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Global Citizen
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Need some advice

Postby Global Citizen » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 7:28 am

We would like some music installed on our website home page. Is it legal to put in music without infringing copyright laws or must one contact the relevant music bodies for permission first?

Thanks in advance.
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Postby durain » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 7:37 am

you can only put royalty free music on your website. any other music, you will need permission from the artist (copyright law).

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Postby Global Citizen » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 7:45 am

Pardon my ignorance durain, but how can I determine what is and isn't royalty free music? Is there a site where I can look this up?

Many thanks.


edit: added the word free
Last edited by Global Citizen on Thu, 26 Jun 2008 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 9:21 am

In general, unless the author has relinquished rights, any music is automatically protected. Virtually anything you have ever heard recorded will undoubtedly be subject to copyright and royalties.

You could I suppose, under the fair use doctrines, note that this is for private use only but I think you could run into problems since the website is public and I know that photographers have asked that photos be taken down. You would also need to make sure that any music you put up could not be saved, otherwise you would be guilty of illegal distribution.

You might check Amazon music. The last time I checked they had quite a bit of free music. I don't know whether you could use this music of not.

Final thought: I dislike websites that assume I want to hear music when I click in.

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Postby Global Citizen » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 9:51 am

Great input SE.

Based on some feedback I've received elsewhere , some people also feel the same way as you about music on websites. I'm wondering if it would make a difference based on the nature of the business; in this case a restaurant.

Thanks SE.
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Postby Turtle » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 10:09 am

I would say that since it's a business rather than someone's Myspace page, any violation will be pursued much more aggressively. I don't know about whether it being a restaurant will make people appreciate music more - personally when I'm going to a restaurant's website, I want to know about the location, opening hours and menu, and something that shows me that quickly and professionally. I would caution that perhaps if somebody thought your music was "cheesy", they might think the same of the restaurant (and not go) - or even that it would be the same music played at the restaurant. So a bit of a need to be careful in my opinion, it might do more harm than good.

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Postby banana » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 10:14 am

For commercial websites, it is not advisable to play any rights managed music whatsoever. Too much potential grief. Unless of course your last name is Gucci. Some businesses hire professional studios to produce custom tracks for the same purpose you intended. It may cost a little more but the advantage is that you can tell them what you want it to sound like or if they're really good, they can come up with something you'll like.

If your site is pure HTML, forget about music altogether. As yet, there is still no reliable or universally accepted method of playing music on HTML sites and third party players usually do not blend well with your site aesthetics. Flash sites allow you to work around that but so many designers get lazy and forget to have a mute function.
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Postby ScoobyDoes » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 10:20 am

Global Citizen wrote: I'm wondering if it would make a difference based on the nature of the business; in this case a restaurant.


No idea why you think that makes a difference.

Anyway, there are plenty of new and upcoming artist that put music on the web for free....... i think even Metallica (If that takes your fancy for example) are to or just did put an album on their site for free.

CNET on their download.com site has a section for buying music but also they release one free mp3 each day. It's not a lot but one good tune you can pick up as background on your webpage is better that a) nothing b) legal action against you. They also have an ap that will send the music each day to your facebook page if you have one.

Anyway, a lot of free good music on the web already..... just have to look for it.

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Postby banana » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 10:27 am

ScoobyDoes wrote:
Global Citizen wrote: I'm wondering if it would make a difference based on the nature of the business; in this case a restaurant.


No idea why you think that makes a difference.

Anyway, there are plenty of new and upcoming artist that put music on the web for free....... i think even Metallica (If that takes your fancy for example) are to or just did put an album on their site for free.

CNET on their download.com site has a section for buying music but also they release one free mp3 each day. It's not a lot but one good tune you can pick up as background on your webpage is better that a) nothing b) legal action against you. They also have an ap that will send the music each day to your facebook page if you have one.

Anyway, a lot of free good music on the web already..... just have to look for it.


Eh, free MP3s do not necessarily mean free to broadcast. Strictly speaking, even CDs that you purchase from the store are only allowed for private listening. Meaning you can't play it on the stereo in your restaurant. Take a look at the fine print on any record sleeve, it's there.

Whether anyone pursues the matter is a different story altogether.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 10:36 am


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Postby ScoobyDoes » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 11:18 am

banana wrote:Eh, free MP3s do not necessarily mean free to broadcast. Strictly speaking, even CDs that you purchase from the store are only allowed for private listening. Meaning you can't play it on the stereo in your restaurant. Take a look at the fine print on any record sleeve, it's there.

Whether anyone pursues the matter is a different story altogether.


Agree but there is a difference between CD's you buy and openly downloadable tracks via Amazon or CNet. If it has been made available to everybody to download anyway basically all rights on that particular track are lost, or rather no longer held by anybody. The same free track can be downloaded from multiple sources for example.

An additional "out" may be to add a link to the band's website for example.

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Postby banana » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 12:12 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:
banana wrote:Eh, free MP3s do not necessarily mean free to broadcast. Strictly speaking, even CDs that you purchase from the store are only allowed for private listening. Meaning you can't play it on the stereo in your restaurant. Take a look at the fine print on any record sleeve, it's there.

Whether anyone pursues the matter is a different story altogether.


Agree but there is a difference between CD's you buy and openly downloadable tracks via Amazon or CNet. If it has been made available to everybody to download anyway basically all rights on that particular track are lost, or rather no longer held by anybody. The same free track can be downloaded from multiple sources for example.

An additional "out" may be to add a link to the band's website for example.


Logically speaking, you are right. However, when you consider that the RIAA, COMPASS and the various 'governing bodies' in the music industry are not known to operate based on common sense, that's not good advice to give to someone else's business.

Even on sample EPs distributed free of charge, you get the same legal disclaimers on the sleeves. As stupid as it sounds, with music, ownership does not equate to broadcast rights.
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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 12:45 pm

GC,

I would particularly NOT put music onto a commercial website, especially for a restaurant. If I had some sort of a retail product, like a sexy perfume for example, I might consider some romantic theme music.

But I don't see how this works for a restaurant. I suppose you could add theme music like a Mariachi band for a Mexican restaurant, or traditional Thai folksongs for a Thai restaurant but what is the purpose?

OTOH, the music could be a turn off - if you resort to some non-royalty, midi created music, it just sounds bad and juvenile. People who want to eat Thai food may have vastly different tastes in music: I wouldn't listen to head banger stuff, but might entertain good Texas country music, all the while wondering why it is on the website.

More crucial: Pictures of the restaurant itself so I can understand the ambience. Pictures of signature dishes. A full menu with prices. Operating hours. Contact numbers and reservation information. Maps. All done in a simple, easy to navigate, warm environment that makes me hungry and want to eat at your place.

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Postby ozchick » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 1:20 pm

As far as I know, music that's older than 50 years doesn't have to be considered re copyright laws. Same goes for 'traditional' music where the origins aren't clear. Re-vamped versions of these older pieces are often a good way to go. However when using more recent music, care should be taken. Having said that, the song Happy Birthday has been sung by all and sundry for well over 70 years but has really only reached it's 'free of copyright' status in the last 30 or so.
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Postby ksl » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 2:27 pm

Personally I would get a professional Disc jockey, or talented musician to knock up two or 3 jingles, specially for the restaurant, explain to them that you need it to fit the ambiance of the place.

I think its a good idea, but you need the professional musician to do it, its also a very good advertising stunt, if done good, because music and beat stick in the minds of people.

A dj friend of mine in Denmark, mixes music specially for fashion shops, to keep the people inside the shop, to encourage an enjoyable shopping experience.

Have the music on off button quite visible on the website, so that people can have a choice.

If you are catering to a specific cliental, you may wish to do a little more research, with your clients, taste of background music, with a little feed back form, good preparation, will produce the results, good or bad! At least you get an overall idea of your clients wants and needs, while eating, that is if you are already playing background music in the restaurant.

Good soft music is very important, although it must not detract people from their conversations too much, unless they have come for the music entertainment.

So really you need, to balance the issues at hand, by getting as much feedback as possible. The website will be fine with a button to switch off the music.

Its true that many may not like the music, there again many will, it's your choice, because when you create a restaurant, your not just selling food, you are providing them with a relaxing and enjoyable evening, or entertainment too.

So setting your retaurants theme is all part of the branding experience, do your home work and it will be fine, as you probably know.
Last edited by ksl on Thu, 26 Jun 2008 2:45 pm, edited 5 times in total.


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