Partner Jeff Tinker authored the Real Estate Business article “COVID-19 Changes How Office Owners Approach Music Licensing.” The piece explores music licensing in the age of streaming for commercial real estate properties and amenities such as gyms, elevators and lobbies and includes a look at how the ongoing pandemic changes this calculus.
Tinker notes that some property owners and/or managers may be unaware that streaming music services piped into public settings require licenses from Performing Rights Organizations (PROs), a notable difference from over-the-air radio (when played only on a limited number of speakers). “Businesses pay an annual fee to the PRO for a ‘blanket license,’ which gives them the right to an unlimited number of public performances of all the songs in the PRO’s repertory.” He adds an immediate, if temporary, consideration in light of COVID-19 and wide-scale restrictions/shutdowns of public spaces in buildings, “As common areas disappear, the public performance of music in those areas will also disappear.”
Tinker does a broad exploration of important intellectual property considerations at play and cautions, “To avoid potentially costly penalties, businesses should obtain the necessary licenses or implement policies to avoid needing a license.”
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