Apple Music for Business (Restaurants, Bars, Stores, etc.)

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from chorus.fm for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Patently Apple:


    There’s a common misunderstanding among business owners that songwriters are only compensated by the purchase of their CDs, so that a business owner can freely play copyrighted music for customers. Not so, and Apple’s new trademark filing for ‘Apple Music for Business’ indicates that Apple will be entering this new business avenue for Apple music in the future as the company seeks to expand their services businesses.

    Interesting.

     
  2. DandonTRJ Dec 5, 2018
    (Last edited: Dec 5, 2018)
    DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    But see 17 U.S.C. § 110(5)(b), which allows certain businesses to play music on the radio for free. (If you're curious, check out the details -- they literally micromanage the physical size of the business and how many loudspeakers they can use.)
     
  3. Piercalicious

    Regular Supporter

    How the back-end of this works out is where this business could get really interesting.

    It seems like Apple's goal is basically just to play middleman and sell the various PROs' catalog licenses alongside Apple Music itself. But the PROs historically have had troubles with recovering performance royalties in these business contexts because, as the article notes, most people don't even know what they're doing requires a license and frankly enforcement is hard (nobody really reports violations, ultimate recovery post-litigation is low in a lot of circumstances, etc)... So for Apple to actually make money, they've got to convince a bunch of business owners that they're actually violating the law and it's easier to pay them money than what the ultimate fine/damages would be. The question is, how do you do that? Is Apple going to get involved in enforcement actions? Are the PROs getting an influx of cash as part of the deal so as to up their own enforcement abilities?
     
    sawhney[rusted]2 likes this.
  4. Former Planets

    Aaaachem! Supporter

    I routinely had people from BMI (or ASCAP, one of them) coming into the restaurant I where I worked in college to make sure we were in compliance. The owner would get super pissed if he caught us playing music off our mp3 players on the store stereo instead of the radio.
     
    jordalsh and Jason Tate like this.
  5. currytheword

    Trusted

    I use my own personal account that I pay for to play music in the shop I manage. This is illegal how?
     
  6. heartsdietoo

    Newbie

    “Furthermore, you may only play this music in a non-commercial setting. You can listen to the songs to yourself as much as you like, but it is illegal to play in public. Playing the downloaded music in your business, however, would violate copyright law because the act is now considered a public performance.”

    I don’t necessarily agree with it though. I think if you are paying for the music you should be able to use it as you wish, within reason. I also don’t really see how they would enforce this.
     
  7. DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    Copyright infringement under Section 106 of Title 17 of the United States Code. Public performance of non-dramatic musical works without a license.
    PROs like ASCAP and BMI send personnel to businesses operating without licenses to camp out and catalog any songs from their repertoires that get played, then send demand letters. If ignored long enough, they’ll file suit and usually get treble damages (300% the cost of a license) plus an award of their attorneys fees.
     
    heartsdietoo likes this.
  8. KyleAtGalaxy

    Newbie

    We used to play at a small town bar and the owner had a strict “no playing covers” policy. He said he was getting cease and desist letters from BMI. I honestly couldn’t believe it. This is a rural town of less than 1000 in the middle of Missouri.
     
  9. jordalsh

    jordalsh.wordpress.com Prestigious

    we had this at my old job and I literally always always thought they were scam calls....oops
     
    Larry David likes this.
  10. KyleK

    Let's get these people moving faster!

    I hope you played some deep cuts so he couldn't tell they were actually covers
     
    KyleAtGalaxy likes this.
  11. chcougar1

    Trusted

    This is one of the most greedy things I’ve ever heard of haha
     
  12. Former Planets

    Aaaachem! Supporter

    The money goes to the artists...
     
    Piercalicious likes this.
  13. Anna Acosta

    Listen to Staircase Spirits. Moderator

    Having studied copyright extensively in school, it always stuns me when I remember just how NOT common knowledge this stuff is. It really should be. (And it's no one's fault that they aren't aware of it, of course.)

    At any rate, if anyone can convince people to buy something they don't think they need, it's Apple. (Ironically, in this case they DO need it - not from Apple, but the blanket license from the PROs.)
     
  14. DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    Yup. This isn’t about licensing sound recordings owned by record labels (which artists see almost nothing from). It’s for the musical compositions the artists wrote as licensed through their publishers.
     
    Jason Tate and Anna Acosta like this.
  15. chcougar1

    Trusted

    Still. This feels insane.
     
  16. Anna Acosta

    Listen to Staircase Spirits. Moderator

    Can I ask why? Honestly asking, I was introduced to the concept in school so it's always seemed completely reasonable to me (albeit it has been annoying as a musician on one or two occasions when a venue won't allow covers because they don't want to pay the fees).
     
  17. chcougar1

    Trusted

    I don’t know. I feel like if someone purchased the music they should be able to play it.
     
  18. Jason Tate

    chorus.fm @jason_tate @encorepodcast Staff Member

    You can play it ... just not publicly to lots of people if you're a business without compensating the people that wrote it. Buying a song on iTunes doesn't give you the licensing right to toss it in your movie either. I think it's a good thing when artists are compensated for their work; that's the opposite of "insane."
     
  19. Piercalicious

    Regular Supporter

    This is a really good comparison - I think most people would feel entitled to a different type of compensation for writing a song for a movie versus a song sold to a single person to listen to. Playing it in a business isn't that different.
     
  20. currytheword

    Trusted

    If a small private business owner like my boss plays music at his personal computer, but has a speaker hooked to that computer which plays out loud in the shop, he should have a separate business account specifically to use at that computer? When most of the time it's us employees listening to the music as we do work at our computers and etc. That would simply just be doubling down on a customer who already pays to listen to music.

    Edit: I'm not against artists being paid at all. I just feel like there are some grey areas that need to be worked out there.
     
  21. DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    If you're playing music in an area of the business that's open to the public, you have made a tacit admission through conduct that the music assists your business in some respect, and if you are using someone else's (intellectual) property to your commercial advantage (with no traditional fair use factors supporting it), the musicians should be compensated. The CD or MP3 you bought was a license to enjoy that music personally. For anything more, you need a different license. If a musician was only ever compensated on the first sale of a record, with all further use thrown to the wind, it would sharply limit the ways they could actually make a living off their craft.
     
  22. currytheword

    Trusted

    Sure people can hear it, but we play music as employees using our paid accounts for ourselves as we work most of the time. Essentially, music is not a part of our business and our office space is in our work space.
     
  23. scottlechowicz

    Trusted Supporter

    There really aren’t many grey areas. What is and is not an infraction is pretty clearly delineated.

    What type of business are you? How big is your space? How many speakers do you use? Etc.

    This all matters. And largely takes care of the “grey areas.”
     
    Jason Tate likes this.
  24. DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    If the music is being played out loud "at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered," it's a public performance. The law doesn't hinge on a subjective argument of who the performance is "for." Throw on earbuds, use the radio, or take out some PRO licenses and go hogwild.
     
  25. currytheword

    Trusted

    That's what i'm doing essentially? Firstly, I don't believe really many jobs in high end retail allow you to "throw on earbuds" during work. Me playing randomized music stations made on itunes is the radio in this day and age. Would it make a difference if I used Pandora?