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

  • Thread starter david90
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

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.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
mgb_phys
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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.
 
  • #3
Astronuc
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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.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #5
2,903
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I would just play it and not say anything about it. Screw ASCAP and BMI.
 
  • #6
Vanadium 50
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Cyrus has a point. Why buy what you can steal?
 
  • #7
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Hes not stealing. He already bought it.
 
  • #8
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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.
 
  • #9
Mk
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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.
 
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  • #10
2,903
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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.
 
  • #11
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  • #12
2,903
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Am I talking about downloading music, where they can see you are stealing music and can find your IP address?
 
  • #13
686
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No, you are talking about playing music for free where they can just walk in and see you stealing music.
 
  • #14
2,903
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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?
 
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  • #17
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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.
 
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  • #18
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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.
 
  • #19
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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.
 
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  • #20
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Restaurants and bars count as clubs now?

"HEY DUDE! LET'S GO CLUBBING AND PICK UP SOME HOT CHICKS!"
"YEAH MAN, I KNOW THIS GREAT FRENCH RESTAURANT!!"

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.
 
  • #21
2,903
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Errr, did you even read your own article?

Here's a full list of the affected clubs:

Salty Dawg II, Tucson, AZ
Foxfire Room, N. Hollywood, CA
Pelican Isle, Huntington, CA
Skylark, San Francisco, CA
Snake Pit, Denver, CO
Humphrey's East, New Haven, CT
Kashmir, West Palm Beach, FL
Tequila Willie's, Melbourne, FL
Sanctuary, Atlanta, GA
Rome Street Tavern, Carrollton, GA
O'Hare Gaslight Club, Chicago, IL
Club Paradise, Angola, IN
Registry, Crown Point,
IN Red Maple, Baltimore,
MD Holiday Inn Southfield, Southfield, MI
Razzles, Westland, MI
Janae's West, St. Louis, MO
Cody's Chinese Bistro, Raleigh, NC
Manhattan on Pearl, Nashua, NH
Fusion 215 (f/k/a Nest), New York, NY
Montage Grill, Rochester, NY
Hiro Ballroom, New York, NY
Doghouse Bar & Grill, North Royalton, OH
Nuno's Bar & Grill, Austin, TX
Oakley's, Waco, TX
Ibiza Dinner Club, Seattle, WA
It also makes no mention if they were told to take it down but refused or ignored the request of the music industry. As opposed to being blindsighted with a lawsuit.

Again, either way its his store and his decision to make.
 
  • #22
686
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Yes, you see, I actually read the whole article.

the varied nature of the list makes it clear that ASCAP is trying to send the message here that no matter where your bar, nightclub, restaurant, or other venue is, ASCAP reps are listening.
Did you even read the part you quoted?

Here's a full list of the affected clubs:

Salty Dawg II, Tucson, AZ
Foxfire Room, N. Hollywood, CA
Pelican Isle, Huntington, CA
Skylark, San Francisco, CA
Snake Pit, Denver, CO
Humphrey's East, New Haven, CT
Kashmir, West Palm Beach, FL
Tequila Willie's, Melbourne, FL
Sanctuary, Atlanta, GA
Rome Street Tavern, Carrollton, GA
O'Hare Gaslight Club, Chicago, IL
Club Paradise, Angola, IN
Registry, Crown Point,
IN Red Maple, Baltimore,
MD Holiday Inn Southfield, Southfield, MI
Razzles, Westland, MI
Janae's West, St. Louis, MO
Cody's Chinese Bistro, Raleigh, NC
Manhattan on Pearl, Nashua, NH
Fusion 215 (f/k/a Nest), New York, NY
Montage Grill, Rochester, NY
Hiro Ballroom, New York, NY
Doghouse Bar & Grill, North Royalton, OH
Nuno's Bar & Grill, Austin, TX
Oakley's, Waco, TX
Ibiza Dinner Club, Seattle, WA
DUDE!! LET'S GO TO THE BISTRO AND PICK UP HOT CHICKS WOOO!!!
 
  • #23
tiny-tim
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… fair use only applies to your own use …

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.
Nooo … fair use doesn't come into it … fair use only applies to your own use … if you use it in your business for your customers to hear (as opposed to listening to it on your own headphones), then you have to pay for it.

For the law in the UK, see: http://www.mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk/about_us/yourquestionsanswered/Pages/WhohastohaveaPRSMusicLicence.aspx:
WHO HAS TO HAVE A PRS MUSIC LICENCE?

Any location or premises, outside of home, where music is played from clubs to concert halls, from discos to dentists’ waiting rooms and from trains to takeaways. The owner/proprietor of the premises is normally responsible for obtaining a PRS Music Licence for the public performance of copyright music.
There is a huge difference between playing music at a club and a small hair cut shop.

I'd say its very, very, very, very, very, unlikely that anyone would ever say anything about you playing music at your joint.
Yes, the difference is that the hair cut shop pays a smaller tariff.

You'll get a visit from (in the UK) the PRS sooner or later.
 
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  • #24
Astronuc
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As Vanadium50 mentioned, the playing of copyrighted music in a public place requires (in most cases) a license (and royalty payment), even if one purchased a CD or tape. The purchase of copyrighted by an individual allows the individual to listen to the music in his or her own private places, e.g. home, office, car, . . . Playing copyrighted music in a commercial establishment requires the proprietor to pay a royalty to the copyright holder or their agent/assignee. Small business 'may be' exempt, but one would need the advice of counsel to determine that.

Music in the Marketplace (US) from the Better Business Bureau
http://www.bbb.org/Alerts/article.asp?ID=451 [Broken]
WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY ROYALTIES?
The short answer to the question above is: Because the law says you do. But, clearly, some further explanation is needed as to why, for example, a merchant has to pay to play radio music in his or her store, when playing the radio or listening to tapes at home or in one’s car is "free."

The long answer starts with the United States Constitution, which gives Congress the power to grant patents and copyrights. Pursuant to that power, Congress has enacted and amended various copyright laws. The Copyright Law of the U.S. today gives copyright owners the exclusive right to publicly perform or authorize performance of their works.

Generally speaking, public performances are very broadly construed under the law and are defined as performing "at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered." This has been interpreted to mean that most performances at so called private clubs and fraternal organizations are "public" under the copyright law.

Early versions of the copyright law limited the exclusive right to performances given "publicly for profit." Today, however, the "for profit" limitation has been repealed and only an explicit list of exempt performances do not require a license from the copyright owner. These include performances by instructors or students during face to face teaching activities of nonprofit educational institutions, performances of music in the course of religious services at a place of worship, and performances by the public communication of a radio or television transmission by eating, drinking, or retail establishments of a certain size which use a limited number of speakers or televisions and if no charge is made to see or hear the transmission (See Section 110(5) of the Copyright Act as revised. See www.lcweb.loc.gov/copyright).

. . . .

Given the broad scope of the protection given copyright holders and those assigned their rights, anyone whose business in one way or another performs music for its customers or members should be aware that they may be called upon by one or more of the major performing rights organizations to license the performance of copyrighted works in their respective repertories. Buying a license from one performing rights organization, say BMI, does not protect a business from liability for unauthorized performance of songs in ASCAP’s or SESAC’s repertories.

A list of places and events at which licensing could be required includes, but is not necessarily limited to: restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels where live or recorded music is played; shopping malls; stores that play broadcast or recorded music; spas, gyms or other sites that offer exercise to music; trade shows; conventions; dance studios; skating rinks; private clubs or fraternal organizations; offices and stores that use “music on hold” for telephone customers; sports teams; colleges and universities; amusement parks; bowling centers; and the Internet.

. . . .
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

. . . .BMI, SESAC, and ASCAP maintain standard fee schedules for different classes of businesses and organizations that set out the basis for fees and from which businesses can determine their cost of an annual license. These organizations have different rate schedules for various industries. For specific information, contact them at the addresses listed on the back of this brochure.
Any business owner should review the copyright law or seek advice of counsel in order to determine if the particular law is applicable to one's situation, but also to determine if one might be exempt. A small business may be exempt, but one will have make an effort to determine that.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

If the law is considered unfair, then one should write to one's elected officials and request a change in the law. One is legally obligated to comply with the law or face penalty for not doing so. That's the way the process works.

There is a provision for fairness in use.
http://www.copyright.gov/docs/regstat97.html
 
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  • #25
In my experience people who are 21 aren't very mature anyway, I'm not and I'm a adult, in theory. That said I don't see a problem with playing a radio station? I wasn't aware that was illegal, I guess where I worked last time, because we dealt with the general public was actually breaking the law. Good for us, it's a silly law anyway. I can understand theres a fine line between copyright material and a radio station but it still seems a bit silly. Still £90 is hardly a kings ransom.
 

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