NEW YORK CITY -- Ecast Inc. is contributing an undisclosed sum to the Amusement and Music Owners Association of New York Inc.'s antipiracy warchest, which will be used to combat unlicensed jukeboxes and other sources of unauthorized music publicly performed in commercial locations.
The announcement was made on March 14 by AMOA-NY executive director Danny Frank during the association's annual Man of the Year banquet in Great Neck, NY. He termed the contribution as being "substantial."
AMOA-NY claims that illegal music delivery to public venues, which could include iPods and rigged MP3 jukeboxes, has a greater impact in New York City than in other markets. As a result, New York operators who have adhered to music licensing rules are losing revenue, and locations.
According to Frank, Ecast's contribution will enable the New York association to establish programs that will aid law enforcement officials to identify, apprehend and prosecute operators of illegal jukeboxes and music copyright infringers.
"Our members are energized by the show of support from Ecast," Frank said. "Their commitment is an excellent example for other manufacturers and distributors in jukebox music to emulate."
Ecast chief executive John Taylor added, "Operators who have paid for a licensed commercial jukebox or music solution should not be placed in an unfair disadvantage and we are pleased to support this important effort by AMOA-NY."
The Ecast endowment follows several years of shaky relations between the San Francisco music provider and New York operators. AMOA-NY proved to be a determined foe of direct-sales jukeboxes running Ecast software. The association also targeted Ecast in what it called an examination to gauge the accuracy of jukebox advertising commission structures. The results of AMOA-NY's advertising study, which was supposed to gain a better understanding of Ecast's accounting practices, have not been revealed.
For the past several years, AMOA-NY has been petitioning the nation's three jukebox music providers to aid its fight against illegal music commerce, which often occurs in bars and taverns. About four years ago, AMI Entertainment Network Inc. assigned its government relations manager, Bob Fay, to begin an investigation with the Recording Industry Association of America into criminal cases of copyright infringement on jukeboxes playing unlicensed digital music. Results of the investigation, which is nationwide, have been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for further action. | SEE STORY
At the time, Fay estimated that about a dozen NYC operators had lost locations as a result of unfair competition brought on by unauthorized jukebox music.