June 16, 2005 — Following IceFire’s International Record’s Announcement and Presentation of an Air Platinum to Diane D Meinke, the creator of the STIFFFF KITTIES for debut CD entitled “Mya’s Book of the Dead”, Ms. Meinke received her ASCAP statement. The mood went from happiness and celebration, to tears and anger in no time flat.
Diane D. Meinke, also known as Sera de Morte,’is an American Federation of Musicians union member (in good standing), a SIX-time 2003 Grammy nominee, a recipient of an Air Platinum Record Award, (plus several other awards) has begun a relentless mission to expose ASCAP’s dirty business practices to her fans, friends, and business associates worldwide.
Diane Meinke became a member of ASCAP at age 16, but when the fire fight started with ASCAP in 2003 over unpaid royalties for her first successfully worldwide charting album entitled Sera de Morte’ “Witches Dance,” “surprisingly” ASCAP couldn’t locate her membership.
Feeling the crunch of the corporate monster that ASCAP is, Meinke had no choice but to rejoin and update her membership with ASCAP. Read this article written by guitarist Harvey Reid:
This is a paragraph which is copy and pasted from that article. We recommend that you follow the link above and read it in it’s entirety. It’s frightening how deep it goes.
“ASCAP has teams of lawyers who do nothing else and who are extremely well-versed in the technicalities of the law, and a tavern owner and a small-town lawyer have essentially no chance of winning a lawsuit. Legal right to do this has been established over a series of court rulings and legal precedents, and so far no one has been able to win a lawsuit against ASCAP for infringement of copyright by “public performance.” Apparently ASCAP has the judicial system in their back pocket, and even organizations as large as CBS have lost lawsuits against them. To quote an ASCAP pamphlet: “ASCAP infringement cases are ‘open-and-shut’; for all practical purposes there is no defense to them.”
Margaret Spoddig a representative from ASCAP was asked by an AF&M representative to research Diane’s claims of unpaid airplay. Ms Spoddig, representative of ASCAP, then sent Meinke on a “dodge and duck goose chase” for nearly two years. They were probably hoping she would get tired of the run around and go away. Not likely.
In the meantime Diane continued accumulating more and more airplay worldwide on several other album projects.
Meinke’s Air Platinum award which was presented to her in March 2005 by ICEFIRE Records International for her debut Stiffff Kitties CD entitled “Mya’s Book of the Dead” came in well after the dispute with ASCAP started, but is now proof positive that her music had and is still getting hard airplay worldwide. Several weeks after receiving her plaque, ASCAP’s royalty statement for Meinke came in. To Meinke’s shock the statement reflected zero surveyed performances.
Visit the Stiffff Kitties Website below and view both the Award and ASCAP’s statement reflecting ASCAP’s claimed “Zero” surveyed performances.“Proof positive of ASCAP’s shady thievery available for all the world to see!”
Diane Meinke has yet to receive anything from her performance rights organization (ASCAP) for any of her songs, which has been utilized by programmers and music buyers worldwide since 2002. Money has exchanged hands, but Meinke has yet to benefit one penny from it all.
Diane now has 26 of her songs charting and working worldwide, and she has no intentions of stopping there. She will continue to write and release new material. Diane is in the perfect position to take ASCAP to task on behalf of the many artist/songwriters used by ASCAP catalog to extort money out of venues.
Read this article and see from a club owner’s point of view just how ruthless ASCAP can be. This guy was violated and sued by ASCAP to the point of completely removing music from his venue.
Meinke has made it clear that she is not only fighting for her rights, but for the rights that have been violated by these organizations for the many other artists they have not paid and the venues they have extorted from.
Meinke said, “Now you tell me if someone owed anyone several thousand to several million, would they just lie down, give up, and walk away? Not on your life! This is our creativity; this is our soul that they are stealing from. They did not write these songs, they did not record them, they do not own them, they do not perform them, but yet like leeches then feed off of us (the songwriters and publishers) to make themselves fat, greedy, and disgusting.
“We need to make people aware, knowledge is power. Family, fans, friends and just everyday people who love music help us save the music and the artists by voicing your opinion. Send an email to ASCAP, and send it attention Margaret Spoddig, and let them know that you now know the truth!!!”
Here is the email address to send your complaints to via Ms. Spoddig at ASCAP:
773-347-1363 or 773-509-6881