Councilman sparks outcry with musician, DJ registry proposal

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There was some big noise from the music industry over a music venue bill being considered in city council.

It all started with a proposal from Councilman Mark Squilla which seemingly would have given police the authority to approve which bands, rappers and DJs can perform in city venues.

Sean Agnew, an owner of Union Transfer on 10th and Spring Garden, says it made waves instantly.

"It's starting to become a national story where agents and bands are contacting me asking how it will affect them," said Agnew.

There was an impact in the music community in the United States about coming to perform Philadelphia.

The bill also had a line that would have required venues with 50 people or more to collect contact information for all performers. The info would then be handed over to police before a license to perform was issued.

Agnew calls that an invasion of performer privacy.

"If you have a more famous performer like Bob Dylan or Jay-Z or Coldplay and privacy concerns like 'Why do you need my info and address? And what will police do with it?'" said Agnew.

So his colleagues rallied, creating a petition to save Philly's music.

Meanwhile, Councilman Squilla told Action News Thursday that the intent of the bill wasn't censorship, but a way to crack down on venues operating without a license and without any real live music.

"They were running nightclubs off their phones or off an iPod and a playlist," he said.

He told our Vernon Odom that he's willing to remove the controversial lines.

"It's not the intent of the bill so therefore can be easily removed from the bill and that maybe will alleviate most of the concerns that I am hearing," he said.

Squilla added that he feels the bill will actually benefit musicians by shutting down venues thriving on streaming media.
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