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Swedish Copyright Group Wants $5,000 p/yr Permit for Workplace Music

Swedish Copyright Group Wants $5,000 p/yr Permit for Workplace Music

Swedish Performing Rights Society says employers should have a permit to allow employees to listen to music during work hours.

The Swedish Performing Rights Society (STIM), whose job it is to “protect the interests of authors and publishers of music in Sweden,” has sent letters to over 2900 companies in Sweden demanding compensation for their allowing employees to listen to music during work hours.

“Perhaps someone has the radio on or is listening to a CD and if so, you need to have a permit that allows for music to be played the workplace,” said Susanne Bodin, a STIM spokesperson, to the Sweden-based DN newspaper. “A workplace isn’t private and therefore you should have a licence for music to be played so that the copyright holders get paid.”

The issue first arose after STIM sent a letter to the County Council in Stockholm demanding 25,000 kronor ($3,141 USD) in order to allow its 500 employees to listen to music at work. It then asked the Govt Offices of Sweden if the fees were proper.

“According to the legal investigation I carried out, it seems appropriate that these fees are paid, but we still want a response from the Government Offices as to whether you pay these fees yourself,” says State Provincial Office lawyer Annika Kleen in a letter to the Cabinet Office.

According STIM, all companies and organizations with more than 40 employees must pay a licensing fee if employees listen to music on a CD player or PC that can be heard by others.

“It is part of our mission to find these companies so that our clients, music generators, get paid,” says Bodin. “We would have preferred that the situation is the reverse: that companies and organizations contacted us, but it is difficult to know of all that need licenses.”

So what of businesses that say they employees aren’t listening to music? Will there be surprise workplace inspections?

“We obviously can not force anyone to pay if they say they are not listening to music,” adds Bodin.

It follows a similar effort in other countries like Australia, where music licensing bodies are even targeting gyms, cafes, restaurants, and other places where people hear music as a group.

Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus
Crazy Daze
Crazy Daze

Um, how about taking this cover for my TPS report and filing it where the sun don't shine...

mountain_rage
mountain_rage

Unless I'm mistaken companies are allowed to play the radio in workplaces since the radio station already pays royalties for the public broadcast. Otherwise its considered double taxation. More seriously, this should not be an issue. Public performance should only apply to a deliberate playing of music for the public for reasons of generating profit, all other public play should be free. This is precisely why people are pissed off with copyright laws around the world, they make no sense and hinder culture.

axxis
axxis

A permit to play my own radio at work? BULLSHIT!

darkspark
darkspark

we have had this in Ireland for years with IMRO. all businesses which are open to the public pay a license. it doesn't make a lot of sense, because this is a blanket payment so who is to say whether the money goes to the appropriate artist(s). for example i used to work in a net cafe where this was the case but we never listened to the radio, we brought in our own music and even a had a record store sponser cds at one stage. but we never gave IMRO a list of what was played.

Norm
Norm

I can see it now: Collection agencies will one day sue you if you play loud music in your car with the windows rolled down (those people on the street didn't buy licenses after all). This fight is no longer about copyright. It's about culture. The MAFIAA thinks it can own culture itself, and make everybody pay. Let's show them that music belongs to people, not companies.

DrewWilson
DrewWilson

"Otherwise its considered double taxation" My thoughts exactly.

Sam
Sam

What really needs to happen (but obviously wont) is that new bands need to just not sign up to the major record labels. Impossible when they are shoving a suitcase full of cash under a 21 year olds nose no doubt, but while this happens they have all the cards. There needs to be a viable alternative, that the artist makes fair money from. Most new bands are in it for the music, and as long as they are not being ripped off Im sure they will be happy to make what money they can from label-less sales. Seeing as labels take such a big cut anyway, this could work out to pay the artist a similar amount to what they might earn working for a label anyway. Cheaper music. Fair use. More creativity. No single mothers fighting $1.7 million dollar law suits and most importantly no labels dictating what we like.



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