Music Royalties to Be Collected From Beijing Subways “By the Square Meter”

Issue 30 China IP,[Copyright]

A piano piece A Comme Amour was drifting through the Hepingmen subway station on June 4, as an effort by Beijing Subway authorities to try to ease the anxiety of commuters waiting for trains by playing some soft music. By the latter half of this year, such music will be played at 20 subway stations.

After many discussions with the Music Copyright Society of China last year, BD says it selected the Lama Temple and Dengshikou stations of line 5 for trial sites for playing music during non-peak hours. In the consultations that followed, the Society said that “copyright licenses must be obtained for playing background music at subway stations, and royalties must be collected based on the size of the station.” However, as a non-profit state-owned enterprise, BD cannot afford payment “by the square meter” and the matter is still under discussion.

BD said it will continue its talks with the Society, hoping for a royalty-free license or a significantly reduced fee.


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