Playing Music in Public
The right to perform or play a song in public is one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder. You will need to get permission or a license if you play music in public unless the music is in the Public Domain or the use of the music qualifies as fair use. But the line between what is private and what is public is complicated. Prior to the Music Licensing Act in 1998 2 , some court cases have drawn the line and declared public uses of music to be copyright infringement unless licensed, as follows:
Radio stations, bars, night clubs, and juke box operators;
Hotels that play the radio for guests through speakers or headphones;
Telephone intercom systems that play music while callers are on hold.