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Is it legal to play personal music and movies in my shop to customers?

  1. Apr 2, 2008 #1
    I own a beauty salon and i'm wondering if I need to pay royalty when playing music and movies that I own. I want setup video and music on demand for waiting customers.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2008 #2


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    It depends on where you are:
    In the UK a licence to play music in your store or on-hold is about £90 from the performing rights society.
    Ironically you also have to pay this for commercial channels where you are presumably increasing their ad revenue and so the amount that goes to poor starving pop-idol winners.
  4. Apr 2, 2008 #3


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    I know shops that play popular local radio stations, or play CD's or tunes from pay services. I believe as long as one does not sell the songs/tunes, but simply plays them, then one can legally play any music one likes under fair use.
  5. Apr 2, 2008 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    If you are in the US, you must pay royalties to ASCAP and/or BMI, as appropriate. You are using the work of these musicians as a way to improve your business; it's only fair that they be compensated.
  6. Apr 2, 2008 #5
    I would just play it and not say anything about it. Screw ASCAP and BMI.
  7. Apr 2, 2008 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    Cyrus has a point. Why buy what you can steal?
  8. Apr 2, 2008 #7
    Hes not stealing. He already bought it.
  9. Apr 2, 2008 #8
    I believe I read that if you have a certain number of people in you shop at a given time, then you need to pay. If it's below that, then you're safe.

    So for example if you had a capacity for 50 people in your salon and that's what it attracted or something, you'd have to pay.

    If you had like 10 customers, though, it wouldn't be enough to require payment. But again, check the laws in your area.
  10. Apr 2, 2008 #9


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    I was just reading Title 17 two days ago, the rule has the following specifications:
    • Amount of audiovisual devices used in the display
    • Distance these are from the doors
    • Gross square feet of establishment

    Public or private, if you do not own the rights,
    “not more than 4 audiovisual devices, of which not more than 1 audiovisual device is located in any 1 room, [...] not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or adjoining outdoor space...”

    This rule is a little bit strict for my personal taste. Not more than 1 audiovisual device in any 1 room? What happens if you have a VHS tape player and a television? You have to have them in separate rooms? I guess buying the type of television that has a VHS machine inside it would circumvent the rule. :tongue2:

    Also, monitors have to be under 55 inches, and there is a certain number of feet these audiovisual devices need to be away from the doors.

    I found it funny how they called jukeboxes, uh "coin-operated phonorecord players," I think.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  11. Apr 2, 2008 #10
    Do you really think someone from the music industry is going to walk in and say you're playing music for customers!!!

    Gimme a break and play the music and make money.
  12. Apr 2, 2008 #11
  13. Apr 2, 2008 #12
    Am I talking about downloading music, where they can see you are stealing music and can find your IP address?
  14. Apr 3, 2008 #13
    No, you are talking about playing music for free where they can just walk in and see you stealing music.
  15. Apr 3, 2008 #14
    Stealing music he paid for? Do you walk into stores when you hear music and ask to see the owner and if the owner is paying for that music?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2008
  16. Apr 3, 2008 #15
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2008
  17. Apr 3, 2008 #16
  18. Apr 3, 2008 #17
    There is a huge difference between playing music at a club and a small hair cut shop.

    A club is explicitly using that music to make profit. Thats the sole purpose of them playing the music. Do you get your hair cut so that you can listen to some music? I'd say its very, very, very, very, very, unlikely that anyone would ever say anything about you playing music at your joint. Unless of course you get a customer like PL, in which case buzz cut all his hair off and give him his money back and say its on the house.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2008
  19. Apr 3, 2008 #18
    Look, I understand that you have a small mental capacity and all, but the article clearly states that restaurants and bars have been sued for playing music without a license.
  20. Apr 3, 2008 #19
    Really, I thought I just wrote that above, no? You know, the part about it being a club in your article. And the difference between a club playing music and a small barber shop.

    Anyways, its his business and his choice. Were I him, I would just play the music and movies and not lose sleep over it. Maximize your profits wherever possible.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2008
  21. Apr 3, 2008 #20
    Restaurants and bars count as clubs now?


    Instead of peeing in the wind, he could simply check the laws in his area, because it's very possible there is a square-footage cutoff for when you have to pay for music. I worked in a small fitness store. Small enough that playing the radio was alright.

    I worked at a McDonald's. It was big enough that music had to be paid for.
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