Frivilous Friday: Lobby Music, Bing and the 60s.

by:  Rob

I have to say I was surprised to see that Muzak had such a strong web presence.  Hmmm.  I haven’t used SurveyMonkey in a while and from the high falutin’ standards of a FrivFriday post, nothing else will do.  So, the question is:  does your credit union pay for lobby music?

Honestly, I haven’t done any research as to the legality of playing the radio in the lobby of a credit union.  A simple Bing search pulls up an eHow page that says probably not.  It, in turn, links to ASCAP and BMI who appear to say that it is most assuredly not legal.

You might be asking why I’m using Bing and not a certain other search tool.  Since we are being frivilous, I will allow a complete topic switch.  I’m using Bing, Hotmail, and Internet Explorer (and Safari and Firefox) and not a certain other company’s stuff (as much as possible) because of that certain other company’s attempts to aggregate my digital presence for their purposes without any sort of input from me.  You see, so long as competition exists, consumers are free to vote with their feet and this is what I have done.  This analysis might be relevant to your credit union too and indeed all business use of a company’s services when that company gets autocratic with user data.

This leads me to my final topic switch for this most chaotic post:  the 60s.  My wife and I and some friends saw Hair last weekend when the touring company came to Cleveland.  I was struck (and that word isn’t strong enough) by how similar the issues of a musical set in 1967 are relevant in 2012.  In many, many ways it seems things now are rather like then.  At least we don’t have the draft.  Do you remember what the credit union movement was like in the 60s?  We can actually tie it in because we got Reg Z in 1968.  We didn’t get BSA until 1970 but back then all they cared about really was tax evaders.

Ok, enough frivolity, back to work for me and happy Friday everone!


3 thoughts on “Frivilous Friday: Lobby Music, Bing and the 60s.

  1. I wonder if playing Pandora in your branch is legal? I wonder if you could buy spots on just one station and then play that?

    Can you look into that? (joking!)

    I sooo agree with you on the 60s thing. I think we are even kind of dressing 60’ish again.

    Thanks for the frivolous Friday break. Oh, and everyone in my neck of the woods would thank you for the Bing shout out.

  2. As far as I can remember from my undergrad jazz performance education, businesses have to get a blanket license from ASCAP, BMI, and/or SESAC which gives you the right to play any of their songs in your business. This is why you will see ASCAP/BMI stickers in the windows of many businesses if you look closely.

    Shari: Pandora actually does offer a service for businesses: It takes care of the licensing automatically.


    –Drew Edwards

    Disclaimer: This post is written in my capacity as a former musician, not as a current attorney. Here’s to getting your money’s worth from college.

  3. Any business/organization/group that plays mechanical music – or hires musicians – definitely should have ASCAP and BMI licenses. And I can recommend a nifty e-book on Amazon about Entertainment & Media Law if you’re looking for some light reading this weekend. 🙂

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