FlyingNanook From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 830 posts, RR: 12 Posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3740 times:
I'm asking here because there's got to be somebody who knows about this and my google searches are not being fruitful.
Recently the acting manager of our store brought up the fact that the cashiers may not play the radio in the public areas of the store because of some sort of copyright thing. This information was passed down to our cashiers by the head cashier and they threw a hissy fit and demanded to see this law in writing. (Our cashiers are a bunch of whiney little brats, and I'm thankful everyday that I don't have to work on the same floor as them)
Can anybody here help me find information about US copyright and rebroadcasting of radio stations? Also does this apply to internet-only radio stations?
N231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3737 times:
I'm not understanding what you are saying. Several stores, including the pet store that I worked at throughout my high school years, used to play local radio the radio in the store (as long as it wasn't offensive-management prohibited hip-hop, heavy metal, and alternative rock stations).
Depending on where you are working, the company rules may differ. I know some people who work for The Home Depot, and all HD stores' music is streamed from the headquarters in Atlanta, GA, but it is HD's music, not any radio stations.
Futurecaptain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3729 times:
We have the radio on at the store I work at. It's a constant fight over what gets played and the station is changed seemingly daily and covertly by opposing music tastes.
We have Rock(in all its forms) on alot and no customers seem to mind and most of us like it.
I've never heard of stores not being able to play a radio due to copyright reasons.
RJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3729 times:
The acting manager is full of it. Radio stations pay ASCAP and BMI fees every quarter. This is the fee that then gets re-imbursed to the artist for airplay of the songs. Radio waves, by an act of Congress, belong to the public so once the song hits the transmitter it's free for all. ASCAP and BMI being the greedy companies they are would like to see all businesses that use a radio for background have to pay a licensing fee as well but that is double dipping. If a store uses a closed circut system, like a cd player, then they might be subject to licensing fees but not some worker listening to a radio while going about their job. That covers the copyright of the use of the songs. As to rebroadcast, if you are just talking about playing the radio, that is not a rebroadcast. If they are taping segments, like some sort of countdown program, and replaying them later in a public setting, that would be questionable. The radio station would probably be happy to hear that your cashiers are playing their station in a public place where the customers can hear it, along with all the ads that they play as well. Sounds more like your acting store manager just doesn't like their choice of music to me.
Nkops From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2709 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3729 times:
Sounds like he just doesn't want you (or co-workers) to play the radio. I can't see it being against copyright laws since alot of radio stations probably depend on the workplace during the week (alot of them here do workplace contests, etc.). Unless it's a company policy , I think he's BS'ing you
Pope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3706 times:
I remember a couple of years ago the music companies making an issue of this. IRC the issue was the use of music in public areas of the store constituted a commercial use of the broadcast which exceeded the scope of the license that the broadcaster gave to the public. Similar to why a bar with DirecTV must pay a different rate than a home consumer pays for the service.
Bobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3694 times:
You're not allowed to rebroadcast in a store through loudspeakers. Is a radio considered to be a loudspeaker? I don't think so. The key is that "loudspeakers" is plural, it implies that multiple speakers are placed so that the music is heard throughout the store via a public address system. On the other hand, if it's a small store and the radio can be heard everywhere in the store, would that be the same as rebroadcast through loudspeakers?
HeyMach From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2003, 118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3670 times:
Google "public performance rights".
On this side of the pond if a shop, for example, wants to play music (be it radio or a CD) it need a licence from the Public Performance Society (PRS). Royalties collected by PRS from these licenses are distributed to its members, normally the holder of the public performance right. I suspect the same is applicable in the US.
David L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9546 posts, RR: 42
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3665 times:
Quoting HeyMach (Reply 8): On this side of the pond if a shop, for example, wants to play music (be it radio or a CD) it need a licence from the Public Performance Society (PRS).
I see from your profile you're a legal adviser so I'm not going to waste a lot of time disagreeing with you . However, it seems to me there's a difference between recorded music and broadcast music. In the former case the listener pays for "personal use", while in the latter case the broadcaster pays to transmit the music out to anyone who's listening. I'll take your word for it that playing broadcast music in a store requires a licence but I could see why that might not be the case.
For radio, it's not as if anyone is getting anything free that they couldn't get by listening to the same station at home. It would be different if someone pays for one CD and plays it to a few hundred people over the course of a day, meaning those people can hear the CD without buying it.
Quoting Pope (Reply 6): Similar to why a bar with DirecTV must pay a different rate than a home consumer pays for the service.
Again, that's a situation where the "user" pays so I could see why a bar wouldn't be allowed to pay a "personal" rate if they're showing it to the public, given that it saves a lot of people from paying for it at home.
Under Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 10, Subsection 5 (B) (exemptions to copyright protection):
(i) in the case of an establishment other than a food service or drinking establishment, either the establishment in which the communication occurs has less than 2,000 gross square feet of space (excluding space used for customer parking and for no other purpose), or the establishment in which the communication occurs has 2,000 or more gross square feet of space (excluding space used for customer parking and for no other purpose) and —
(I) if the performance is by audio means only, the performance is communicated by means of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers, of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or adjoining outdoor space; or
(II) if the performance or display is by audiovisual means, any visual portion of the performance or display is communicated by means of a total of not more than 4 audiovisual devices, of which not more than 1 audiovisual device is located in any 1 room, and no such audiovisual device has a diagonal screen size greater than 55 inches, and any audio portion of the performance or display is communicated by means of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers, of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or adjoining outdoor space;