Joined: Feb. 2007
||Posted: Feb. 15 2007,13:41
|Quote (mikshaw @ Feb. 15 2007,07:57)|
|As far as being able to play mp3 files, I don't think there is any major issue. The main problem is the files themselves...what is the source of the file (who actually owns it, was it pirated) and what software was used to create the file.|
It would also depend how the music was being used. You can't go buy a copy of a Beatles CD and then use their music in an advertising campaign. Alas, you also can't broadcast their music without owing them royalties. The definition of broadcasting extends to background music in a business, podcasts, radio broadcasts, etc.
This article would cause me to think twice about whose music I played in a podcast, on a radio station, in a diner or coffeehouse. ASCAP/BMI control and collect the royalties for copyrighted music in the US.BMI's position is that one doesn't own a right to use their artists' music except for personal use. From one of their FAQs:
|Q: Is a tape or CD my personal property to play where and when I like?|
No. Although, most people buy tapes and CDs thinking they are now their property, there is a distinction in the law between owning a copy of the CD and owning the songs on the CD. There is also a difference between a private performance of copyrighted music and a public performance. Most people recognize that purchasing a CD doesn't give them the right to make copies of it to give or sell to others. The record company and music publishers retain those rights. Similarly, the music on the CDs and tapes still belongs to the songwriter, composer or music publisher of the work. When you buy a tape or CD, the purchase price covers only your private listening use, similar to the "home" use of "home" videos. Once you decide to play these tapes or CDs in your restaurant or nightclub it becomes a public performance. Songwriters, composers, and music publishers have the exclusive right of public performance of their musical works under the U.S. copyright law. Therefore, any public performance, whether live or recorded, requires permission from the copyright owner - or BMI - if it is BMI-affiliated music. With a BMI Music License, you can publicly perform all BMI-affiliated music.
Their position extends to other businesses. If the music is from an ASCAP/BMI artist, there are legal issues and there will be certain hurdles to clear. That includes licensing and royalty agreements. There are also "less evil" sources for music like Magnatune who encourage people to share and use their artists' music.
"It felt kind of like having a pitbull terrier on my rear end."
-- meo (copyright(c)2008, all rights reserved)