About Us › Forums › temp › Interesting Reading Regarding Copyrighted Music Playing In Public Places › This isn’t a new thing, ya know…
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It’s been like this for decades. Any music played to the public must be licensed and paid for. And this doesn’t just apply to music, it applies to ANY copyrighted materials.
I’ve always thought it was pretty stupid that playing a radio for your customers in your store, etc needed an additional license since the radio station was already paying to play the music to the public. But it’s been that way for decades.
Curious about the Part 15 thing, as the article states that you can play a licensed station on on a consumer radio in the shop etc as a licensed station is assumed to have paid the licensing fees for broadcasting. Clearly they just didn’t consider Part 15 at the time. Part 15 may not be “licensed” but we are “authorized” by the FCC, and if you’re broadcasting music I assume you’ve paid the fees to do so, so I think if it came up it would shake down that having a Part 15 on in your shop would be just fine.
The general rule has always been that if you play the radio in your store you don’t need to be licensed if it’s for the employees, etc but not being pumped through a sound system or the use of multiple radios throughout a store. Note that this is the same for CD players, etc. Music played with the intention of being heard by the public must be paid for. Clearly pumping the radio through multiple speakers in a business is a public performance. The theory is your business is deriving value from that music and those providing it should be paid. If you weren’t getting value from the music why would you have gone to the trouble of installing the system? If it didn’t matter, you wouldn’t do it.
This is why background music businesses are so successful. The fees the store pays for the background music service include the music licensing fees. Whether they’re playing “Muzak” styled easy listening versions of popular songs, or actual music — they pay a fee to the background music service which covers the service itself and the music rights. I once worked at an AM/FM pair of stations that ran a background music service on the subcarrier on the FM station. On this subcarrier we broadcast satellite fed background music. We then sold the service to stores and went an installed the whole system, from the SCA receiver to the amps and speakers. The stores paid for the installation and equipment then a monthly subscription fee for the music.
The license for this is not prohibitively expensive. Unlike a commercial radio station. The stations I work for pay tens of thousands of dollars yearly for music rights.
But this is the same for everything. If you buy a movie on a DVD, you’ll note that it is licensed for private viewing in homes. If you, for example, take that DVD to a kids camp and show it to a couple hundred kids on a Saturday night it’s illegal unless you’ve paid for the rights to do so.
This sort of thing applies to all copyrights. Any public performance, showing, exhibiting, etc has to be paid for. Ever watch a reality TV show — or any of the home building, buying or remodeling shows? They walk into a room and you can see that some pictures, photos, or other artwork on the walls in the room are blurred out? That’s because they don’t have the rights to show that image on their show.
Tim in Bovey