Friday, March 16, 2012

Performance of Music by Professionals - Dentists Dodge Royalty Extraction in EU


European dentists will no doubt be ecstatic to learn that royalties cannot be extracted from them for music used on their premises since, among other reasons according to the ECJ: cannot be disputed that, in a situation such as that in the main proceedings, a dentist who broadcasts phonograms, by way of background music, in the presence of his patients cannot reasonably either expect a rise in the number of patients because of that broadcast alone or increase the price of the treatment he provides. Therefore, such a broadcast is not liable, in itself, to have an impact on the income of that dentist.
Readers who would like to drill down further cannot possibly find a more penetrating and incisive analysis to fill any cavity in their legal minds than that offered by Merpel, the most learned and mysterious of the IPKats, to whom I am indebted for all of the above important information, here

Canadian dentists , however, remain subject to routine check ups and possible root canal treatment by SOCAN , the Canadian equivalent of PRS, SACEM, GEMA, ASCAP, BMI and other performing rights societies, if they attempt to soothe the souls of their patients with sounds emanating from pretty much anything other than a radio.

Sadly, Canadian professionals in other service industries are also not as fortunate as European dentists. In a relatively recent communication to the funeral industry, after offering information about how to cope with pandemics (class action lawyers take note), the Ontario, Canada based Board of Funeral Services - a professional body for funeral directors -  offers the following soothing words from SOCAN, which are notable for their context-sensitive sensitivity:
Music at Work
No doubt about it, music is one of the most powerful and valuable resources in any business. Music entertains, it sets the pace, helps to enhance a special moment, it soothes the soul and lifts the spirit of both employees and customers. It even calms people holding on the telephone.
Those who create and publish music do it for a living. They depend on people like you to use their music... and to use it fairly.
(emphasis added)


Personally, I hope that I will cross the proverbial bar (no, not the one in the court room) to the strains of Siegfried's Rhine Journey funeral music (or Siegfried's Rheinfahrt, as is is known in German) which, sad to say for SOCAN, is in the public domain and should thus save my estate a small sum. 

(Bayreuth Festival)


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