What exactly is a copyright law? Natasha Powell, the director of public relations at BMI, said copyright law requires that any public performance of music requires consent from copyright owners.
What exactly does that mean? Well, it means that if you can’t share a headphone with a friend (or a couple of friends), you happen to own a business and you want to play music aloud in a public place, you have to pay a fee (or multiple fees) so that artists and copyright owners can make more money.
“This serves to protect the integrity of the work,” Powell said. “And (it) encourages the songwriter to continue to create music by enabling them to be compensated for their efforts when their music is played publicly to benefit a business or other organization.”
Although BMI reached out to the Daily Grind and offered to arrange a legal partnership, Brown said she is instead working to create a business account with Pandora. This account would ensure that Brown had the proper licenses to play music in her coffeeshop, and would provide added benefits such as a media player that can connect to existing sound systems, and none of those dreaded commercials.
A hop, skip, and jump across the Pit and inside of the Student Union, Paul Hartley, the assistant manager at Alpine Bagel Café, said the music coming from their speakers is completely legal.
“We listen to FM radio on the line at a quiet volume to create a more fun and enjoyable atmosphere — both for our customers and employees,” Hartley said.
“I find customers enjoy the music, often discussing the tunes being played with our employees. Since the Union is a place for study as well as socializing, we try to keep the volume at a level where line customers and employees can enjoy it without bothering people in the lobby.”
Brown said that music is just as important at the Daily Grind.
“It creates an ambiance,” she said. “ People leave the office or students stop by, and there will be crazy music or soothing music or something completely different playing. It’s just a nice break.”
With LDOC ten days away and exams approaching fast, a cup of Joe from the Daily Grind, a bagel from Alpine, and some music will be a nice break indeed.