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Author Topic: Now you can be sued for listening to radio at work?  (Read 5666 times)
trekgeezer
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« on: October 08, 2007, 07:29:19 AM »

Evidently in the UK you can.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7029892.stm
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AndyC
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2007, 08:02:43 AM »

Oh, good lord. If they want to start suing businesses for having a radio playing, that's going to be a big job. Is every shopkeeper, mechanic, etc. supposed to get a DJ licence or something?

In their blind greed, these idiots are failing to see that radios playing in businesses and on job sites are one way their songs get exposure.

What's next, suing the kid with the really loud, thumping car stereo for broadcasting into people's homes?
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Dennis
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2007, 08:21:57 AM »

This proves that even Great Britain has people who resemble the north end of a southbound horse.  Buggedout
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IzzyDedjet
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2007, 11:23:57 AM »

It's sad, but at the same time, it's nice to know that the U.S. hasn't cornered the market on asshats just yet.
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Yaddo 42
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Where's that brick.......


« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 10:22:15 PM »

Or is American "lawsuit-itis" just spreading to the rest of the world. Guess headphones will be mandatory, or all small businesses will have to ban music, since they won't be able to afford the licenses sure to result.

If suing for royalties from playing music in commercial businesses is allowed to go forward, then we the members of the public should be allowed to sue the record companies or the radio stations aural harassment for overplaying the same stupid crap over and over. I can't even jokingly make an argument for suing the businesses themselves, which I wouldn't want to do, since just as they have a reasonable right to not do business with some customers, they should at least be able to use music as part of the atmosphere they want to make their customers comfortable and welcome.

Maybe file complaints with the FCC asking for the suspension or revoking of their broadcast licenses for deliberate misuse of the public airwaves by not providing a greater variety of music and artists, and destroying serve local interests and the public good. Clear Channel, Citadel, and the rest of the big broadcasters have made a bland wasteland of the radio dial. I want to hope with HD radio and multichannel broadcasting things will change, but it will probably just be more of the same by a factor in direct proportion to the number of new channels added.
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AndyC
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 11:11:33 PM »

Well said.
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nshumate
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2007, 07:29:27 AM »

Hate to tell you all, but this ain't new, even in the U.S.  Playing a radio as background music for a retail establishment has always technically constituted "public performance," which is why Musak-like services and in-house radio networks (think Maverik or Wal-Mart) have succeeded.  Waaaay back when I worked in a comic book store in the early '90's, the boss didn't want the radio playing because that kind of public performance constituted copyright infringement. (So did playing our cassettes, but since a dead-silent store wasn't an option, he grudgingly let that one go.)

'Course, I don't know how often anyone was sued for it back then...
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Nathan Shumate
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Jack
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2007, 08:00:37 AM »

Anything that gets all that sh**** new music out of my ears is a good thing by me  Twirling 
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AndyC
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2007, 09:50:02 AM »

Anything that gets all that sh**** new music out of my ears is a good thing by me  Twirling 

The problem for me isn't so much new music, but music that is neither new nor old. The stuff that is maybe six months or a year old, and overplayed more than it was when it was new. Don't know why radio stations do that. If I want to hear the same stuff over and over for a year, I can play a CD in the car. I really hate what radio is turning into.

I got into a flaming email row with the program director of a station I used to like. They started one of those weekly web surveys, and I answered it honestly. After a while, he sends me a really patronizing email explaining how a business is run, and suggest I find another station to listen to. I send him one back suggesting that he shouldn't poll listeners if he's not prepared to listen to comments he doesn't like, and that I'll continue to listen because I like some things about his station. And it went on from there. Not exactly professional on his part. Oh, and the next time I tried to do the survey, my login didn't work. When I asked about it, he told me he assumed I didn't want to participate any more. I think he just lumped me in with the people who wanted them to go back to an all classic rock format. The problem was that they were overplaying tunes that were neither classic nor fresh and new. Just worn-out crap.

At one point, I suggested that it was the online poll that spelled the jump-the-shark moment for the station, basically allowing them to pinpoint the lowest common denominator. He told me it was better than the old way of waiting until the ratings come out, then scratching your head. But that led to programmers trying things, using imagination, applying their expertise. That's their job. Radio is not just there to give us a ton of what we ask for, it's there to bring us new things.

The poll they were running was limited to basically what they were already playing. There was no way it could determine if something might be better. By not including alternatives, they were really not using their tool to its full potential. The guy didn't want hear that, nor did he want to be called a lazy a**hole.

Hey, he started it. I just wanted to do the survey.

I eventually did find a station I liked. Then I moved and found another station I liked. Now they have an online poll.

So I installed a deck in the car that plays MP3s.
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IzzyDedjet
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2007, 01:10:13 AM »

Anything that gets all that sh**** new music out of my ears is a good thing by me  Twirling 

The problem for me isn't so much new music, but music that is neither new nor old. The stuff that is maybe six months or a year old, and overplayed more than it was when it was new. Don't know why radio stations do that. If I want to hear the same stuff over and over for a year, I can play a CD in the car. I really hate what radio is turning into.

I got into a flaming email row with the program director of a station I used to like. They started one of those weekly web surveys, and I answered it honestly. After a while, he sends me a really patronizing email explaining how a business is run, and suggest I find another station to listen to. I send him one back suggesting that he shouldn't poll listeners if he's not prepared to listen to comments he doesn't like, and that I'll continue to listen because I like some things about his station. And it went on from there. Not exactly professional on his part. Oh, and the next time I tried to do the survey, my login didn't work. When I asked about it, he told me he assumed I didn't want to participate any more. I think he just lumped me in with the people who wanted them to go back to an all classic rock format. The problem was that they were overplaying tunes that were neither classic nor fresh and new. Just worn-out crap.

At one point, I suggested that it was the online poll that spelled the jump-the-shark moment for the station, basically allowing them to pinpoint the lowest common denominator. He told me it was better than the old way of waiting until the ratings come out, then scratching your head. But that led to programmers trying things, using imagination, applying their expertise. That's their job. Radio is not just there to give us a ton of what we ask for, it's there to bring us new things.

The poll they were running was limited to basically what they were already playing. There was no way it could determine if something might be better. By not including alternatives, they were really not using their tool to its full potential. The guy didn't want hear that, nor did he want to be called a lazy a**hole.

Hey, he started it. I just wanted to do the survey.

I eventually did find a station I liked. Then I moved and found another station I liked. Now they have an online poll.

So I installed a deck in the car that plays MP3s.

I think I might get to like you Cheers
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Yaddo 42
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Where's that brick.......


« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2007, 11:30:43 PM »

Hate to tell you all, but this ain't new, even in the U.S.  Playing a radio as background music for a retail establishment has always technically constituted "public performance," which is why Musak-like services and in-house radio networks (think Maverik or Wal-Mart) have succeeded.  Waaaay back when I worked in a comic book store in the early '90's, the boss didn't want the radio playing because that kind of public performance constituted copyright infringement. (So did playing our cassettes, but since a dead-silent store wasn't an option, he grudgingly let that one go.)

'Course, I don't know how often anyone was sued for it back then...

I was aware of some of this, I think it's just that people will get sued more for this now that irks me. The music and radio industries just slowly cut their own throats by going after small fish like this. I guess the businesses could just try playing non-commerical radio stations or material in public domain (but might run afoul of BMI or ASCAP for royalties from performances/recordings under copyright even if the songs aren't). Isn't that why lots of news/talk stations fill dead hours with old radio shows, it's cheap programming that the copyright expired on (in some cases anyway) years ago?

AndyC, I can sympathize, I've wanted to lambast many of the local stations around here for their idiotic, overplayed, and bland programming. But figure unless I could organize some effort to affect ratings or cost them advertising dollars there was no point. One station that I had come to loathe is the number one station in the market, year after year by a large margin in the ratings, I figured if I complained to the program director, he'd just cite those ratings as a sign his programming was just fine. To tie this gripe in with the OP, this station refered to themselves in promos as "Your at work station", so they were actually encouraging public performances in a way.

At least the online poll you mentioned was a pretense of seeking public input, even if a lazy phony one. A big chunk of the stations in my area are owned by one company, at one time Clear Channel, now a smaller radio group based elsewhere in the state. They have taken down the websites for all their stations best I can tell. The request lines are automated voicemail runarounds. The DJs pull double duty on multiple stations but are completely unnecessary, and so bland to be interchangable, when they don't just carry syndicated crapfests anyway. The local news updates are cribbed from the newspaper and not even updated on weekends, breaking news never happens, even if they include it in slogans for those news reports. I sure don't trust them for news on bad weather conditions, this is tornado country.
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Jim H
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2007, 05:29:15 PM »

There are ways to legally listen or play music/TV in a commercial enterprise in the USA.  Numerous restrictions on it though.
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