Originally Posted by Jeff Ruggiero
Will 2007, Thanks for the info but I am only planning on playing the radio via the internet because I am unable to get reception in the building. I will look into the issue you brought up though to see if there are any issues and figure out another music source if that is unacceptable.
You're welcome. You should be aware that even just playing songs from the radio, as innocuous as that sounds, can be deemed a "public performance" depending on the circumstances. As I said, it's a trap for the unwary. Although it might not in fact apply to your situation, what you describe raised red flags for me. If you have a regular attorney, it might be worth a call to him or her. If you do not, you might want to consider a brief consultation with one. I have no vested interest in the matter, but it troubles me to see persons possibly accidentally blunder into legal trouble, particularly when it's innocent on their part. Trust me, the music trade groups don't care if your possible infringement is innocent or not. They will shake you down nevertheless (if they learn that you might in fact be infringing on their members' copyrights via "public performance," even by playing the radio in your office so that others can hear, especially if it's essentially piped throughout your common areas).
In this case, an ounce of prevention...
EDIT: An easier way to find out if you might have a possible issue is to ask some colleagues with similar sized offices, or who might use "muzak" for their telephones while callers are on hold. You might find out that they do in fact subscribe to a music licensing service that handles all that business with the trade groups and procures for you the necessary licenses, so you don't have to do it directly yourself. Those services act as an intermediary for you, but the effect is the same; you end up purchasing a public performance license for your business. Again, YMMV, as it may not apply to you. Ask around. You may be surprised at what you find out.