As a group, slaves constantly pushed their masters and overseers to grant them greater freedoms. This was only natural. When masters refused, slaves punctuated everyday forms of resistance with more overt expressions like running away or rebellion. The threat of flight or violence always hung over the institution, despite the infrequency of such acts. Ultimately, the moral bankruptcy of slavery meant that even the smallest, most mundane acts could be considered resistant, but the enslaved did not live in a constantly reactionary state, awaiting their white masters before determining their next resistant move. The vast majority coped, endured, and lived their lives, avoiding the slings and arrows of white power as best they could.
The opinion has far-reaching implications for independent musicians and for the entrepreneurs who hire them. No venue is in need of a performance license unless one or more of its musicians are performing compositions or arrangements copyrighted and licensed through ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. The copyright owner enjoys exclusive performance rights and, therefore, the exclusive right to profit from their performance. The point is so obvious that it has never been litigated, which makes this a landmark decision. The full texts of the Copyright Office opinion and all related correspondence are available online at http:///minstrel Appendix BMI. But I never did get my job back. The restaurant owners have decided not to have any live performances or to play any recorded music. To them it is not worth the hassle. The customers must settle for radio and television. And I have not found such a lucrative job since. Such is the legacy of BMI.