Trying out instruments constitutes public performance?

At least, so says the Performing Rights Society in the UK.

MUSIC shop boss Steve Kowalski has been told he will have to pay to play if his customers want to try out his instruments before they buy.

And that, he says, is a fiddle.

The Performing Rights Society claims he needs a licence if he, or any of his punters, want to "have a go" on anything from a harmonica to a harpsichord or castanets to clarinets.

Again, is this what the artists and performers want? Isn't this a case of dogs biting their own?

It's very instructive to read the comments for this article, as every single one of them - coming from both artists and non-artists alike - condemns this to pretty much the lowest Hell. People are not taking this too well, and any business model that is based on annoying customers is not very likely to succeed... Jonathan Schwartz (CTO of Sun Microsystems) says very succintly in this podcast: The whole issue boils down simply to "What is fair use?". He's not against DRM as such, but reminds that any attempt to alienate people by limiting their right to fair use - and what they consider to be fair use, not what corporations consider fair use - is going to succeed, and that company will lose in the marketplace.

(Via Marginaali.)




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