Adding yet another piece to the confusing puzzle that is music royalty laws, it seems as if American businesses are facing the same issues that we discussed were happening in Thailand- there’s no such thing as free music. Multiple local business owners in Connecticut, for example, have recently been facing lawsuits for not paying licensing fees in order to play copyrighted music in their restaurants and bars. The US Copyright Act was designed to protect the interest of the song writer, so according to the law, if a place of business wants to play the property of a song writer, they need to shell out for fees, which can cost upwards of $2500 a year. One restaurant owner even decided to avoid the risk of having a juke box, because the process of figuring out how licensing works (and which of the big royalty collection companies one would need to pay) can be confusing and in the end, quite expensive. It might make you think twice about singing “Happy Birthday” next time you’re in a restaurant- it might not be worth the legal battle.
Check out the full story here: Special report: Local restaurants fined for playing music
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