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

  • Thread starter david90
  • Start date
  • #26
No, you are talking about playing music for free where they can just walk in and see you stealing music.
I find it interesting that you've bought into the argument that copyright infringement is stealing. I'd argue that big business has so distorted our copyright system as to make it completely unrecognizable to the founding fathers, and by swallowing their assertion that infringement is "stealing," you're letting them do it even more.

Did you know that the RIAA (recording industry lobbying group) considers a lot of things copyright infringement, and is actively influencing our government to make those ill-founded beliefs into law? They argue that "format shifting" should be illegal: if you buy a CD legally, you should not be allowed to rip it onto an MP3 player, and you should have to buy another copy for your iPod. They argue that copyright should go on indefinitely after your death. Can you imagine if the works of Shakespeare were owned by his descendants? (On a side note, copyright terms are already far too long. The most recent copyright extension act was basically bought and paid for by Disney, to prevent Mickey Mouse from becoming public domain.) They've made it illegal to break any encryption on files you allegedly own.

If, in fifty years, more of the "reforms" of the RIAA have been passed into law, would you consider violating them to be stealing?
 
  • #27
Astronuc
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I'm closing the thread since the OP's question has been answered.

The proprietor of a commercial entity (business, enterprise, . . .) must review the appropriate law or check with counsel to see if the law applies in his or her case. That's the way it is.

We do not advocate or condone violating the law.


The issue of whether or not the law is fair, or if one likes it or not, or if a particular industry has influenced the government to establish a law which some consider unfair is beside the point. If one does not like the law, then one is entitled to use the appropriate channels to change the law (similarly for changing the government if one has a disagreement with the government). Violating a law with one disagrees is not a viable option. If one persists in violating the law, then one should expect to be penalized.
 
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