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Sued for playing Christmas music?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Kathryn, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    At the bank where I work, we are not allowed to play Christmas music in any of the 1600+ locations which are open to the public.

    Many employees think it's because of some sort of political correctness on the part of upper management, but here's the real reason:

    There are actually individuals who make a living working for companies who SUE other companies for playing copyrighted music during the holidays.

    Yes, it's true - these companies employ individuals to walk around all during the holidays, going into public businesses and hoping to catch them playing Christmas music - so they can sue them.

    Personally, I think that is an absolutely pathetic way to make a living, and I'd hate to live a day in their shoes, let alone try to actually tell anyone what my job was. I mean, I understand that music is copyrighted but honestly - no radio at work?

    I think it's ridiculous myself. Your thoughts?
     
  2. JacobEzra.

    JacobEzra. Dr. Greenthumb

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    Sounds pretty sucky. And a horrible job. But at least he is not a criminal
     
  3. Tarheeler

    Tarheeler Argumentative Curmudgeon
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    It's no different than movies and dvds. It's fine to watch them in your home for personal enjoyment, but it is against copyright laws to show it in public. The same goes for music.

    If your company really wants to play Christmas music, then they can go through one of the many media companies that provide that service for a fee.
     
  4. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    Like I said, I understand the idea of copyright laws. But honestly - playing a radio at work and getting busted for it?

    Personally, I say BAH HUMBUG!
     
  5. Tarheeler

    Tarheeler Argumentative Curmudgeon
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    I see nothing wrong with it.

    It's intellectual property rights and capitalism in action.
    If you want the music, you have to pay for it.
     
  6. JacobEzra.

    JacobEzra. Dr. Greenthumb

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    Maybe they will start sueing for listioning to radio to loud and sharing it with neighbors
     
  7. Enlighten

    Enlighten Well-Known Member

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    I had no idea playing a radio could cause a company to be sued, hmm. It got me thinking ... how far does this go? Could an individual be sued for playing their car radio sitting in traffic/parked with the window down where other members of the public can hear? (perhaps I am overthinking this). Record companies make enough from sales, normally after hearing a song on the radio so I don't see why they need to make such a fuss.
     
  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Let's start with all the lawyers.
     
  9. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    That would be true in the Uk ... but companies take out public performance licences so they can play copyright music. They are then fully covered.
     
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  10. Enlighten

    Enlighten Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that will be why I had no idea about it. :D My statement still stands mind you regarding the amount of money record companies make through songs being played on the radio.
     
  11. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    You indirectly benefit if you entertain people with copyright material. so it is reasonable to pay for the use of it.
    The licencing bodies collect the annual licenc fees and pay the artists.(in proportion to their plays/popularity as measured statically)

    These bodies also collect fees from companies colleges and libraries to cover normal copyright from copying sections of books etc. They do an annual trawl of such places who have to supply copy statistic's ( I was responsible at one time for collecting data from some 150 large copiers And high speed laser copy/printers, in the college where I worked.)
     
  12. Enlighten

    Enlighten Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree that there are benefits to entertain with it, no argument there. It is perhaps me being niaive to how the licencing works, I thought that by a radio station playing music for example, they have already obtained the licence to air to the public (country wide), no matter where the radio is being played. Meaning no further licences would be required from individuals/companies for playing that station.

    When you say they pay the artist in accordance with plays/popularity, I would assume the measurement comes from how many sales following being played, so I still think there is benefit to having radio stations broadcast in workplaces for example as this could in turn lead to mass sales.

    I agree and understand about copyright, like mass screening movies to the public without licence, playing CDs at mass public events and as you mention books, I just had assumed there was a difference when it came to radio broadcasts of songs etc.
     
  13. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Radio broadcasts are in themselves copyright. that is what you pay for if you play it to the public.

    During the war "Music while You work" was broadcast public licence free for an hour a day and was played in factories and work places.
     
    #13 Terrywoodenpic, Dec 23, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  14. Drolefille

    Drolefille PolyPanGeekGirl

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    It's the 'open to the public' part that is what gets you. Listening to a radio in one's cube, no big deal. Listening to head phones, no big deal.

    Projecting it so that the entire store/office/customers can hear it means you're dodging paying for whatever RIAA fee for service systems exist these days. Now, the local dollar store near me certainly just throws up a radio, but they're usually more concerned about armed robbery, not copyright violation.

    This is also, btw, why most restaurants don't sing 'happy birthday' anymore. THat song too is copyrighted.
     
  15. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    What a crap job - driving around casing out places at Christmas time hoping to catch some girls in the office playing Christmas music so you can sue them.
     
  16. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    I guess these songwriters basically have a one month window every year to make money on their product. (songs)

    They want to get paid like everyone else.
    They have xmas bills like everyone else,
    and then there's the heating oil....


    I dunno. I guess there should be some easy way to just pay the fees,
    if you want to play the music.

    Obviously the music is of great VALUE to people,
    or they wouldn't be complaining about not having it.
    Or you could always write and record your own,
    and put it out in the public domain with no copyright fees.
     
  17. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    Yeah, poor Nat King Cole and Mariah Carey and James Taylor and Mannheim Steamroller and Bing Crosby...they're losing money every time some customer in the line at the bank hears their song.

    Oh, and we're making so much money OFF those songs!

    :facepalm:

    Look, I understand copyright laws. My complaint is more with the whole idea that there would be someone whose JOB is to drive around trying to bust people for playing the radio at work.
     
  18. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    I'm sure they want their offspring to benfit from their inheritance like anyone else.
    And if some third party bought the rights?
    Well, that's a business.
    It is generally a business' business to make sure they are making money on their investments. :shrug:

    Who doesn't deal in "collections"?

    There is no Santa.
    There are no free "Be"'s.

    It's just a part of life.
    As I said, there should just be an easy way to pay the fees.
    Then if it's important enough to businesses,
    that they feel they want to bring that christmas/holiday experience
    to their customers,
    they pay for it.


    The law suit thing is kinda dumb,
    if there is no other simple known way to pay the fees.
     
    #18 blackout, Dec 24, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  19. Gaura Priya

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    I'm still kind of weirded out by how secular and politically correct our societies are going on nowadays, and yet Christmas music out there is still filled with references to Jesus, God, and such things. XD
     
  20. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    Well the old traditional jesus songs are in the public domain.

    Get someone to come in to your place of business to play and sing them.
    Chances are though, you're still gunna have to pay. :p
     
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