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?

Filed Under: licensing, music, performing rights, sweden
Companies: stim

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  1. identicon
    Ryan, 10 Jul 2009 @ 12:14pm

    Huge Ass Post

    Wow, went to lunch right after my last post. Kind of fired up a storm...

    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.

    It's still not a zero-sum game, certain players are just making their wealth at the expense of others by choice because it is the easiest course of action. Why are they able to do that? Because the government forces everybody to play by those rules.

    As a citizen, I hate many of the shit the government is doing as a "stimulus" even as it may help my employer(whom I own stock in) because it hurts the country and taxpayers overall, but since they made those rules, I will do everything in my power to help us get as many of those funds as possible because they're going to go to somebody. A business that voluntarily chooses not to play the game loses the game--we need a systemic change, and the only way to do it is to change the government setting the rules.

    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.

    Every business' purpose is to collect as much as possible. If somebody wants to give me 10 grand, I don't even need a reason. But the best/only way to do that should(and still is in many cases) be by giving the consumers what they want and thereby convincing them to pay for it voluntarily. The RIAA doesn't have to do that because of the government. If you hate them, as I do, then change the system and force them to sink or swim.

    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.

    Sorry, but I don't understand for a second why corporations pay any taxes on profit(corporate assets are another thing). Corporations are made of people; all those people are paying taxes on income they acquire via the company. Why not let corporations have their funds? More to spend on R&D, personnel hirings, lowering prices, etc. And to say that lowering taxes levied by the government is somehow fascist is completely backwards.

    2 examples does not support that statement. If you have data that supports this then please link to it. I would be happy to change my own belief that the rich are rich because they don't give any of it away - including to the tax man.

    http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2008/02/19/Poor-Give-More-to-C harity

    I take it back, the poorest bracket gives the most, but only those not receiving welfare even if they make the same as those receiving it(interesting). Second is the highest bracket, by percentage.

    There is nothing wrong with collecting profits to which you are entitled.

    Greed, however, goes beyond such profits. It's about collecting profits to which you are not entitled. Greed makes you do things you shouldn't be doing to get those extra profits. Greed equates a musician performing in a venue in front of paying customers to ringing phone.

    They are entitled to them. They shouldn't be, but they are legally able to get them because we allow the government to interfere in everything, and so corporate interests are predictably put first. If one corporation decides not to take advantage, another will. The answer is to hate the government, not the players.

    I do not understand for a second why anybody is concerned with "excessive" wealth that doesn't come at the expense of others. There are probably many starving children in Africa that feel your wealth to be excessive. Should you be forced to give it because somebody else thinks you have too much? Great way to incentivize labor and innovation, no?

    So your augment is that normal rules, laws, and morality shouldn't apply to the wealthy because their wealth will trickle down to us poor peasants, eventually. Are you sure you're not David Stockman?! What decade is this anyway?!

    My point is precisely that the normal rules, laws, and morality should apply to everybody. Somebody should not suddenly have to start playing at different rules because they have more money, ala progressive tax brackets, onerous antitrust regulations, etc. But many corporations are able to change the laws for their own benefit. The answer is not to punish those individuals, because somebody else will just come along and do the same thing, which is why you can't blame them in the first place. The answer is to better the system, by removing the unnecessary interference of government.

    And what does the "trickle-down" thing have to do with anything? Direct charitable contributions is the "trickle-down" effect? And on a side note, many proponents of high taxes seem to completely misunderstand supply-side economics; if you impose high taxation, it won't hurt wealthy individuals that much, because they'll just pass it on. Corporations will hire fewer people and impose higher prices on the consumer so they can still make their money.

    This is absolutely not true! While the wealthy give more, they DO NOT give more as a percentage of their income. For example, look at Table 2 in this PDF document (which is specifically religious donations, but supports my point).

    That document is huge, but you say it is specifically religious donations; doesn't that kind of eliminate its applicability to the overall picture?

    Should we allow people to murder, steal, rob, etc., merely because they give society a cut of it back? Should we let the bank robber go free because he donates 10% of it to charity? Maybe Ryan does, but I don't think so.

    No, we shouldn't, and I never said so. I mentioned the charitability of Gates and Buffet to show that people that spend their whole lives trying to make as much money as possible are just as giving as the rest of us when some of you criticized "greed".

    Regardless of how much the wealthy give to their pet causes, they should follow the same laws we follow. We're a nation of laws, not a nation laws for some and not for others if they give us a cut.

    Totally agree here. But now your argument has done a 180 from criticizing them for greed, if you say it doesn't matter how much they give to charity. Remove government interference and implement a free market(backed up by government enforcement of transparency and accountability only) and we all have to play by the same rules, rich or poor.

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