It appears that the Swedish performing rights society STIM is taking lessons from ASCAP
(in the US) and PRS
(in the UK) in trying to extend the definition of a public performance in order to demand licensing money from just about anyone. In this case, STIM has apparently sent out demand letters to thousands of Swedish companies
telling those companies that if anyone
at the company listens to music on the job, the company needs to pay for a license:
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... A workplace isn't private and therefore you should have a license for music to be played so that the copyright holders get paid.
This is, of course, quite misleading. The copyright holder has already been paid if they're listening to the radio or a CD. This is an attempt to get paid multiple times for the same thing. We've been hearing stories about how these various collection societies are in trouble lately due to low interest rates
and poor investment choices
, but watching them flail around and start demanding money from everyone, and trying to get paid multiple times for the same work is really quite an amazing abuse of power. Why isn't any gov't agency cracking down on such an abuse?