The EU Court of Justice has ruled that rental car companies do not have to pay a license fee for the public performance of music when they rent a car, even though every car made today has a radio, and the drivers could theoretically play music on the radio.
These sort of outrageous claims are the rule, not the exception, because there are no penalties for attempting to promulgate this bullsh%$:
Performance Rights Organizations (PROs), sometimes known as “Collection Societies,” have a long history of demanding licensing for just about every damn thing. That’s why there was just some confusion about whether or not those with musical talents would even be allowed to perform from their balconies while in COVID-19 lockdown. And if you thought that it was crazy that anyone would even worry about things like that, it’s because you haven’t spent years following the crazy demands made by PROs, including demanding a license for a woman in a grocery store singing while stocking the shelves, a public performance license for having the radio on in a horse stable (for the horses), or claiming that your ringtone needs a separate “public performance” license, or saying that hotels that have radios in their rooms should pay a public performance license.
Five years ago, we wrote about another such crazy demand — a PRO in Sweden demanding that rental car companies pay a performance license because their cars had radios, and since “the public” could rent their cards and listen to the radio, that constituted “a communication to the public” that required a separate license. The case has bounced around the courts, and finally up to the Court of Justice for the EU which has now, finally, ruled that merely renting cars does not constitute “communication to the public.”
A reevaluation, and a roll-back of implicit and explicit subsidies related to IP needs to happen sooner, rather than later.