Why did the Burbank School Board allow the BHS Vocal Music Association to incorporate its activities?

littledog (1)
And exactly when did this occur? Afterwards they let them take over some educational programs as a third-party operator and beneficiary.

This is the basic question and problem here, the takeover. Because if they had not, none of this copyright infringement stuff today would have happened. Or, it would have been less likely to occur. According to the plaintiffs, our town’s other less slick, less pretentious school groups have all complied with the standard rights requirements for K-12 song use.

In other words, we doubt Luther’s been incorporated [update– or handed its vocal music operations over to a 501(c)(3), which apparently the VMA is).

Incorporation of this BHS vocal arts activity allowed control to be wrest away from the regular school board members and BHS administrators to a small group of unaccountable small-time “directors.” That’s really the underlying problem. So incorporating a huge segment of the BHS vocal music arts program was such a good idea, eh people?

Exactly what kind of money/support angle was going on there to warrant doing this? It sounds like it was a definite racket/manipulation move to be able to charge money for what should be a free arts program — and then to go on and exploit it.

A shortcut to oblivion is what it really sounds like. That’s what it’s obviously turned into. There’s your “21st-century” school/business/community partnerships in action, Burbank. Consider yourself warned — such troubles and turmoil are always baked into this kind of poisoned apple.

Still like your Broadian ideologists, you school board members? Here’s where going business world always gets you. And don’t even try to weasel out of this latest one by claiming that it’s not really the school district that’s in trouble here, or at fault. Because yes it is, and this time via a sleazily-run third party.

We can hear Applebaum now.



Filed under Uncategorized

14 responses to “Why did the Burbank School Board allow the BHS Vocal Music Association to incorporate its activities?

  1. Anon

    I always enjoy watching you tailor facts to fit your personal views of the world (or the school district). Continue grinding your axes.

  2. Anonymous

    Burbank High School Vocal Music Association is not the “promotional company and operator of the famous Burbank Show Choirs”. The BHS VMA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, a registered California non-profit corporation, whose board is comprised of parent volunteers who have students in the choir program at Burbank High. This is the fundraising organization (“booster club”) that supports the extracurricular choir program. Search Guidestar.org for financial information. And Google a little bit more robustly for actual facts. Please.

    • semichorus

      You better tell that to the plaintiff’s attorneys, because it is THE named defendant in the lawsuit, along with a number of its board members and spouses.

      I read the filing. It says that the VMA receives money from these activities, which is enough to make them a legal target– and also means they’re behind the shows. VMA can’t have it both ways if true.

      It’s right here:


      It’s interesting that they would sue this group alone. It may be that this booster organization is doing more than you think — that’s it’s being used as a shell sponsor for these other school-related activities both on and off campus.

      Or that the district is using it to do third-party tasks in lieu of their own old-fashioned responsibilities. Nothing would surprise me when it comes to the BUSD these days. It would be an interesting way to both funnel money into the local BHS “arts” activities as well as circumvent the law when it comes to what they need to offer regular students in this area.

      I suspect this might be happening when parents tell me that only the more affluent kids can get in these groups, because it costs too much. If they spin these arts programs off into an “incorporated” entity like the VMA — or just allow it to happen — they might think they can get away with it all and charge money. I know they’ve tried to pull similar $$$ stuff at the Adult School, and have gotten caught.

      I never made that statement-quote btw, It was in the press release from the company.

  3. Anonymous

    semi, sounds like they might be misusing their 501(c)(3).

    • semichorus

      It sounds like more than a simple high school boosters charitable group, yes. At least not what was originally intended.

      It DOES sound like your typical Burbank FUBAR result. This 501(c)(3) jumped the shark if it’s helping to send people on the road and then bringing in receipts.

      This is what happens when you don’t keep things small and beautiful. And cheap.

      • Anonymous

        By George, I think he’s [almost] got it.

      • Jay

        It sounds like they just might be a scam non profit that should teally be audited. I don’t understand why they didn’t pay for song rights with what it says they sure have lots of money, but where does all that money come from ?

        • semichorus

          It sounds yes like this 501c3 is being misused to run a business, if those financial numbers are accurate.

          I also love this new, “Why don’t you find out what you’re talking about” PR line from the apologists.

          Yes, the BHS VMA is nothing more than a little booster group run by committed parents. Let’s see if the Leader falls for this what is (by now) obvious nonsense.

  4. Anonymous

    Somebody needs to get Ferguson on this. He’s the only one trying to clean this shit up.

  5. chad

    It also sounds like they were asked multiple times to comply and the complainant finally gave up and went to court. It sounds like they were getting very bad advice.

    • semichorus

      Or that they’re a bunch of arrogant amateurs.

      Yeah, that’s what rights-holders have to do first. Request compliance, and then go to court.

      What’s starting to come clear here is that this VMA 501c3 is exceeding what its was originally incorporated for, and was also allowed to take over a couple of the district arts programs. Someone in the BUSD thought this would be a good angle to avoid the normal state laws about high school enrollment rights. That’s bad enough, but then they got caught for also trying to scam the songs’ copyrights holders.

      And now — in defense — the company line is that this is just a group of concerned parents.

      I suspect that if they had just named themselves “The BHS Vocal Music Boosters!” or “Friends of Vocal Music” none of this would have happened. But because they gave it such a broad name, someone got the bright idea to allow these district arts programs to be subsumed into its ranks on an “extracurricular” basis. That way they could circumvent the Ed Code provisions on free enrollment etc. and still offer additional activities.

      An interesting idea, but over time it took on a life of its own. Money will do that to schools. It also became more elitist, parents say — which in my book means it’s good that they got caught. The board has an excellent opportunity now to reform the operation. They should be bringing ALL of these arts programs back into the regular HS curriculum. No more shell/shill games.

Leave a Reply- (comments take a while to appear)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s