If you own a retail location, you may be considering playing music in your store as a way to create a pleasant atmosphere for your customers. However, it’s important to understand that playing music in a retail location without a license is illegal and can result in significant penalties. In this article, we’ll explore the risks and penalties of playing music in stores without a license and how to obtain the proper permissions to play music legally.
First, let’s define what is meant by “playing music in a retail location.” This refers to playing any music in a store, whether it’s through a physical device, such as a CD player or radio, or through streaming services, such as Spotify or Pandora. It also includes playing music in a store’s public area, such as a waiting room, or in a private area, such as an office or break room.
So, why are you not permitted to play music in your retail location without a license? The main reason is that playing music in a store without a license violates copyright laws. Copyright laws protect the rights of musicians and songwriters by ensuring that they are compensated for the use of their work. When music is played in a store without a license, musicians and songwriters are not compensated for the use of their work. This is considered copyright infringement and is illegal.
In addition to violating copyright laws, playing music in a store without a license can also expose the store to legal liability. If a store is found to be playing music without a license, it could be sued by the copyright holders, who may be entitled to damages. This can result in significant legal costs and potentially ruinous financial penalties.
So, what can you do to legally play music in your retail location? The first step is to obtain a license to play music in your store. There are several organizations that issue licenses to play music in public places, such as the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). These organizations represent the rights of musicians and songwriters and issue licenses to businesses that want to play music in public places. To obtain a license, you will need to contact the appropriate organization and pay the required fees.
Once you have obtained a license to play music in your store, it’s important to follow the terms of the license. This typically includes only playing music from the approved list of songs and not altering the music in any way. It’s also important to keep records of the music played in your store and to report any changes to the music played to the licensing organization.
In conclusion, playing music in a retail location without a license is illegal and can result in significant penalties. To legally play music in your store, you must obtain a license from the appropriate organization and follow the terms of the license. By obtaining a license and following the terms of the license, you can create a pleasant atmosphere for your customers without risking legal liability.