of songwriters to make sure that they are rightfully compensated for their work.
Thousands of hard-working songwriters and publishers are dependent on the royalties collected from the licensing of their music to survive. A vast majority of these publishers are small family businesses with one or two employees; they are not multi-national corporations. They are no different than the arrangers, choreographers, set designers, costume creators and thousands of others whose livelihood is dependent on a vibrant music industry.
Music is the key ingredient and the foundation of all performance ensembles. Without songs, there would be no marching bands, show choirs, a cappella groups or any other musical performance group. The licensing of custom arrangements, which is required by the U.S. Copyright Act, is often one of the smallest line items in the budget of many ensemble programs.
Most performance ensembles obtain the necessary licenses; however, there are some ensembles and organizations which refuse to do so. The abuse of the system by these groups for illicit financial gain has been shocking. There are large enterprises with ensembles that travel all over the country performing at both nonprofit and for-profit events. They pay enormous sums of money for choreographers, arrangers, contest entry, lighting, costumes, props and a host of other outside services. Despite having budgets of more than $500,000/year and generating surpluses of over $150,000/year, these organizations refuse to get the licenses they need and compensate songwriters for their songs.
Rather than pay the relatively small licensing fee and promote proper licensing behavior, some ensembles have opted instead to retain high-priced lawyers and consultants to avoid obtaining the necessary licenses. When the dedication of this small group of ensembles deprives songwriters of their ability to make a living, Tresóna and the rights holders we represent are forced to defend these rights in court.
When this happens, it is disappointing and begs the question: How can the community as a whole promote participation in the arts and suggest to students that a career in music is viable if it doesnt support the foundation of the entire music ecosystem - the songs and the songwriters?
Tresóna is proud of the work we do and deeply value the excellent working relationships we have developed with thousands of arrangers, directors, music educators, parents and performers around the country. We are committed to partnering with, and listening to, the ensemble community so that we may grow these relationships, as well as nurture new ones.
We thank you for your support and look forward to our continued relationship in the years to come.
End of letter
I absolutely understand the need for composers/arrangers/creators to be compensated. I also understand that there are groups (both scholastic and independent) that have extremely bloated design budgets. But in my opinion, this copyright situation is getting a bit out of hand, at least in regards to video performances. We are losing an opportunity to share with our younger generations the great performances organizations like DCI, WGI, and MFA have to offer.
Our kids (and educators) are missing the ability to see their peers across the country achieve things that they didn't know were possible. I can't even purchase older BOA and WGI DVDs for our library anymore.
What are your thoughts about what Tresona is saying?