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Study: Many small businesses don’t follow the rules on background music

Among the things it can be very important for small businesses to avoid is running afoul of copyright laws. Such violations could land a company in legal hot water.

One area where small businesses may be prone to copyright problems is background music. A recent study suggests it is very common for small companies to play background music without getting a proper license.

The study looked at small businesses in a handful of countries (including the U.S.) and global business data to look into the issue of lack of proper licensing for background music.

The study suggests that, annually, billions of dollars worth of background music without proper licensing is being played at businesses across the globe.

When it comes to streaming background music, companies are only supposed to use a business streaming service. They are not supposed to use personal streaming services to play background music at their sites. However, the study suggests that this practice is quite common. The study estimates that as many as nearly three-fourths of commercial small businesses that have physical sites may be using personal accounts for background music.

This may largely be due to many businesses simply being unaware that they are doing something that violates copyright law. The study found that, here in the U.S., around seven out of every 10 small business owners thought it was okay to use personal streaming services for store background music.

One wonders if, as more data comes out about licensing issues regarding background music, parties within the music industry may start taking more aggressive actions towards violators.

Lawyers can help small business owners understand what copyright issues could arise for their company and give them guidance on how to avoid missteps that could lead to legal problems.

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