Truck Drivers Told They Need To Pay A Licensing Fee To Listen To Music While Driving

from the make-it-stop dept

Over the last few years, we've noted that various collection societies around the globe have become both more aggressive and more ridiculous in trying to get people to pay licensing fees for listening to music. Among the crazy stories that have popped up are cases of collection societies demanding cash from a woman who played music for her horses in a stable, a police station told to pay up because some police officers had a radio on and the public entering the station could hear it, hotels being told they need to pay an extra performance license because guests listen to radios in their rooms and, of course, the claim that ringtones (even legally licensed ringtones) require another license as a public performance. In some cases, these societies apparently hire people to just call up businesses and if they hear music in the background, they demand payment.

Every time we post this kind of thing, people joke that it won't be long before they want to charge people a separate license for listening to music in your car with the windows rolled down. We haven't quite reached that point yet, but the Belgian collection society SABAM, who was recently caught accepting payments for made up bands, is now claiming that truck drivers listening to the radio need to pay a performance fee as well, since the cabs of their trucks are technically their "workplace."

This seems pretty extreme, even by traditionally insane collection society standards. Most of them admit that they only seek to collect fees in cases where the public might hear the music. Going after truck cabs seems beyond ridiculous -- and thankfully some in the Belgian Parliament seem to agree, with one MP saying, "it's utter nonsense." Still, SABAM seems to be standing by their right to collect in such cases, perhaps not realizing what an incredible laughingstock this makes them, and how it just makes people respect copyright less and less when such stories get out.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    rw (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Listening

    It's obvious, we're supposed to stop listening to music altogether.

     

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  2.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Derp

    Double dipping as well as bass ackwards logic makes SABAM seem rather desperate and / or ignorant. Maybe they are trying to prove odd economic losses from "piracy" by using this double dipping method? These truckers not paying for licenses and it is costing their economy 1.543 trillion euros!

    It would be nice if the truckers as a whole just told SABAM to go suck on an exhaust pipe.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:58am

    If the "public performance" was used in a commercial manner, like a radio or TV station, then it might make sense... but this is just a well thought extortion plan.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:59am

    Re: Derp

    But how do you identify those truckers? My brother is one, and he *never* listens to radio. He has his laptop blasting his legally bought CDs/MP3s. Why would he have to pay up?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Don, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Re: Listening

    Yeah, most music is evil anyway. Just play it backwards and you'll see.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:14am

    AC will be along shortly...

    I am sure the AC that has been the defender of the IP faith lately will be along shortly to school you in the error of your ways. I look forward to his well reasoned input.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re:

    I would not go so far as to say "well thought out"...

     

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  8.  
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    Phillip, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Honestly...

    I hope more and more things like this start happening. The more absurd they becomes, the more attention that absurdity gets, and the more ridiculous they make themselves look, the faster their downfall.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    coldbrew, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:32am

    La Cosa Nostra

    These people have less class than the Sicilian Mafia. I vote we contract with them (anyone have connections with into Ndrangheta)?. I believe that since there is no money in reducing IP rights, it will be difficult to motivate these people unless there is someone with close ties advocating such.

     

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  10.  
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    Matt (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Derp

    Still a public performance. That it comes from the radio doesn't matter.

    Actually, that it comes from the radio should (but does not) immunize. The radio station has already paid to publicly perform the music. The mechanism for doing so is to translate the music into FM (creating a licensed, legal derivative work) and broadcast it. The truck driver then takes this derivative work, translates it (creating a new, licensed, legal derivative work) and publishes it. Either the original license to publish (to the radio station,) or the truck driver's license to himself to publish his derivative work should govern, _NOT_ the license of the original music publisher. But for whatever reason, that is not the way the law is implemented (notwithstanding what it says).

     

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  11.  
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    ComputerAddict (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Derp

    " He has his laptop blasting his legally bought CDs/MP3s. Why would he have to pay up?"

    By their logic (not mine) he is more liable than people that listen to the radio. At least the radio stations already paid for the public performance once, CD's that have been bought for personal use have not paid the fees for public performances.

    It kinda sickens (but doesn't surprise) me that they want radio stations to pay for public performance and then have the person actually listening to that public performance to re-pay again. Since when has "going dutch" become popular again.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Andrew, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Collection effort

    I would love to see some pencil necked, geek music executive try and collect money from a hard working truck driver and live to tell about it.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Re: Listening

    And then the collection societies will just go to the government and demand a mandatory levy on Internet or TV or anything that could generate a 'performance' in order to protect and promote 'culture'.

    One way or another, they will distort the market to get their percentage.

     

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  14.  
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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:46am

    We don't own anything.

    Oh, you want to hang that painting in your office? Well I'm afraid I need another fee from you because when I sold it to you I thought you would hang it in your house.

     

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  15.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: Listening

    W@e must stop listening for the sake of the artists!

     

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  16.  
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    Carlos, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:51am

    Laughingstock? Maybe.

    Laughing all the way to the bank? Definitely.

     

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  17.  
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    New Mexico Mark, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re: We don't own anything.

    Oh... and should you decide to just take it home, you WILL cover the painting when guests are in your home, right?

     

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  18.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Where is the AC Parade?

    Even the AC Shill/Trolls, aka shit-rolls, refuse to come near this thread! That alone, should convince SABAM to rethink their strategy.

     

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  19.  
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    Huph, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:59am

    This is beyond ludicrous. Does this mean a pizza delivery wo/man should pay a separate license when listening and driving while on the clock?

    What if the trucker owns his rig outright? Does that make a difference?

    Work place?

    So children listening to their iPod while mowing their neighbors' yards? License!

    Whistle while you work? Not on my watch!

    Sorry, Mr. Janitor, the rhythm of your sweeping, which is derivative of James Brown, is not licensed for this workplace. We will find you. We will fine you.

    Hey guitar salesman, that song YOU wrote--but registered with our collection agency--is not licensed for you to play in the workplace in order to display the shredding-ness of your new stock of axes.

    Also, guitar repair-tech, testing out your adjustments by playing "Hotel California"? You are not licensed for that.

    In all seriousness, what if a person works from home? Say an illustrator. Are they only allowed to play their purchased music while NOT at the drawing board?

     

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  20.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Listening

    but what if a radio station plays it backwards?

    Is that double-plus-ungood evil?

    or good because to evil's make a right?

    or the lesser of two weevils?

    Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    perhaps not realizing what an incredible laughingstock this makes them


    The problem is that most of the people involved with these types of collections don't care whether they are a laughing stock or not, only that they collect lots of money.

     

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  22.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Derp

    Well the Belgians will quickly drop this when informed they are in favor of going Dutch...

    hell they don't even like the Flemish speaking Belgians!

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    I think the next time I walk into a place of business that has music playing in the background I will send a bill to SABAM for forcing me to listen to music that they licensed to the establishment. One should not be involuntarily subjected to bad music without due process, after all.

     

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  24.  
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    johnny canada, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    I hope the driver does not cross an international board (like a 20 minute drive to France) as he will have to apply for a complete new set of licenses

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Listening

    You need a separate license to do that though.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    You never know......., Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    Yea, it's bee a while...

    The Day The Music Died - Maybe Don McLean was making a prediction...... Looks like it may be coming true.

     

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  27.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re:

    Don't give them ideas, for the love of humankind! Do you want to know how bad its gotten for my workplace? A shitty song that has the singer say (not sing) the words "A million miles" about ten or fifteen times in a row. GAAAAHH! Its stuck in my brainz!

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    coco Was Screwed, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Listening

    Thats it, you're brilliant!

    If the radio station plays it backwards, and someone invents a device that reverses the signal, no one would need to license anything...

    I'll call it Redre (reverse -dereverse) And I will single handedly bankrupt the entire system...mwaaahhhaaaa

     

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  29.  
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    Jimr (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Good

    I hope the collection society does get all crazy.
    Hit ever access point one could hear music at and charge a fee. This would be the best ever!

    pizza delivery in HIS car p- PAYS!

    Children listening to their iPod while mowing their neighbors for cash - PAYS!

    Whistle while you work - PAYS!

    Teacher marking assignment at home with the Radio on - PAYS!

    Music store - hell yeah PAYS and pays double if a customer tries out an instrument and plays a registered tune.

    The craziness of it all will make people mad enough to actually DO something about it. Or everyone will quit listening to their music and demand a FREE source that does not involve such finical entanglements.

    In the short run it will suck. They will make money. In the long run society will be better as their business model will drive themselves out of business and a new Free society will emerge.

     

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  30.  
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    Overcast (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Who do they claim to represent and how would you know?

    I can't find a list on their web page..

    So is this 'license' just a 'general' - listen to music at work license?

    If it is - then many, many artists will have a clear case to sue this organization, after all - if they provide a license for music *they do not own* - that's clearly copyright fraud.

    I know if I was a musician and they - for one second - claimed to represent me, they'd be in court.

     

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  31.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Collection effort

    Or, the truckers give in and ahve their radios removed from their trucks, then refuse to make deliveries to anyone dealing with them...could make it hard to get supplies...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Listening

    ^ patent pending.

    too slow sucker

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Jeremy, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Truckers charged to listen to music...

    What a bunch of crap. Let me explain something to whoever you are that is trying to charge these "performance fees". When the cost of anything goes up, your available spending funds go down. Take a look around you right now. Everything that you can lay your eyes on, I will bet you came on a truck. The more we charge them, they more you and I pay for everything from toilet paper, food, electronics, vehicles, shall I go on? Everything is on a truck sooner or later. Trucking is one of the very best examples of cause and effect. Fuel goes up, so do prices. You charge drivers to listen to music, they demand more pay, trucking companies charge more to haul the freight, you pay more at the store. On a more simple note, what the hell is wrong with them listening to the radio anyway? Do you drive 10-14 every day of the week for weeks at a time?

     

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  34.  
    icon
    FredMertzJr (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:01pm

    April Fools Joke?

    Mike, is this an early April fools joke? ... It's got to be!

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Len, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    I'm hoping for more news like this. The more we hear about this type of stuff, the more likely we are to see this type of behavior cease.

    Than again, I've been reading techdirt long enough to notice that it aint changing much. It's possible we'll need a government refresh (revolution) to fix it.

     

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  36.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Derp

    In any normal world where humans are allowed to be humans, demands like the original from SABAM would never be made to begin with. But where greed is allowed to rule, we get these crazy societies where they think everyone owes them for nothing.
    Your brother just as much so as the rest of the truckers shouldn't have to pay anything. It was already paid for. My post was mainly intended to deride SABAM for being stupid. I am sorry if I did not make that clear enough. I believe that Computer Addict above already addressed it though, by their logic your brother is probably more liable than the other truckers. Its dumb.

     

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  37.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Another point overlooked - A little late?

    Here is another thing I don't think anyone has mentioned yet. They want to charge truckers for listening to radios while on the road.
    Truckers.
    Now, I don't know the exact history of the 18 wheeler, but aren't they about 50 to 60 years (probably more) late in demanding this? If they would have stood any chance of this working, it would have had to be when it was new. Just randomly demanding it after decades of normal isn't going to fly.
    Just a little late I think.

     

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  38.  
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    mike allen (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Derp

    you are correct as far as the radio station is concerned it has paid to broadcast this music. I fail to see how a lonely trucker IE he is the only person in the cab can possibly be classed as "public". I Therefore think this is the forerunner of having to pay a separate licence to listen to the radio at home or our private cars the word is stupid and SABAM can stick it.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Derp

    The same way they identify people who watch TV in the U.K. and Japan, if you have a TV you need to pay the tax.

    So if your truck has a radio and you get caught without a license you be fined.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    This is racketeering. As long as the courts/government don't stop them, they will continue.

    China can make it's own laws. And the music business, being profitable is going to see more Chinese. Chinese business isn't as extortionately stupid as the Europeans. The Europeans are in a dying civilization.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Derp

    He and the hookers.

     

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  42.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    And why does every guitar tech insist on playing "Hotel California"? Is it contractual? Or is it only song guitar tech instructors know?

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Derp

    I don't know about Japan, but in the UK you only need to pay the license fee if you use the TV for watching broadcasts.

    If you use your TV solely for watching DVDs or playing video games (for example), you don't need to pay. If you don't have an antenna, cable or satellite system, you don't pay.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Listening

    Absolutely
    Stop buying it and stop listening to it in any situation that requires licensing fee.

    Starve them.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Derp

    While that's true in theory, you will be constantly threatened with nasty letters and visits from TVLA inspectors insisting you are a filthy TV "pirate".

     

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  46.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Derp

    To be fair, it pays for such gems as Doctor Who and Being Human.

     

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  47.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re:

    For the MAFIAA, it's like splitting the atom, financially speaking.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Derp

    No, because FM broadcasting and "private" frequencies are completely different. They don't broadcast songs over the CB. They're talking about a license for the CB for public performance.

     

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  49.  
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    Richard (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Listening

    But presumably - since it's a backwards license - they have to pay you!

     

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  50.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 4:21pm

    Nonsense

    I suppose it's only a small step from that to demanding payment from anyone who works at home, since that's their workplace as well.

    I really hope the Big Copy shills (TAM) don't shy away from this thread like they do whenever the industry engages in blatant money-grubbing at absolutely absurd levels like this.

    I'd dearly love to sit back and watch the spectacular display of tortured illogic as it comes into full bloom. However, I suspect they'll do what they always do when stuff like this comes along... go mysteriously silent.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    VMax, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Listening

    I think you're on to something here. If the driver has to pay for the performance and the music is rubbish, shouldn't you get a cut of the license fee as a payback for being forced to listen to bad music?

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Derp

    Hmmm...that explain the nice gentleman that entered my home and opened every door he could find, looking for a TV set.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Derp

    From what I remember about the letter they sent me, informing me in no uncertain terms, that they would send in someone to check if I had a TV set and if they found one they would fine me 1.500 to 4.500 pounds.

    Or something like that I don't remember exactly.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Derp

    In Japan on the other hand you can tell to the NHK guy to go screw himself and he can't do nothing LoL

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Ash, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 6:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Derp

    Pretty sure you can do that in Belgium, too.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Derp

    Isn't the internet marvelous, you learn a lot about how countries work.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 6:58pm

    Why does Workplace == Public ?

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 7:15pm

    If it's on public airwaves it belongs to the public. It's atrocious that the govt grants monopoly power on both content and distribution. Not only do they wrongfully deny artists their right to use those public airwaves to freely distribute content that they create, content that the artists maybe releasing under a permissible license, but they then deny me the right the copy and redistribute the content that is distributed on those public airwaves. Those public airwaves should belong to the PUBLIC, I have just as much a right to their use as anyone else and the government has no right denying me of my rights.

     

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  59.  
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    Qûr Tharkasdóttir (profile), Apr 1st, 2011 @ 10:51am

    SABAM's money is not the artist's money

    Too bad I missed on this one. Once a dear friend of mine had some of his music (Ligeti-like stuff), which had been registered with... SABAM, played on the Belgian national radio network. A whole hour of it. Shortly after he left Europe for a long, long time. Well over a decade later, as he happened to pass through Brussels, he contacted SABAM to collect his money, but was told that they didn't keep records older than 10 years. Mildly amusing.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Listening

    Nah, I'll keep torrenting and when they stop making music because they don't make any more money, i'll just listen to the birds, music is not that big of a deal.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Derp

    In Korea they charge you a few thoudsand won for having a TV on your electric bill, regardless if you have one or not doesn't matter

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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