30 YEARS OF AMERICAN BANDSTAND KEPT UNDER WRAPS
Ever wonder why some of the thousands of musical performances from Dick Clark’s American Bandstand that are easily accessed on YouTube are not available on TV? The reason was suggested in a Los Angeles Times article over the weekend that noted the legal complexity of gaining the musical rights to the performances on the show, which aired for more than 30 years, beginning back in the mid ’50s. (YouTube posters don’t have to worry about obtaining such rights; they merely post the clips, and if a composer or performer objects, they remove them.) Paying performance rights is one thing, the Times noted. Finding the rights holders could prove to be even more difficult. In an interview with the newspaper, Gary Roth, a legal executive for BMI, which licenses music on behalf of composers and publishers, said, “With all those shows and all those songs, it would take a monumental administrative effort to track down who all the current rights holders are.” The issue has arisen in connection with the sale of Clark’s former company, Dick Clark Productions by the Raine Group. While Raine has put its asking price at $400 million, the problems valuing the primary asset of the company — its library of TV shows — could reduce any actual bid by about a third.