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Are You Legal?

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Aug 4, 2007 8:49 pm

I learned some interesting things about the music business. But first, some questions:

Do you play music when someone is on hold? Or play music in your office (excluding Musak or similar services)? Or even play a radio station, while on hold and/or in the office? 

Well, you could be breaking the law. In a nutshell, unless the music is played for personal consumption or for small, private gatherings, you owe the music industry royalties.

For example, play a radio station while clients are on hold or as background for your office - royalties owed. Buy a CD to play for on hold callers or office background music - royalties owed. Employ the radio station to create a commercial for you and they use music - YOU owe royalties.

So, again I ask the question: "Are you legal?".

Now, maybe Bill Singer can chime-in on this, since I'm not an attorney (but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night). All I know, is that the music industry is bringing lawsuits against 15 nightclubs nationwide and is planning more, to go after royalties owed.

Remember file sharing and Napster, some years ago? This is the same type action, only on steroids!

Aug 8, 2007 12:26 am


I'm not sure where that question came from or why it even comes up here,but technically any public broadcast (which would technically include playing background music on the phone) requires payment of royalties/fees.  On the other hand, I don't know of anyone who has a phone-hold system that plays radio (which the broadcaster should be paying the fee) or CD (which, yeah, technically you should be paying the fees) who actually pays.  I'm also not aware of any widespread enforcement by ASCAP or similar organizations -- but who knows...maybe in the future.

Separately, I am an owner of an indie record label: and think we need a far better way of compensating artists and labels than by this silly approach to suing everyone--particularly kids who engage in illegal downloads. 


Antigone rising sound HOT!! Downloaded 2 from Itunes.

Aug 8, 2007 3:47 pm

Agreed.  Listened to them all and Antigone Rising is the real gem.

Hats off to you for signing some artists with actual vocal talent. Seems to be against the trend in music today.

I wonder… why the shift towards a softer sound? These ladies can rock!  Especially liked “Hello” and the “Rock and Roll” cover.