Copyright Liability and Performing Rights Organizations in the United States and India

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Music has become a central element in consumer marketing for its ability to influence consumers’ attitudes and behaviors. Research has shown that music adds value to the retail and service environments. In most instances, however, the cost to use music extends beyond the expenses incurred from purchasing CDs, stereo equipment or engaging musicians to perform. Most industrialized nations have statutes that protect music under copyright. As a result, businesses that use music to enhance the consumer’s service experience are responsible for obtaining clearance to perform copyrighted music. Performing rights organizations exist in countries all over the world and grant clearance and performance rights. The present research presents a review and comparative analysis of the licensing efforts of performing rights organizations in two industrialized nations—the United States and India. The licensing efforts of these organizations have been a source of criticism for their impact on small businesses and retailers. Recommendations for improving the current situation are offered.