How to Protect Your Business from Unknowingly Breaking Copyright Law

If you have your own business that plays music or videos, whether this is for customers or employees’ benefit, it’s a good idea to understand how to protect your business from unknowingly breaking copyright law. 

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is there to protect the creators of music, art, literature and any other piece of work which is created for other people to enjoy, but which remains the property of the original artist or production organisation.  

And unless you are playing music or video solely for your own use, it’s important to remember you need to get a licence to use artists material in the public domain. 

If you don’t get a licence for playing music or videos, or using certain other types of media, you could face a hefty fine. And with the exception of educational establishments such as nurseries, schools, and playgroups, hardly anybody is exempt.  

So, how do you protect your business from unknowingly breaking copyright law? And why does it matter anyway? 

Read on here to find out more! 

Why do we have Copyright Laws? 

We have had copyright laws in the U.K since 1911, with the introduction of the Copyright Act, in fact copyright originated in the U.K and can be traced back to the common law of 1709; the Statute of Anne. 

And as we’ve previously mentioned, all sorts of creatively produced work is protected, but it’s not quite so simple as getting a licence to simply play some tunes. 

Creative work such as song lyrics, manuscripts, manuals, computer programs, commercial documents, leaflets, newsletters & articles etc. are all covered by copyright laws. It also applies to music recordings, score, dance, plays, paintings, digital art, logos, photography, video footage, film, broadcasts, and cable programmes. 

The legislation is there to ensure the creators of original work get paid, even when other people choose to use this work for their own enjoyment. 

Which is essentially what creative people want their work to be used for, and this makes total sense, right? Here at Marzipan Media, we wholeheartedly support the idea that creative people should be paid fairly when the wider population benefits from their work.  And there’s good reason for this.

It is widely recognised that playing music and videos have an incredibly positive impact on consumers and employees in a wide variety of settings, particularly if used for advertising purposes. 

What are the Benefits from Complying with Copyright Law?

The benefits of complying with copyright law are plentiful. Firstly, you get to enjoy all the wonderful work that is being created by talented artists and musicians up and down the U.K. 

But more importantly, it is proven that playing music vastly improves your customers’, and employees’ experiences in your organisation. 

When you play music, you are building a brand identity, creating rapport, and encouraging repeat business. Even the genre you choose can have an influence or trigger a purchasing decision, particularly when it comes to more expensive purchases. 

Think of a restaurant for example. As a consumer, you wouldn’t want to hear the same music you have on your gym playlist!

Something more ambient and a slower tempo is much more agreeable to people wanting to stick around and spend time in your establishment. And when people spend more time somewhere, they inevitable spend more on the services you provide. But of course, you don’t want it too slow and sombre either. 

Music is all about creating a mood, and by complying with copyright law, you can do this without worrying  about having to face a hefty fine or possible stint at her majesty’s pleasure. 

Plus, your employees will thank you for it. They will enjoy their work more and be more productive. Not to mention, the musicians and artists get paid their royalties, so it's win win!

Contact Us

As you can see, it can be a bit of a minefield understanding what you can and can’t play and then when you have worked out the copyright laws and paid your PRS subscription, you’ve then got to work out what sounds will work best for your business. 

And that’s where we can help!

Here at Marzipan Media, we can remove the stress and headaches about creating the right sounds for your customer whilst ensuring you’re within the law.

We create background music playlists and audio advertisements for your business, store, hotel, or gym, and we can tailor this specifically to meet your client needs. 

So, if you want to talk to us about copyright laws, or if you want us to create a playlist or audio advertisement, you can contact us here or call our super friendly team of experts on  +44(0)1324 711 011.

We are looking forward to speaking to you soon!