Does The US Government Pay Royalties When It Blasts Music As A Weapon?
from the just-wondering dept
There have been plenty of stories about how the US military uses music as a weapon. For many years, the military has blasted certain songs, hoping to annoy certain people. It’s not clear that this “acoustic bombardment” is particularly effective, but it hasn’t slowed down its use. The Register has an article quoting someone suggesting that musicians who are against the war might want to use their copyrights to stop the U.S. military from using their songs. No matter what you think of the war or the use of music in this manner, it doesn’t seem like this would be a particularly effective effort. At most, it would just force the government to switch to other music — and there’s no shortage of music out there that people might find annoying. However, it does raise a second question that isn’t clearly answered in the article: is the U.S. government paying performance royalties when they blast music in this manner? It certainly would seem to qualify as a “public” performance of sorts. Or, as with some patents, does the government itself get to decide when it can ignore the intellectual property laws it forces everyone else to use?