by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
licensing, music, performing rights, sweden


Swedish Performing Rights Society Demands Cash From Companies That Let Employees Listen To Music

from the oh-come-on dept

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?

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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 10 Jul 2009 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "No, I don't see anything wrong with that. Wealth is not a zero-sum game, and it's certainly not like we don't have plenty of available houses right now."

    Wealth doesn't HAVE to be a zero-sum game. The problem is that when you have the majority of corporate wealth being made by taking advantage of others, you've turned it into a zero-sum game. That's what these collection agencies do, they change the game. And available housing isn't the point. Excessiveness is WRONG, end of story. That's why it's called excessive.

    "You think it's greedy for the RIAA to pursue additional funds even as its future flounders(for its own stupid decisions) and thousands of other smaller companies struggle to make a living before failing"

    I think the RIAA is greedy by nature in that it's sole purpose to exist, being a collection agency, is to collect as much as possible. The purpose is to collect, not to collect reasonably. Therefore it needs to be done away with.

    "Plus, the wealthiest are more charitable by percentage of income than anybody else, despite paying the huge majority of taxes. I don't know how many houses Bill Gates or William Buffet have, but they've given billions to charity."

    Wonderful point, but largely meaningless. I'm less concerned with the taxes being paid by individuals and more concerned with corporate taxes. During WWII corporations paid something like 55% of total tax revenue. Today it's in the 10% neighborhood. In the early part of the century 5% of the population worked for the largest 10% of the nation's companies. Today it's closer to 90%. If that isn't a consolidation of corporations and government, I don't know what is. And like Mussolini said, the first stage of Fascism is Corporatism.

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