There’s been a lot of talk lately about online piracy and what Washington should or shouldn’t do about it.
But there’s another more common form of piracy that has been going on for years.
The music industry has always been zealous about protecting copyrights and royalty arrangements with artists and publishers.
But the nature or radio and now, online downloading has made the issue tougher to enforce.
How many times have you sat in a small restaurant or doctor’s waiting room and listened to a local radio station being piped through the PA system.
While you enjoyed the latest from some popular artist, you might not have been aware that what the owners of the establishment were doing is very illegal.
It’s a rule as old as radio and the music industry.
Radio stations pay copyright fees to music licensers like ASCAP for the music they play.
But if you use a radio station’s broadcast to entertain your customers, you are not.
That is how companies like Muzak came into being. They pay the fees and for a simple monthly charge, will pipe music into your establishment.
Yes, we know…elevator music.
But much has changed, and the music is better and tailored for your business.
And the licensing fees are paid.
The same holds true for music taken off the internet, a CD, MP3 player or tape. If you didn’t pay for the rights, you don’t have the rights to commercial use.