By 1930 Tin Pan Alley had altered almost beyond recognition. The first real challenge to its way of life came from the dance venues. The Copyright Act of 1909 had given publishers and composers the right to collect royalties on songs that were performed publicly. However, it was impossible for publishers and composers to travel all over America collecting a few cents here and there every time a song was used in a dance arrangement. As a result, the publishers and composers very seldom received any money from live performances of their music. So, in 1914, the publishers and composers of Tin Pan Alley formed the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). This society immediately took Shanley’s Restaurant in New York to court for not paying royalties on the music of one of its
members. A long court case followed, and, in 1917, Supreme Court Judge Wendell Holmes ruled in favour of ASCAP. Royalties on live performances in restaurants, hotels and ballrooms had to be paid. From 1921 onwards the members of ASCAP were able to collect those royalties.