Congress Giveth and Congress Taketh Away [11:33 am]
It’s not all copyright, y’ know — sweeping language can get written into all sorts of legislation.
Congress is considering two bills that would hold bands, DJs, bartenders, promoters, venue owners, radio stations and others liable if a patron uses drugs at a nightclub or concert. Legal experts and business owners warn the legislation would devastate the music industry and could spell the end of live music, especially large music festivals like South by Southwest and Burning Man. Music fans, bar and nightclub owners, and music promoters are launching a national campaign to defeat the legislation.
[...] The Ecstasy Awareness Act (H.R. 2962) would throw anyone in jail who “profits monetarily from a rave or similar electronic dance event knowing or having reason to know” some event-goers may use drugs at the event. Similarly, Section 305 of the CLEAN-UP Act (H.R. 834) makes it a federal crime - punishable by up to nine years in prison - to promote “any rave, dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where the promoter knows or reasonably ought to know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed.”
[...] In response to both bills, the Drug Policy Alliance declared April 24th a “Day and Night of Outrage” over the legislation and launched a website, www.protectlivemusic.org, to coordinate the work of thousands of concerns music fans and business owners. [...]
“The government can’t even keep drugs out of its own schools and prisons, yet it is seeking to punish business owners that can’t stop their patrons from using drugs,” said Bill Piper. “If these bills become law, innocent business owners could go to jail and music fans may be unable to see their favorite artist live. That’s why business owners and music fans are organizing to protect live music.”