Playing Music in Chat Rooms

Is playing music in Chat Rooms legal ? Is’nt it the equivalent of public broadcast without prior authorization. I mean someone can copy/record a song that way. Whats the straight dope ?

And if it is illegal, then are Yahoo/MSN … a party to promote copyright infringement ??

I don’t see how it would be much different than playing a CD at a public park. IANAL, YMMV, PDSM.

Given that the Yahoo voice band is at slightly less than AM quality, I don’t see that there would be a problem with people recording such low-fidelity music. I don’t really like listening to tunes in chat rooms for the same reason. MMV.

… which is a public performance, and therefore illegal unless you have the copyright holder’s permission.

Ah, but quality doesn’t affect the question of legality; if it did, Napster could have escaped prosecution by limiting files to 64 kbps.

Thanks for the answers. Since the Music Moghuls are not persuing MSN or Yahoo - I assume that they really don’t care about copyright infringement unless it really starts to hit their bottomline.

Well - my moral guilt to having listened to some mp3s is much less now.

Correct, but I meant that such instances were likely to be muted, thanks to the fact that the music you’d be copying would basically not sound that good, thus (hopefully) keeping such instances down.

Under specific circumstances, right? I mean, I can play anything I want to play in public, and the copyright owner has no say in it.

Really? So, when I take my portable CB player down to the forest preserve picnic grounds/park, and play my CDs there while we eat, that’s a copyright violation? Who’d’ve thunk it…

I know restaurant and club owners have to pay royalties to play music inside, even if it’s just the radio. I don’t know what other circumstances would be different enough to make a public performance legal.

Kat, nobody said copyright law has to agree with common sense. :wink:

It’s probably not legal but I doub the RIAA is going to be going after that particular internet music venue any time soon. As anyone who frequents the citizens band can tell you, truckers (and other CB aficionados like myself) have been known to play music over the CB all the time. This would basically be the equivalent of doing that and I’ve never heard of anyone getting prosecuted for doing that although there are a lot of jokes about whether or not the person doing it has a radio license. Yeah, we joke about radio licenses. Us CBers are such cards.

Kat’s scenario is pretty much the kind of thing I was referring to. Playing music at a barbeque is hardly a “performnace”. You pay for the right to do that when you buy the CD. I hope.
I think broadcast (tv, radio) is ok in bars and cafes. Wasn’t there a court decision on tv in sports bars?